StMU Research Scholars

Neolithic Era: Technology Advances and Beginnings of Agriculture

Early humans before the neolithic era lived in small nomadic communities. Certain prehistoric communities started to make their own innovations regarding tools. They were able to start domesticating animals and growing plants for use, which would in turn allow them to start living in villages, or larger groups. The Neolithic Age was a period in the development of human technology, beginning about 10,000 BCE, in some parts of the Middle East, and later in other parts of the world, and ending between 4,500 and 2,000 BCE.

In earlier periods of time, people usually lived in non-permanent structures, such as tents, that could be picked up and transported very easily. Now with the development of agriculture, technology and the inventions of more sophisticated tools used in agriculture, people of the Neolithic Era were able to build permanent shelters. This gave them the ability to grow crops in the surrounding area. People started to develop their control over fire, which allowed for different uses soon after this. One of these uses of fire was the early stages of pottery. Humans began to dry clay for uses around the household. Hunting also became much easier to accomplish with the introduction new of stone tools. The most common tools used were daggers and spear points, used for hunting, and hand axes, used for cutting up different meats, and scrappers, which were used to clean animal hides.1

Primitive Tools used during the Neolithic Age Courtesy of Pinterest
Primitive Tools used during the Neolithic Age | Courtesy of Pinterest

Advances in tool-making and domestic technology led to advances in agriculture. Farming started a revolution in the world and helped set us on a path that would eventually lead to the technological revolution and invention of different things. Inventions such as the plow helped in the planting of seeds. One essential benefit of the development of farming technology was the possibility of producing surplus crops, or food supplies that surpassed the immediate needs of the community. Surpluses could be stored for later use, or possibly traded for other necessities or luxuries. Agricultural life afforded securities that nomadic life could not, and farming in one place resulted in population growth far beyond that of hunters and gatherers. Soon after plant domestication began, animal domestication followed. The raising of cattle, sheep, and pigs for food replaced the necessity of daily hunting. The creation of stone tools also helped to advance the making of clothing. It was now possible to sheer wool and spin it into yarn to make more advanced clothing that made for better protection against the elements.2

Agriculture during this time period gave the human species a new feeling of security that their past way of life could not. However, this new way of living created new problems within the communities. Famines and pests yielded new diseases that the people of this era had not seen before. Sanitation became a problem due to the fact that most primitive villages did not have a proper form of waste disposal. Due to the fact that agriculture led to technological innovations it can be said that the Neolithic Era was the catalyst for the future of technology.3



  1. M.P. Richards, “A Brief Review of the Archaeological Evidence for Palaeolithic and Neolithic Subsistence,” European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 56, no. 12 (2002): Published Online.
  2. Melanie Boyd, “The different paths of the neolithic revolution in Egypt and Sudan,” Anthrojournal Vol. 2 May 2014, Published Online.
  3. Hugh James Freeman, “The Neolithic Revolution and Subsequent Emergence of the Celiac Affection,” International Journal of Celiac Disease 1, no. 1 (2013): 19–22.

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27 Responses

  1. Early humans before the (related to the late Stone Age) time in history lived in small wandering communities. The Neolithic Revolution is also called the Agriculture Revolution. It is said to have started 12,000 years ago. Foragers became Farmers.

  2. Very interesting; thank you. There is a spelling error. The word is to “shear “ sheep, not “sheer.” Very nicely written. Cheers.

  3. This was a very interesting article . The Neolithic era was where it all began, although some people might think they were dumb & there was no intellect that is not true. These people developed skils adn grew on these developed skills for years to come. This Era allowed us to live the life we do know actually.

  4. Agriculture is a huge step forward for humanity. The nomadic life is not ideal since it requires a lot of energy. Plant domestication was crucial in providing grain along with pottery, which stores the grain. Animal domestication is also important when it came to the dog, which helped in gathering animals. The manufacturing of cloth was also crucial in providing warmth.

  5. This was a very inciteful piece, citing humanity’s first steps toward a civil society. We faced problems such as disease and wide starvation on a scale our species had never seen before. Admittedly, as an environmental scientist, it does sadden me to see how our species was able to grow uncontrollably to the point where starvation and crop failure could occur. Death is always morbid, but the real tragedies stem from one’s own undoing.

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