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About 12,000 years ago (10,000 B.C.) an important discovery was made. Humans learned to farm. This became known as the Neolithic Period or New Stone Age. The Neolithic Revolution was a major turning point in history. In addition to learning to farm, man learned to domesticate (tame) animals. In doing so, life drastically changed for mankind. Once man learned to farm, they began to settle. Permanent settlements began to develop in river valleys. The rivers provided fertile soil and water for irrigation. In order to farm more effectively, man developed new skills and tools. They made tools that were more complex and made farming easier. They quickly learned that animals could be used to do work. In addition, they developed ways to measure their seed for planting, keep track of time, build stronger homes and boats that could be used for trade and travel.