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farming, animal husbandry pottery, metallurgy, wheel circular ditches, henges, megaliths Neolithic
Neolithic
religion

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The Neolithic
Neolithic
(/ˌniːəˈlɪθɪk/ ( listen)[1]) 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[2] and ending between 4500 and 2000 BC. Traditionally considered the last part of the Stone Age
Stone Age
or The New Stone Age, the Neolithic
Neolithic
followed the terminal Holocene
Holocene
Epipaleolithic period and commenced with the beginning of farming, which produced the " Neolithic
Neolithic
Revolution". It ended when metal tools became widespread (in the Copper Age
Copper Age
or Bronze Age; or, in some geographical regions, in the Iron Age). The Neolithic
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
Neolithic
culture is considered to be in the Levant
Levant
(Jericho, modern-day West Bank) about 10,200–8800 BC. It developed directly from the Epipaleolithic
Epipaleolithic
Natufian
Natufian
culture in the region, whose people pioneered the use of wild cereals, which then evolved into true farming. The Natufian
Natufian
period lasted between 12,500 and 9,500 BC, and the so-called "proto-Neolithic" is now included in the Pre-Pottery Neolithic
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
Younger Dryas
are thought to have forced people to develop farming. By 10,200–8800 BC, farming communities arose in the Levant
Levant
and spread to Asia Minor, North Africa and North Mesopotamia. Mesopotamia is the site of the earliest developments of the Neolithic
Neolithic
Revolution from around 10,000 BC. Early Neolithic
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 in the Near East
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 Europe
Europe
and Southwest Asia. Early Japanese societies and other East Asian cultures used pottery before developing agriculture.[3][4] The term Neolithic
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 three-age system.

Contents

1 Periods by pottery phase

1.1 Neolithic
Neolithic
1 – Pre-Pottery Neolithic
Pre-Pottery Neolithic
A (PPNA) 1.2 Neolithic
Neolithic
2 – Pre-Pottery Neolithic
Pre-Pottery Neolithic
B (PPNB) 1.3 Neolithic
Neolithic
3 – Pottery
Pottery
Neolithic
Neolithic
(PN)

2 Periods by region

2.1 Fertile Crescent 2.2 Southern Mesopotamia 2.3 North Africa 2.4 Europe 2.5 South and East Asia 2.6 America

3 Social organization 4 Shelter 5 Farming 6 Technology 7 Clothing 8 Early settlements 9 List of cultures and sites 10 See also 11 Notes 12 References

12.1 Citations 12.2 Sources

13 External links

Periods by pottery phase[edit]

Human timeline

view • discuss • edit

-10 — – -9 — – -8 — – -7 — – -6 — – -5 — – -4 — – -3 — – -2 — – -1 — – 0 —

Human-like apes

Nakalipithecus

Ouranopithecus

Sahelanthropus

Orrorin

Ardipithecus

Australopithecus

Homo habilis

Homo erectus

Neanderthal

Homo sapiens

Earlier apes

LCA-Gorilla separation

Possibly bipedal

LCA-Chimpanzee separation

Earliest bipedal

Earliest stone tools

Earliest exit from Africa

Earliest fire use

Earliest in Europe

Earliest cooking

Earliest clothes

Modern speech

Modern humans

P l e i s t o c e n e

P l i o c e n e

M i o c e n e

H

o

m

i

n

i

d

s

Axis scale: million years Also see: Life timeline and Nature timeline

An array of Neolithic
Neolithic
artifacts, including bracelets, axe heads, chisels, and polishing tools. Neolithic
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
Neolithic
began appearing in the 10th millennium BC.[2] Early development occurred in the Levant (e.g., Pre-Pottery Neolithic
Pre-Pottery Neolithic
A and Pre-Pottery Neolithic
Pre-Pottery Neolithic
B) and from there spread eastwards and westwards. Neolithic
Neolithic
cultures are also attested in southeastern Anatolia
Anatolia
and northern Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
by around 8000 BC.[citation needed] The prehistoric Beifudi
Beifudi
site near Yixian in Hebei
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 phases.[5] Neolithic
Neolithic
1 – Pre-Pottery Neolithic
Pre-Pottery Neolithic
A (PPNA)[edit] Main article: Pre-Pottery Neolithic
Pre-Pottery Neolithic
A The Neolithic
Neolithic
1 (PPNA) period began roughly around 10,000 BC in the Levant.[2] A temple area in southeastern Turkey
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.[6] 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
PPNA
sites dating to around 9500–9000 BC have been found in Jericho, West Bank
West Bank
(notably Ain Mallaha, Nahal Oren, and Kfar HaHoresh), Gilgal in the Jordan
Jordan
Valley, and Byblos, Lebanon. The start of Neolithic
Neolithic
1 overlaps the Tahunian and Heavy Neolithic
Heavy Neolithic
periods to some degree.[citation needed] The major advance of Neolithic
Neolithic
1 was true farming. In the proto- Neolithic
Neolithic
Natufian
Natufian
cultures, wild cereals were harvested, and perhaps early seed selection and re-seeding occurred. The grain was ground into flour. Emmer wheat
Emmer wheat
was domesticated, and animals were herded and domesticated (animal husbandry and selective breeding).[citation needed] In 2006, remains of figs were discovered in a house in Jericho
Jericho
dated 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.[7] 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.[citation needed] Neolithic
Neolithic
2 – Pre-Pottery Neolithic
Pre-Pottery Neolithic
B (PPNB)[edit] Main article: Pre-Pottery Neolithic
Pre-Pottery Neolithic
B The Neolithic
Neolithic
2 (PPNB) began around 8800 BC according to the ASPRO chronology in the Levant
Levant
(Jericho, Palestine).[2] As with the PPNA
PPNA
dates, there are two versions from the same laboratories noted above. This system of terminology, however, is not convenient for southeast Anatolia
Anatolia
and settlements of the middle Anatolia basin.[citation needed] 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.[8] 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.[citation needed] Neolithic
Neolithic
3 – Pottery
Pottery
Neolithic
Neolithic
(PN)[edit] The Neolithic
Neolithic
3 (PN) began around 6,400 BC in the Fertile Crescent.[2] 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
Neolithic
A) and PNB ( Pottery
Pottery
Neolithic
Neolithic
B) at some sites.[9] The Chalcolithic
Chalcolithic
(Stone-Bronze) period began about 4500 BC, then the Bronze Age
Bronze Age
began about 3500 BC, replacing the Neolithic cultures.[citation needed] Periods by region[edit] Fertile Crescent[edit]

'Ain Ghazal
'Ain Ghazal
Statues found at 'Ain Ghazal
'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 Neolithic
Neolithic
cultures belonging to the phase Pre-Pottery Neolithic
Pre-Pottery Neolithic
A (PPNA) appeared in the Fertile Crescent.[2] 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.[10] 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.[11] Around 6400 BC the Halaf culture
Halaf culture
appeared in Lebanon, Israel and Palestine, Syria, Anatolia, and Northern Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
and subsisted on dryland agriculture. In 1981 a team of researchers from the Maison de l'Orient et de la Méditerranée, including Jacques Cauvin and Oliver Aurenche divided Near East
Near East
neolithic chronology into ten periods (0 to 9) based on social, economic and cultural characteristics.[12] In 2002 Danielle Stordeur and Frédéric Abbès advanced this system with a division into five periods.

Natufian
Natufian
between 12,000 and 10,200 BC, Khiamian
Khiamian
between 10,200 and 8800 BC, PPNA: Sultanian
Sultanian
(Jericho), Mureybetian, 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.[13]

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 Tell Aswad.[14] Southern Mesopotamia[edit] Alluvial plains (Sumer/Elam). Little rainfall makes irrigation systems necessary. Ubaid culture from 6,900 BC.[citation needed] North Africa[edit]

Algerian cave paintings depicting hunting scenes

Domestication
Domestication
of sheep and goats reached Egypt
Egypt
from the Near East possibly as early as 6000 BC.[15][16][17] 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
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
Near East
but was an indigenous development, with cereals either indigenous or obtained through exchange.[18] Other scholars argue that the primary stimulus for agriculture and domesticated animals (as well as mud-brick architecture and other Neolithic
Neolithic
cultural features) in Egypt
Egypt
was from the Middle East.[19][20][21] Europe[edit] Main article: Neolithic
Neolithic
Europe

Female figure from Tumba Madžari, Republic of Macedonia

Map showing distribution of some of the main culture complexes in Neolithic
Neolithic
Europe, c. 3500 BC

Skara Brae, Scotland. Evidence of home furnishings (shelves)

In southeast Europe
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
Albania
and dating back to 6500 BC.[22][23] In Northwest Europe
Europe
it is much later, typically lasting just under 3,000 years from c. 4500 BC–1700 BC. Anthropomorphic figurines have been found in the Balkans from 6000 BC,[24] and in Central Europe
Central Europe
by around 5800 BC (La Hoguette). Among the earliest cultural complexes of this area are the Sesklo culture
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
Neolithic
traditions spread west and northwards to reach northwestern Europe
Europe
by around 4500 BC. The Vinča culture
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.[25] The Cucuteni-Trypillian culture
Cucuteni-Trypillian culture
built enormous settlements in Romania, Moldova
Moldova
and Ukraine
Ukraine
from 5300 to 2300 BC. The megalithic temple complexes of Ġgantija
Ġgantija
on the Mediterranean island of Gozo
Gozo
(in the Maltese archipelago) and of Mnajdra
Mnajdra
(Malta) are notable for their gigantic Neolithic
Neolithic
structures, 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
Bronze Age
immigrants, a culture that cremated its dead and introduced smaller megalithic structures called dolmens to Malta.[26] 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 sea.[27] South and East Asia[edit] The earliest Neolithic
Neolithic
sites in South Asia are Bhirrana
Bhirrana
in Haryana dated to 7570-6200 BC,[28] 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 goats). In South India, the Neolithic
Neolithic
began by 6500 BC and lasted until around 1400 BC when the Megalithic transition period began. South Indian Neolithic
Neolithic
is characterized by Ashmounds since 2500 BC in Karnataka region, expanded later to Tamil Nadu.[citation needed] In East Asia, the earliest sites include Nanzhuangtou
Nanzhuangtou
culture around 9500–9000 BC,[29] Pengtoushan culture
Pengtoushan culture
around 7500–6100 BC, and Peiligang culture
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 Munam-ri, Goseong, Gangwon
Goseong, Gangwon
Province, South Korea, which may be the earliest farmland known to date in east Asia.[30] "No remains of an agricultural field from the Neolithic
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".[31] 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 site. America[edit] 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
Formative stage
instead of mid-late Neolithic, Archaic Era instead of Early Neolithic
Neolithic
and Paleo-Indian for the preceding period.[32] The Formative stage
Formative stage
is equivalent to the Neolithic Revolution
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.[33] Social organization[edit]

Anthropomorphic Neolithic
Neolithic
figurine

Anthropomorphic Female Neolithic
Neolithic
ceramic figurine

During most of the Neolithic
Neolithic
age of Eurasia, people lived in small tribes composed of multiple bands or lineages.[34] There is little scientific evidence of developed social stratification in most Neolithic
Neolithic
societies; social stratification is more associated with the later Bronze Age.[35] Although some late Eurasian Neolithic
Neolithic
societies formed complex stratified chiefdoms or even states, states evolved in Eurasia
Eurasia
only with the rise of metallurgy, and most Neolithic
Neolithic
societies on the whole were relatively simple and egalitarian.[34] Beyond Eurasia, however, states were formed during the local Neolithic
Neolithic
in three areas, namely in the Preceramic Andes with the Norte Chico Civilization,[36][37] Formative Mesoamerica and Ancient Hawaiʻi.[38] However, most Neolithic
Neolithic
societies were noticeably more hierarchical than the Upper Paleolithic
Upper Paleolithic
cultures that preceded them and hunter-gatherer cultures in general.[39][40]

Clay human figurine (Fertility goddess) Tappeh Sarab, Kermanshah ca. 7000-6100 BC, Neolithic
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.[41] Possession of livestock allowed competition between households and resulted in inherited inequalities of wealth. Neolithic
Neolithic
pastoralists who controlled large herds gradually acquired more livestock, and this made economic inequalities more pronounced.[42] 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.[43][44] However, excavations in Central Europe
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
Linearbandkeramik
sites along the Rhine, as at least some villages were fortified for some time with a palisade and an outer ditch.[45][46] 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
Neolithic
than in the preceding Paleolithic period.[40] This supplanted an earlier view of the Linear Pottery Culture as living a "peaceful, unfortified lifestyle".[47] 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 suggests that Neolithic
Neolithic
societies functioned under any dominating class or individual, as was the case in the chiefdoms of the European Early Bronze Age.[48] Theories to explain the apparent implied egalitarianism of Neolithic
Neolithic
(and Paleolithic) societies have arisen, notably the Marxist
Marxist
concept of primitive communism. Shelter[edit]

Reconstruction of Neolithic
Neolithic
house in Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina

The shelter of the early people changed dramatically from the Upper Paleolithic
Paleolithic
to the Neolithic
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.[49] 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.[49] The roof was supported by beams from the inside. The rough ground was covered by platforms, mats, and skins on which residents slept.[50] Stilt-houses
Stilt-houses
settlements were common in the Alpine and Pianura Padana
Pianura Padana
(Terramare) region.[51] Remains have been found at the Ljubljana Marshes
Ljubljana Marshes
in Slovenia
Slovenia
and at the Mondsee and Attersee lakes in Upper Austria, for example. Farming[edit] Main article: Neolithic
Neolithic
Revolution

A Cucuteni-Trypillian culture
Cucuteni-Trypillian culture
deer antler plough

Food and cooking items retrieved at a European Neolithic
Neolithic
site: 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
Neolithic
have been called the Neolithic
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.[42] 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. Technology[edit] Main article: Stone tool
Stone tool
§  Neolithic
Neolithic
industries The identifying characteristic of Neolithic
Neolithic
technology is the use of polished or ground stone tools, in contrast to the flaked stone tools used during the Paleolithic
Paleolithic
era. Neolithic
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
Neolithic
peoples in the Levant, Anatolia, Syria, northern Mesopotamia and Central Asia
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
Neolithic
people in the British Isles
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
Americas
and the Pacific
Pacific
mostly retained the Neolithic
Neolithic
level of tool technology until the time of European contact. Exceptions include copper hatchets and spearheads in the Great Lakes region. Clothing[edit] 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,[52][53] as suggested by finds of perforated stones that (depending on size) may have served as spindle whorls or loom weights.[54][55][56] The clothing worn in the Neolithic Age might be similar to that worn by Ötzi
Ötzi
the Iceman, although he was not Neolithic
Neolithic
(since he belonged to the later Copper age). Early settlements[edit]

Reconstruction of a Cucuteni-Trypillian hut, in the Tripillian Museum, Ukraine.

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
Neolithic
human settlements include:

Göbekli Tepe
Göbekli Tepe
in Turkey, c. 11,000–9000 BC Guilá Naquitz Cave
Guilá Naquitz Cave
in Oaxaca, Mexico, c. 11,000 BC Tell Qaramel
Tell Qaramel
in Syria, 10,700–9400 BC Franchthi Cave
Franchthi Cave
in Greece, epipalaeolithic (c. 10,000 BC) settlement, reoccupied between 7500 and 6000 BC Nanzhuangtou
Nanzhuangtou
in Hebei, China, 9500–9000 BC Byblos
Byblos
in Lebanon
Lebanon
believed to have been occupied first between 8800 and 7000 BC,[57] Jericho
Jericho
in West bank, Neolithic
Neolithic
from around 8350 BC, arising from the earlier Epipaleolithic
Epipaleolithic
Natufian
Natufian
culture Aşıklı Höyük
Aşıklı Höyük
in Central Anatolia, Turkey, an Aceramic Neolithic period settlement, 8200–7400 BC, correlating with the E/MPPNB in the Levant. Nevali Cori
Nevali Cori
in Turkey, c. 8000 BC

The Archaeological Site of Çatalhöyük
Çatalhöyük
in the Konya Plain
Konya Plain
in Turkey

Pengtoushan culture
Pengtoushan culture
in China, 7500–6100 BC, rice residues were carbon-14 dated to 8200–7800 BC in type site Çatalhöyük
Çatalhöyük
in Turkey, 7500 BC 'Ain Ghazal
'Ain Ghazal
in Jordan, 7250–5000 BC Chogha Bonut in Iran, 7200 BC Jhusi
Jhusi
in India, 7100 BC Ganj Dareh
Ganj Dareh
in Iran, c. 7000 BC Lahuradewa in India, 7000 BC[58] Jiahu
Jiahu
in China, 7000–5800 BC Knossus
Knossus
in Crete, c. 7000 BC Khirokitia
Khirokitia
in Cyprus, c. 7000–4000 BC Sesklo
Sesklo
in Greece, 6850 BC (with a 660-year margin of error) Mehrgarh
Mehrgarh
in Pakistan, sometime between 6500 and 5500 BC Porodin
Porodin
in Republic of Macedonia, 6500 BC[59] Padah-Lin Caves
Padah-Lin Caves
in Burma, c. 6000 BC Petnica
Petnica
in Serbia, 6000 BC Stara Zagora
Stara Zagora
in Bulgaria, 5500 BC Cucuteni-Trypillian culture, 5500–2750 BC, in Ukraine, Moldova and Romania
Romania
first salt works Tell Zeidan
Tell Zeidan
in northern Syria, from about 5500 to 4000 BC. around 2000 settlements of Trypillian culture, 5400–2800 BC Tabon Cave
Tabon Cave
Complex in Quezon, Palawan, Philippines 5000–2000 BC[60][61] Hemudu culture
Hemudu culture
in China, 5000–4500 BC, large-scale rice plantation 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
Lough Gur
in Ireland
Ireland
from around 3000 BC Norte Chico civilization, from 3000 to 1700 BC, 30 aceramic Neolithic
Neolithic
period settlements in northern coastal Peru Tichit
Tichit
Neolithic
Neolithic
village on the Tagant Plateau
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
Lajia
in China, 2000 BC Mumun pottery period, Neolithic
Neolithic
revolution spreads down the Korean Peninsula and permanent settlements are established 1800–1500 BC, Neolithic
Neolithic
revolution reaches Japan around 500–300 BC

The world's oldest known engineered roadway, the Sweet Track
Sweet Track
in England, dates from 3800 BC and the world's oldest freestanding structure is the neolithic temple of Ġgantija
Ġgantija
in Gozo, Malta. List of cultures and sites[edit]

Excavated dwellings at Skara Brae
Skara Brae
(Orkney, Scotland), Europe's most complete Neolithic
Neolithic
village

Note: Dates are very approximate, and are only given for a rough estimate; consult each culture for specific time periods. Early Neolithic Periodization: The Levant: 10,000–8500 BC; Europe: 5000–4000 BC; Elsewhere: varies greatly, depending on region.

Beixin culture Cishan culture Dudeşti culture Franchthi Cave
Franchthi Cave
people

Earliest European Neolithic
Neolithic
site: 20th to 3rd millennium BC

Sesclo
Sesclo
village culture Starcevo-Criş culture

(also known as the Starčevo-Körös-Criş culture)

Nanzhuangtou

Middle Neolithic Periodization: The Levant: 8500–6500 BC; Europe: 4000–3500 BC; Elsewhere: varies greatly, depending on region.

Baodun culture

Jinsha settlement and Sanxingdui
Sanxingdui
mound.

Catalhoyuk Cardium Pottery
Cardium Pottery
culture Comb Ceramic culture Corded Ware
Corded Ware
culture Cortaillod culture Cucuteni-Trypillian culture Dadiwan culture Dawenkou culture Daxi culture

Chengtoushan
Chengtoushan
settlement

Grooved ware
Grooved ware
people

Skara Brae, et al.

Erlitou culture

Xia Dynasty

Ertebølle culture Hembury
Hembury
culture Hemudu culture Hongshan culture Houli culture Horgen
Horgen
culture Liangzhu culture Linear Pottery
Pottery
culture

Goseck circle, et al.

Longshan culture Majiabang culture Majiayao culture Peiligang culture Pengtoushan culture Pfyn culture Precucuteni culture Qujialing culture Shijiahe culture Trypillian culture Vinča culture Windmill Hill culture

Stonehenge

Xinglongwa culture

Beifudi
Beifudi
site

Xinle culture Yangshao culture

Banpo
Banpo
and Xishuipo settlements.

Zhaobaogou culture

Later Neolithic Periodization: 6500–4500 BC; Europe: 3500–3000 BC; Elsewhere: varies greatly, depending on region.

Eneolithic

Main article: Eneolithic Periodization: Middle East: 4500–3300 BC; Europe: 3000–1700 BC; Elsewhere: varies greatly, depending on region. In the Americas, the Eneolithic
Eneolithic
ended as late as the 19th century AD for some peoples.

Beaker culture Cucuteni-Trypillian culture Funnelbeaker culture Gaudo Culture Lengyel culture Varna culture

See also[edit]

Céide Fields Megalith Neolithic
Neolithic
Europe Neolithic
Neolithic
Revolution Neolithic
Neolithic
religion

Neolithic
Neolithic
tomb Ötzi Paleolithic Rock art
Rock art
of the Djelfa region Two layer hypothesis

Notes[edit]

^ 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 pottery industry.

References[edit] Citations[edit]

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Neolithic
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Pottery
at 20,000 Years Ago in Xianrendong Cave, China". Sciencemag.org. Retrieved 15 January 2015.  ^ "New Archaeological Discoveries and Researches in 2004 — The Fourth Archaeology Forum of CASS". Institute of Archaeology, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. April 28, 2005. Retrieved September 18, 2007.  ^ Scham, Sandra (November 2008). "The World's First Temple". Archaeology. Archaeological Institute of America. 61 (6): 23.  ^ Kislev, Mordechai E.; Hartmann, Anat; Bar-Yosef, Ofer (June 2, 2006). "Early Domesticated Fig in the Jordan
Jordan
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Neolithic
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Levant
(Cisjordan) During the Neolithic
Neolithic
Period. doi:10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199212972.013.011.  ^ Yet another sensational discovery by polish archaeologists in Syria. eduskrypt.pl. 21 June 2006 ^ "Jericho", Encyclopædia Britannica ^ Haïdar Boustani, M., The Neolithic
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in the context of the Near East: State of knowledge (in French), Annales d'Histoire et d'Archaeologie, Universite Saint-Joseph, Beyrouth, Vol. 12–13, 2001–2002. (PDF) . Retrieved on 2011-12-03. ^ Stordeur, Danielle., Abbès Frédéric., Du PPNA
PPNA
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Jerf el Ahmar
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Neolithic
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Holocene
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Farming
Sites in Europe
Europe
Discovered". ScienceDaily. April 16, 2012. Retrieved April 18, 2012.  ^ Female figurine, c. 6000 BC, Nea Nikomidia, Macedonia, Veroia, (Archaeological Museum), Greece. Macedonian-heritage.gr. Retrieved on 2011-12-03. ^ Winn, Shan (1981). Pre-writing in Southeastern Europe: The Sign System of the Vinča Culture ca. 4000 BC. Calgary: Western Publishers.  ^ Daniel Cilia, " Malta
Malta
Before Common Era", in The Megalithic Temples of Malta. Retrieved 28 January 2007. ^ Piccolo, Salvatore (2013) Ancient Stones: The Prehistoric Dolmens
Dolmens
of Sicily, Abingdon-on-Thames, England: Brazen Head Publishing, pp. 33-34 ISBN 978-0-9565106-2-4 ^ Coningham, Robin; Young, Ruth (2015). The Archaeology of South Asia: From the Indus to Asoka, c.6500 BCE–200 CE. Cambridge University Press Cambridge World Archeology. p. 111. ISBN 9781316418987.  ^ Xiaoyan Yang (2012). "Early millet use in northern China". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 109 (10): 3726. doi:10.1073/pnas.1115430109. Retrieved 15 January 2015.  ^ The Archaeology News Network. 2012. " Neolithic
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farm field found in South Korea". ^ The Korea Times (2012). "East Asia's oldest remains of agricultural field found in Korea". ^ Willey, Gordon R.; Phillips, Philip (1957). Method and Theory in American Archaeology. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-89888-1.  ^ Kohler TA, M Glaude, JP Bocquet-Appel and Brian M Kemp (2008). "The Neolithic
Neolithic
Demographic Transition in the North American Southwest". American Antiquity. 73 (4): 645–669. doi:10.1017/s000273160004734x. CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link) ^ a b Leonard D. Katz Rigby; S. Stephen Henry Rigby (2000). Evolutionary Origins of Morality: Cross-disciplinary Perspectives. United kingdom: Imprint Academic. p. 158. ISBN 0-7190-5612- 8.  ^ Langer, Jonas; Killen, Melanie (1998). Piaget, evolution, and development. Psychology Press. pp. 258–. ISBN 978-0-8058-2210-6. Retrieved 3 December 2011.  ^ "The Oldest Civilization in the Americas
Americas
Revealed" (PDF). CharlesMann. Science. Retrieved 9 October 2015.  ^ "First Andes Civilization Explored". BBC News. 22 December 2004. Retrieved 9 October 2015.  ^ Hommon, Robert J. (2013). The ancient Hawaiian state  : origins of a political society (First ed.). New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-991612-2.  ^ "Stone Age," Microsoft Encarta Online Encyclopedia 2007 © 1997–2007 Microsoft Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Contributed by Kathy Schick, B.A., M.A., Ph.D. and Nicholas Toth, B.A., M.A., Ph.D. Archived 2009-11-01. ^ a b Russell Dale Guthrie (2005). The nature of Paleolithic
Paleolithic
art. University of Chicago Press. pp. 420–. ISBN 978-0-226-31126-5. Retrieved 3 December 2011.  ^ " Farming
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Anatolia". About.com Archaeology. About.com. Retrieved 5 September 2013.  ^ Idyllic Theory of Goddess Creates Storm Archived 2008-02-19 at the Wayback Machine.. Holysmoke.org. Retrieved on 2011-12-03. ^ Krause (1998) under External links, places. ^ Gimbutas (1991) page 143. ^ Kuijt, Ian (30 June 2000). Life in Neolithic
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Pedersen, Hilthart (2008). Die Jüngere Steinzeit Auf Bornholm. GRIN Verlag. ISBN 978-3-638-94559-2. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Neolithic
Neolithic
and Neolithic artefacts.

Romeo, Nick (Feb. 2015). Embracing Stone Age
Stone Age
Couple Found in Greek Cave. "Rare double burials discovered at one of the largest Neolithic burial sites in Europe." National Geographic Society McNamara, John (2005). " Neolithic
Neolithic
Period". World Museum of Man. Archived from the original on 2008-04-30. Retrieved 2008-04-14.  M.T.C. Affonso and E. Pernicka 2000 ' Pre-Pottery Neolithic
Pre-Pottery Neolithic
Clay Figurines from Nevali Çori, Turkey' Internet Archaeology Rincon, Paul (11 May 2006). "Brutal lives of Stone Age
Stone Age
Britons". BBC News. Retrieved 2008-04-14.  Current Directions in West African Prehistory
Prehistory
– McIntosh & McIntosh (1983)  "Neolithic". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). 1911. 

v t e

Prehistoric Asia

Paleolithic

Homo erectus
Homo erectus
georgicus Japanese Paleolithic Java Man List of Paleolithic
Paleolithic
sites in China Paleolithic
Paleolithic
Mesopotamia Natufian
Natufian
culture Peking Man Riwat Soanian Sangiran South Asian Stone Age Ubeidiya Xiaochangliang

Neolithic

Fertile Crescent Early Neolithic
Neolithic
settlements Khiamian
Khiamian
culture Trialetian
Trialetian
culture Nemrikian culture Zarzian culture Neolithic
Neolithic
China Neolithic
Neolithic
Tibet Neolithic
Neolithic
Korea Neolithic
Neolithic
Revolution Neolithic
Neolithic
South Asia Ohalo Pre-Pottery Neolithic
Pre-Pottery Neolithic
A (Mesopotamia) Pre-Pottery Neolithic
Pre-Pottery Neolithic
B (Mesopotamia)

Chalcolithic

Daimabad Halaf culture Uruk period

Bronze Age

Andronovo culture Bactria–Margiana Archaeological Complex Bronze Age
Bronze Age
Anatolia Bronze Age
Bronze Age
Caucasus Bronze Age
Bronze Age
China Bronze Age
Bronze Age
India Bronze Age
Bronze Age
Korea Bronze Age
Bronze Age
Levant List of Bronze Age
Bronze Age
sites in China Seima-Turbino phenomenon

List of archaeological periods List of time periods

v t e

Prehistoric technology

Prehistory

timeline outline Stone Age subdivisions New Stone Age

Technology

history

Tools

Farming

Neolithic
Neolithic
Revolution

founder crops New World crops

Ard / plough Celt Digging stick Domestication Goad Irrigation Secondary products Sickle Terracing

Food processing

Fire Basket Cooking

Earth oven

Granaries Grinding slab Ground stone Hearth

Aşıklı Höyük Qesem Cave

Manos Metate Mortar and pestle Pottery Quern-stone Storage pit

Hunting

Arrow Boomerang

throwing stick

Bow and arrow

history

Nets Spear

Spear-thrower baton harpoon woomera Schöningen Spears

Projectile points

Arrowhead Bare Island Cascade Clovis Cresswell Cumberland Eden Folsom Lamoka Manis Site Plano Transverse arrowhead

Systems

Game drive system

Buffalo jump

Toolmaking

Earliest toolmaking

Oldowan Acheulean Mousterian

Clovis culture Cupstone Fire hardening Gravettian
Gravettian
culture Hafting Hand axe

Grooves

Langdale axe industry Levallois technique Lithic core Lithic reduction

analysis debitage flake

Lithic technology Magdalenian
Magdalenian
culture Metallurgy Microblade technology Mining Prepared-core technique Solutrean
Solutrean
industry Striking platform Tool stone Uniface Yubetsu technique

Other tools

Adze Awl

bone

Axe Bannerstone Blade

prismatic

Bone tool Bow drill Burin Canoe

Oar Pesse canoe

Chopper

tool

Cleaver Denticulate tool Fire plough Fire-saw Hammerstone Knife Microlith Quern-stone Racloir Rope Scraper

side

Stone tool Tally stick Weapons Wheel

illustration

Architecture

Ceremonial

Göbekli Tepe Kiva Standing stones

megalith row Stonehenge

Pyramid

Dwellings

Neolithic
Neolithic
architecture British megalith architecture Nordic megalith architecture Burdei Cave Cliff dwelling Dugout Hut

Quiggly hole

Jacal Longhouse Mud brick

Mehrgarh

Neolithic
Neolithic
long house Pit-house Pueblitos Pueblo Rock shelter

Blombos Cave Abri de la Madeleine Sibudu Cave

Stone roof Roundhouse Stilt house

Alp pile dwellings

Wattle and daub

Water management

Check dam Cistern Flush toilet Reservoir Water well

Other architecture

Archaeological features Broch Burnt mound

fulacht fiadh

Causewayed enclosure

Tor enclosure

Circular enclosure

Goseck

Cursus Henge

Thornborough

Oldest buildings Megalithic architectural elements Midden Timber circle Timber trackway

Sweet Track

Arts and culture

Material goods

Baskets Beadwork Beds Chalcolithic Clothing/textiles

timeline

Cosmetics Glue Hides

shoes Ötzi

Jewelry

amber use

Mirrors Pottery

Cardium Grooved ware Linear Jōmon Unstan ware

Sewing needle Weaving Wine

Winery wine press

PrehistArt

Art of the Upper Paleolithic Art of the Middle Paleolithic

Blombos Cave

List of Stone Age
Stone Age
art Bird stone Bradshaw rock paintings Cairn Carved Stone Balls Cave
Cave
paintings

painting pigment

Cup and ring mark Geoglyph Golden hats Guardian stones Megalithic art Petroform Petroglyph Petrosomatoglyph Pictogram Rock art

Stone carving

Sculpture Statue menhir Stone circle

list British Isles
British Isles
and Brittany

Venus figurines

Burial

Burial mounds

Bowl barrow Round barrow

Mound Builders
Mound Builders
culture

U.S. sites

Chamber tomb

Severn-Cotswold

Cist

Dartmoor kistvaens

Clava cairn Court tomb Cremation Dolmen

Great dolmen

Funeral pyre Gallery grave

transepted wedge-shaped

Grave goods Jar burial Long barrow

unchambered Grønsalen

Megalithic tomb Mummy Passage grave Rectangular dolmen Ring cairn Simple dolmen Stone box grave Tor cairn Tumulus Unchambered long cairn

Other cultural

Astronomy

sites lunar calendar

Behavioral modernity Origin of language

trepanning

Prehistoric medicine Evolutionary musicology

music archaeology

Prehistoric music

Alligator drum flutes Divje Babe flute gudi

Prehistoric numerals Origin of religion

Paleolithic
Paleolithic
religion Prehistoric religion Spiritual drug use

Prehistoric warfare Symbols

symbolism

Authority control

GND: 4

.