The gradual nature of the transition also meant that people would not have noticed that, in some ways, their lifestyles were getting more onerous and less healthy. Farmers were creating a more reliable source of food, but their diets were becoming increasingly restricted. Farming and related activities also required much harder work than hunting and gathering. The human remains of early farmers show more health problems, and somewhat shorter lives, than amongst hunter-gatherers.
In pre-agricultural, hunter gatherer societies, the average population density was no more than 10 people per square mile.
lants and animals into a much smaller area of land, ensuring that it could support many more people. In early agricultural society it took about 25 acres of land to feed one family. This meant that people did not have to regularly move from place to place, and that more stable settlements could be formed; it also meant that the natural environment where farmers settled was altered to allow the few species of plants and animals useful to humans to flourish at the expense of all other species.
oon they were yielding not only meat for food and skin for clothing, but also milk for additional nutrition. They also produced manure, an excellent fertilizer.
Wherever farming went, the more reliable food source which it produced led to a massive upswing in population, and to dramatic reductions in the variety of local flora and fauna, as more and more land was given over to just a few varieties of plants and animals of use to humans. For the first time, humans were deliberately altering the land for their own purposes. Large areas were turned into fields and pastures, and any plants and animals not useable were ruthlessly uprooted and relentlessly kept away.
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