A sickle, bagging hook or reaping-hook, is a hand-held agricultural tool designed with variously curved blades and used for harvesting, or reaping, grain crops or cutting succulent forage chiefly for feeding livestock, either freshly cut or dried as hay. Falx was a synonym but was used to mean any of a number of tools that had a curved blade, sharp on the inside edge such as a scythe. Since the beginning of the Iron Age hundreds of region-specific variants of the sickle have evolved of iron and steel; this great diversity of sickle types across many cultures can be divided into smooth or serrated blades, both of which can be used for cutting either green grass or mature cereals using different techniques. The serrated blade that originated in prehistoric sickles still dominates in the reaping of grain and is found in modern grain-harvesting machines and in some kitchen knives; the development of the sickle in Mesopotamia can be traced back to times that pre-date the Neolithic Era. Large quantities of sickle blades have been excavated in sites surrounding Israel that have been dated to the Epipaleolithic era.
Formal digs in Wadi Ziqlab, Jordan have unearthed various forms of early sickle blades. The artifacts possessed a jagged edge; this intricate ‘tooth-like’ design showed a greater degree of design and manufacturing credence than most of the other artifacts that were discovered. Sickle blades found during this time were made of flint and used in more of a sawing motion than with the more modern curved design. Flints from these sickles have been discovered near Mt. Carmel, which suggest the harvesting of grains from the area about 10,000 years ago; the sickle had a profound impact on the Agricultural Revolution by assisting in the transition to farming and crop based lifestyle. It is now accepted that the use of sickles led directly to the domestication of Near Eastern Wild grasses. Research on domestication rates of wild cereals under primitive cultivation found that the use of the sickle in harvesting was critical to the people of early Mesopotamia; the narrow growing season in the area and the critical role of grain in the late Neolithic Era promoted a larger investment in the design and manufacture of sickle over other tools.
Standardization to an extent was done on the measurements of the sickle so that replacement or repair could be more immediate. It was important that the grain be harvested at the appropriate time at one elevation so that the next elevation could be reaped at the proper time; the sickle provided a more efficient option in collecting the grain and sped up the developments of early agriculture. The sickle remained common both in the Ancient Near East and in Europe. Numerous sickles have been found deposited in hoards in the context of the European Urnfield culture, suggesting a symbolic or religious significance attached to the artifact. In archaeological terminology, Bronze Age sickles are classified by the method of attaching the handle. E.g. the knob-sickle is so called because of a protruding knob at the base of the blade which served to stabilize the attachment of the blade to the handle. The sickle played a prominent role in the Druids' Ritual of oak and mistletoe as described from a single passage in Pliny the Elder's Natural History: Due to this passage, despite the fact that Pliny does not indicate the source on which he based this account, some branches of modern Druidry have adopted the sickle as a ritual tool.
The sickle has been discovered in southwest North America with a unique structure. These sickles are said to have originated from the Far East. There is evidence that Kodiak islanders had for cutting grass “sickles made of a sharpened animal shoulder blade”; the artifacts found in present-day Arizona and New Mexico resemble curved tools that were made from the horns of mountain sheep. A similar site discovered sickles made from other material such as the Caddo Sickle, made from a deer mandible. Scripture from early natives document the use of these sickles in the cutting of grass; the instruments ranged from 13 to 16 inches tip to tip. Several other digs in eastern Arizona uncovered wooden sickles that were shaped in a similar fashion; the handles of the tools help describe how the tool was held in such a way so that the inner portion that contained the cutting surface could serve as a gathering surface for the grain. Sickles were sharpened by scraping a shape beveled edge with a coarse tool; this action has left marks on artifacts.
The sharpening process was necessary to keep the cutting edge from being dulled after extended use. The edge is seen to be quite polished, which in part proves that the instrument was used to cut grass. After collection, the grass was used as material to create bedding; the sickle in general provided the convenience of cutting the grass as well as gathering in one step. In South America, the sickle is used as a tool to harvest rice. Rice clusters are left to dry in the sun; the genealogy of sickles with serrated edge reaches back to the Stone Age, when individual pieces of flint were first attached to a “blade body” of wood or bone. Teeth have been cut with hand-held chisels into iron, steel-bladed sickles for a long time. In many countries on the African continent and South America as well as the Near and Far East this is still the case in the regions within these large geographies where the traditional village blacksmith remains alive and well. En
Jericho is a city in the Palestinian Territories and is located near the Jordan River in the West Bank. It is the administrative seat of the Jericho Governorate, is governed by the Fatah faction of the Palestinian National Authority. In 2007, it had a population of 18,346; the city was occupied by Jordan from 1949 to 1967, has been held under Israeli occupation since 1967. It is believed to be one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world and the city with the oldest known protective wall in the world, it was thought to have the oldest stone tower in the world as well, but excavations at Tell Qaramel in Syria have discovered stone towers that are older. Archaeologists have unearthed the remains of more than 20 successive settlements in Jericho, the first of which dates back 11,000 years to the beginning of the Holocene epoch of the Earth's history. Copious springs in and around the city have attracted human habitation for thousands of years. Jericho is described in the Hebrew Bible as the "city of palm trees".
Jericho's name in Hebrew, Yeriẖo, is thought to derive from the Canaanite word reaẖ, but other theories hold that it originates in the Canaanite word for "moon" or the name of the lunar deity Yarikh for whom the city was an early centre of worship. Jericho's Arabic name, ʼArīḥā, means "fragrant" and has its roots in Canaanite Reaẖ; the first excavations of the site were made by Charles Warren in 1868. Ernst Sellin and Carl Watzinger excavated Tell es-Sultan and Tulul Abu el-'Alayiq between 1907 and 1909, in 1911, John Garstang excavated between 1930 and 1936. Extensive investigations using more modern techniques were made by Kathleen Kenyon between 1952 and 1958. Lorenzo Nigro and Nicolò Marchetti conducted excavations in 1997–2000. Since 2009 the Italian-Palestinian archaeological project of excavation and restoration was resumed by Rome "La Sapienza" University and Palestinian MOTA-DACH under the direction of Lorenzo Nigro and Hamdan Taha, Jehad Yasine since 2015; the Italian-Palestinian Expedition carried out 13 seasons in 20 years, with some major discoveries, like Tower A1 in the Middle Bronze Age southern Lower Town and Palace G on the eastern flanks of the Spring Hill overlooking the Spring of'Ain es-Sultan dating from Early Bronze III.
The earliest settlement was located at the present-day Tell es-Sultan, a couple of kilometers from the current city. In both Arabic and Hebrew, tell means "mound" – consecutive layers of habitation built up a mound over time, as is common for ancient settlements in the Middle East and Anatolia. Jericho is the type site for the Pre-Pottery Neolithic Pre-Pottery Neolithic B periods. Epipaleolithic construction at the site appears to predate the invention of agriculture, with the construction of Natufian culture structures beginning earlier than 9000 BCE, the beginning of the Holocene epoch in geologic history. Jericho has evidence of settlement dating back to 10,000 BCE. During the Younger Dryas period of cold and drought, permanent habitation of any one location was impossible. However, the Ein es-Sultan spring at what would become Jericho was a popular camping ground for Natufian hunter-gatherer groups, who left a scattering of crescent-shaped microlith tools behind them. Around 9600 BCE, the droughts and cold of the Younger Dryas stadial had come to an end, making it possible for Natufian groups to extend the duration of their stay leading to year-round habitation and permanent settlement.
The first permanent settlement on the site of Jericho developed near the Ein es-Sultan spring between 9,500 and 9000 BCE. As the world warmed up, a new culture based on agriculture and sedentary dwelling emerged, which archaeologists have termed "Pre-Pottery Neolithic A", its cultures lacked pottery, but featured the following: small circular dwellings burial of the dead under the floor of buildings reliance on hunting of wild game cultivation of wild or domestic cerealsAt Jericho, circular dwellings were built of clay and straw bricks left to dry in the sun, which were plastered together with a mud mortar. Each house measured about 5 metres across, was roofed with mud-smeared brush. Hearths were located outside the homes. By about 9400 BCE, the town had grown to more than 70 modest dwellings; the Pre-Sultan is sometimes called Sultanian. The site is a 40,000 square metres settlement surrounded by a massive stone wall over 3.6 metres high and 1.8 metres wide at the base, inside of which stood a stone tower, over 8.5 metres high, containing an internal staircase with 22 stone steps and placed in the centre of the west side of the tell.
This tower and the older ones excavated at Tell Qaramel in Syria are the oldest to be discovered. The wall may have served as a defence against flood-water, with the tower used for ceremonial purposes; the wall and tower were built during the Pre-Pottery Neolithic A period around 8000 BCE. For the tower, carbon dates published in 1981 and 1983 indicate that it was built around 8300 BCE and stayed in use until c. 7800 BCE. The wall and tower would have taken a hundred men more than a hundred days to construct, thus suggesting some kind of social organization; the town contained round mud-brick houses, yet no street planning. The identity and number of the inhabitants of Jericho during the PPNA period is still under debate, with estimates going as high as 2,000–3,000, as low as 200–300, it is known that this population had domesticated emmer whea
Pottery is the process of forming vessels and other objects with clay and other ceramic materials, which are fired to give them a hard, durable form. Major types include earthenware and porcelain; the place where such wares are made by a potter is called a pottery. The definition of pottery used by the American Society for Testing and Materials, is "all fired ceramic wares that contain clay when formed, except technical and refractory products." In archaeology of ancient and prehistoric periods, "pottery" means vessels only, figures etc. of the same material are called "terracottas". Clay as a part of the materials used is required by some definitions of pottery, but this is dubious. Pottery is one of the oldest human inventions, originating before the Neolithic period, with ceramic objects like the Gravettian culture Venus of Dolní Věstonice figurine discovered in the Czech Republic dating back to 29,000–25,000 BC, pottery vessels that were discovered in Jiangxi, which date back to 18,000 BC.
Early Neolithic pottery artefacts have been found in places such as Jōmon Japan, the Russian Far East, Sub-Saharan Africa and South America. Pottery is made by forming a ceramic body into objects of a desired shape and heating them to high temperatures in a kiln and induces reactions that lead to permanent changes including increasing the strength and solidity of the object's shape. Much pottery is purely utilitarian, but much can be regarded as ceramic art. A clay body can be decorated after firing. Clay-based pottery can divided in three main groups: earthenware and porcelain; these require more specific clay material, higher firing temperatures. All three are made for different purposes. All may be decorated by various techniques. In many examples the group a piece belongs to is visually apparent, but this is not always the case; the fritware of the Islamic world does not use clay, so technically falls outside these groups. Historic pottery of all these types is grouped as either "fine" wares expensive and well-made, following the aesthetic taste of the culture concerned, or alternatively "coarse", "popular" "folk" or "village" wares undecorated, or so, less well-made.
All the earliest forms of pottery were made from clays that were fired at low temperatures in pit-fires or in open bonfires. They were hand undecorated. Earthenware can be fired as low as 600°C, is fired below 1200°C; because unglazed biscuit earthenware is porous, it has limited utility for the storage of liquids, eating off. However, earthenware has a continuous history from the Neolithic period to today, it can be made from a wide variety of clays, some of which fire to a buff, brown or black colour, with iron in the constituent minerals resulting in a reddish-brown. Reddish coloured varieties are called terracotta when unglazed or used for sculpture; the development of ceramic glaze which makes it impermeable makes it a popular and practical form of pottery. The addition of decoration has evolved throughout its history. Stoneware is pottery, fired in a kiln at a high temperature, from about 1,100°C to 1,200°C, is stronger and non-porous to liquids; the Chinese, who developed stoneware early on, classify this together with porcelain as high-fired wares.
In contrast, stoneware could only be produced in Europe from the late Middle Ages, as European kilns were less efficient, the right sorts of clay less common. It remained a speciality of Germany until the Renaissance. Stoneware is tough and practical, much of it has always been utilitarian, for the kitchen or storage rather than the table, but "fine" stoneware has been important in China and the West, continues to be made. Many utilitarian types have come to be appreciated as art. Porcelain is made by heating materials including kaolin, in a kiln to temperatures between 1,200 and 1,400 °C; this is higher than used for the other types, achieving these temperatures was a long struggle, as well as realizing what materials were needed. The toughness and translucence of porcelain, relative to other types of pottery, arises from vitrification and the formation of the mineral mullite within the body at these high temperatures. Although porcelain was first made in China, the Chinese traditionally do not recognise it as a distinct category, grouping it with stoneware as "high-fired" ware, opposed to "low-fired" earthenware.
This confuses the issue of. A degree of translucency and whiteness was achieved by the Tang Dynasty, considerable quantities were being exported; the modern level of whiteness was not reached until much in the 14th century. Porcelain was made in Korea and in Japan from the end of the 16th century, after suitable kaolin was located in those countries, it was not made outside East Asia until the 18th century. Before being shaped, clay must be prepared. Kneading helps to ensure an moisture content throughout the body. Air trapped within the clay body needs to be removed; this is called de-airing and can be accomplished either by a machine called a vacuum pug or manually by wedging. Wedging can help produce an moisture content. Once a clay body has been kneaded and de-aired or wedged, it is shaped by a variety of techniques. After it has been shaped, it is dried and fired. Greenware refers to unfired objects. At sufficient moisture content, bodies at this stage are in their most plastic form (as they are soft and mal
The Near East is a geographical term that encompasses a transcontinental region centered on Western Asia and Egypt. Despite having varying definitions within different academic circles, the term was applied to the maximum extent of the Ottoman Empire; the term has fallen into disuse in English and has been replaced by the terms Middle East, which includes Egypt, West Asia, which includes the Transcaucasus. According to the National Geographic Society, the terms Near East and Middle East denote the same territories and are "generally accepted as comprising the countries of the Arabian Peninsula, Egypt, Iran, Jordan, Palestinian territories and Turkey"; as of 1997, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations defined the region but included Afghanistan. At the beginning of the 19th century the Ottoman Empire included all of the Balkan Peninsula south to the southern edge of the Hungarian Plain, but by 1914 had lost all of it except Constantinople and Eastern Thrace to the rise of nationalist Balkan states, which saw the independence of Greece, the Danubian Principalities and Bulgaria.
Up until 1912, the Ottomans retained a band of territory including Albania and Southern Thrace, which were lost in the two Balkan Wars of 1912–13. The Ottoman Empire, believed to be about to collapse, was portrayed in the press as the "sick man of Europe"; the Balkan states, with the partial exception of Bosnia and Albania, were Christian, as was the majority of Lebanon. Starting in 1894, the Ottomans struck at the Armenians on the explicit grounds that they were a non-Muslim people and as such were a potential threat to the Muslim empire within which they resided; the Hamidian Massacres aroused the indignation of the entire Christian world. In the United States the now aging Julia Ward Howe, author of the Battle Hymn of the Republic, leaped into the war of words and joined the Red Cross. Relations of minorities within the Ottoman Empire and the disposition of former Ottoman lands became known as the "Eastern Question", as the Ottomans were on the east of Europe, it now became relevant to define the east of the eastern question.
In about the middle of the 19th century Near East came into use to describe that part of the east closest to Europe. The term Far East appeared contemporaneously meaning Japan, Korea and Vietnam. Near East applied to what had been known as the Levant, in the jurisdiction of the Ottoman Porte, or government; those who used the term had little choice about its meaning. They could not set foot on most of the shores of the southern and central Mediterranean from the Gulf of Sidra to Albania without permits from the Ottoman Empire; some regions beyond the Ottoman Porte were included. One was North Africa west of Egypt, it was occupied by piratical kingdoms of the Barbary Coast, de facto-independent since the 18th century part of the empire at its apogee. Iran was included because it could not be reached except through the Ottoman Empire or neighboring Russia. In the 1890s the term tended to focus on the conflicts in Armenia; the demise of "the sick man of Europe" left considerable confusion as to what was to be meant by "Near East".
It is now used only in historical contexts, to describe the countries of Western Asia from the Mediterranean to Iran. There is, in short, no universally-understood fixed inventory of nations, languages or historical assets defined to be in it; the geographical terms Near East and Far East referring to areas of the globe in or contiguous to the former British Empire and the neighboring colonies of the Dutch, Portuguese and Germans, fit together as a pair based on the opposites of far and near, suggesting that they were innovated together. They appear together in the journals of the mid-19th century. Both terms were used before with local British and American meanings: the near or far east of a field, village or shire. There was a linguistic predisposition to use such terms; the Romans had used them in near Gaul / far Gaul, near Spain / far others. Before them the Greeks had the habit, which appears in Linear B, the oldest known script of Europe, referring to the near province and the far province of the kingdom of Pylos.
These terms were given with reference to a geographic feature, such as a mountain range or a river. Ptolemy's Geography divided Asia on a similar basis. In the north is "Scythia this side of the Himalayas" and "Scythia beyond the Himalayas". To the south is "India on this side of the Ganges" and "India beyond the Ganges". Asia began on the coast of Anatolia. Beyond the Ganges and Himalayas were Serica and Serae and some other identifiable far eastern locations known to the voyagers and geographers but not to the general European public. By the time of John Seller's Atlas Maritima of 1670, "India Beyond the Ganges" had become "the East Indies" including China, southeast Asia and the islands of the Pacific in a map, every bit as distorted as Ptolemy's, despite the lapse of 1,500 years; that "east" in turn was only an English translation of Latin Oriens and Orientalis, "the land of the rising Sun", used since Roman times for "east". The world map of Jodocus Hondius of 1590 labels all of Asia from the Caspian to the Pacific as India Orientalis, shortly to appear in translation as the East Indies.
Elizabeth I of England interested in trade with the east, collaborated with English merchants to form the first trading companies to the far-flung regions, using their own jargon. Their goals were to obtain trading concessio
Dame Kathleen Mary Kenyon, was a leading British archaeologist of Neolithic culture in the Fertile Crescent. She is best known for her excavations of Jericho in 1952–1958, has been called one of the most influential archaeologists of the 20th century, she was Principal of St Hugh's College, Oxford from 1962 to 1973. Kathleen Kenyon was born in London, England, in 1906, she was the eldest daughter of Sir Frederic Kenyon, biblical scholar and director of the British Museum. Her grandfather was lawyer and Fellow of All Souls College, John Robert Kenyon, her great-great-grandfather was the politician and lawyer Lloyd Kenyon, 1st Baron Kenyon, she grew up in Bloomsbury, London, in a house attached to the British Museum, with her mother, Amy Kenyon, sister Nora Kenyon. Known for being hard-headed and stubborn, Kathleen grew up as a tomboy, climbing trees and playing a variety of sports. Determined that she and her sister should be well educated, Kathleen's father encouraged wide reading and independent study.
In years Kenyon would remark that her father's position at the British Museum was helpful for her education. Kathleen was an excellent student, winning awards at school and excelling in history, she studied first at St Paul's Girls' School, where she was Head Girl, before winning an Exhibition to read History at Somerville College, Oxford. While at Oxford, Kenyon won a Blue for her college in hockey and became the first female president of the Oxford University Archaeological Society, she began a career in archaeology. Although working on several important sites across Europe, it was her excavations in Jericho in the 1950s that established her as one of the foremost archaeologists in the field. In 1962 Kenyon was made Principal of Oxford, she retired in 1973 to Erbistock and was appointed a DBE. Kenyon never married. From 1974, Kenyon was the Honorary Vice President of the Chester Archaeological Society. A career in archaeology was first suggested to Kathleen by Margery Fry, librarian at Somerville College.
After graduation Kenyon's first field experience was as a photographer for the pioneering excavations at Great Zimbabwe in 1929, led by Gertrude Caton-Thompson. Returning to England, Kenyon joined the archaeological couple Mortimer Wheeler and his wife Tessa Wheeler on their excavation of the Romano-British settlement of Verulamium, 20 miles north of London. Working there each summer between 1930 and 1935, Kenyon learned from Mortimer Wheeler the discipline of meticulously controlled and recorded stratigraphic excavation. Wheeler entrusted her with the direction of the excavation of the Roman theatre. In the years 1931 to 1934 Kenyon worked at Samaria under the administration of the British Mandate for Palestine, with John Crowfoot and Grace Crowfoot. There she cut a stratigraphic trench across the summit of the mound and down the northern and southern slopes, exposing the Iron II to the Roman period stratigraphic sequence of the site. In addition to providing crucial dating material for the Iron Age stratigraphy of Palestine, she obtained key stratified data for the study of Eastern terra sigilata ware.
In 1934 Kenyon was associated with the Wheelers in the foundation of the Institute of Archaeology of University College London. From 1936 to 1939 she carried out important excavations at the Jewry Wall in the city of Leicester; these were published in the Illustrated London News1937 with pioneering reconstruction drawings by the artist Alan Sorrell whom she had happened to notice sketching her dig. During the Second World War, Kenyon served as Divisional Commander of the Red Cross in Hammersmith, as Acting Director and Secretary of the Institute of Archaeology of the University of London. After the war, she excavated in Southwark, at The Wrekin and elsewhere in Britain, as well as at Sabratha, a Roman city in Libya; as a member of the Council of the British School of Archaeology in Jerusalem, Kenyon was involved in the efforts to reopen the School after the hiatus of the Second World War. In January 1951 she travelled to the Transjordan and undertook excavations in the West Bank at Jericho on behalf of the BSAJ.
Initial finding were first viewed by the public in the Dome of Discovery at the Festival of Britain 1951 with a reconstruction drawing by Alan Sorrell. Her work at Jericho, from 1952 until 1958, made her world-famous and established a lasting legacy in the archaeological methodology of the Levant. Ground-breaking discoveries concerning the Neolithic cultures of the Levant were made in this ancient settlement, her excavation of the Early Bronze Age walled city and the external cemeteries of the end of the Early Bronze Age, together with her analysis of the stratified pottery of these periods established her as the leading authority on that period. Kenyon focused her attention on the absence of certain Cypriot pottery at City IV, arguing for an older destruction date than that of her predecessors. Jericho was recognized as the oldest continuously occupied settlement in history because of her discoveries. At the same time she completed the publication of the excavations at Samaria, her volume, Samaria Sebaste III: The Objects, appeared in 1957.
Having completed her excavations at Jericho in 1958, Kenyon excavated in Jerusalem from 1961 to 1967, concentrating on the'City of David' to the immediate south of the Temple Mount. Although Kenyon had no doubt the sites she excavated were linked to the Old Testament narrative she drew attention to inconsistencies, concluding that Solomon's "stables" at Megiddo were impractical for holding horses, that Jericho fell long before Joshua's arrival. Ken
The prehistory of Egypt spans the period from the earliest human settlement to the beginning of the Early Dynastic Period around 3100 BC, starting with the first Pharaoh, Narmer for some Egyptologists, Hor-Aha for others, with the name Menes possibly used for one of these kings. This Predynastic era is traditionally equivalent to the final part of the Neolithic period beginning c. 6000 BC, corresponds to the Naqada III period. The dates of the Predynastic period were first defined before widespread archaeological excavation of Egypt took place, recent finds indicating gradual Predynastic development have led to controversy over when the Predynastic period ended. Thus, various terms such as "Protodynastic period", "Zero Dynasty" or "Dynasty 0" are used to name the part of the period which might be characterized as Predynastic by some and Early Dynastic by others; the Predynastic period is divided into cultural eras, each named after the place where a certain type of Egyptian settlement was first discovered.
However, the same gradual development that characterizes the Protodynastic period is present throughout the entire Predynastic period, individual "cultures" must not be interpreted as separate entities but as subjective divisions used to facilitate study of the entire period. The vast majority of Predynastic archaeological finds have been in Upper Egypt, because the silt of the Nile River was more deposited at the Delta region burying most Delta sites long before modern times; the Late Paleolithic in Egypt started around 30,000 BC. The Nazlet Khater skeleton was found in 1980 and dated in 1982 from nine samples ranging between 35,100 and 30,360 years; this specimen is the only complete modern human skeleton from the earliest Late Stone Age in Africa. Excavation of the Nile has exposed early stone tools; the earliest of these lithic industries were located within the 30-metre terrace, were Chellean, primitive Acheulean and an Egyptian form of the Clactonian. Within the 15-metre terrace was developed Acheulean.
Reported as Early Mousterian but since changed to Levalloisean, other implements were located in the 10-metre terrace. The 4.5- and 3-metre terraces saw a more developed version of the Levalloisean initially reported as an Egyptian version of Mousterian. Tools of the Egyptian Sebilian technology and an Egyptian version of the Aterian technology were located; some of the oldest known structures were discovered in Egypt by archaeologist Waldemar Chmielewski along the southern border near Wadi Halfa, Sudan in Arkin 8 site. Chimelewski dated the structures to 100,000 BCE; the remains of the structures are oval depressions 2 x 1 meters across. Many are lined with flat sandstone slabs, they are called tent rings. This type of dwelling provides a permanent place to live, but if necessary, can be taken down and moved, they were mobile structures—easily disassembled and reassembled—providing hunter-gatherers with semi-permanent habitation. Aterian tool-making reached Egypt c. 40,000 BC. The Khormusan industry in Egypt began between 42,000 and 32,000 BP.
Khormusans developed tools not only from stone but from animal bones and hematite. They developed small arrow heads resembling those of Native Americans, but no bows have been found; the end of the Khormusan industry came around 16,000 B. C. with the appearance of other cultures in the region, including the Gemaian. The Halfan and Kubbaniyan, two related industries, flourished along the Upper Nile Valley. Halfan sites are found in the far north of Sudan. For the Halfan, only four radiocarbon dates have been produced. Schild and Wendorf discard the earliest and latest as erratic and conclude that the Halfan existed c. 22.5-22.0 ka cal BP. People survived on the Khormusan tradition of fishing. Greater concentrations of artifacts indicate that they were not bound to seasonal wandering, but settled for longer periods; the Halfan culture was derived in turn from the Khormusan, which depended on specialized hunting and collecting techniques for survival. The primary material remains of this culture are stone tools, a multitude of rock paintings.
In Egypt, analyses of pollen found at archaeological sites indicate that the Sebilian culture were gathering wheat and barley. The Sebilian culture began around 13,000 B. C and vanished around 10,000 B. C Domesticated seeds were not found, it has been hypothesized that the sedentary lifestyle used by farmers led to increased warfare, detrimental to farming and brought this period to an end. The Qadan culture was a Mesolithic industry that, archaeological evidence suggests, originated in Upper Egypt 15,000 years ago; the Qadan subsistence mode is estimated to have persisted for 4,000 years. It was characterized by hunting, as well as a unique approach to food gathering that incorporated the preparation and consumption of wild grasses and grains. Systematic efforts were made by the Qadan people to water, care for, harvest local plant life, but grains were not planted in ordered rows. Around twenty archaeological sites in Upper Nubia give evidence for the existence of the Qadan culture's grain-grinding culture.
Its makers practiced wild grain harvesting along the Nile during the beginning of the Sahaba Daru Nile phase, when desiccation in the Sahara caused residents of the Libyan oases to retreat into the Nile valley. Among the Qadan culture sites is the Jebel Sahab
The Neolithic Revolution, Neolithic Demographic Transition, Agricultural Revolution, or First Agricultural Revolution was the wide-scale transition of many human cultures during the Neolithic period from a lifestyle of hunting and gathering to one of agriculture and settlement, making an larger population possible. These settled communities permitted humans to observe and experiment with plants to learn how they grew and developed; this new knowledge led to the domestication of plants. Archaeological data indicates that the domestication of various types of plants and animals happened in separate locations worldwide, starting in the geological epoch of the Holocene around 12,500 years ago, it was the world's first verifiable revolution in agriculture. The Neolithic Revolution narrowed the diversity of foods available, resulting in a downturn in the quality of human nutrition; the Neolithic Revolution involved far more than the adoption of a limited set of food-producing techniques. During the next millennia it would transform the small and mobile groups of hunter-gatherers that had hitherto dominated human pre-history into sedentary societies based in built-up villages and towns.
These societies radically modified their natural environment by means of specialized food-crop cultivation, with activities such as irrigation and deforestation which allowed the production of surplus food. Other developments found widely are the domestication of animals, polished stone tools, rectangular houses; these developments, sometimes called the Neolithic package, provided the basis for centralized administrations and political structures, hierarchical ideologies, depersonalized systems of knowledge, densely populated settlements and division of labour, more trade, the development of non-portable art and architecture, property ownership. The earliest known civilization developed in Sumer in southern Mesopotamia; the relationship of the above-mentioned Neolithic characteristics to the onset of agriculture, their sequence of emergence, empirical relation to each other at various Neolithic sites remains the subject of academic debate, varies from place to place, rather than being the outcome of universal laws of social evolution.
The Levant saw the earliest developments of the Neolithic Revolution from around 10,000 BCE, followed by sites in the wider Fertile Crescent. The term Neolithic Revolution was coined in 1923 by V. Gordon Childe to describe the first in a series of agricultural revolutions in Middle Eastern history; the period is described as a "revolution" to denote its importance, the great significance and degree of change affecting the communities in which new agricultural practices were adopted and refined. The beginning of this process in different regions has been dated from 10,000 to 8,000 BC in the Fertile Crescent and 8000 BC in the Kuk Early Agricultural Site of Melanesia; this transition everywhere seems associated with a change from a nomadic hunter-gatherer way of life to a more settled, agrarian-based one, with the inception of the domestication of various plant and animal species—depending on the species locally available, also influenced by local culture. Recent archaeological research suggests that in some regions such as the Southeast Asian peninsula, the transition from hunter-gatherer to agriculturalist was not linear, but region-specific.
There are several competing theories as to the factors that drove populations to take up agriculture. The most prominent of these are: The Oasis Theory proposed by Raphael Pumpelly in 1908, popularized by V. Gordon Childe in 1928 and summarised in Childe's book Man Makes Himself; this theory maintains that as the climate got drier due to the Atlantic depressions shifting northward, communities contracted to oases where they were forced into close association with animals, which were domesticated together with planting of seeds. However, today this theory has little support amongst archaeologists because subsequent climate data suggests that the region was getting wetter rather than drier; the Hilly Flanks hypothesis, proposed by Robert Braidwood in 1948, suggests that agriculture began in the hilly flanks of the Taurus and Zagros mountains, where the climate was not drier as Childe had believed, fertile land supported a variety of plants and animals amenable to domestication. The Feasting model by Brian Hayden suggests that agriculture was driven by ostentatious displays of power, such as giving feasts, to exert dominance.
This required assembling large quantities of food. The Demographic theories proposed by Carl Sauer and adapted by Lewis Binford and Kent Flannery posit an sedentary population that expanded up to the carrying capacity of the local environment and required more food than could be gathered. Various social and economic factors helped drive the need for food; the evolutionary/intentionality theory, developed by David Rindos and others, views agriculture as an evolutionary adaptation of plants and humans. Starting with domestication by protection of wild plants, it led to specialization of location and full-fledged domestication. Peter Richerson, Robert Boyd, Robert Bettinger make a case for the development of agriculture coinciding with an stable climate at the beginning of the Holocene. Ronald Wright's book and Massey Lecture Series A Short History of Progress popularized this hypothesis; the postulated Younger Dryas impact event, claimed to be in part responsible for megafauna extinction and ending the last glacial period, could have provided circumstances that required the evolution