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This use of sleek stone axes increased greatly in the Neolithic, but were initially utilized in the preceding Mesolithic in some locations such as Ireland. Farming fed bigger populations, and the transition to sedentism permitted at the same time raising more children, as infants no longer needed to be brought, as nomadic ones must.

With this boost in population and schedule of labor came a boost in labor specialization. What set off the progression from early Neolithic villages to the very first cities, such as Uruk, and the very first civilizations, such as Sumer, is not particularly known; however, the introduction of increasingly hierarchical social structures and specialized labor, of trade and war amongst nearby cultures, and the need for cumulative action to overcome environmental difficulties such as irrigation, are all believed to have actually contributed.

The advantages of copper tools over stone, bone, and wood tools were rapidly evident to early human beings, and native copper was most likely utilized from near the start of Neolithic times (about 10 ka). Native copper does not naturally happen in large amounts, however copper ores are quite common and a few of them produce metal easily when burned in wood or charcoal fires.

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The first uses of iron alloys such as steel dates to around 1800 BCE. Energy and transport The wheel was developed circa 4000 BCE. Meanwhile, human beings were discovering to harness other kinds of energy. The earliest recognized use of wind power is the cruising ship; the earliest record of a ship under sail is that of a Nile boat dating to the 8th-millennium BCE.

The ancient Sumerians in Mesopotamia used a complicated system of canals and levees to divert water from the Tigris and Euphrates rivers for watering. According to archaeologists, the wheel was created around 4000 BCE most likely individually and almost simultaneously in Mesopotamia (in contemporary Iraq), the Northern Caucasus (Maykop culture) and Central Europe.

The oldest artifacts with drawings depicting wheeled carts date from about 3500 BCE; however, the wheel might have remained in use for millennia prior to these illustrations were made. More just recently, the oldest-known wooden wheel on the planet was found in the Ljubljana marshes of Slovenia. The innovation of the wheel reinvented trade and war.