ABSTRACT

This chapter assesses Childe's theory of the impact of the commencement of agriculture on Neolithic economic development and its socio-economic consequences, as outlined in his book Man Makes Himself. It also relates his theory to contemporary views on economic development, paying attention to current theories of sustainable economic development. It examines Childe's criterion of successful economic development. This criterion is Darwinistic in nature. Subsequently, Childe's views about the nature of Neolithic development are outlined and the essence of Childe's two-phase model of early agricultural development is summarized, and its validity is evaluated. It is concluded that the interdisciplinary contribution of Childe is commendable and that economists today ought to pay more attention to this type of research.