"Learning to Farm" Chart

In class, we will examine the development of agriculture and compare hunter-gatherers to early Neolithic farmers. As humans domesticated plants and animals, the plants and animals themselves change over time. Wild sheep and mountain goats get fatter, slower, dumber, and lose their balance. Plants get bigger and more nutritious as farmers choose which seeds to keep and which to throw away.

On a new note page titled "Learning to Farm" copy the following charts to help compare the Paleolithic hunter-gatherers to the Neolithic farmers.

Learning to Farm
From Paleolithic to Neolithic…
7,000 - 10,000 years ago

How did hunter-gatherers deal with plants?
  • Harvested wild grain
  • Gathered berries, nuts and roots
  • TRIED to save food for times when there was none

How did hunter-gatherers deal with animals?
  • Followed herds
  • Hunted wild animals
  • Protected herds by driving off predators

Neolithic Farmers
How did  Neolithic farmers deal with plants?
  • Domesticated plants
  • Selected and sowed (planted) seeds
  • Changed environment by planting crops (choosing what plants grow)

How did Neolithic farmers deal with animals?
  • Captured and domesticated wild animals
  • Physical changes in animals
  • Forced wild animals off their land
  • Used land for grazing

Comparing Hunter-Gatherers to Neolithic Farmers:
What were the strengths or weaknesses of farming and hunting-gathering in the areas of life listed?

Feeding People
Farming                                                                    Hunting-Gathering
Can raise more food                                                 Must follow the food supply
Can feed more people                                              Able to store small amounts of food
Creates a surplus

Housing People
Farming                                                                   Hunting-Gathering
People live in one place (community)                    No permanent housing
Permanent/comfortable dwellings                          Live seasonally in caves, huts
Beginning of civilization   

Developing Culture
Farming                                                                  Hunting-Gathering
More people live in a smaller area                         Energy spent moving from place to place
Surplus allows for trading                                      Carry everything with them
People can have different jobs
Development of villages