Economic Growth in the Stone Age
This paper is a discussion of how and why economic growth was sparked in the Stone Age, specifically stating that climatic changes, geographic factors, and the growth of settlements with larger populations were the largest factors.
# 104931 | 1,974 words | 6 sources | MLA | 2008 |
Published on Jun 25, 2008 in Anthropology (Economic) , Anthropology (Pre-Historic) , Economics (General)
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This paper discusses the economic growth that occurred during the Stone Age and aligns with Marshall Sahlins' view that the Stone Age was a society of affluence, stipulating that an affluent society is one in which material desires are easily fulfilled, as long as the needs of the people are few. The author argues that the primary factor in economic growth of the Stone Age was the climatic change that followed the end of the Ice Age. These climate changes caused food shortages, which in turn necessitated the development of tools for hunting. Later, in areas where geographic conditions were ideal, agriculture developed, which in turn spurred greater economic growth.
From the Paper:"The Neolithic Age was preceded by the rise of agricultural activities in several Stone Age communities. In general, the Neolithic period is seen primarily as an economic phenomenon, and its essence is seen as consisting in the new phenomenon of agriculture (Thomas). Of course, this did vary from region to region. By 5000 BC, peasant communities existed in Palestine, Iraq and Iran, and soon thereafter they appeared in India, Egypt and the eastern Mediterranean (Hawkes and Woolley 8). On the other hand, in Europe hunting persisted for thousands of years, and change came much more slowly. Moreover, Thomas argues that the situation was quite different in southern Britain, and possibly also in other parts of Britain, and in Ireland. The point Thomas wishes to make is that 'the Neolithic in Britain was not characterized by a single economic system' (7)."
Sample of Sources Used:
- Atkinson, R.J.C. Stonehenge. London: Hamish Hamilton, 1956.
- Beck, Roger B. The History of South Africa. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2000.
- Hawkes, Jacquetta, and Leonard Woolley. Prehistory and the Beginnings of Civilization. 1st ed. Vol. 1. New York: Harper & Row, 1963.
- Sahlins, Marshall. Stone Age Economics. New York: Aldine de Gruyter, 1972.
- Thomas, Julian. Understanding the Neolithic. London: Routledge, 1999.
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