Archaeologists Made A 14,400-Year-Old Discovery In Jordan That Radically Rewrites Human History

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Image: Andy Maano

Every hunter-gatherer community is different, of course. Yet they do share some similar traits too. Most are quite small, for instance, with just a few dozen members. And often the labor in hunter-gatherer societies is divided: hunting tends to be the province of men; women are in charge of foraging. Other than gender and age, though, there appears to be little differentiation between the positions and roles of members of these communities.

Image: Painter of the burial chamber of Sennedjem

In terms of human agriculture, however, the transition from hunting and gathering to settled farming was probably a gradual thing. It seems, in fact, that several different societies around the world began to practice agriculture independently of one another. For instance, great civilizations from Ancient Egypt, Sumer in Mesopotamia and the Indus Valley of northern India all had sophisticated agricultural practices.

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Image: Ittiz

Evidence also suggests that some of our ancestors’ first steps towards agriculture were taken after the Pleistocene Ice Age had ended. That would have been around 11,700 years ago. The conclusion of this era marked a notable change in the climate, which in turn affected ecosystems around the world. So people of the time may well have been managing non-domesticated plants and animals in a forerunner of what would become farming.

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