chapter  3
The Neolithic Era and the Jade Age
Pages 31

The “Neolithic Period” or “new stone age” covers the time period during which small, mobile groups of people with a tribal form of social organization evolved into settled agricultural village societies and, later, into town-based, socially stratifi ed cultures and possibly early kingdoms or proto-states. It was a time when some communities developed a wide range of new technologies and methods aff ecting everything from cooking, sewing, pottery-making, and farming to hunting and warfare. Religious beliefs and rituals associated with ancestor worship helped to justify a rising elite class, a class rich enough to support an oral tradition of lineage history.