Q. Why do some scholars use the term ‘Neolithic Revolution’ for this period?
A. Neolithic, literally meaning neo = new, and lithic = stone, means new stone age.
10,000 BCE, the ice-age ended and consequently there were changes in flora and fauna.
The word ‘neo’ signifies new types of stone tools that were used by the man during the period.
These new tools were both an effect and a cause of the changes that had happened in man’s socio-economic life during the period.
The use of sharp and polished neolithic tools made it easier to cultivate the soil.
Consequently, the practice of domestication of animals began.
These changes, in turn, resulted in the emergence of settled agricultural communities.
The Neolithic people were the first to produce pottery for the purpose of storing grains.
All these changes paved the way for a settled life which was in stark comparison to the nomadic hunting gathering-fishing lifestyle during the Mesolithic period.
Hence, it was no less than a revolution in terms of the changes it brought.
However, the later stages of the Mesolithic period had paved the way for the changes which occurred in the Neolithic phase, so it may be argued that it was more of an ‘evolution’ rather than a revolution.