Friday 2 October 2015

First Harvest

Everyone in the world lived by hunting and gathering 12,000 years ago. But only 6,000 years later every human society with the ability to farm and herd animals produced its own food.

Neolithic Period -  The last part of the stone age period beginning from 10,000 BC in Middle East, 5,500 BC in Central America and 4,500 BC in North America. The key characteristic of this period is the introduction of farming.

Neolithic Farming

As they were constantly on the move, not living in large groups, hunters and gatherers suffered rarely from infectious disease. Life expectancy was low due to physical danger.

There was a change in diet, with less variety and a single crop often wheat. Repetitive task such as grinding wheat for flour caused excessive wear to some people's joints causing Arthritis.

More food cooking for babies meant less dependent on their mother's milk caused new conditions such as amnesia and scurvy.

Farming spread to

  •    Middle East - By 10,000 BC
  •    South East Asia - By 8,500 BC
  •    India - By 6,000 BC
  •    Central America - By 5,000 BC
  •    Europe - By 5,300 BC
  •    Asia - By 4,500 BC
  •    North America - By 2,500 BC
  •    Central Africa - By 2,000 BC

The diets of people were low in fiber and higher in fat and salt than their hunter predecessor. There is evidence that this lead to an increase in conditions such as high blood pressure and cancer - a trend that continues even today. 

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