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Occupy the Neolithic - ScienceNOW

Occupy the Neolithic - ScienceNOW | Neolithic |

Even the most democratic societies are rife with social and economic inequalities, as the current tension between the poorer "99%" and the richest "1%" vividly illustrates. But just how early in human events such social hierarchies became entrenched has been a matter of debate. A new study of skeletons from prehistoric farming communities across Europe suggests that hereditary inequality was an early feature, going back more than 7000 years ago.

Most researchers agree that social hierarchies began with the advent of farming. The earliest known farming communities are found in the Near East, dating back almost 11,000 years. Archaeologists have looked for evidence of social stratification in these societies with mixed results. Some early farming societies show signs that people played different roles and that some were buried with greater ritual—shuffling off this mortal coil with a number of elaborate "grave goods," including pottery and stone tools. However, there is little evidence that social inequality was hereditary or rigidly defined.

That seems to have changed sometime after farmers moved into Europe from the Near East, beginning about 8500 years ago during a period known as the European Neolithic. One of the best studied farming cultures is the Linearbandkeramik (LBK), which arose in what is today Hungary about 7500 years ago and spread as far as modern-day Paris within 500 years, after which it appears to have been superseded by other cultures.

Via Sakis Koukouvis
Raymond McGee's curator insight, January 17, 2014 5:04 PM

I found it intresting that certain people were barried with great rituals because of who they were. Social inequality  has spread to modern day Paris within 500 years ago, that is a very intresting fact to me.

Alexis Loftin's curator insight, February 4, 2014 4:06 PM

This is believed to be a 7,000 year old Farmer man from Austria buried witha stone known as adzes. Which is a know tool of farmers. 

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Spread of farming and origin of lactase persistence in Neolithic Age

Spread of farming and origin of lactase persistence in Neolithic Age | Neolithic |
Scientists have brought to light the spread of dairy farming in Europe and the development of milk tolerance in adult humans.
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Rescooped by Lena Nobakht from Science News!

Neolithic discovery: why Orkney is the centre of ancient Britain

Neolithic discovery: why Orkney is the centre of ancient Britain | Neolithic |
Long before the Egyptians began the pyramids, Neolithic man built a vast temple complex at the top of what is now Scotland.

Via Sakis Koukouvis
Shannon Bench's curator insight, October 4, 2013 3:45 PM

Hello world, meet awesome human engineering from the Neolithic period. That's AMAZING! How could a people whose tools at hand, before even having an entire kingdom (like the Egyptians did) to help with labor, build something like a temple in a rigid and cold environment like Scottland?