People around the world have established and lived in farm settlements for thousands of years. Farm settlements, where groups of people have lived and thrived, existed even before great civilizations like Ancient Egypt came into being.
Farm settlements tend to be created as a stable place to live, grow crops and possibly raise animals. However, in some locations and time periods, farm settlements moved from area to area as the soil lost fertility. Groups of different families usually founded farm settlements, creating a village once the crops were established.
Farm settlements began to appear during the New Stone Age, specifically between 8,000 and 7,000 B.C., as people began to cultivate plants. People would grow different crops, domesticate different animals and create a variety of tools and objects for their own families and for trading. Jericho is one of the earliest known farm settlements, established by 8,000 B.C.
As agricultural technology has changed, farm settlements have also changed. With more scientific knowledge about fertilization, soil use, rotation of crops and machinery, farming became a different entity than before. With the expansion of modern civilization, the significance of farming settlements changed. Village life transformed into city life, where the core of the community was no longer the crops and livestock.
- National Geographic News: Egypt's Earliest Farm Settlement Discovered
- “Agriculture”; Encarta Encyclopedia; 2006
- “Western Civilization: Volume A”; Jackson J. Spielvogel; 2006