Timeline Description: The Neolithic Era, also known as the New Stone Age, was the time after the stone or ice age and before the Copper Age in some areas and the Bronze Age in others. Depending on the region, the era ran from around 9,000 B.C. to about 3,000 B.C.
|9000 B.C.||Middle East (Around 9,000 B.C.).
The Neolithic Era starts in the Middle or Near East. It is a time when people move from the hunting and gathering stage and start settling down in one location. They discover that seeds can be planted so crops can grow.
|9000 B.C.||Eastern Asia Minor (Around 9,000 - 8,000 B.C.).
Farming begins in the eastern part of Asia Minor or the southwestern part of Asia. Seeds are cultivated and animals are domesticated. People start setting up villages and small communities.
|9000 B.C.||Tools (Around 9,000 - 3,000 B.C.).
Some of the tools that are used during this time are sickles or curved cutting knives made of flint, and axes and hammers made of polished stone. Early millstones called querns are made of two pieces of stone and are used to grind grains into flour.
|9000 B.C.||Storage (Around 9,000 - 3,000 B.C.).
As the people settle on the land, they begin to find ways to store their foods. Clay pots and jars are made, and pits are dug into the ground to store grains. As new methods are used to produce and store foods, the more a community grows.
|8000 B.C.||Domestication (Around 8,000 - 6,000 B.C.).
Animals, such as sheep and goats, are herded and raised as food sources. Eventually pigs and cattle are domesticated as well.
|7000 B.C.||Indus Valley (Around 7,000 B.C. - 3,300 B.C.).
The large fertile area of the Indus Valley in Ancient India is perfect for early food production. Wheat and barley and other cereals are early crops.
|6500 B.C.||Linen (Around 6,500 B.C.).
Flax is grown. People eventually learn how to make it into the cloth known as linen that is used for clothing.
|6000 B.C.||Çatal Höyük (Around 6,000 - 5,000 B.C.).
In south central Asia Minor, the community of Çatal Höyük develops. Wheat, vegetables, and barley are grown. The area is full of the volcanic rock obsidian, which is used to make sharp blade tools and weapons. Houses are made with bricks of mud and straw.
|5000 B.C.||Mesopotamia and Egypt (Around 5,000 B.C.).
As farming areas expand, a need for irrigation grows. Early methods are used in Mesopotamia near the Tigris and Euphrates and in Egypt near the Nile River where the people can't always rely on the rivers to flood to bring water to the crops.
|5000 B.C.||China (5,000 B.C.).
Farming communities develop in the Hwang-Ho Valley near the Yellow River. Vegetables such as beans, peas, cucumbers, and gourds are grown, and pigs are domesticated.
|5000 B.C.||The Mediterranean area (About 5,000).
Farming spreads to many areas, from western Greece to Hungary, the Balkans, Crete, and parts of Italy. Sailing ships take farming ideas to Sicily, southern France, North Africa, Malta, Portugal, and Spain. It also moves south into Africa from Egypt and the Sudan.
|4500 B.C.||The plow (Around 4,500 B.C.).
The plow replaces the digging stick as a means to dig up the ground and make it ready for planting. The early plow is pulled by humans. Eventually animals are used.
|4500 B.C.||Europe and Britain (About 4,500 B.C. - 3,000 B.C.).
More areas start practicing farming, including parts of Europe and then eventually England and Scandinavia. Houses are made with wooden sticks woven together and then covered with clay and mud. As more people live in villages, some forms of government develop.
|3000 B.C.||Central America.
Agriculture begins in some areas of Central America. Pottery is made in Mexico which is used to store food.
|3700 B.C.||A new age dawns (Around 3,700 B.C. to around 2,300 B.C.).
Starting in the Middle East, the Neolithic period starts to move into the Copper Age as copper tools replace stone tools. Eventually all groups will move towards tools made with either copper, bronze, and/or iron as people realize how useful the new tools are. The Neolithic Era will be remembered as the major transition from the hunting, gathering, and wandering groups to the agricultural communities and the domestication of animals.