Date of this Version
Nebraska Anthropologish 2013
The transition from a hunter-gatherer lifestyle to dependence on agricultural production is commonly considered one of the most important achievements of human history. This transition, often referred to as the Neolithic Revolution, ushered in a variety of changes in human dietary intake, food processing and procurement methods, settlement patterns, and physical activity. Skeletal analyses of human remains from early agricultural centers throughout the world indicate that this revolution significantly affected overall human health. This paper will address some of the drastic effects of this transition as evidenced by craniofacial changes related to masticatory function, declines in oral health, increased spread of pathogens, infectious disease, and zoonoses, as well as a variety of ailments which have been linked to nutritional deficiencies and increased physical stress on the human body.