Neolithic

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{specie, animal, plant}
{country, population, people}
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Chalcolithic

farming, animal husbandry
pottery, metallurgy, wheel
circular ditches, henges, megaliths
Neolithic religion

The Neolithic Age, Era, or Period, or New Stone Age, was a period in the development of human technology, beginning about 9500 BC in the Middle East[1] that is traditionally considered the last part of the Stone Age. The Neolithic followed the terminal Holocene Epipalaeolithic period, beginning with the rise of farming, which produced the "Neolithic Revolution" and ending when metal tools became widespread in the Copper Age (chalcolithic) or Bronze Age or developing directly into the Iron Age, depending on geographical region. The Neolithic is not a specific chronological period, but rather a suite of behavioral and cultural characteristics, including the use of wild and domestic crops and the use of domesticated animals.[2]

New findings put the beginning of the Neolithic culture back to around 10,700 to 9400 BC in Tell Qaramel in northern Syria, 25 km north of Aleppo.[3] Until those findings are adopted within the archaeological community, the beginning of the Neolithic culture is considered to be in the Levant (Jericho, modern-day West Bank) about 9500 BC. It developed directly from the Epipaleolithic Natufian culture in the region, whose people pioneered the use of wild cereals, which then evolved into true farming. The Natufians can thus be called "proto-Neolithic" (12,500–9500 BC or 12,000–9500 BC[1]). As the Natufians had become dependent on wild cereals in their diet, and a sedentary way of life had begun among them, the climatic changes associated with the Younger Dryas are thought to have forced people to develop farming. By 9500–9000 BC, farming communities arose in the Levant and spread to Asia Minor, North Africa and North Mesopotamia. Early Neolithic farming was limited to a narrow range of plants, both wild and domesticated, which included einkorn wheat, millet and spelt, and the keeping of dogs, sheep and goats. By about 8000 BC, it included domesticated cattle and pigs, the establishment of permanently or seasonally inhabited settlements, and the use of pottery.[4]

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