Some of the forces that drove the first agricultural revolution, which is also referred to as the Neolithic revolution, were a change in global climate, the extinction or growing inaccessibility of large game animals and an overriding need for former hunter-gatherer communities to become agriculturalists as a means of maintaining an adequate food supply. The migratory lifestyle of former hunter-gatherer groups was also being challenged by competition and conflict with neighboring nomadic groups.
By converting from a nomadic hunter-gatherer lifestyle to one which was based on a settled agricultural community, early human groups were able to produce enough food to survive the ecological changes taking place. The new settlements were also able to defend themselves better when conflicts occurred with neighboring communities.
The first shift to an agricultural lifestyle began about 12,000 years ago at the end of the Pleistocene era and is believed to have developed initially in the region in the Middle East known as the Fertile Crescent. The shift toward settled agricultural communities led the way for the beginnings and growth of the first major urban centers and cities.