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The birth of farming
Transcript of The birth of farming
Birth of farming
New tools for humans
The first centers of agriculture
People long ago of the Old stone age lived as hunter-gatherers. At that time, survival was dangerous and difficult. Life was short and hard for humans because food was scarce. People usually moved from place to place. Over time, most hunter-gatherers stopped moving and settled in one place. People often followed herds of animals. People owned a few things, mostly things they could carry.
The land changed over time. Temperatures increased and rainfall patterns changed. Glaciers that covered most of the Earth began to melt over time. When the glaciers melted the ocean level began to rise. Plants and animals adapted when this change occurred. Some people were forced to move because the animals they hunted moved. Instead people turned to fishing for food.
Changing the environment
People learned to change their environment to provide more food. For example, the way people cleared trees and bushes was to set them on fire. Grazing animals, such as deer, were attracted to the grass that grew back. The people back then hunted deer for food. When seeds were scattered on the ground people noticed new plants would grow. This gave the people an more food. This discovery was a big help back then. The discovery of the seeds led them to farming where they grew more plants from seeds.
Domesticating animals and plants
Over time, people learned how to domesticate animals and plants. The birth of farming was marked by domestication. Soon animals changed over time. For example, wild wolves changed into dogs, which humans domesticated. Dogs helped with hunting and were companions to human beings. They also provided protection against animals. Domesticated plants, or crops, became a nutritious and reliable source of food. Many animals also provided food.
New tools were invented by farmers. People used axes to cut down trees, and sickels, a tool, to harvest grain crops. Grain was then ground into flour with hand mills. All of these tools were first made out of stone. Soon people developed new technologies. They created better tools out of materials such as iron and bronze. Tools were very important to humans because they were used to hunt and to cut plants. People needed these
tools for survival.
No one knows where the people planted and harvested their seeds and plants for food. Archaeologists found evidence to show where farming began. Archaeologists also have learned something about the way people have lived in farming communities. People have planted all around the world. Early people sometimes had a surplus of food and shared their food. Planting and hunting was the only way early people could survive.
Most historians believed that about 10,000 years ago Southwestern Asia was the first center of agriculture. Scientists have dug up seeds from domesticated plants that were buried under the ground long ago. Some seeds were similar to some wild wheat that still grow in the area. Northward into Europe and eastward into the Indus River valley of south Asia is probably where the seeds spread. People started to plant barley and wheat in southwestern Asia. Barley and wheat then spread to Egypt. Farming began with the domestication of rice in the southern part of present-day China. In the farther north of China, a grain called millet was the first crop to be domesticated.