In the quest to explain human culture, anthropologists have paid a great deal of attention to recent hunter-gatherer, or forager, societies. A major reason for this focus has been the widely held belief that knowledge of hunter-gatherer societies could open a window into understanding early human cultures. After all, it is argued, for the vast stretch of human history, people lived by foraging for wild plants and animals.
The coming of farming is often called the “Neolithic Revolution”. The transition from hunter-gathering to farming is described as a "revolution" because it constituted the crucial breakthrough which made possible all later human advances. Moreover, during its course every aspect of peoples’ lives was transformed.