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As the Paleolithic age progressed, houses became more advanced and more intricate; as early as 380 ka, human beings were building short-lived wood huts. Clothing, adjusted from the fur and hides of hunted animals, helped humankind broaden into cooler areas; humans started to migrate out of Africa by 200 ka and into other continents such as Eurasia.
The development of polished stone axes was a major advance that permitted forest clearance on a big scale to develop farms. This use of refined stone axes increased significantly in the Neolithic, however were initially used in the preceding Mesolithic in some areas such as Ireland. Agriculture fed larger populations, and the transition to sedentism permitted at the same time raising more children, as infants no longer required to be brought, as nomadic ones must.
With this increase in population and availability of labor came a boost in labor expertise. What set off the development from early Neolithic villages to the first cities, such as Uruk, and the first civilizations, such as Sumer, is not specifically understood; nevertheless, the development of increasingly hierarchical social structures and specialized labor, of trade and war amongst adjacent cultures, and the need for collective action to conquer ecological difficulties such as irrigation, are all believed to have played a role.
The benefits of copper tools over stone, bone, and wood tools were rapidly obvious to early human beings, and native copper was probably utilized from near the start of Neolithic times (about 10 ka). Native copper does not naturally happen in large amounts, but copper ores are quite common and some of them produce metal easily when burned in wood or charcoal fires.
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The very first uses of iron alloys such as steel dates to around 1800 BCE. Ancient The wheel was developed circa 4000 BCE. Meanwhile, humans were learning to harness other kinds of energy. The earliest recognized use of wind power is the sailing 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 utilized a complicated system of canals and levees to divert water from the Tigris and Euphrates rivers for watering. According to archaeologists, the wheel was invented around 4000 BCE most likely independently and nearly at the same time in Mesopotamia (in present-day Iraq), the Northern Caucasus (Maykop culture) and Central Europe.