Please summarize how domestication of livestock and farming changed societies.

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thanatassa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The neolithic transition from hunting and gathering dramatically changed every aspect of society. First, the development of agriculture allowed societies to build permanent settlements rather than constantly moving in search of food.

Next, because agriculture is far more efficient as a way of raising food than hunting and gathering, the development of agriculture led to the creation of surplus food, allowing for specialization of labor, with some members of the community beginning to have time to develop technology or crafts, such as becoming potters or making more advanced tools or weapons.

Settled agricultural communities could sustain higher population densities than earlier societies, leading to urbanization and ore complex social and political structures. Also, in denser settlements, infectious diseases spread more easily, allowing populations to develop resistances to them.

hantayo eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The emergence of agriculture and animal domestication led to the creation of larger social groups because a stable food supply improved nutrition leading to better health and longer lifespans of group members.  Further, because not all male members had to hunt to supply meat and not all females were needed to gather, some members could undertake other tasks that benefitted the group and this development resulted in a concept we now call the division of labor which greatly improve living conditions within the groups.

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Guns, Germs, and Steel

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