HISTORY OF FARMING
Knowledge of farming was brought into Central Europe by immigrants from the Middle East and appears to have spread widely and rapidly during 5000 B.C. This spread was encouraged by the presence of extensive areas of fertile soils which could be worked easily and successfully by the fairly simple techniques and equipment of the first fanners in Central Europe. Access to this desirable soil was made easy by the use of routes along natural waterways, such as the Danube and the Rhine.
These factors helped the peasant farming economy to adjust to the environment successfully. Without this adjustment to the environment, there would have been little opportunity for further advance, either in technology or in social organisation. The earliest farmers brought with them the knowledge of agriculture and of related crafts and skills which had been developed in the Middle East. These included such techniques as the making of pottery and stone tools, and the building of houses and farm buildings.
The advance from a hunting to a farming economy was important not only in respect of food-winning, but also because the yearly farming cycle provided the farmers with a rest from the continual search for food. The hunting economy normally demanded full-time hard work to get food. House construction, too, needed to adapt. Whereas, the flat-roofed, sun-dried mud-brick houses of the Middle East were ideally suited to its warm, dry climate, the moist European climate required something more suitable to withstand strong winds and keep off rain.
Mark the best choice.
1. What contributed to the spread of farming in Central Europe?
a) The mildness of the climate. b) Advanced technology and natural waterways.
c) The large numbers of farmers. d) Favourable conditions for the cultivation of land.
2. What was the key to further success in technology or in social organisation?
a) The ability to adapt. b) Easy access to the farms.
c) Efficient social organisation. d) The use of rivers to transport equipment.
3. When early farmers arrived in Central Europe, they .
a) found out that Central Europe was a highly-developed region b) had more knowledge about agriculture than the farmers living there
c) had difficulty in adapting to the environment d) had to shift to the hunting economy
4. A farming economy was preferable to a hunting economy because .
a) it did not require such a large area of land b) it was better suited to the needs of Europeans
c) it provided a plentiful supply of food d) it reduced the time spent obtaining food
5. The Middle Eastern style of house construction was .
a) ideally suited to Central European farming conditions b) based on the use of stone tools
c) a reflection of its climate d) ideal for keeping out wind and rain