Modernization The 7th Threshold

The Big History Project tells of how humans fit into the story of the Universe. Starting with the Big Bang, it tells of how chemicals and the stars came to be. It tells of how Earth, as abundant as it is now, was once a ball of churning magma; it tells of the beginning of the miracle we call life. Starting off as single-celled organisms, mutations and evolution led to more and more complex animals left and right. Compiling our knowledge, humans eventually decided to settle down. In Mesopotamia, along the Euphrates River, civilization was born from one new idea that birthed our way of living:

Agriculture

From hunting and gathering (as shown on the right), to farming (as shown on the right), humans have and are continuing to revolutionize our ways of producing food and other resources for living. Even now, we continue to revolutionize our ways through technological advances.

Threshold 7 is about agriculture, but the underlying idea is what led us to where we are today. Instead of setting up small, fragile villages, we set up buildings made of clay and wood, creating towns. Instead of hunting for all of our food, we caught the animals and bred them. And yes, instead of gathering berries, fruits and vegetables, we prepared farmland for plants of all kinds. Here, we needed strict boundaries to defend, as well as people to defend them. Those who weren't a part of the defence force could think about things besides survival, which is what eventually led to governments.

Stepping back a bit, there were some ingredients and Goldilocks conditions that needed to be satisfied for this revolution to take place.

The first ingredient for the agricultural revolution was knowledge of the farmland. Collective learning allowed adventurers from all over the lands to share ideas and learn about their environments over generations.
The second ingredient that fueled the agricultural revolution was the dense communities that the humans lived in after the Ice Age. As a result, populations increased.

This population boost pushed for new technologies: farming, irrigation, herding domesticated animals, and so on. The last condition was the warming, stabilizing climate. This was the beginning of agriculture.

Created By
Brian Baumann
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Credits:

Created with images by FonthipWard - "tea plantation tea farm tea" • AinoTuominen - "bushman indigenous people hunter gatherer" • Loimere - "Barn" • tpsdave - "tractor grain mixer rural" • DariuszSankowski - "knowledge book library" • Dace Kiršpile - "Wheat"

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