farming, animal husbandry
pottery, metallurgy, wheel
circular ditches, henges, megaliths
Neolithic (/ˌniːəˈlɪθɪk/ ( listen)) was a
period in the development of human technology, beginning about
10,200 BC, according to the ASPRO chronology, in some parts of
the Middle East, and later in other parts of the world and ending
between 4500 and 2000 BC.
Traditionally considered the last part of the
Stone Age or The New
Stone Age, the
Neolithic followed the terminal
period and commenced with the beginning of farming, which produced the
Neolithic Revolution". It ended when metal tools became widespread
Copper Age or Bronze Age; or, in some geographical regions, in
the Iron Age). The
Neolithic is a progression of behavioral and
cultural characteristics and changes, including the use of wild and
domestic crops and of domesticated animals.[a]
The beginning of the
Neolithic culture is considered to be in the
Levant (Jericho, modern-day West Bank) about 10,200–8800 BC. It
developed directly from the
Natufian culture in the
region, whose people pioneered the use of wild cereals, which then
evolved into true farming. The
Natufian period lasted between 12,500
and 9,500 BC, and the so-called "proto-Neolithic" is now included
Pre-Pottery Neolithic (PPNA) between 10,200 and 8800 BC.
As the Natufians had become dependent on wild cereals in their diet,
and a sedentary way of life had begun among them, the climatic changes
associated with the
Younger Dryas are thought to have forced people to
By 10,200–8800 BC, farming communities arose in the
spread to Asia Minor, North Africa and North Mesopotamia. Mesopotamia
is the site of the earliest developments of the
from around 10,000 BC.
Neolithic farming was limited to a narrow range of plants, both
wild and domesticated, which included einkorn wheat, millet and spelt,
and the keeping of dogs, sheep and goats. By about
6900–6400 BC, it included domesticated cattle and pigs, the
establishment of permanently or seasonally inhabited settlements, and
the use of pottery.[b]
Not all of these cultural elements characteristic of the Neolithic
appeared everywhere in the same order: the earliest farming societies
Near East did not use pottery. In other parts of the world,
such as Africa, South Asia and Southeast Asia, independent
domestication events led to their own regionally distinctive Neolithic
cultures that arose completely independently of those in
Southwest Asia. Early Japanese societies and other East Asian cultures
used pottery before developing agriculture.
Neolithic derives from the Greek νέος néos, "new" and
λίθος líthos, "stone", literally meaning "New Stone Age". The
term was invented by Sir John Lubbock in 1865 as a refinement of the
1 Periods by pottery phase
Neolithic 1 –
Pre-Pottery Neolithic A (PPNA)
Neolithic 2 –
Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (PPNB)
Neolithic 3 –
2 Periods by region
2.1 Fertile Crescent
2.2 Southern Mesopotamia
2.3 North Africa
2.5 South and East Asia
3 Social organization
8 Early settlements
9 List of cultures and sites
10 See also
13 External links
Periods by pottery phase
view • discuss • edit
Earliest stone tools
Earliest exit from Africa
Earliest fire use
Earliest in Europe
Axis scale: million years
Also see: Life timeline and Nature timeline
An array of
Neolithic artifacts, including bracelets, axe heads,
chisels, and polishing tools.
Neolithic stone artifacts are by
definition polished and, except for specialty items, not chipped.
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In the Middle East, cultures identified as
Neolithic began appearing
in the 10th millennium BC. Early development occurred in the Levant
Pre-Pottery Neolithic A and
Pre-Pottery Neolithic B) and from
there spread eastwards and westwards.
Neolithic cultures are also
attested in southeastern
Anatolia and northern
Mesopotamia by around
8000 BC.
Beifudi site near Yixian in
Hebei Province, China,
contains relics of a culture contemporaneous with the Cishan and
Xinglongwa cultures of about 6000–5000 BC, neolithic cultures
east of the Taihang Mountains, filling in an archaeological gap
between the two Northern Chinese cultures. The total excavated area is
more than 1,200 square yards (1,000 m2; 0.10 ha), and the
collection of neolithic findings at the site encompasses two
Neolithic 1 –
Pre-Pottery Neolithic A (PPNA)
Pre-Pottery Neolithic A
Neolithic 1 (PPNA) period began roughly around 10,000 BC in
the Levant. A temple area in southeastern
Turkey at Göbekli Tepe
dated around 9500 BC may be regarded as the beginning of the
period. This site was developed by nomadic hunter-gatherer tribes,
evidenced by the lack of permanent housing in the vicinity and may be
the oldest known human-made place of worship. At least seven stone
circles, covering 25 acres (10 ha), contain limestone pillars
carved with animals, insects, and birds. Stone tools were used by
perhaps as many as hundreds of people to create the pillars, which
might have supported roofs. Other early
PPNA sites dating to around
9500–9000 BC have been found in Jericho,
West Bank (notably Ain
Mallaha, Nahal Oren, and Kfar HaHoresh), Gilgal in the
and Byblos, Lebanon. The start of
Neolithic 1 overlaps the Tahunian
Heavy Neolithic periods to some degree.
The major advance of
Neolithic 1 was true farming. In the
Natufian cultures, wild cereals were harvested, and
perhaps early seed selection and re-seeding occurred. The grain was
ground into flour.
Emmer wheat was domesticated, and animals were
herded and domesticated (animal husbandry and selective
In 2006, remains of figs were discovered in a house in
to 9400 BC. The figs are of a mutant variety that cannot be
pollinated by insects, and therefore the trees can only reproduce from
cuttings. This evidence suggests that figs were the first cultivated
crop and mark the invention of the technology of farming. This
occurred centuries before the first cultivation of grains.
Settlements became more permanent with circular houses, much like
those of the Natufians, with single rooms. However, these houses were
for the first time made of mudbrick. The settlement had a surrounding
stone wall and perhaps a stone tower (as in Jericho). The wall served
as protection from nearby groups, as protection from floods, or to
keep animals penned. Some of the enclosures also suggest grain and
meat storage.
Neolithic 2 –
Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (PPNB)
Pre-Pottery Neolithic B
Neolithic 2 (PPNB) began around 8800 BC according to the
ASPRO chronology in the
Levant (Jericho, Palestine). As with the
PPNA dates, there are two versions from the same laboratories noted
above. This system of terminology, however, is not convenient for
Anatolia and settlements of the middle Anatolia
basin. A settlement of 3,000 inhabitants was found in
the outskirts of Amman, Jordan. Considered to be one of the largest
prehistoric settlements in the Near East, called 'Ain Ghazal, it was
continuously inhabited from approximately 7250 BC to
approximately 5000 BC.
Settlements have rectangular mud-brick houses where the family lived
together in single or multiple rooms. Burial findings suggest an
ancestor cult where people preserved skulls of the dead, which were
plastered with mud to make facial features. The rest of the corpse
could have been left outside the settlement to decay until only the
bones were left, then the bones were buried inside the settlement
underneath the floor or between houses.
Neolithic 3 –
Neolithic 3 (PN) began around 6,400 BC in the Fertile Crescent.
By then distinctive cultures emerged, with pottery like the Halafian
(Turkey, Syria, Northern Mesopotamia) and Ubaid (Southern
Mesopotamia). This period has been further divided into PNA (Pottery
Neolithic A) and PNB (
Neolithic B) at some sites.
Chalcolithic (Stone-Bronze) period began about 4500 BC, then
Bronze Age began about 3500 BC, replacing the Neolithic
Periods by region
'Ain Ghazal Statues found at
'Ain Ghazal in Jordan, are considered to
be one of the earliest large-scale representations of the human form
dating back to around 7250 BC.
Around 10,000 BC the first fully developed
belonging to the phase
Pre-Pottery Neolithic A (PPNA) appeared in the
Fertile Crescent. Around 10,700–9400 BC a settlement was
established in Tell Qaramel, 10 miles (16 km) north of Aleppo.
The settlement included two temples dating to 9650 BC. Around
9000 BC during the PPNA, one of the world's first towns, Jericho,
appeared in the Levant. It was surrounded by a stone and marble wall
and contained a population of 2,000–3,000 people and a massive stone
tower. Around 6400 BC the
Halaf culture appeared in Lebanon,
Israel and Palestine, Syria, Anatolia, and Northern
subsisted on dryland agriculture.
In 1981 a team of researchers from the Maison de l'Orient et de la
Jacques Cauvin and Oliver Aurenche divided
Near East neolithic chronology into ten periods (0 to 9) based on
social, economic and cultural characteristics. In 2002 Danielle
Frédéric Abbès advanced this system with a division
into five periods.
Natufian between 12,000 and 10,200 BC,
Khiamian between 10,200 and 8800 BC, PPNA:
Early PPNB (PPNB ancien) between 8800 and 7600 BC, middle PPNB
(PPNB moyen) between 7600 and 6900 BC,
Late PPNB (PPNB récent) between 7500 and 7000 BC,
A PPNB (sometimes called PPNC) transitional stage (PPNB final) in
which Halaf and dark faced burnished ware begin to emerge between 6900
and 6400 BC.
They also advanced the idea of a transitional stage between the PPNA
and PPNB between 8800 and 8600 BC at sites like
Jerf el Ahmar
Jerf el Ahmar and
Alluvial plains (Sumer/Elam). Little rainfall makes irrigation systems
necessary. Ubaid culture from 6,900 BC.
Algerian cave paintings depicting hunting scenes
Domestication of sheep and goats reached
Egypt from the Near East
possibly as early as 6000 BC.
Graeme Barker states
"The first indisputable evidence for domestic plants and animals in
the Nile valley is not until the early fifth millennium BC in northern
Egypt and a thousand years later further south, in both cases as part
of strategies that still relied heavily on fishing, hunting, and the
gathering of wild plants" and suggests that these subsistence changes
were not due to farmers migrating from the
Near East but was an
indigenous development, with cereals either indigenous or obtained
through exchange. Other scholars argue that the primary stimulus
for agriculture and domesticated animals (as well as mud-brick
architecture and other
Neolithic cultural features) in
Egypt was from
the Middle East.
Female figure from Tumba Madžari, Republic of Macedonia
Map showing distribution of some of the main culture complexes in
Neolithic Europe, c. 3500 BC
Skara Brae, Scotland. Evidence of home furnishings (shelves)
Europe agrarian societies first appeared in the 7th
millennium BC, attested by one of the earliest farming sites of
Europe, discovered in Vashtëmi, southeastern
Albania and dating back
to 6500 BC. Anthropomorphic figurines have been found in
the Balkans from 6000 BC, and in
Central Europe by around
5800 BC (La Hoguette). Among the earliest cultural complexes of
this area are the
Sesklo culture in Thessaly, which later expanded in
the Balkans giving rise to Starčevo-Körös (Cris),
Linearbandkeramik, and Vinča. Through a combination of cultural
diffusion and migration of peoples, the
Neolithic traditions spread
west and northwards to reach northwestern
Europe by around 4500 BC.
Vinča culture may have created the earliest system of writing,
the Vinča signs, though archaeologist Shan Winn believes they most
likely represented pictograms and ideograms rather than a truly
developed form of writing. The
Cucuteni-Trypillian culture built
enormous settlements in Romania,
Ukraine from 5300 to
2300 BC. The megalithic temple complexes of
Ġgantija on the
Mediterranean island of
Gozo (in the Maltese archipelago) and of
Mnajdra (Malta) are notable for their gigantic
the oldest of which date back to around 3600 BC. The Hypogeum of
Ħal-Saflieni, Paola, Malta, is a subterranean structure excavated
around 2500 BC; originally a sanctuary, it became a necropolis,
the only prehistoric underground temple in the world, and showing a
degree of artistry in stone sculpture unique in prehistory to the
Maltese islands. After 2500 BC, the Maltese Islands were
depopulated for several decades until the arrival of a new influx of
Bronze Age immigrants, a culture that cremated its dead and introduced
smaller megalithic structures called dolmens to Malta. In most
cases there are small chambers here, with the cover made of a large
slab placed on upright stones. They are claimed to belong to a
population certainly different from that which built the previous
megalithic temples. It is presumed the population arrived from Sicily
because of the similarity of Maltese dolmens to some small
constructions found in the largest island of the Mediterranean
South and East Asia
Neolithic sites in South Asia are
Bhirrana in Haryana
dated to 7570-6200 BC, and Mehrgarh, dated to between 6500 and
5500 BC, in the Kachi plain of Baluchistan, Pakistan; the site has
evidence of farming (wheat and barley) and herding (cattle, sheep and
In South India, the
Neolithic began by 6500 BC and lasted until
around 1400 BC when the Megalithic transition period began. South
Neolithic is characterized by Ashmounds since 2500 BC in
Karnataka region, expanded later to Tamil Nadu.
In East Asia, the earliest sites include
Nanzhuangtou culture around
Pengtoushan culture around
7500–6100 BC, and
Peiligang culture around 7000–5000 BC.
The 'Neolithic' (defined in this paragraph as using polished stone
implements) remains a living tradition in small and extremely remote
and inaccessible pockets of West Papua (Indonesian New Guinea).
Polished stone adze and axes are used in the present day (as of
2008[update]) in areas where the availability of metal implements is
limited. This is likely to cease altogether in the next few years as
the older generation die off and steel blades and chainsaws prevail.
In 2012, news was released about a new farming site discovered in
Goseong, Gangwon Province, South Korea, which may be the
earliest farmland known to date in east Asia. "No remains of an
agricultural field from the
Neolithic period have been found in any
East Asian country before, the institute said, adding that the
discovery reveals that the history of agricultural cultivation at
least began during the period on the Korean Peninsula". The farm
was dated between 3600 and 3000 BC. Pottery, stone projectile
points, and possible houses were also found. "In 2002, researchers
discovered prehistoric earthenware, jade earrings, among other items
in the area". The research team will perform accelerator mass
spectrometry (AMS) dating to retrieve a more precise date for the
In Mesoamerica, a similar set of events (i.e., crop domestication and
sedentary lifestyles) occurred by around 4500 BC, but possibly as
early as 11,000–10,000 BC. These cultures are usually not
referred to as belonging to the Neolithic; in America different terms
are used such as
Formative stage instead of mid-late Neolithic,
Archaic Era instead of Early
Neolithic and Paleo-Indian for the
preceding period. The
Formative stage is equivalent to the
Neolithic Revolution period in Europe, Asia, and Africa. In the
southwestern United States it occurred from 500 to 1200 AD when there
was a dramatic increase in population and development of large
villages supported by agriculture based on dryland farming of maize,
and later, beans, squash, and domesticated turkeys. During this period
the bow and arrow and ceramic pottery were also introduced.
Neolithic ceramic figurine
During most of the
Neolithic age of Eurasia, people lived in small
tribes composed of multiple bands or lineages. There is little
scientific evidence of developed social stratification in most
Neolithic societies; social stratification is more associated with the
later Bronze Age. Although some late Eurasian
formed complex stratified chiefdoms or even states, states evolved in
Eurasia only with the rise of metallurgy, and most
on the whole were relatively simple and egalitarian. Beyond
Eurasia, however, states were formed during the local
three areas, namely in the Preceramic Andes with the Norte Chico
Civilization, Formative Mesoamerica and Ancient Hawaiʻi.
Neolithic societies were noticeably more hierarchical
Upper Paleolithic cultures that preceded them and
hunter-gatherer cultures in general.
Clay human figurine (Fertility goddess) Tappeh Sarab, Kermanshah ca.
Neolithic period, National Museum of Iran
The domestication of large animals (c. 8000 BC) resulted in a
dramatic increase in social inequality in most of the areas where it
occurred; New Guinea being a notable exception. Possession of
livestock allowed competition between households and resulted in
inherited inequalities of wealth.
Neolithic pastoralists who
controlled large herds gradually acquired more livestock, and this
made economic inequalities more pronounced. However, evidence of
social inequality is still disputed, as settlements such as Catal
Huyuk reveal a striking lack of difference in the size of homes and
burial sites, suggesting a more egalitarian society with no evidence
of the concept of capital, although some homes do appear slightly
larger or more elaborately decorated than others.
Families and households were still largely independent economically,
and the household was probably the center of life. However,
Central Europe have revealed that early Neolithic
Linear Ceramic cultures ("Linearbandkeramik") were building large
arrangements of circular ditches between 4800 and 4600 BC. These
structures (and their later counterparts such as causewayed
enclosures, burial mounds, and henge) required considerable time and
labour to construct, which suggests that some influential individuals
were able to organise and direct human labour — though
non-hierarchical and voluntary work remain possibilities.
There is a large body of evidence for fortified settlements at
Linearbandkeramik sites along the Rhine, as at least some villages
were fortified for some time with a palisade and an outer
ditch. Settlements with palisades and weapon-traumatized bones
have been discovered, such as at the
Talheim Death Pit
Talheim Death Pit demonstrates
"...systematic violence between groups" and warfare was probably much
more common during the
Neolithic than in the preceding Paleolithic
period. This supplanted an earlier view of the Linear Pottery
Culture as living a "peaceful, unfortified lifestyle".
Control of labour and inter-group conflict is characteristic of
corporate-level or 'tribal' groups, headed by a charismatic
individual; whether a 'big man' or a proto-chief, functioning as a
lineage-group head. Whether a non-hierarchical system of organization
existed is debatable, and there is no evidence that explicitly
Neolithic societies functioned under any dominating
class or individual, as was the case in the chiefdoms of the European
Early Bronze Age. Theories to explain the apparent implied
Neolithic (and Paleolithic) societies have arisen,
Marxist concept of primitive communism.
Neolithic house in Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina
The shelter of the early people changed dramatically from the Upper
Paleolithic to the
Neolithic era. In the Paleolithic, people did not
normally live in permanent constructions. In the Neolithic, mud brick
houses started appearing that were coated with plaster. The growth
of agriculture made permanent houses possible. Doorways were made on
the roof, with ladders positioned both on the inside and outside of
the houses. The roof was supported by beams from the inside. The
rough ground was covered by platforms, mats, and skins on which
Stilt-houses settlements were common in the
Pianura Padana (Terramare) region. Remains have been
found at the
Ljubljana Marshes in
Slovenia and at the Mondsee and
Attersee lakes in Upper Austria, for example.
Cucuteni-Trypillian culture deer antler plough
Food and cooking items retrieved at a European
millstones, charred bread, grains and small apples, a clay cooking
pot, and containers made of antlers and wood
A significant and far-reaching shift in human subsistence and
lifestyle was to be brought about in areas where crop farming and
cultivation were first developed: the previous reliance on an
essentially nomadic hunter-gatherer subsistence technique or pastoral
transhumance was at first supplemented, and then increasingly replaced
by, a reliance upon the foods produced from cultivated lands. These
developments are also believed to have greatly encouraged the growth
of settlements, since it may be supposed that the increased need to
spend more time and labor in tending crop fields required more
localized dwellings. This trend would continue into the Bronze Age,
eventually giving rise to permanently settled farming towns, and later
cities and states whose larger populations could be sustained by the
increased productivity from cultivated lands.
The profound differences in human interactions and subsistence methods
associated with the onset of early agricultural practices in the
Neolithic have been called the
Neolithic Revolution, a term coined in
the 1920s by the Australian archaeologist Vere Gordon Childe.
One potential benefit of the development and increasing sophistication
of farming technology was the possibility of producing surplus crop
yields, in other words, food supplies in excess of the immediate needs
of the community. Surpluses could be stored for later use, or possibly
traded for other necessities or luxuries. Agricultural life afforded
securities that pastoral life could not, and sedentary farming
populations grew faster than nomadic.
However, early farmers were also adversely affected in times of
famine, such as may be caused by drought or pests. In instances where
agriculture had become the predominant way of life, the sensitivity to
these shortages could be particularly acute, affecting agrarian
populations to an extent that otherwise may not have been routinely
experienced by prior hunter-gatherer communities. Nevertheless,
agrarian communities generally proved successful, and their growth and
the expansion of territory under cultivation continued.
Another significant change undergone by many of these newly agrarian
communities was one of diet. Pre-agrarian diets varied by region,
season, available local plant and animal resources and degree of
pastoralism and hunting. Post-agrarian diet was restricted to a
limited package of successfully cultivated cereal grains, plants and
to a variable extent domesticated animals and animal products.
Supplementation of diet by hunting and gathering was to variable
degrees precluded by the increase in population above the carrying
capacity of the land and a high sedentary local population
concentration. In some cultures, there would have been a significant
shift toward increased starch and plant protein. The relative
nutritional benefits and drawbacks of these dietary changes and their
overall impact on early societal development is still debated.
In addition, increased population density, decreased population
mobility, increased continuous proximity to domesticated animals, and
continuous occupation of comparatively population-dense sites would
have altered sanitation needs and patterns of disease.
Stone tool §
The identifying characteristic of
Neolithic technology is the use of
polished or ground stone tools, in contrast to the flaked stone tools
used during the
Neolithic people were skilled farmers, manufacturing a range of tools
necessary for the tending, harvesting and processing of crops (such as
sickle blades and grinding stones) and food production (e.g. pottery,
bone implements). They were also skilled manufacturers of a range of
other types of stone tools and ornaments, including projectile points,
beads, and statuettes. But what allowed forest clearance on a large
scale was the polished stone axe above all other tools. Together with
the adze, fashioning wood for shelter, structures and canoes for
example, this enabled them to exploit their newly won farmland.
Neolithic peoples in the Levant, Anatolia, Syria, northern Mesopotamia
Central Asia were also accomplished builders, utilizing mud-brick
to construct houses and villages. At Çatalhöyük, houses were
plastered and painted with elaborate scenes of humans and animals. In
Europe, long houses built from wattle and daub were constructed.
Elaborate tombs were built for the dead. These tombs are particularly
numerous in Ireland, where there are many thousand still in existence.
Neolithic people in the
British Isles built long barrows and chamber
tombs for their dead and causewayed camps, henges, flint mines and
cursus monuments. It was also important to figure out ways of
preserving food for future months, such as fashioning relatively
airtight containers, and using substances like salt as preservatives.
The peoples of the
Americas and the
Pacific mostly retained the
Neolithic level of tool technology until the time of European contact.
Exceptions include copper hatchets and spearheads in the Great Lakes
Most clothing appears to have been made of animal skins, as indicated
by finds of large numbers of bone and antler pins that are ideal for
fastening leather. Wool cloth and linen might have become available
during the later Neolithic, as suggested by finds of
perforated stones that (depending on size) may have served as spindle
whorls or loom weights. The clothing worn in the Neolithic
Age might be similar to that worn by
Ötzi the Iceman, although he was
Neolithic (since he belonged to the later Copper age).
Reconstruction of a Cucuteni-Trypillian hut, in the Tripillian Museum,
This list (which may have dates, numbers, etc.) may be better in a
sortable table format. Please help improve this list or discuss it on
the talk page. (February 2016)
Neolithic human settlements include:
Göbekli Tepe in Turkey, c. 11,000–9000 BC
Guilá Naquitz Cave
Guilá Naquitz Cave in Oaxaca, Mexico, c. 11,000 BC
Tell Qaramel in Syria, 10,700–9400 BC
Franchthi Cave in Greece, epipalaeolithic (c. 10,000 BC)
settlement, reoccupied between 7500 and 6000 BC
Nanzhuangtou in Hebei, China, 9500–9000 BC
Lebanon believed to have been occupied first between 8800
and 7000 BC,
Jericho in West bank,
Neolithic from around 8350 BC, arising from
Aşıklı Höyük in Central Anatolia, Turkey, an Aceramic Neolithic
period settlement, 8200–7400 BC, correlating with the E/MPPNB
in the Levant.
Nevali Cori in Turkey, c. 8000 BC
The Archaeological Site of
Çatalhöyük in the
Konya Plain in Turkey
Pengtoushan culture in China, 7500–6100 BC, rice residues were
carbon-14 dated to 8200–7800 BC in type site
Çatalhöyük in Turkey, 7500 BC
'Ain Ghazal in Jordan, 7250–5000 BC
Chogha Bonut in Iran, 7200 BC
Jhusi in India, 7100 BC
Ganj Dareh in Iran, c. 7000 BC
Lahuradewa in India, 7000 BC
Jiahu in China, 7000–5800 BC
Knossus in Crete, c. 7000 BC
Khirokitia in Cyprus, c. 7000–4000 BC
Sesklo in Greece, 6850 BC (with a 660-year margin of error)
Mehrgarh in Pakistan, sometime between 6500 and 5500 BC
Porodin in Republic of Macedonia, 6500 BC
Padah-Lin Caves in Burma, c. 6000 BC
Petnica in Serbia, 6000 BC
Stara Zagora in Bulgaria, 5500 BC
Cucuteni-Trypillian culture, 5500–2750 BC, in Ukraine, Moldova
Romania first salt works
Tell Zeidan in northern Syria, from about 5500 to 4000 BC.
around 2000 settlements of Trypillian culture, 5400–2800 BC
Tabon Cave Complex in Quezon, Palawan, Philippines
Hemudu culture in China, 5000–4500 BC, large-scale rice
The Megalithic Temples of Malta, 3600 BC
Knap of Howar
Knap of Howar and Skara Brae, Orkney, Scotland, from 3500 BC and
3100 BC respectively
Brú na Bóinne
Brú na Bóinne in Ireland, c. 3500 BC
Lough Gur in
Ireland from around 3000 BC
Norte Chico civilization, from 3000 to 1700 BC, 30 aceramic
Neolithic period settlements in northern coastal Peru
Neolithic village on the
Tagant Plateau in central southern
Mauritania, 2000–500 BC
Oaxaca, state in Southwestern Mexico, by 2000 BC Neolithic
sedentary villages had been established in the Central Valleys region
of this state.
Lajia in China, 2000 BC
Mumun pottery period,
Neolithic revolution spreads down the Korean
Peninsula and permanent settlements are established
Neolithic revolution reaches Japan around
The world's oldest known engineered roadway, the
Sweet Track in
England, dates from 3800 BC and the world's oldest freestanding
structure is the neolithic temple of
Ġgantija in Gozo, Malta.
List of cultures and sites
Excavated dwellings at
Skara Brae (Orkney, Scotland), Europe's most
Note: Dates are very approximate, and are only given for a rough
estimate; consult each culture for specific time periods.
Periodization: The Levant: 10,000–8500 BC; Europe:
5000–4000 BC; Elsewhere: varies greatly, depending on region.
Franchthi Cave people
Neolithic site: 20th to 3rd millennium BC
Sesclo village culture
(also known as the Starčevo-Körös-Criş culture)
Periodization: The Levant: 8500–6500 BC; Europe:
4000–3500 BC; Elsewhere: varies greatly, depending on region.
Jinsha settlement and
Cardium Pottery culture
Comb Ceramic culture
Corded Ware culture
Grooved ware people
Skara Brae, et al.
Goseck circle, et al.
Windmill Hill culture
Periodization: 6500–4500 BC; Europe: 3500–3000 BC;
Elsewhere: varies greatly, depending on region.
Main article: Eneolithic
Periodization: Middle East: 4500–3300 BC; Europe:
3000–1700 BC; Elsewhere: varies greatly, depending on region.
In the Americas, the
Eneolithic ended as late as the 19th century AD
for some peoples.
Rock art of the Djelfa region
Two layer hypothesis
^ Some archaeologists have long advocated replacing "Neolithic" with a
more descriptive term, such as "Early Village Communities", but this
has not gained wide acceptance.
^ The potter's wheel was a later refinement that revolutionized the
^ "Neolithic: definition of
Neolithic in Oxford dictionary (British
& World English)".
^ a b c d e f Bellwood, Peter (November 30, 2004). First Farmers: The
Origins of Agricultural Societies. Wiley-Blackwell. p. 384.
^ Habu, Junko (2004). Ancient Jomon of Japan. p. 3.
^ Xiaohong Wu. "Early
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