Human history, also called world history, is the narrative of humanity's past. It is understood and studied through archaeology, anthropology, genetics, and linguistics. Since the invention of writing, human history has been studied through primary and secondary source documents.
Humanity's written history was preceded by its prehistory, beginning with the Paleolithic ("Old Stone Age") era. This was followed by the Neolithic ("New Stone Age") era, which saw the Agricultural Revolution begin in the Middle East's Fertile Crescent between 10,000 and 5,000 BCE. During this period, humans began the systematic husbandry of plants and animals. As agriculture advanced, most humans transitioned from a nomadic to a settled lifestyle as farmers in permanent settlements. The relative security and increased productivity provided by farming allowed communities to expand into increasingly larger units, fostered by advances in transportation.
The earliest complex societies appeared in fertile river valleys. As farming developed, grain agriculture became more sophisticated and prompted a division of labour to store food between growing seasons. Labor divisions led to the rise of a leisured upper class and the development of cities, which provided the foundation for civilization. The growing complexity of human societies necessitated systems of accounting and writing. Hinduism developed in the late Bronze Age on the Indian subcontinent, while the Axial Age witnessed the introduction of religions such as Buddhism, Jainism, Taoism, and Zoroastrianism. (Full article...)