7th millennium BC
|Preceded by the Pleistocene|
*Relative to year 2000 (b2k).†Relative to year 1950 (BP/Before "Present").
The 7th millennium BC spanned the years 7000 BC to 6001 BC (c. 9 ka to c. 8 ka). It is impossible to precisely date events that happened around the time of this millennium and all dates mentioned here are estimates mostly based on geological and anthropological analysis.
Neolithic culture and technology was established in the Near East by 7000 BC and there is increasing evidence through the millennium of its spread or introduction to Europe and the Far East. In most of the world, however, including north and western Europe, people still lived in scattered Palaeolithic hunter-gatherer communities. The world population is believed to have been stable and slowly increasing. It has been estimated that there were perhaps ten million people worldwide at the end of this millennium, growing to forty million by 5000 BC and 100 million by 1600 BC, an average growth rate of 0.027% p.a. from the beginning of the Neolithic to the Middle Bronze Age.
The Neolithic was introduced to Crete c. 7000 BC. There is evidence of domesticated sheep or goats, pigs and cattle together with grains of cultivated bread wheat.
The domestication of pigs in eastern Europe is believed to have begun c. 6800 BC. The pigs may have been descended from European wild boar or more probably were introduced by farmers migrating from the Middle East.
Evidence, c. 6200 BC, of farmers from the Middle East reaching the Danube and moving into Romania and Serbia.
Geologic and climatic change
In the geologic time scale, the "Northgrippian" succeeded the "Greenlandian" c. 6236 BC (to c. 2250 BC). The starting point for the Northgrippian is the so-called 8.2 kiloyear event, which was an abrupt climate change lasting some four centuries in which there was a marked decrease in global temperatures, possibly caused by an influx of glacial meltwater into the North Atlantic Ocean.
- Jean-Noël Biraben, "Essai sur l'évolution du nombre des hommes", Population 34-1 (1979), pp. 13-25.
- Barry Cunliffe (2011). Europe Between the Oceans. Yale University Press. p. 94.
- "Ancient Pig DNA Study Sheds New Light On Colonization Of Europe By Early Farmers". ScienceDaily. 4 September 2007. Retrieved 31 May 2019.
- "Isotopic data show farming arrived in Europe with migrants". EurekAlert!. American Association for the Advancement of Science. 11 February 2013. Retrieved 31 May 2019.
- "GSSP Table – All Periods". www.stratigraphy.org. International Commission on Stratigraphy. 2018. Retrieved 1 June 2019.
- Alley, Richard B.; Ágústsdóttir, Anna Maria (2005). "The 8k event: cause and consequences of a major Holocene abrupt climate change". Quaternary Science Reviews. 24 (10–11): 1123–49. Bibcode:2005QSRv...24.1123A. doi:10.1016/j.quascirev.2004.12.004.
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