give two reasons why most new sone age men became farmers and not hunters?
- ?Lv 41 decade agoFavorite Answer
For almost the whole of human history, from at least 3 million years ago, mankind has lived by carrying out these two basic acitivities of hunting (or fishing) and gathering edible items of any kind (from fruit to insects). We are unusual among animals in combining the two functions, and we have been greatly helped in both by the development of language. But basically, as hunter-gatherers, we have lived by doing what comes naturally.
It is true that in human societies the business of hunting and gathering has involved specialization, with men doing the hunting and women much of the gathering. And humans, unlike most animals, carry the food home and share it, rather than consume it there and then.
But all this is a result of our ability to communicate, to speculate, to rationalize. It does not alter the fact that for 3 million years Stone Age man, the hunter-gatherer, engages in an activity as natural as the swoop of a hawk or the grazing of a horse.
The change comes a mere 10,000 years ago, when people first discover how to cultivate crops and to domesticate animals. This is the most significant single development in human history. It happens within the Stone Age, for tools are still flint rather than metal, but it is the dividing line which separates the old Stone Age (palaeolithic) from the new Stone Age (neolithic). It has been aptly called the Neolithic Revolution.
Part of the reason may be the ending of the most recent cold phase of the present ice age. This creates new temperate regions, in which humans can live comfortably. By contrast many of their main victims in the chase cannot survive in the changed climate.
Herds of bison move to colder regions. Mammoths become extinct. But plants of all kinds grow more easily in the new temperate zones.
It is not hard to imagine, in these circumstances, a strong human impulse to abandon the pursuit of the bison and to stay, instead, in a region where edible plants are now growing in sufficient profusion to seem worth encouraging and protecting (by weeding around them, for example). Some human groups adapt to a new way of life. Others go after the bison.
If the impulse is to settle, there is also a strong incentive to ensure that animals remain nearby as a supply of food. This may involve attempts to herd them, to pen them in enclosures, or to entice them near the settlement by laying out fodder.
From weeding around a plant, or perhaps watering it in a dry spell, it is a small step to collecting its seeds and planting them in a protected spot where they will have a better than average chance of growing. From penning in animals, to kill them when needed, it is a small step to keeping them until their offspring are born.
In any one place the process will be gradual. Cultivated crops or domesticated animals form at first only a small part of a community's diet, most of it coming still from hunting and gathering. In each place where the change happens, its pattern is no doubt different. But in the Middle East, in America, in China and southeast Asia, the change does occur.
The earliest place known to have lived mainly from the cultivation of crops is Jericho. By around 8000 BC this community, occupying a naturally well-watered region, is growing domesticated forms of wheat, soon to be followed by barley. Though no longer gatherers, these people are still hunters. Their source of meat is wild gazelle, cattle, goat and boar.
It is no accident that Jericho is also the first known town, with a population of 2000 or more. A pioneering agricultural community, surrounded by other tribes dependent on gathering food, offers easy pickings which will need vigorous protection. Jerico has protective walls and a tower.Source(s): www.historyworld.net/
- 手昜Lv 41 decade ago
1. 'New sone age' in your question should be 'New Stone Age'.
2. Because of the shortage of animals source, the steady source of food from plants was easier than hunting.
3. The hunters faced more risks than farmers, so men chose became farmers.