These societies affected later ones sometimes in direct ways and sometimes in oblique ways. We cannot always trace exactly how the interaction might have taken place. But many later peoples attested to their influence, either by asserting, as the Greeks did, that every human institution really started in Egypt, or simply by using the techniques developed in the Ancient Near East to pursue their own agendas. Here wewill look at a few areas of endeavor where the influences are clearest.

The innovation of controlling the animals you use and the plants you want to grow was duplicated in the Far East and in the Americas by other hunters and gatherers, but the Near East did it earliest, as far as we can now see. And even if it was not the very earliest, the things that Near Easterners mastered are still the things that most of the world uses for basic production. The grains, the sheep and goats, the cattle, were first tamed in the Near East and spread outwards from there. By 4000 BCE settled village communities spread across Europe, Africa, and Asia.