Time of hunters and farmers

This epoch covers the history of Netherlands in the period from the time of the hunters and the farmers to the year 3000 BC. The time of the hunters and the farmers is also called the prehistory. Prehistory means for history. From this period we have no written sources. All we know of prehistoric times we know thanks to archaeological finds. These are usually items that are made by the people from that period. We call this artifacts.  But sometimes also archaeologists find remains of animals or people from prehistoric times. An example of this is Ötzi the Iceman. By studying these finds they can determine from which time they obtain them valuable information about the history and tribes.

Prehistory is divided into three different epochs. These are: the stone age, the bronze age and the iron age. The first period of prehistory, the stone age, is also divided into three different epochs. These are: the old stone age (Paleolithic), the Middle Stone age (Mesolithic) and a new stone age (Neolithic).

The old stone age starts from the moment that there are people milling about on Earth. These people were hunters or collectors. They had no permanent residence and took their food from the wild nature. They hunted animals or gathered berries or other edible plants. People who live this way, we call nomads. They led a nomadic existence.

Around 10,000 BC did the nomads in the Middle East a great discovery. They discovered a way to vegetables and grains. From that point it was no longer necessary to draw around and one could build houses. They often held at their homes a few cows, goats or sheep for the meat or milk. This change was very significant and was the beginning of the agricultural revolution. This revolution is called the Neolithic revolution. Thanks to the agricultural revolution changed the nomadic society in an agricultural society. The hunters and gatherers became farmers.

Around 3000 BC lived almost all people in Europe in agricultural societies. This first were small villages. In the villages the people developed their own culture which, for example, we can find the remnants back in Drenthe. There are megalithic tombs which were made in 3500 BC as a tomb for important people.

In the villages lived mainly farmers. These farmers lived of the food they grew on their own, or their neighbors. In the beginning, farmers could produce just enough food for their own family. But over time they could sell their goods to other people. Now people could also have other occupations, such as architect or craftsman and grew some villages to cities.


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