1.2.5- Reliable Food Sources & Job Specialization


Courtney Haupt and Katie Ziraldo

Opening summary:

The Neolithic era was a transition from hunting and gathering to agriculture and settlement. This transition took place from 10,000 B.C.E. to 3,000 B.C.E. all over the world. During this time people began to make permanent dwellings and discovered many things such as how to domesticate plants and animals, how to irrigate land, and how to store food. People also created new tools such as the wheel, the plow, and various metal tools. The combination between the discovery of agriculture, permanent housing, new technologies, and new tools lead to reliable food sources. These reliable food sources ultimately lead to job specialization.

Neolithic grindstone for processing grain.  Digital image. Http://en.wikipedia.org. May. 2006. Web. 6 Oct. 2011. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Molino_neol%C3%ADtico_de_vaiv%C3%A9n.j>.
Neolithic grindstone for processing grain. Digital image. Http://en.wikipedia.org. May. 2006. Web. 6 Oct. 2011. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Molino_neol%C3%ADtico_de_vaiv%C3%A9n.j>.



The Basic Gist:

The Neolithic are lasted from 10,000 B.C.E. to 3,000 B.C.E. People all over the world made the shift from hunting and gathering societies to agricultural societies. The emergence of agriculture created a good surplus, which allowed more time to be spent on other specialized jobs. This lead to differing roles and expectations, and more defined social classes.


Analysis of Why:
Ancient Egypt had job specialization and differing gender roles. You can see the woman is planting the seeds and the man is plowing the land. Digital Image. Http://globaltwilight.edublogs.org. 3 Mar. 2011. Web. 6 Oct. 2011. <http://globaltwilight.edublogs.org/author/shaheimterry/>.
Ancient Egypt had job specialization and differing gender roles. You can see the woman is planting the seeds and the man is plowing the land. Digital Image. Http://globaltwilight.edublogs.org. 3 Mar. 2011. Web. 6 Oct. 2011. <http://globaltwilight.edublogs.org/author/shaheimterry/>.

During the Neolithic Era, the growth of permanent farming communities encouraged social change. The food surplus meant there was enough food to go around the community, allowing others to have more specialized professions in other fields. It also allowed political and religious figures more time to lead, and formed a social class of elites at the top of the social pyramid. Villages could now specialize in the growth and distribution of materials that surrounding areas may have a shortage of, such as rare flint deposits. Because this encouraged greater communication between societies, it lead to a more interconnected trading system. Although there was social distinction between occupations, a definite social class structure did not yet exist, property was held communally, and both genders played key roles. Women domesticated plants and gathered materials through farming, while the men cleared the land and managed the animals. There is evidence that the female role declined in some agricultural communities. Although it was still a key role, this may have been the time when it began declining.








Case Study:
The pyramids built by the ancient Egyptians on the banks of the Nile river. Digital image. Http://history.howstuffworks.com. Web. 6 Oct. 2011. <http://history.howstuffworks.com/african-history/nile-river2.htm>.
The pyramids built by the ancient Egyptians on the banks of the Nile river. Digital image. Http://history.howstuffworks.com. Web. 6 Oct. 2011. <http://history.howstuffworks.com/african-history/nile-river2.htm>.

When: 3000 B.C.E. - 30 B.C.E.Where: Ancient Egypt, Northwestern AfricaWho: Ancient Egyptians Analysis: Agriculture was a big part of Ancient Egyptian life. Egyptians were completely dependent on the River Nile to make their land fertile through flooding. The Egyptians made three seasons based on the flooding of the River Nile. These three seasons were Flooding (June – September) this is when the Nile would flood, Planting (October – February) this is after the flood when the land is best for planting, and Harvesting (March – May) this is when all the crops are ready to be harvested but it has to be done so before the next flood. Egyptians also used the River Nile to irrigate their crops they did this by digging ditches and canals.

The Egyptians farmed cereal grains such as barley and emmer both of with where sturdy crops that could be stored for a long time. This suggests that they had a food surplus because they were able to store the food and if it wasn’t a surplus there would be no need to store it. In addition to farming Egyptians domesticated all sorts of animals. Cattle, goats, sheep and pigs were kept for meat. Ducks, geese and pigeons were bred in fences and force-fed dough to fatten them. Bees were also domesticated for wax and honey. Oxen and Donkeys were used for work and they would plow the fields. The time it takes for animals to be domesticated suggests the Egyptians had a surplus of food. This means that not everyone had to farm and some people could spend their time domesticating animals.

The architecture made by the Egyptians is some of the most recognizable in the world: the pyramids. To build these great structures organized labor was essential, and the laborers had to be skilled and have effective tools. Reliable food sources made the pyramids possible. Because of their superior farming skills they were able to create a food surplus which allowed for job specialization. Job specialization then resulted in social classes and a social hierarchy because the people who had the most specialization had the most power. The hierarchy and food surplus made it possible for pharaohs and kings to create organized labor because they had the power to command a separate population who had the specialization to build pyramids due to the surplus of food. Another thing the reliable sources allowed for was religion. Because not everyone had to farm people had time to write down a complex religion. Some people had more time than others and could become priests and because they had this specialization the were of a high social class and higher in the hierarchy.

Agriculture and the tools and technologies to perfect it allowed the Ancient Egyptians to create reliable food sources. These reliable food sources allowed them to have hierarchy, religion, and architecture that has lasted thousands of years.

The Final Summary Analysis:

The Agricultural Revolution during the Neolithic Era lead to the emergence of social classes, more defined male and female roles, and specialized professionals in fields other than agriculture and the collection of food. It allowed more time to be spent in the areas of art, politics, religion, new technologies, and more. People began domesticating animals and manipulating the land to grow resources. It lead to a change in the day to day jobs and expectations of Neolithic population. The Agricultural Revolution was a development that altered social structure for the first time, beginning the social pyramid we know today.

Citations:


"Agriculture And The Origins Of Civilization: Part Two." World History International: World History Essays From Prehistory To The Present. World History International. Web. 03 Oct. 2011. <http://history-world.org/agriculture1.htm>.

"Ancient Egypt." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. 3 Oct. 2011. Web. 07 Oct. 2011. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_Egypt>.

"Neolithic Revolution." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. 5 Oct. 2011. Web. 07 Oct. 2011. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neolithic_revolution>.