2. The Neolithic Age After the Stone and Ice Ages, people began staying in one place to grow grains and vegetables. Farming replaced hunting and gathering as the main source of food. People began to domesticate or tame, animals for human use. Animals transported goods and provided meat, milk, and wool. The Neolithic Age began around 8000 B.C. and last for 4,000 years. The real change between the Paleolithic Age to the Neolithic Age was the shift from hunting and gathering to systematic agriculture allowing food to grow on a regular basis. By the end of the Neolithic Age, people made more technological advances. Toolmakers created better farming tools as the need for those arose including, hoes for digging soil, sickles for cutting grain, and millstones for grinding flour. In some areas, people began to work with metals, including copper. Craftspeople in western Asia discovered that mixing copper and tin formed bronze which was stronger than copper.
People started growing wheat and barley around 8000 B.C. in southwest Asia. They domesticated goats, pigs, cows, and sheep. By 4000 B.C., farming was an established economic activity in Europe. Around the same time, people in the Nile Valley in Egypt started to grow wheat and barley. Farming soon spread to other regions including Africa where they grew yams and bananas. In India, they grew wheat and barley. By 6000 B.C. people in northern China were growing millet, and were domesticating dogs and pigs and grew rice. In the Western Hemisphere, people in Mexico and Central America were growing corn, squash, and potatoes and domesticated chickens and dogs.