The Neolithic Era, or Period, from νέος (néos, "new") and λίθος (líthos, "stone"), or New Stone Age, was a period in the development of human technology, beginning about 10,200 BC, according to the ASPRO chronology, in some parts of the Middle East, and later in other parts of the world and ending between 4,500 and 2,000 BC. '
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- Much of what has been written about Stonehenge is derivative, second-rate or plain wrong.
- Christopher Chippindale, in Stonehenge Complete (1983)
- It is the retention by twentieth-century, Atom-Age men of the Neolithic point of view that says: You stay in your village and I will stay in mine. If your sheep eat our grass we will kill you, or we may kill you anyhow to get all the grass for our own sheep. Anyone who tries to make us change our ways is a witch and we will kill him. Keep out of our village.
- Carleton S. Coon, The Story of Man.
- We know only too well that all over the world, from wayward undergraduate to B. B. C. producer to publisher's reader there are people, otherwise sensible and sane, people who would not believe in six-headed cats and blood-curdling spectral monsters, who yet read some folly about Noah's ark or Atlantis or cataclysmic world-tides, and say, with a contented sigh, "There may be something in it, you know."
- Glyn Daniel As quoted in Sumathi Ramaswamy: The Lost Land of Lemuria: Fabulous Geographies, Catastrophic Histories (University of California Press, 2004) p. 2
- The more we progress the more we tend to progress. We advance not in arithmetical but in geometrical progression. We draw compound interest on the whole capital of knowledge and virtue which has been accumulated since the dawning of time. Some eighty thousand years are supposed to have existed between paleolithic and neolithic man. Yet in all that time he only learned to grind his flint stones instead of chipping them. But within our father's lives what changes have there not been? The railway and the telegraph, chloroform and applied electricity. Ten years now go further than a thousand then, not so much on account of our finer intellects as because the light we have shows us the way to more. Primeval man stumbled along with peering eyes, and slow, uncertain footsteps. Now we walk briskly towards our unknown goal.
- Arthur Conan Doyle The Stark Munro Letters (1894)
- The end of the Neolithic age betokens almost as universal a re-orientation of life, almost as profound a revolution of economy and society, as its beginning. Then the break was marked by the transition from mere consumption to production, from primitive individualism to co-operation, now it is marked by the beginning of independent trade and handicrafts, the rise of cities and markets, and the agglomeration and differentiation of the population.
- Arnold Hauser. The Social History of Art, Volume I. From Prehistoric Times to the Middle Ages, 1999
- Most people regard hierarchy in human societies as inevitable, a natural part of who we are. Yet this belief contradicts much of the 200,000-year history of Homo sapiens.
In fact, our ancestors have for the most part been “fiercely egalitarian”, intolerant of any form of inequality. While hunter-gatherers accepted that people had different skills, abilities and attributes, they aggressively rejected efforts to institutionalise them into any form of hierarchy.
So what happened to cause such a profound shift in the human psyche away from egalitarianism? The balance of archaeological, anthropological and genomic data suggests the answer lies in the agricultural revolution, which began roughly 10,000 years ago.
- James Suzman, “How Neolithic farming sowed the seeds of modern inequality 10,000 years ago”, The Guardian, (5 Dec, 2017).