The climate of the Middle East was different 13,000 years ago. This is because this time is directly after the Ice Age. The climate became more warm and there was more precipitation than there was previously. The narrator described the climate as “less arid” than it is today and forests were more abundant. People around this time typically lived as nomads, moving with the migration patterns of game. They hunted and gathered their food. Everyone else on Earth during this time had a lifestyle similar to this.
Disadvantages of hunting and gathering as a way to provide for communities include: it is time consuming, low rate of yield, dangerous situations, and requires lots of knowledge about different animals. Hunters and gatherers still live and continue this tradition in New Guinea.
Agriculture as we know begins in the Middle East and not Papua New Guinea because of grains. Barley and wheat are native plants to the Middle East and have a higher nutritional value. People were forced to move due to colder temperatures and the death of plants and animals.
The key to wheat and barley that allows these plants to be domesticated is that these grains could withstand the harsh climate and could be stored. The people also chose to plant the variations of the crops that would produce the larger grain, higher quality, and earn them more profit.
In the ancient world, agriculture also developed in China, America, New Guinea (taro roots but not the same benefits as a grain), and Africa. Crops that were domesticated were: rice, corn, squash, beans, yams, sorghum, and millet. These crops were domesticated near water. People moved with the water, instead of animals, and planted their crops.
Advantages of farming are: you can feed larger populations, you can store harvests for other seasons, other trades can develop because of its efficiency and yield, and more.
Requirements of the potential domestication of animals are: provide food and power, larger size, eat plants, some intelligence to be trained, and get along with humans. Advantages the Middle East had in the case of domesticated animals are native, large animals such as horse and oxen. These large animals can pull plows and make farming more efficient. Other advantages are: meat when you need it and want it, the livestock moves with you, year-round opportunity (not seasonal), milk, and clothing. Middle East has native cows, pigs, sheep, and goats.
As settlements began to grow, society itself began to form. People now lived different lives. People invested and spent time in their homes. People could develop new technology and art while others farmed. Specific crafts were developed.
Fire was key to advanced technology because hot limestone made plaster to line the homes. Manipulating fire would lead to the use of steel for weapons and technology. These advanced technologies did not develop in Papua New Guinea because they could not grow enough food. Everyone had to farm to support themselves so there was not room for people to create new trades like metal working.
Farming and domestication of animals did not die out when the early Middle Eastern settlements were abandoned. This is because the climates to the east and west were similar so the animals and crops had the ability to thrive there too. Those early settlements were abandoned because they overused their resources. They over-farmed the soil, depleted the water supply, and cut down vegetation.