Solution: Daily Problem Practice for 2021 History Optional [Ancient India: Day 9]

Solution: Daily Problem Practice for 2021 History Optional [Ancient India: Day 9]

Q. What factors led to the rise of food producing activities in Neolithic period? Give different views. [15 Marks]


The term Neolithic Period refers to the last stage of the Stone Age. In the world context it began in 9000 B.C. The only neolithics settlement in the Indian subcontinent attributed to 7000 B.C. lies in Mehrgarh. Generally neolithic settlement found in south India are not older than 2500 B.C. In some parts of southern and eastern India they are as late as 1000 B.C.

This period is most frequently used in connection with agriculture, which is the time when cereal cultivation and animal domestication was introduced. In order to reflect the deep impact that agriculture had over the human population, an Australian archaeologist named Gordon Childe popularized the term “Neolithic Revolution” (also called the Agricultural Revolution).

The different views regarding the factors led to the rise of food producing activities:
  • View 1- Oasis Theory by V. Gorden Childe (cultural model 1):
    • There took place environmental changes at the end of pleistocene.
    • These changes represent the dry phase, Rise of dry phases and formation of oasis in between.
    • Concentration of humans, other animals and plants in the oasis area and nearby.
    • Development of the new interrelationship and interdependence.
    • This scenario gave rise to domestication of plants and animals.
  • View 2- Human experimentation (cultural model 1):
    • Presented by Rovert J. Bradwood.
    • Agriculture and herding occurred in certain zones which had support base for varied wild plants and animals which could be domesticated.
    • This resulted in human getting more exposed to their environment and more knowledgeable about their environment and exploited that scenario.
    • So this was result of human experimentation and the vitality of human nature caused such cultural evolution.
  • View 3- Demographic stress due to rise of sea level ( equilibrium model)
    • Presented by Lewis Binford.
    • Rise of the sea level at the end of the pleistocene  and so human at the coastal regions migrated towards inland areas.
    • The result of this was disruption of human-food balance and hence began human initiatives to augument food resources and agriculture was on of the response to this demographic stress.
  • View 4- Imbalance between population and resource:
    • Presented by David Haris.
    • Rise of agriculture and herding was a result of imbalances between population and resources.
    • Humans in certain parts of the world got settled in the regions what he called “Transitional Zone’.
      • Between forest and grassland.
      • Between upland and low land.
      • between coastal region and riverine zones.
    • These regions were rich in plants and Animals and humans were in a position to exploit a broad spectrum economy.
      • The economic term which refers to economy in which there is possibility of exploitation of variety of plants and animals through farming and herding.
  • View 5- Broad spectrum revolution:
    • proposed by Kent Flannery.
    • A seasonal movement of hunter and gatherer enabled them to experience flora and fauna of various regions because they keep on moving.
    • Availability of various flora and fauna in different regions in different period regulated their movement. Later this seasonal movement was replaced by a subsistence pattern based on prolonged stay and food production.
    • He suggested that population growth in optimal habitats led to demographic pressure within nearby marginal habitats as daughter groups migrated.
      • The search for more food within these marginal habitats forced foragers to diversify the types of food sources harvested, broadening the subsistence base outward to include more fish, small game, waterfowl, invertebrates (such as snails and shellfish), as well as previously ignored or marginal plant sources.
    • A BSR is likely to manifest as both an increased spectrum of food resources and an evenness in the exploitation of high- and low-value prey.
    • Humans also attempted to widen the area of particular plats.

The Neolithic Revolution led to masses of people establishing permanent settlements supported by farming and agriculture. It paved the way for the innovations of the ensuing Bronze Age and Iron Age, when advancements in creating tools for farming, wars and art swept the world and brought civilizations together through trade and conquest.


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