Neolithic Settlement Diorama


The Agricultural Revolution

Agriculture is farming.  Farming started a new way of life.  As you recall, the people of the Old Stone Age were hunters and gatherers.  Because they found their food, they had to travel, by foot, to places where food was available.  This made life difficult.  Over time, people realized that the seeds of the plants they were gathering could be placed in the ground to make new plants.  That started a new way of life.  The families of the New Stone Age were able to settle in one place and grow their own food.

A Settlement is a small village. The people of the Neolithic Age chose to live near water because all living things need water to survive.  They used the materials that nature offered to build their houses.  Settlements that were built in areas that had lots of trees, used the branches and leaves for home building.  If the area had lots of dirt, homes were built of mud-bricks.  Planting crops provided most of the food, but people still hunted and gathered food when they needed to.

Domestication means to grow or to tame.  As mentioned, plants were domesticated.  Seeds were dried and sorted.  The best seeds were planted.  Also, animals were domesticated.  Settled people began to feed and tame various animals like cows, goats, and sheep.  Early on, they realized that placing a circle of stones around a group of sheep would keep the sheep in place.  The sheep wouldn’t step over the stones.  The animals were used for food and clothing.  Cows and goats provided milk and meat.  Sheep were shaved and their wool fur was woven into cloth.

The settled life gave people time to think and discover.  There were many new inventions like looms for weaving, pottery for carrying and storing food, and sewing needles made of bone that were used to stitch fabric.  Dyes for fabrics were made from various plants.  Farming tools were invented.  It’s likely that the wheel was invented in the late Neolithic Period.

Print this craft to make a Neolithic village for your display table.  If you have several students, have everyone color the hut on page 1.  You can have your students draw their own people and animals for the display, if you’d like.  You can also add rocks, plants, and sticks to the scene to make it more interesting.