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Pre-historic humans, agriculture and civilization development

  1. Jul 7, 2007 #1
    The oldest human found is 150,000 or 160,000 years old, if I recall correctly. It strikes me that "civilization" (farming, large structures, etc) is < 10,000 years old(?). Is this because there simply weren't enough of us in a concentrated area to establish one? Supposedly civilization originated as a consequence of farming, but how could it have taken so long to come about?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 7, 2007 #2
    What happened is before civilization they were hunter-gatherers. They'd eat up all the food in the area, so they'd have to move to another area and do it again. That was the primary problem for humanity before civilization, they could never find enough food.

    When humanity learned how to cultivate crops, they were able to stop moving around, because they could continually produce plenty of food in one area. When they got good enough at it, they had a surplus of food, and thus some people were able to do things OTHER than collect food. That's when 'civilization' really starts going. This jump from hunter-gatherer to agriculture civilization is difficult because it's a completely different lifestyle, and requires a certain amount of knowledge that they didn't necessarily need before (and so wasn't passed down).

    There's this place in the middle east called the 'fertile crescent', and is more or less the birthplace of civilization because it was so easy to find and grow food there. It's all about food.
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2007
  4. Jul 7, 2007 #3
    Actually, Wikipedia says it is closer to 200,000 Ya. There's also Lucy from 3.2 MYa, but is not Homo sapien.

    - Bryan
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