Neolithic period


Neolithic period

Neolithic period or New Stone Age. The term neolithic is used, especially in archaeology and anthropology, to designate a stage of cultural evolution or technological development characterized by the use of stone tools, the existence of settled villages largely dependent on domesticated plants and animals, and the presence of such crafts as pottery and weaving. The time period and cultural content indicated by the term varies with the geographic location of the culture considered and with the particular criteria used by the individual scientist. The domestication of plants and animals usually distinguishes Neolithic culture from earlier Paleolithic or Mesolithic hunting, fishing, and food-gathering cultures. The Mesolithic period in several areas shows a gradual transition from a food-collecting to a food-producing culture. The termination of the Neolithic period is marked by such innovations as the rise of urban civilization or the introduction of metal tools or writing. Again, the criteria vary with each case. The earliest known development of Neolithic culture was in SW Asia between 8000 BC and 6000 BC There the domestication of plants and animals was probably begun by the Mesolithic Natufian peoples, leading to the establishment of settled villages based on the cultivation of cereals, including wheat, barley, and millet, and the raising of cattle, sheep, goats, and pigs. In the Tigris and Euphrates river valleys, the Neolithic culture of the Middle East developed into the urban civilizations of the Bronze Age by 3500 BC Between 6000 BC and 2000 BC Neolithic culture spread through Europe, the Nile valley (Egypt), the Indus valley (India), and the Huang He valley (N China). The formation of Neolithic cultures throughout the Old World resulted from a combination of local cultural developments with innovations diffused from the Middle East. In SE Asia, a distinct type of Neolithic culture involving rice cultivation developed, perhaps independently, before 2000 BC In the New World, the domestication of plants and animals occurred independently of Old World developments. By 1500 BC, Neolithic cultures based on the cultivation of corn, beans, squash, and other plants were present in Mexico and South America, leading to the rise of the Inca and Aztec civilizations and spreading to other parts of the Americas by the time of European contact. The term Neolithic has also been used in anthropology to designate cultures of more contemporary primitive, independent farming communities.

See V. G. Childe, New Light on the Most Ancient East (4th ed. 1953, repr. 1968); G. Clark and S. Piggott, Prehistoric Societies (1965); R. J. Braidwood, Prehistoric Men (7th ed. 1967); S. M. Cole, The Neolithic Revolution (4th ed. 1967); A. Whittle, Problems in Neolithic Archaeology (1989).

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Neolithic

Neolithic of, relating to, or denoting the later part of the Stone Age, when ground or polished stone weapons and implements prevailed. In the Neolithic period farm animals were first domesticated and agriculture was introduced, beginning in the Near East by the 8th millennium bc and spreading to northern Europe by the 4th millennium bc. Neolithic societies in NW Europe left such monuments as causewayed camps, henges, long barrows, and chambered tombs.

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ELIZABETH KNOWLES. "Neolithic." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 2006. Encyclopedia.com. 23 Nov. 2014 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

ELIZABETH KNOWLES. "Neolithic." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 2006. Encyclopedia.com. (November 23, 2014). http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1O214-Neolithic.html

ELIZABETH KNOWLES. "Neolithic." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 2006. Retrieved November 23, 2014 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1O214-Neolithic.html

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Neolithic

Ne·o·lith·ic / ˌnēəˈli[unvoicedth]ik/ • adj. Archaeol. of, relating to, or denoting the later part of the Stone Age, when ground or polished stone weapons and implements prevailed. ∎  [as n.] (the Neolithic) the Neolithic period. Also called New Stone Age.

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"Neolithic." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. 2009. Encyclopedia.com. 23 Nov. 2014 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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Neolithic

Neolithic (New Stone Age) Period in human cultural development following the Palaeolithic. The Neolithic began c.8000 bc in w Asia and c.4000 bc in Europe. During this period people first lived in settled villages, domesticated animals, cultivated cereal crops, and ground stone and flint.

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"Neolithic." World Encyclopedia. 2005. Encyclopedia.com. 23 Nov. 2014 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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Neolithic

Neolithic The New Stone Age, beginning in the Middle East approximately 9000 BC and lasting until 6000 BC, during which humans first developed agriculture. Grinding and polishing of stone tools was also practised.

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"Neolithic." A Dictionary of Biology. 2004. Encyclopedia.com. 23 Nov. 2014 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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neolithic

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"neolithic." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. 2007. Encyclopedia.com. 23 Nov. 2014 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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