I. Prehistoric Times > I. After the Ice Age: Holocene Hunter-Gatherers (12,000 Years Ago to Modern Times) > 4. Near Eastern Hunters and Foragers
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  The Encyclopedia of World History.  2001.
 
 
4. Near Eastern Hunters and Foragers
 
In the Near East, the end of the Ice Age brought drier conditions, although the climate was somewhat wetter than today. The densest human settlement was confined to major river valleys, especially places where open steppe, woodland, and floodplain environments intersected.  1
One such location was Abu Hureyra, by the Euphrates River in Syria, where a sedentary community of hunter-gatherers flourished between 10,500 and 9000 B.C.E. About 300 to 400 people lived in a small village settlement of pit dwellings with thatched roofs. Each spring, they killed thousands of migrating gazelle, a small desert antelope from the south. Eventually deteriorating climatic conditions and deforestation due to heavy firewood consumption caused abandonment of the settlement. Sedentary villages like these, located at the margins of several environmental zones, were the places where agriculture and animal domestication first took hold in the Near East, and, indeed, in the world.  2
 
 
 
The Encyclopedia of World History, Sixth edition. Peter N. Stearns, general editor. Copyright © 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Maps by Mary Reilly, copyright 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

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