Physical Anthropology

Paleolithic Versus Neolithic Society



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The advantages and disadvantages of Monte Verde which was a Paleolithic society and Jarmo which was a Neolithic society on opposite sides of the world are evident through such things as farming, heating, housing and traveling. Monte Verde situated on the Chinchihaupi Creekon of the South American country Chile is home to an ancient Paleolithic society. Among the disadvantages of this society one of the most prominent would have been the issue of heating. The invention of the heater came much later and the only method of staying warm at the time was for them to create fires, something now considered primitive. Archaeologists found a footprint of a child assumed to have been standing near a fire trying to keep warm. This is known because archaeologist found fireplaces and wood which would have been used for the fires however, the problem with fires is that wind or rainfall can put them out, as well the fact that in order to stay warm they would have had to stay within a certain radius of the fire. There are advantages of such a society the most significant would probably be the fact that they were nomadic and so they had a chance to experience different things such as geography. The people who inhabited Monte Verde are believed to have resided there for a mere year. Evidence proving this is the fact that artifacts show temporary stay. Things such as their homes aren’t sturdy and show that they were merely constructed for quick shelter and not for longevity and durability, as a lifelong house would. This is an advantage because they get to see new places, try different grains, and even different animals. As well if there were severe weather issues such as flooding or drought they could easily move on to another place unlike people of Neolithic society.

 Years later came Jarmo which is situated near the region of Baghdad and is the first known Neolithic society dating back to approximately 6750 B.C. There were many advantages present in this Neolithic society the most notable the domestication of animals and agriculture. This resulted in it being less time consuming to gather food and much also a great deal easier. As well, there was more of a guarantee of there being food because if the animal is present then all that must be done is to kill it, as opposed to having to find an animal first. The domestication of animals and plants which was occurring in their society is presently known because of animal and plant remains such as wheat, barley, and also goat, cat, fish and sheep bones among others which were found throughout Jarmo. Many of these remains were found clustered together further indicating that they were domesticated in one area, and weren’t simply found elsewhere, eaten and then had their remains left behind throughout the town.

 Although the Neolithic society was an advancement from Paleolithic society there were still disadvantages to this society. Neolithic society brought with it the invention of long-term housing. These houses were constructed with mud walls and were divided into several different rooms. The houses were very compact and most of the rooms were quite small, as partitions within the home indicate that many rooms were only 6.5 by 5 feet in size. Some rooms even had to be crawled into because of the tight space. All in all, although Jarmo was a Neolithic society and an advancement from Paleolithic society such as Monte Verde they both have their own unique advantages and disadvantages.

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