Neolithic Subsistence Strategies in the UAE
The Neolithic Age (New Stone Age) refers to the age from about 12,000 BC to about 8000 BC. It is during this time that people settled in communities and civilization began to emerge. This period was a full transition from a food gathering to a food processing society. It involved a transition from foraging and hunting to the domestication of animals. There are various factors distinguishing Neolithic period from Paleolithic and Mesolithic cultures. They mainly include creating tools and weapons made from horns and stones, introduction of metal tool, the dependence on domesticated plants and animals, settlement in permanent small villages and appearance of such crafts as pottery and weaving. This article compares and contrasts how Neolithic people use a number of strategies at New Stone Age. The New Stone Age followed Paleolithic Period and it precedes the Bronze Age.
During the Neolithic Age, different kinds of animals were tamed, which showed their relationship with the humans just as in the Old Stone Age. For example, first, dogs were wolves that hunted the humans at their campgrounds. They came to realize later that the wolf’s puppies could be tamed and coached to hunt other wild animals. The dog’s strains that grew eventually showed skills in controlling herds like sheep. In addition, the first domesticated animals were sheep, goats and pigs in the Middle East around 8500 and 700 B.C. (Lavin, 2011). However, the horned wild cattle, which could defend themselves and could run faster, were not tamed. On the contrary, some archeologists argue that domesticating animals was in the beginning motivated by spiritual views rather than the wish for clothing and a new source of food, symbolized by the central place of the bull and cattle in the sacrificial cults of the many Stone Age people. The animals that were domesticated provide Neolithic Age humans with milk and meat rich in protein. Unlike in the Old Stone Age, the people from Neolithic Age could draft primitive boots, shelters, containers and cloths from the animal skin and wool that provided the materials.
Compared to the Paleolithic age and Old Stone Age, Neolithic Age humans could formulate utensils and needles form the curved animal horns and bones. They could not use much of animal power in farming, travel or transportation since at that period, they did not have the idea of wheels or plows; they had developed the idea of using the animal horns as utensils, while the Bronze Age people developed the idea around 4000-3500 B.C. However, there is evidence showing that people in the North areas used the tamed reindeer to pull simple sledges and those who were in the South transported goods using camels. In addition, they could get manure from the domesticated herd animals to make the soil fertile that improved yield of crops, which was eventually becoming the most important of their livelihood. At the same time, the much work involved farming and its concept of no influence on the people’s standard of living caused many groups to continue with their long tested survival strategies (Lavin, 2011). Inactive agriculture existed in groups of migrant cultivators, fishers, hunters and gatherers. The shifting cultivators, hunters and gatherers checked out in different places even though humans depended on the inactive agriculture as their source of food. Pastoralists, on the other hand, who were influenced by the domestication of animals had proven to be the strongest rival of inactive agriculture. It thrives through the semi-arid areas such as the Savanna Zone, South East of Africa, which are incapable of supporting large populations.
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The nomadic has produced resilient and independent individuals well knowledgeable in military skills for their survival and challenges the dense populated framing societies. Powerful kingdoms have been demolished by the horse riding nomads and laid the bases for huge empires. Similarly, pastoralists of the South and East Africa have developed some of the most redoubtable pre-developed military systems. However, the power of the nomadic people have been reduced by the industrial revolution, and their cultures imperiled by the steady impact of the inactive people. Even though agriculture did not dominate basic needs for human societies in the New Stone Age revolution era, those who learned it increased their livelihoods, survived and passed their proficiencies of production to others. The cultivation of fibers such as cotton that were used to make cloths spread from Egypt to people along the River Nile, North African coast and South of the savanna desert. Similarly, agriculture grew independently in the rain forest zone of Africa and mainly was based on root crops such as cassavas and bananas (Lavin, 2011).
A millet based agriculture organization formulated along the Yellow River basin during the New Stone Age period in China. It spread eastward towards North China and again southward to the Yangtze basin. Correspondingly, a rice based agriculture revolution began in South East Asia a time before 500 B.C, and gradually spread into India to the lands of South East Asia. However, the Americas maize and sweet potato based farmer organizations developed in Peru. These and other related crops had spread through the western Hemisphere, form Amazon region towards the North Atlantic coast (Lavin, 2011). Similarly, altering patterns of farm production were distributed on all the populated continents except from Australia where there were no suitable temperatures. The two main hypotheses on how the New Stone Age cultures spread across Europe include, first, proposes the transmission of culture as the main factor meaning that the new systems, technologies and survival strategies were acquired from the neighboring groups. The second suggests that there was expansion from the farm operators’ populations near Europe, substituting most of the New Stone Age hunters and gatherers. The replacement model is believed as population expansion that restrained mixture with the residents.
A change in the slaughter pattern of the goats could be quantified at Aknashen. It was noticed that there was an increase in the number of people between the ages of 2-4 years, which could be interpreted as intensive development of the secondary products and more so milk. It evidently shows that this exploitation was carried together with cattle. At the same time, hunting appeared to be secondary at Aknashen and it was realized that such intensification of these activities existed in the beginning (Lavin, 2011). In addition, hunting mainly concerned the large animals like wild horses and deer. Although hunting seemed very dangerous since the animals were wild and hard to tame, the risks were reflected at the large amount of meat and different products that they would produce from such large animals. For example, they would get horns for utensils, bones to make weapons and skin for cloths and primitive boots. Although such activities as gathering and hunting have very low evidence at some places, a few proofs show that deer and bears were the most frequently hunted at Aknashen. In comparison of the two places, Aratashen and Aknashen, there are many similarities since both sides had a prepotency of goats that they exploited for their meat and cattle. In both cases, the number of cattle increased relatively to the proportion to that of goats. The wild kinds of animals exploited from the mountains often remained small.
In Abu Dhabi’s Western Region in the United Arab Emirates, a new site was discovered consisting of more than sixty camel skeletons. Kiel Radiocarbon Dating Laboratory in Germany dated the camel bone samples from the site from the late fifth millennium B.C. The site is at the southeast of the Baynunah plantation a place near Ruwais-Habshan pipeline. The camel bones had spread over an area of about 100 square meters (McCarter, 2012). Their analysis of the bones suggests that they are the remains of the wild camels just as Archaeological findings of the bones that included a flint arrowhead finely made. This new site provides a valuable chance to examine a very large sample of wild camel bone during the New Stone Age history of South Eastern Arabia same as South East of Baynunah. This site will provide future detailed research and show the interaction between the communities’ diverse cultures of the Neolithic Age and the wild camel.
A number of evidence provided a short glance into the cultures of Bedouin and South East Arabia, their lifestyle and economy that is largely established on textual explanations of the early travelers through the region. Correspondingly, a Series of late Islamic period campsite in the desert of Abu Dhabi evidenced by new surveys and executions conveyed in May 2008 by the joint team form Kanazawa University in Japan and Historic Environment Department from Abudhabi. Similarly, the Tawi Beduwa Shwaiba, which is located about 34 km South from Al Wathba and Mari, which is also located about 40 km south from Al Wathba, have been analyzed (McCarter, 2012). These places signify irregular Campgroup’s that were occupied in the movement by Bedouin on their seasonal journeys between coastal region and Abu Dhabi on a considerably known route. At the same time, they could find fresh water sources route to and from the desert oasis area of Liwa.
The recent research came upon substantial amounts of fish, birds and mammal bones at these early composites. In addition, they found refuse such as pottery, glass and occasional metal pieces. This is as a result of the peoples developed skills and knowledge in advance thinking since they could form a number of metal pieces and glass influenced by the life they lived around that period. The mammal and bird bones also resembles that the individuals were not only dependent on goats and cattle or agricultural products. They were exploring other kinds of food unlike in the Paleolithic and Old Stone Age periods which humans only depended on agricultural products and hunting as their source of food (McCarter, 2012). The analysis from these sites concerning pottery implies that they mostly date 18th to around 20th centuries AD. However, the rate and the types of fish that were traded and consumed by the residents of Bedouin, the significance of the fundamental interaction between the coastal areas, as well as the interior of the desert show how trade intercultural activities occurred at the coast during that period.
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The dated Sabaean archaeological circumstances and the lately studied animal remains provide related information on the existence of both the domestic and present day wild camels in between the 9th and 7th century B.C. in Yemen. Even though there are very little evidence that may be of interest, both information from the archaeological data and osteometrical context were used to determine the wild and domestic status of the people in the Neolithic Age than in the Old Stone Age period (McCarter, 2012). In addition, the domestic Arabian camel was a number of times butchered for the family meat consumption at Yala, which is located at the south west of Marib. Archaeologists date this information within the 8th to 7th century B.C. if not slightly higher.
On the contrary, deep geology testing at Baraqish, Wadi al- Jawf region in the Northeastern Yemen outside the walls in the year 2005 to 2006 has brought out the succession of businesses covering completely the first millennium BC. Throughout the series, the domestic camel is frequently encountered increasing the numbers on the post Sabaean levels. In association with the possible evidence of the earthly trading activities of the New Stone Age period, its earliest presence can again be dated to the 8th and 7th century BC. Similarly, there are suggestions of the existence of the wild Arabian camel population in the area, a unique research found in this time an isolated arm bone gaining from a puzzling circumstance on the fringes of the Sabaean town.