How agriculture contributed to advancement of civilization


For better or for worse, agriculture was a driving force behind the growth of civilizations. Farming probably involved more work than hunting and gathering, but it is thought to have provided 10 to 100 times more calories per acre. 5 More abundant food supplies could support denser populations, and farming tied people to their land.


How did farming lead to the development of civilizations?

Why is farming so important to civilizations development? The reason that we have permanent civilizations, is because of agriculture. With the development of agriculture, communities did not have to follow the herds in order to have food to eat. To produce the mass amounts of food, the farmers needed extra help, which led them to domesticate animals.

How did agriculture affect the progress of civilization?

The development of agriculture led to the rise of civilizations. People had to stay in one place in order to grow and harvest crops. They also needed buildings in order to store crops. Many civilizations in the Middle East invested in irrigation structures in order to provide for stable water….

How could irrigation help a civilization?

What are some of the signs of climate change?

  • Higher Temperatures.
  • More Droughts.
  • Wilder Weather.
  • Changing Rain and Snow Patterns.
  • Less Snowpack.
  • Melting Glaciers.
  • Shrinking Sea Ice.
  • Thawing Permafrost.

Can there be civilization without agriculture?

Well agriculture is the foundation of civilization. Without agriculture the population couldn’t possibly have grown anywhere even close to current levels. When agriculture fails, civilization and population both crash as well.


How does agriculture contribute to civilization?

Humans invented agriculture. Farming enabled people to grow all the food they needed in one place, with a much smaller group of people. This led to massive population growth, creating cities and trade.

How did the Agricultural Revolution lead to the advancement of civilization?

Farming began a process of intensification, which meant that many more people could be sustained in a given land area since more calories could be produced per acre. As a result, the world population rapidly rose. Between 10,000 and 1000 BCE, the population of the world went from about 6 million to about 120 million.

Why is agriculture so important to the success of civilizations?

More abundant food supplies could support denser populations, and farming tied people to their land. Small settlements grew into towns, and towns grew into cities. Agriculture produced enough food that people became free to pursue interests other than worrying about what they were going to eat that day.

What is importance of agriculture?

Agriculture provides most of the world’s food and fabrics. Cotton, wool, and leather are all agricultural products. Agriculture also provides wood for construction and paper products. These products, as well as the agricultural methods used, may vary from one part of the world to another.

How did agriculture change the life of early humans?

Farming meant that people did not need to travel to find food. Instead, they began to live in settled communities, and grew crops or raised animals on nearby land. They built stronger, more permanent homes and surrounded their settlements with walls to protect themselves.

What is agricultural civilization?

agrarian civilization — A large, organized human society that relies on a large number of its members producing food through agriculture. May incorporate hundreds of thousands or even millions of people, and include cities together with their surrounding farmed countryside.

What is the impact of agriculture and society?

While negative impacts are serious, and can include pollution and degradation of soil, water, and air, agriculture can also positively impact the environment, for instance by trapping greenhouse gases within crops and soils, or mitigating flood risks through the adoption of certain farming practices.

How did agriculture influence the course of development of human population?

With agriculture, people could settle down, so that they no longer needed to carry all their possessions (Figure below). They could develop better farming practices and store food for when it was difficult to grow. Agriculture allowed people to settle in towns and cities.

Why did people start farming?

In the Near East, for example, it’s thought that climatic changes at the end of the last ice age brought seasonal conditions that favored annual plants like wild cereals. Elsewhere, such as in East Asia, increased pressure on natural food resources may have forced people to find homegrown solutions. But whatever the reasons for its independent origins, farming sowed the seeds for the modern age.

What was the farming revolution?

Taking root around 12,000 years ago, agriculture triggered such a change in society and the way in which people lived that its development has been dubbed the ” Neolithic Revolution.”. Traditional hunter-gatherer lifestyles, followed by humans since their evolution, were swept aside in favor of permanent settlements …

What mutation occurred during the spread of farming into southeastern Europe?

But at some point during the spread of farming into southeastern Europe, a mutation occurred for lactose tolerance that increased in frequency through natural selection thanks to the nourishing benefits of milk.

Where did wheat come from?

The wild progenitors of crops including wheat, barley and peas are traced to the Near East region. Cereals were grown in Syria as long as 9,000 years ago, while figs were cultivated even earlier; prehistoric seedless fruits discovered in the Jordan Valley suggest fig trees were being planted some 11,300 years ago.

How long ago did goats come to Europe?

Dates for the domestication of these animals range from between 13,000 to 10,000 years ago. Genetic studies show that goats and other livestock accompanied the westward spread of agriculture into Europe, helping to revolutionize Stone Age society. While the extent to which farmers themselves migrated west remains a subject of debate, …

What is the meaning of civilization?

civilization. Noun. complex way of life that developed as humans began to develop urban settlements. crop. Noun. agricultural produce. cultivate. Verb. to encourage the growth of something through work and attention.

When did rice and millet farming start?

The origins of rice and millet farming date to around 6,000 B.C.E.

How did agriculture contribute to the rise of civilizations?

Start of Agriculture. Over centuries, the growth of agriculture contributed to the rise of civilizations. Before agriculture became widespread, people spent most of their lives searching for food—hunting wild animals and gathering wild plants.

How did agriculture help people?

Agriculture enabled people to produce surplus food. They could use this extra food when crops failed or trade it for other goods. Food surpluses allowed people to work at other tasks unrelated to farming. Agriculture kept formerly nomadic people near their fields and led to the development of permanent villages.

How do farmers protect their crops from pests?

Traditionally, farmers have used a variety of methods to protect their crops from pests and diseases. They have put herb-based poisons on crops, handpicked insects off plants, bred strong varieties of crops, and rotated crops to control insects. Now, almost all farmers, especially in developed countries, rely on chemicals to control pests. The definition of “pest” ranges from insects to animals such as rabbits and mice, as well as weeds and disease-causing organisms—bacteria, viruses, and fungi. With the use of chemicals, crop losses and prices have declined dramatically.

What is the science of agriculture?

Agriculture is the art and science of cultivating the soil, growing crops and raising livestock. It includes the preparation of plant and animal products for people to use and their distribution to markets. Agriculture provides most of the world’s food and fabrics. Cotton, wool, and leather are all agricultural products.

What animals did people domesticate?

People also domesticated cattle and pigs. Most of these animals had once been hunted for hides and meat. Now many of them are also sources of milk, cheese, and butter. Eventually, people used domesticated animals such as oxen for plowing, pulling, and transportation. Agriculture enabled people to produce surplus food.

What tools did people use to make food?

Over time, improved farming tools of bone, stone, bronze, and iron were developed. New methods of storage evolved. People began stockpiling foods in jars and clay-lined pits for use in times of scarcity. They also began making clay pots and other vessels for carrying and cooking food.

When did electricity start to be used?

Electricity first became a power source on farms in Japan and Germany in the early 1900s. By 1960, most farms in the U.S. and other developed countries were electrified. Electricity lit farm buildings and powered such machinery as water pumps, milking machines, and feeding equipment. Today, electricity controls entire environments in livestock barns and poultry houses.

What was the effect of farming on the rise of settled societies?

Closely connected to the rise of settled societies was an increase in population. The ability to farm also meant a greater ability to control the amount of food produced, which meant that, for the first time in human history, there was a surplus of food.

Why is agriculture dangerous?

Agriculture also presented a danger because people relied on it so heavily. That meant that if something happened to the crops, there was little else they could do to survive. If they returned to hunting, the larger populations of these societies would use up those resources very quickly. So, there was a danger here, and across history, there are examples of societies that fell when the crops failed. Often, insects like locusts that consumed crops were amongst the most deadly forces on Earth. Ever wonder why the Judeo-Christian tradition tells the story of Moses sending plagues of locusts on the Egyptians? Locusts eat all the crops, and the society can no longer survive.

What was the name of the revolution that began around 12,000 years ago?

Then, around 12,000 years ago, societies around the world began developing agriculture, producing a massive set of changes we call the Neolithic revolution.

How did people live in the Neolithic era?

For the vast majority of human history, that’s how people lived. They were nomadic, meaning they were groups of people who didn’t have permanently settled societies. Then, around 12,000 years ago, something started to change. People in various parts of the world discovered that they could control the growth of wild plants, thus ensuring that they had enough food without having to move. We call the rise of farming and the changing patterns in society that came out of this the Neolithic revolution. In the end, the domestication of plants and introduction of farming changed a lot more than just where people got their food.

Why is the introduction of grains into the diet important?

The rapid introduction of so many grains into the human diet is likely responsible for the introduction of diseases like diabetes into humans. Our bodies couldn’t always keep up with the rapid changes in our diets. Regardless of these issues, early humans found that the benefits of settled society outweighed the risks.

Did agriculture change the diet?

Finally, agriculture did represent a substantial change to the human diet. Humans evolved our size and brain mass based on a high-protein diet. Settled societies still ate meat, largely from domesticated animals, but this was a much smaller portion of their diet. The rapid introduction of so many grains into the human diet is likely responsible for the introduction of diseases like diabetes into humans. Our bodies couldn’t always keep up with the rapid changes in our diets.

Can people switch to grain-heavy diets?

People switched to a grain-heavy diet more quickly than their bodies could adapt.

How did farming start?

The three field crop rotation system was replaced with a four field system and sweeping enclosure acts regulated land management, selective cross-breeding began on an industrial scale to increase crop size as well as yields creating several cultivars in the process. Animal husbandry also improved, leading to a greater surplus than had been permissible under the old system. It is said that these changes permitted the industrial revolution and even greater concentration of urban development, fueling the empire. How so? More crops for fewer workers, better methods of keeping and replacing nutrients in the soil meant that more people could work in industry. When the Corn Laws in England were repealed, it began the global food economy; about the same time, Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution put agriculture on the modern path of a science as we began to understand the development of crops.

Where did the Romans get their agricultural technology?

The Greeks and Romans took much of their agricultural technology from other civilizations with which they had contact – most notably those of the ancient Near East such as Mesopotamia, via Sumeria. From Egypt, those societies took direct influence once the country was conquered by Alexander the Great and later by the Roman Republic. It was here at the birth of modern civilization that we saw true large-scale animal and plant agriculture (10). Technology may not have advanced a great deal, but the processes made agriculture efficient enough to sustain the empire’s large cities, making it a necessary industry.

What were the crops of Mesoamerica?

In Mesoamerica and South America, with the Inca, the Maya, Olmecs and the Aztecs, relatively early development of agriculture permitted the building of enormous cities that impressed the European colonizers; it was quickly identified that these civilizations had an impressive agriculture-based economy that stood on a par with Europe, challenging what was then understood about the development of civilization. In Mesoamerica it was corn and in South America it was the humble potato (18) – today the staple crop of most people in the western world, along with coca and the domestication of animal species such as llama and alpaca.

What did hunter-gatherers do?

For most of our existence, humans were hunter-gatherers. This means that people lived a nomadic lifestyle, moving with the seasons to follow the food supply. As the glaciers retreated and plant life patterns and growth areas changed in response, it meant that the need to move so often became slightly less essential – though undoubtedly the lifestyle carried on for thousands of years as people sought to maximize their resource acquisition (4, p574-5). Hunter-gatherer societies would have known which crops were best to exploit with each season.

What was the Middle East’s agricultural revolution?

The Middle East continued to see much innovation in the agricultural industries, something that historians refer to as The Arab Agricultural Revolution (10). This was thanks to the diversity of the local topographies, the crops grown in the Middle East and Indus Valley that European societies coveted, and later acted as a trade bridge between Far East and Europe (11).

What is the early civilization?

Early Civilization. Early civilization can be considered a boom time in agricultural science and technology. Around 5500 BC (7, p26-28), the Sumerian civilization of the Middle East and other early pre Greco-Roman civilizations understood the need for a specialized agricultural workforce for their societies to thrive.

What is agriculture in the US?

Agriculture is defined as the cultivation and exploitation of animals, plants (including fungi) and other forms of organic life for human use including food, fiber, medicines, fuel and anything else. It is, and has been since there was an agricultural market, one of the largest employers of people; in the USA today, agriculture represents 20% of the US economy (1). Before organised agriculture, it is believed that the food supply could provide for just 4 million people globally (21).

What would happen if civilizations didn’t take care of their soil?

Without proper care for the soil most civilizations would rapidly decline. For example, many ancient civilizations rose in power but declined rapidly due to their soil health. Ancient civilizations including the Ancient Roman Empire, Mesopotamians, Indus River Valley, and the Ancient Egyptians fell due to soil degradation.

What were the problems that Roman farmers faced?

However, Roman farmers faced many problems which still occur today such as weather, rainfall, and pests.

What did the Nile River bring to the land?

The river would bring food supply of wild edible plants and seeds, fish, birds, and big game. “The Nile overflowed its banks each year around September. The water went onto a flood plain that extended the length of the river and averaged a dozen miles wide. Each year the floodwaters deposited new fertile silt into natural basins. Farmers did not have to add fertilizer to the soil” (Costly). As you can see the Nile river did most for the work for the farmers. After the water soaked into the earth, farmers would plant in rich soil and it was plowed over with wooden plows pulled by oxen. Nature did the rest until it was time to harvest the crops in the spring. The cycle started all over again with the next Nile flood. This was how the Egyptians would survive every year. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. By 2300 BC scientists think that a shift in the circulation of the atmosphere may have reduced rainfall and caused widespread climate change in many places. This would cause the Nile to stop overflowing and enriching the land. Due to this it caused the food supply to shrink. At this point due to a lack of a strong king and as the drought continued it played a major part in the collapse of the Old Kingdom. In conclusion, based on all the research of the ancient civilizations that collapsed due to agriculture. Some civilizations could have prevented it like the Romans but other not so much. The Romans declined due to their choose in cutting down all the trees and causing deforestation. Others couldn’t really help their downfall. The Egyptians had a system in place for a very long time until the climate changed, and the Nile stopped overflowing and helping with the crop productions.

Why is soil important to humans?

Soil plays an important part in people’s daily lives. It plays a factor in how plants grow, how it can filter our water, provides essential nutrients to our forests and crops, and it also helps regulate the Earth’s temperature. It also plays a role in our food source. Without soil how would we grow our vegetables and fruits? Without proper care for the soil most civilizations would rapidly decline. For example, many ancient civilizations rose in power but declined rapidly due to their soil health. Ancient civilizations including the Ancient Roman Empire, Mesopotamians, Indus River Valley, and the Ancient Egyptians fell due to soil degradation. Even today with all our buildings and all the compaction happening to our soil, one day we may end up like the civilizations that fell before us. This paper will go over how each ancient civilization fell due to the improper care of the soil that they lived on. The Ancient Roman Empire was one of the biggest civilizations in the ancient world with more than 50 to 90 million people, which was about 20% of the world’s population when it was at its height in 117 AD.

What caused the fall of the Roman Empire?

By the time the of the invasions the empire was already a starving parasite that sucked its lands dry. Hence, the fall of the Roman Empire. Mesopotamia was another empire that was prospering until its downfall started around 2300 BC. Mesopotamia which is the Greek word for ‘between two rivers’ was an ancient region located in the eastern Mediterranean. The ‘two rivers’ of the name referred to the Tigris river to the north and the Euphrates river to the south where Mesopotamia was located. Mesopotamia was mainly an agrarian society. They grew many crops and raised livestock. Due to the lack of wood aka forests, they would build most of their homes and buildings using sun-dried bricks. “The domestic architecture of Mesopotamia grew out of the soil upon which it stood. Unlike Egypt, Mesopotamia –especially in the south– was barren of stone that could be quarried for construction.”

How long did it take for the Saraswati River to dry up?

The downfall of this civilization was mainly due to climate change and shifting in the earth’s crust. It only took 200 years for the decline to happen. Around 1900 BC the Saraswati River started to dry up and according to many scholars this was the starting point of the decline.

Why did the Romans decline?

Some civilizations could have prevented it like the Romans but other not so much. The Romans declined due to their choose in cutting down all the trees and causing deforestation.

How long has agriculture been around?

Originating between 10,000 and 8000 years ago, agriculture has been considered one of the most important stage developments in human history (Holdren and Ehrlich, 1974 ). Agriculture is the primary food source for our society (Conway, 1987 ). The development, diffusion and adaptation of agricultural technologies have modified our world more than any other human innovation (Weisdorf, 2005 ). The continued prosperity of society will have to be supported by the advancement of agricultural technology (Ray, 1998; Weisdorf, 2005 ). China, as one of the most ancient civilisations, is most integral and has the longest lasting recorded history. Agriculture dominated most of the pre-industrial history in China (Shen, 2010 ). Therefore, the historical patterns and trajectories of ancient Chinese agricultural technological development will be a suitable mirror when considering a more sustainable technological pathway in the future.

What were the main crops in the Neolithic period?

4f ). Both food crops and cash crops were actively domesticated. The main crops planted were millet and its varieties. Rice planting was discovered at approximately the same time, mainly in the southern parts of China. There were also cash crops such as beans, ramie, and melons planted during this period. During the XSZ and CQZG periods, crops for dryland farming were dominant, including varieties of millet, barley, wheat, and soy beans.

How many agricultural technologies are there in China?

The total number of agricultural technologies in China was 1337 (Fig. 2 ). Among the five Level 2 subsystems, the number of ‘agricultural engineering’ technologies were the greatest (43%), with a focus on tools and irrigation infrastructure in Level 3 subsystems. This was followed by ‘agricultural practices’ (33%) that highly emphasised the Level 3 furrowing subsystem. Development of ‘agricultural theory’ (14%) was evenly distributed among biology, meteorology and soil science. There was relatively less attention given to technologies from the ‘agricultural protection’ (5%) and ‘agricultural crops’ (5%) subsystems; they focused on Level 3 ‘bio-physical protection’ subsystem and ‘cash crop’ subsystem, respectively.

What is level 1 in agriculture?

Level 1 was referred to as ‘agriculture’ in general, with Levels 2 to 4 containing the theoretical understandings, engineering, practices, protection measures and crop varieties of the agricultural technology subsystems.

How did technology develop in China?

This paper aims to uncover the evolutionary pattern of the ancient Chinese agricultural technology system that focused on land and water mobilisations from 8000 BC to 1911 AD. Our findings show that agricultural technology in China transitioned through an extremely slow, S-shaped pathway, increasing only ten fold in over 8000 years. The technology system was initially driven by tangible tools (40% of growth), then by technological theories and practices that contributed more than 50% of growth. Its development was spatially inclined to the Yellow River then to the Yangtze River region, where over 45% of technologies were developed. This study provides an empirical baseline for comparative studies between pre-industrial and industrial technologies. Greater understanding of the mechanisms of technology development will be required to reorientate technology development for present and future generations.

What is the classification of ancient Chinese agricultural technology?

The classification of ancient Chinese agricultural technology was developed based on the Chinese Classified Thesaurus (CCT) (China, 2010 ). The CCT was initially developed as an indexing thesaurus in 1996 and edited and digitised in 2005.

How many spatial regions were there in ancient China?

Six spatial regions were considered necessary to understand the spatial patterns of ancient Chinese agricultural technologies. As agriculture relied on rivers to develop, the regions were divided based on river basin boundaries: the Yellow River region, the Yangtze River region, the North-eastern region, the North-western region, the South-eastern region and the South-western region (Fig. 1 ).

What is the significance of the advancing civilization?

The implications for the life of an individual who yearns to contribute to advancing civilization are also significant. A person strives to acquire the qualities, attitudes, and abilities of an effective contributor to progress and endows the various aspects of his or her life—education, work, marriage, family life—with a strong sense of mission.

What is the change in culture they are fostering?

The change in culture they are fostering is evidence of how a new society emerges from the efforts of growing numbers of people to apply the teachings of God in this day to the life of a growing number of communities. The implications for the life of an individual who yearns to contribute to advancing civilization are also significant.

What are the two processes that humankind has passed through?

Two inseparable processes, one of disintegration and the other of integration, are moving it forward.

What is the process of integration?

The process of integration is related to the spiritual forces released with the coming of Bahá’u’lláh. On the one hand, these forces are influencing increasing numbers of people everywhere to work for unity and progress. On the other, they are gradually reshaping society through the conscious efforts of the Bahá’ís and their friends.

How did trade help civilization?

As people exchanged goods from different regions, their technological developments were adopted by different races. Trading was enhanced by the demand for goods and many people came up with several items.

What were the technological improvements?

Some of the technological improvements occurred in the manufacturing of goods, agriculture and making of tools. With the development of technology, wars and conflicts emerged between different territories. These wars also led to the spread of civilization.

Why was education important in Asia?

Education also became important as people became interested in arts and literature. Writing contributed very much toward the spread of ideas. The emergence of Confucianism in Asia led to political and moral changes especially in China. Apart from these factors, civilization was also facilitated by religious believes.

What is civilization in the human race?

Human beings have been struggling to improve their lifestyles since the ancient time. “Civilization refers to the advancement in human culture in terms of technology, science, politics and division of labor” (Trigger 12). Different races have always developed differently depending on the prevailing circumstances.

What were some of the ancient trading activities?

Some of the ancient trading activities included the exchange of food crops which led to development of agriculture in various territories. “Ideas also spread and developed through trading activities” (Morris 390). For example Indian Ocean trade led of the spread of Arab civilization in Africa.

How did Islamic religion find its way into Africa?

For example Islamic religion found its way into Africa through trading activities. The demand for better goods facilitated the development of technology. Many urban centers like Greece and Athens became prominent due to trading activities.

Who were the two travelers who widened knowledge of other cultures through their writings about their journeys?

The role of travelers was significant. “Much of our knowledge of the world in the 13 th and 14 th century comes from two travelers, Ibn Battuta and Marco Polo, who widened knowledge of other cultures through their writings about their journeys” (Trigger). Civilization was also enhanced by migration of people.


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