Persistent Controversies about the Neolithic Revolution

Abstract : The Neolithic Revolution describes the transition from hunting and gathering to farming and then to the onset of agrarian societies. This process, which relied mainly on the domestication of wild plants and animals, occurred independently in at least seven parts of the world from 10,000 BC. It is widely agreed that the shift from a total reliance on wild resources to the use of domesticated foods led to a number of fundamental and far-reaching changes in human society. However, even eight decades after Childe’s (1936) seminal publication, the Neolithic revolution continues to lead to major debates and controversies among scholars. It is the purpose of this paper to present and critically evaluate these major debates. The latter are related to the presumed superiority of farming over foraging and to the speed of the transition process. They also concerned the origins of agriculture, the respective role of nature and culture in explaining the economic development, and the mechanisms bringing about the spread of agriculture.
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Serge Svizzero. Persistent Controversies about the Neolithic Revolution. Journal of Historical Archaeology & Anthropological Sciences , MedCrave, 2017, 1 (2), pp.00013. ⟨10.15406/jhaas.2017.01.00013⟩. ⟨hal-02145483⟩

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