SETTLEMENT PATTERN

The domestication of plants and animals seemed to have brought about significant changes in the way people lived. A sedentary way of life was one of the main consequences of food production. Earlier it was felt that a site was permanently settled if it contained artifacts like flint sickles, blades, querns (milling stones) and facilities like storage pits. Research has shown that there have been villages without such tools and without farmers. For instance, during the Upper Paleolithic and the Mesolithic advanced hunter-gatherers who adopted an annual migratory cycle and practiced seasonal nomadism, lived in camp like dwellings. Early Neolithic villages in Mallaha (northern Israel, inhabited around 11,000 BP.), Tell Mureybit (Syria) and Suberde (Turkey) were more dependent on intensive collection of wild food. The pattern of settlement changed over a period of time.

The Neolithic way of life had considerable demographic consequences. Even in the absence of reliable figures or statistics it can be said that populations were increasing. In almost all the Neolithic cultures, the number and size of settlement and the number of cemeteries considerably increased in the Neolithic compared with earlier periods. Excavations in Cayonu, Jericho and Jarmo and in the Mediterranean islands of Crete and Cyprus have revealed successive levels of occupation at the same sites. This had resulted in mounds and an increase in the circumference of the site.

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