This transition took place approximately 10,000 -11,000 years ago.
This was just after the great migration of humans had reached most of
the far corners of the continents. The growing of crops would mean that
people needed to stay in one place long enough to plant, tend, and then
harvest. With staying in one place for a long period of a year, these
early humans would not run into other humans as much so potentially less
fighting. It would be worth the time to build some type of defense
system, be it people as lookouts or structures. More sophisticated
carrying containers would need to be made to carry the harvested crops
if the group was going to move after the growing season which is what
the Native Americans did in the upper midwest. The Anishinabe would
harvest maple syrup in the spring and carry it to the summer fishing and
growing area where they dried fish, harvested beans, squash, and corn
that was then carried to the fall camp where they harvested wild rice.
This was then carried to the winter camp where they hunted game animals.
They were always carrying food.
As agriculture increased, storage shelters were built to hold the
harvested crops thus making humans more stationary. Permanent structures
were built thus the building trades were born. Grain storage units need
to be rodent proof to prevent spoilage. Did they develop the first
mouse trap? Was it a cat, 4,000-9,000 years ago? Dogs were already
domesticated about 5000 years before agriculture was developed.
If harvests were good, this would have created more free-time during
the rest of the year to develop customs and rituals. Let’s celebrate our
traveling ancestors with a dance around the fire. Did humans feel safe
enough in there new communities to talk around the fire at night not
fearing attacks? Did language evolve because of agriculture?
Populations would have expanded in communities with successful
agriculture. The extra nutrients would allow more people to survive,
thus providing more workers to do other things like domesticate chickens
for eggs, about 7000 – 10,000 years ago. More
sophisticated social structures could be developed as the community
grew. Were our first civil engineers born? People need to stay busy so
let’s develop jobs for them, how about a bridge over the stream or build
a net to catch more fish. How about trade with other communities?
These new communities would have been more susceptible to disease and
famine if crops failed or spoiled. Ergot on rye, not nice in large
quantities. Maybe they got sick from the water so they drink wine or
beer, 3,000 – 4,900 years ago. The shaman or medicine man becomes
important, the first doctor, role specialization.