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This use of refined stone axes increased considerably in the Neolithic, however were originally used in the preceding Mesolithic in some areas such as Ireland. Agriculture fed larger populations, and the shift to sedentism enabled simultaneously raising more children, as infants no longer needed to be carried, as nomadic ones must.
With this increase in population and schedule of labor came a boost in labor specialization. What triggered the progression from early Neolithic villages to the very first cities, such as Uruk, and the very first civilizations, such as Sumer, is not specifically understood; however, the development of increasingly hierarchical social structures and specialized labor, of trade and war among nearby cultures, and the requirement for collective action to overcome ecological obstacles such as watering, are all believed to have actually contributed.
The advantages of copper tools over stone, bone, and wood tools were rapidly apparent to early humans, and native copper was most likely utilized from near the start of Neolithic times (about 10 ka). Native copper does not naturally occur in big amounts, however copper ores are quite typical and a few of them produce metal quickly when burned in wood or charcoal fires.
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The first usages of iron alloys such as steel dates to around 1800 BCE. Energy and transportation The wheel was invented circa 4000 BCE. Meanwhile, human beings were learning to harness other kinds of energy. The earliest known 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 irrigation. According to archaeologists, the wheel was created around 4000 BCE probably separately and almost all at once in Mesopotamia (in present-day Iraq), the Northern Caucasus (Maykop culture) and Central Europe.
The earliest artifacts with drawings depicting wheeled carts date from about 3500 BCE; however, the wheel might have been in use for millennia prior to these drawings were made. More just recently, the oldest-known wooden wheel in the world was found in the Ljubljana marshes of Slovenia. The invention of the wheel revolutionized trade and war.