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Overview

Neolithic Revolution

Subject: Archaeology

[Ge] A term popularized by Gordon Childe in the 1940s to reflect the huge impact on life that was made by the development and spread of farming, which he saw as one of two ...

Oil Crops

Oil Crops   Reference library

Martin Lynn

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Economic History

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
Social sciences, Economics
Length:
966 words

...of oil for culinary purposes, for illumination, and as a cosmetic is as old as history. Olives have been produced in the Mediterranean basin for thousands of years; evidence suggests that olives were cultivated on Crete about thirty-five hundred bce and in Israel/Palestine in Neolithic times. Palm oil, from the fruit of the oil palm, has been used in Africa for just as long. Oil derived from cottonseed has a lengthy history of use in China and India as does oil from the kernel of the coconut palm, in Southeast Asia and the Pacific. Such crops were collected...

Legumes and Pulses

Legumes and Pulses   Reference library

Nancy Longnecker

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Economic History

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
Social sciences, Economics
Length:
1,317 words

...Because pulses have an association with beneficial soil bacteria that “fix” nitrogen from the air, they are high in protein and thus nutritious to eat. They also improve the soil in which they are grown. Origins of Pulses in Agriculture Long before the Industrial Revolution, the Neolithic Revolution of human civilization brought the transition from hunters and gatherers to agriculture, allowing development of diverse human talents and necessitating social evolution. Abundant wild relatives of the cereals wheat and barley permitted settlement in the ancient...

Mortality

Mortality   Reference library

Michael R. Haines

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Economic History

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
Social sciences, Economics
Length:
4,543 words

...For example, tuberculosis, measles, and smallpox likely came from cattle (and some other animals), while influenza and whooping cough probably came from pigs. This was exacerbated by the Neolithic revolution (from about 8000 bce ), which induced humans to shift to sedentary agriculture and nucleated settlements. The increase in population growth from the Neolithic revolution more likely arose from higher birthrates than lower death rates, since settled agriculture and the proximity of livestock were more hazardous to life and health. History abounds with references...

Population

Population   Reference library

Massimo Livi-Bacci

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Economic History

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
Social sciences, Economics
Length:
4,341 words
Illustration(s):
1

...dynamic state. World Population: Until the Neolithic Transition Estimates of world population growth are based largely on conjectures and inferences, often drawn from nonquantitative information, at least until the eighteenth or nineteenth century. According to Biraben , who has reviewed the literature, prior to the High Paleolithic period ( 30,000–35,000 bce ) the world population cannot have exceeded a few hundred thousand, reaching a few million around 10,000 bce , at the onset of the Neolithic period. The gradual transition from hunting and...

Irrigated Farming

Irrigated Farming   Reference library

Robert C. Hunt

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Economic History

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
Social sciences, Economics
Length:
2,499 words
Illustration(s):
1

...by allowing for planting before environmental moisture is sufficient for germination. Origins Agriculture began only at the end of the Würm (Wisconsin) glaciation, some ten thousand to fifteen thousand years ago. Water management was practiced soon thereafter in all areas of Neolithic-era agriculture: the Near East, Egypt, India, and China. Agricultural surpluses there and in the Americas led to the rise of the early civilizations, and improved forms of water control of irrigation. Water management was also important in the isolated highlands of New Guinea...

Salt and Salt Making

Salt and Salt Making   Reference library

Jean Claude Hocquet and Sylvia J. Cannizzaro

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Economic History

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
Social sciences, Economics
Length:
2,554 words
Illustration(s):
2

...Salt and Salt Making . From the end of the Neolithic period, humans have sought to enrich their diets with salt, which heightens the flavor of food and provides essential sodium. Eventually they discovered two other important characteristics of salt: its hygroscopic and drying power, and its bactericidal qualities, used in the preservation of hides and the manufacture of leather (shoes, belts, saddles, and shields). Its use as a preservative permitted the manufacture of Roman fish sauce, garum; the preservation of animal products (meat, fish, cheese, butter,...

Veblen, Thorstein Bunde

Veblen, Thorstein Bunde (1857–1929)   Reference library

The Biographical Dictionary of American Economists

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2010
Subject:
Social sciences, Economics
Length:
3,878 words

...of the history of European progressive (technological) and conservative (predatory or business) institutions, which he divides into four stages of savagery, barbarism, capitalism, and the new industrial republic: socialism. The era of savagery ended in the first half of the Neolithic period, and was characterized by peace among people, as ownership was communal. Technology was primitive and its development depended on the community's talents and borrowing. This era collapsed as a result of the emergence of the institutions of private ownership and pecuniary...

Health

Health   Reference library

John E. Murray

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Economic History

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
Social sciences, Economics
Length:
4,411 words
Illustration(s):
1

...health of the people who constitute it, and those health differentials may have productivity differences that lead to a more or less productive economy. This essay considers primarily health as outcome with some acknowledgment of the role of health as input. Health and the Neolithic Revolution It is useful to classify health history into four periods: one in which humans hunted and gathered their food, followed by one of settled agriculture, then a period of trading between otherwise isolated disease pools, and finally the modern era. This is simply an...

Metallurgic Industry

Metallurgic Industry   Reference library

Göran Rydén, Robert B. Gordon, and Göran Rydén

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Economic History

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
Social sciences, Economics
Length:
9,354 words
Illustration(s):
3

...Landes pointed to the link between the modern industrial world and the use of metals, stating that the Industrial Revolution was a process whereby the use of organic materials was replaced by the use of metals. Other important links between metals and economic development include those between the inflow of silver from the Spanish colonies and the price revolution, as well as between the beginning of metal using and the Neolithic revolution. Early History Almost ten thousand years ago, copper, together with gold, was the first metal handled. Excavations in...

Mining

Mining   Reference library

James I. Stewart, James I. Stewart, Maurice Kirby, and Huw Beynon

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Economic History

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
Social sciences, Economics
Length:
12,064 words
Illustration(s):
2

...overview and discussions of technological change ; industrial organization, the environment, and pollution ; and work safety regulation . Historical Overview In ancient times, mining was highly labor intensive, and diminishing returns were the rule. Late Paleolithic and Neolithic humans mined for flint in shallow pits or panned for gold in streams. Their tools were constructed out of wood, stone, and animal bone. Below ground, miners employed fires to loosen rock, and they transported ores in sacks or baskets. Because early humans lacked the tools to...

Turkey

Turkey   Reference library

Şevket Pamuk and Şevket Pamuk

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Economic History

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
Social sciences, Economics
Length:
3,561 words
Illustration(s):
1

...two subentries, on premodern and modern Turkey . Premodern Turkey Anatolia and the ancient Near East were sites of some of the earliest examples of settled agriculture, long-distance trade, trading communities, and use of money in the form of coins. During the Neolithic revolution that dates back to the tenth millenium bce, hunters and gatherers began to plant and cultivate cereals and other crops, first in Anatolia and then in a few other locations around the world. In time, they switched from a nomadic to a sedentary lifestyle and acquired greater...

Agriculture

Agriculture   Reference library

George Grantham, J., R. Wordie, Nicholas Goddard, David Grigg, Philip T. Hoffman, and Gregory Clark

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Economic History

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
Social sciences, Economics
Length:
25,220 words
Illustration(s):
10

...was only by enabling more workers to specialize in nonagricultural work that higher labor productivity mattered greatly for the economy as a whole. The plow was the source of the agricultural surpluses that supported towns, lords, officials, and industrial populations from the Neolithic period to the late nineteenth century. The plow team and its complement of implements and driver constituted a technical indivisibility that defined a natural unit of farming. Indeed, in some countries the term “plow” designated a fiscal unit of land assessment, the actual area...

China

China   Reference library

Robin D. S. Yates, Kent G. Deng, Peter C. Perdue, Loren Brandt, and Barry Naughton

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Economic History

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
Social sciences, Economics
Length:
15,252 words
Illustration(s):
2

...times ; during the Tang, Song, and Yuan dynasties ; during the Ming and Qing dynasties ; during the republican period ; and under communism . Ancient and Feudal China Recent archaeological excavations have shown that the Chinese tradition was formed out of many different Neolithic cultures starting from about 7000 bce and was not a single stream expanding from a single source in the Yellow River valley. Historically, Chinese culture incorporated ideas, beliefs, social practices, and even languages of a diverse group of tribes living in the huge area of...

Agricultural Marketing

Agricultural Marketing   Reference library

H. Britnell Richard, Anderson Kym, and Perren Richard

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Economic History

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
Social sciences, Economics
Length:
6,039 words

...Marketing This entry contains three subentries, overviews of regional and international trade , and a discussion of agricultural marketing boards . Regional Trade The marketing of agricultural produce probably goes back to the earliest days of agriculture, when Neolithic settlements were established near foraging tribes. Such patterns of interdependence are still found, as for example in the relationship between the Mbuti pygmies of the Congo region and their horticultural Bantu neighbors or between the Agta of the Philippines, who specialize in...

North Africa

North Africa   Reference library

J. G. Manning, Lyndon Moore, and Ismael M. Montana

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Economic History

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
Social sciences, Economics
Length:
7,074 words
Illustration(s):
1

...south or were hunted to extinction. Specialized collecting resulted in the domestication of some animals and food plants in the increasingly warmer and dryer North African ecology. By 10,000 to 8,000 years ago, herding and settled farming economies typified the North African Neolithic era, one linked to parts of the Mediterranean, in its “maritime character,” and associated with coastal trade. The limited cultivation of cereal grains (barley and wheat) and pulses (lentils and peas) fed both people and animals (goats and sheep). By about 2000 bce , camels...

Railroads

Railroads   Reference library

William Huneke, Richard L. Hills, and H. Roger Grant

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Economic History

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
Social sciences, Economics
Length:
13,672 words
Illustration(s):
6

...conveyance of passengers. However, a long history of development preceded this stage. Basically, a railway is a prepared track that so guides the vehicles running on it that they cannot leave the track. Under this second definition, the germ of the railway can be traced back to Neolithic times when trackways were laid across marshy ground and were formed of transverse planks placed on the surface, held together with longitudinal beams of wood pinned along each side of the trackway. These longitudinal beams would have prevented sledges from slipping off the...

Japan

Japan   Reference library

Mark J. Ravina, Susan B. Hanley, Gary R. Saxonhouse, and Peter Duus

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Economic History

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
Social sciences, Economics
Length:
8,978 words
Illustration(s):
2

...evidence for human habitation before 100,000 bce. Paleolithic people were hunter-gatherers but did use fire. Jōmon Era (12,000 bce–300 bce) Fired pottery appeared in Japan in 12,000 bce. Food storage supported more sedentary communities, and housing was semipermanent. Neolithic people were primarily hunter-gatherers, but they also grew some dry-field crops, such as barley and millet. They fished with fishhooks and hunted game with bows and arrows. Artifacts include cooking and serving vessels and a wide variety of human and animal figurines. Social...

Diseases

Diseases   Reference library

Ann G. Carmichael and Garland L. Brinkley

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Economic History

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
Social sciences, Economics
Length:
8,444 words
Illustration(s):
2

...are destroyed by fire. Broadly speaking, waterborne viruses, bacteria, and parasites take their greatest toll on the youngest members of a population. Airborne pathogens are typically most lethal to the oldest members of the group. Infectious disease experience in the past From Neolithic agricultural communities to the millions of people teeming around great urban centers today, good health for the whole population depends foremost upon a relatively unpolluted food and water supply. Survival rates of infants and young children are quickly compromised when the...

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