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Friday, 22 December 2017 14:15

A HISTORY OF UKRAINE. EPISODE 3. THE NEOLITHIC REVOLUTION

Oleksandr Palii, A History of Ukraine, 22.12.2017, English version by Vasyl Starko 

 

EPISODE TWO HERE

 

Around the 7th millennium BC, the residents of what is now Ukraine started using bows and arrows and domesticated dogs at the same time as those who lived in Southern Europe and Western Asia. People learned to travel along rivers on rafts and later in boats. The rivers of Ukraine turned into transportation routes and accessible sources of fish. 

 

From the 7th until the 4th millennium BC, people in Ukraine learned not only to gather the gifts of nature but also to reproduce them thanks to cattle breeding and agriculture. Hunting no longer provided enough food for the growing tribes and, moreover, reduced the population of wild animals. To survive, people learned to gather wild cereals using wood and bone sickles with blades made of sharpened flints. 

 

flint sickle

Flint sickle, Volyn Region, western Ukraine

 

The transition to a food-producing economy is called the Neolithic Revolution. This revolution first took place in the Middle East in the 8th millennium BC and spread to the Balkans, Ukraine and the Mediterranean in the 7th and 6th millennia BC. Improved diet and a more sedentary life caused rapid demographic growth. In order to store grain, flour, milk, kvas etc., people invented pottery. Within several centuries, pottery spread throughout Ukraine. Tribes of farmers in Ukraine learned slash-and-burn agriculture: they would cut down portions of forest and burned it to obtain fertilizer. In this way, farmers colonized impassable thickets. 

 

In the territory of Ukraine, the Stone Age ended in the 5th to 3rd millennium BC depending on the region, i.e. until copper, and later bronze, items became widespread. The Stone Age ended in Ukraine at the same time as in Southern Europe and the Balkans. 

 

To the north and east of Ukraine, in the territory of what is now Central Russia, the Stone Age lasted for another 3,000-5,000 years, until the middle of the 1st millennium AD and in some places up to the 2nd millennium AD.



tryp woman

Ceramic figurine of a woman, Trypilian culture, 4th millennium BC, the Archaeological Museum of Lviv University



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