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The Neolithic Revolution, also known as the Agricultural Revolution, was the emergence of mankind into civilization as humans transitioned from hunter-gatherer communities to more permanent settlements as a result of agricultural surpluses beginning around 10,000 BCE. This era was where humanity began to band together to create civilization, and in Africa different tribes began to establish themselves all across Africa, with prosperous establishments of people along the Nile beginning around 5500 BCE during the Neolithic Revolution as a result of agricultural and technological advancements. As a result of the Neolithic Revolution’s surplus, Kingdoms such as Ancient Egypt became established shortly after the revolution and thrived off farming alongside the Nile River’s banks with divine kinships that were at the top of the society’s social ladder; being ruled by a single deity named a Pharaoh created a hierarchy and social classes that established specialized roles among different members of Ancient Egypt’s society. The skills humans acquired during the Neolithic Revolution to create agricultural surplus and civilization in Ancient Egypt ultimately contributed to the regions’ rich economy and cultural impact in the world.
During the Neolithic Revolution in Ancient Egypt, “Between 5000 and 4000 BC permanent settlements of full-time farmers became established in the valley of the Nile, with their farming techniques adapted to the river’s annual flood” (Shillington), which portrays the indigenous people’s ability to thrive off of their land through agricultural surplus along the Nile banks which in turn created local economies and regional governments to manage commerce and trade. Trade along the Nile between Upper and Lower Egypt promoted economic growth with human’s ability to communicate and merge relationships with other indigenous people for trading purposes being a skill humans acquired as they migrated all across Africa during the Neolithic Revolution with tribes constantly engaging in contact throughout. Thus, local economies along the Nile were able to sustain themselves by creating a surplus in goods while trading for goods not readily attainable locally such as copper, wheat, papyrus, and gold. This diversified local societies and when divine kingships were adopted in Ancient Egypt, Egyptian society’s caste contained peasants being at the bottom of it who produce all the surplus while the divine kinships were at the top who were the direct beneficiaries of the poor’s contributions to agricultural production.
Once pharaohs began ruling Ancient Upper and Lower Egypt around 3100 BCE, the vast agricultural surplus accumulated by Egyptian societies were overseen by tax collectors and civil workers for the pharaoh. The development of large scale agriculture during the Neolithic Revolution led to “Agricultural surpluses.. kept in huge government stores and were used to support the pharaoh and his family in luxury and comfort. It also paid for a large civil service, supported priests and their shrines and was traded abroad for luxury items or scarce raw materials”; effectively showing how the distribution of wealth as a result of surplus within Ancient Egypt was extremely inefficient with those in the upper spectrum of the social ladder disproportionately benefitting from the poor’s labor. The poor also herded cattle to produce a surplus in livestock, in which the domestication of certain animals for food was derived from the early people of the Neolithic Revolution to have a more stable source of food as opposed to the inconsistent nature of hunting.
The Neolithic Revolution was also characterized by architectural advancements that served as physical indicators of Ancient Egyptian culture such as temples and tombs that were made through the use of tools for significant deities such as royalty, the rich, or gods that were actively worshipped by their people. The nature of specialization and members having specific roles within civilizations as mankind continued to make agricultural advancements can be seen in Ancient Egypt when the peasants were forced into labor to build the Great Pyramid 2600 BC built for King Khufu, a few centuries after the Neolithic Revolution. Pharaohs “employed many full-time craftsmen and artists in order to fill their tombs with beautiful examples of Egyptian craftsmanship: jewelry, fragile decorated pottery and elaborate ornaments of gold”, which regarded individuals with artistic talent higher esteem in Egyptian society due to their commoditized specializations. Inequality was a result of the revolution through its creation of social classes and a working class that contributed to the region’s rich architectural culture.
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