Documenta Praehistorica XXX

Neolithic studies 10


Ron Pinhasi

A new model for the spread of the first farmers in Europe

The appearance and dispersion of the first farmers in Europe has been the subject of heated debate among anthropologists, archaeologists, and linguists for over a century. There is no consensus regarding two main aspects: (1) the extent to which the transition to farming was an indigenous process, and (2) the historical pattern in terms of the timing and tempo of the dispersion events. Morphological variability and affinities are assessed among Mesolithic and Early Neolithic populations of the Near East, Anatolia and Europe. Statistical results reveal regional and temporal differences in the dispersion process among these populations. Based on these results, a new model is presented for the spread of farming in Europe.

Helena Knutsson and Kjel Knutsson

Stone age transitions. Neolithisation in central Scandinavia

A summary of a series of individual research projects focused on the processes from the Mesolithic to the Late Neolithic in central Scandinavia. The projects were embeded in the "Coast to Coast project". The historicity in this process was emphasised.

Detlef Gronenborn

Migration, acculturation and culture change in western temperate Eurasia, 6500-5000 cal BC

After the introduction of the pottery tradition of La Hoguette and contemporaneous research on Earliest LBK about 10 to 15 years ago, research onthe spread of farming in Central Europe had somewhat stagnated; there were hardly any major advances in factual knowledge, nor could theoretical models be refined. In the last few years, however, an abundance of new data has appeared, partly deriving from botanical and anthropological analyses. Furthermore, newly available results from excavations in European Russia widenour understanding of the manifold and complex changes occurring during the latter 7th and 6th millennium cal BC.

Lucyna Domanska

Hunter-gatherers and farmers: neighbours in north-eastern Kuiavia, Poland

The aim of this paper is to discuss the new discoveries made in the Tazyna - Parchania valley, in north-eastern Kuiavia, Poland. These discoveries put into a new light the problem of contacts between hunter-gatherers and farmers from the Polish Lowland.

Catherine Perles

An alternate (and old-fashioned) view of Neolithisation in Greece

Despite the recent renewal of indigenous models for the Neolithisation of Greece, this paper will go back to more old-fashioned models, and argue in favour of colonisation processes by small, maritime, pioneer groups that later interacted with local populations. This argumentation rests first on an analysis of the presently available data on the Mesolithic, which shows that none of the prerequisites of a local process is met. Second, it rests on the consideration of often-neglected aspects, such as the theoretical and practical knowledge implied by the adoption of agriculture together with the adoption of new crafts and architectural techniques. Third, it rests in the need to explain the random, but strong parallels between the Near-Eastern and Greek Neolithic.

Mihael Budja

Seals, contracts and tokens in the Balkans Early Neolithic: where in the puzzle

Paper discusses Early Neolithic seals, contracts and tokens in the context of Neolithization processes in southeastern Europe. Paper analyses the assemblages, contexts and the patterns of regional and interregional distributions. The results contradict traditional models as the objects appearance and distributions can no longer support the models of colonization, demic diffusion and population replacement in the context of the transition to farming in the Balkans. The paper argues they were well embeddedin the Early Neolithic Balkans koine, where the transformation of hunter- gathering into farming societies took place in an arena of selective integration of the new technologies and social practices as much as the result of intensive connections and exchange networks.

Dimitrios Vlachos

Who did it? Perspectives on the beginning of the Neolithic in Greece

The beginning of the Neolithic in Greece has been the focus of study by many scholars for many years, and a strong argument about it is still active. DNA analysis has shed new light on a wide spectrum of questions related to the population history of Europe and the Middle East, the beginning of the Neolithic, and the adoption of agriculture in these areas. This paper will try to chart the various theories for the beginning of the Neolithic in Greece,and the contribution of archaeogenetics to the same discussion. Subsequently, there will be an effort to give some theoretical implications for future research.

Dimitrij Mlekuz

Early herders of the Eastern Adriatic

The paper discusses the evidence for the presence of sheep and goats on east Adriatic coast during the Mesolithic and Neolithic, and possible routes of transformation from hunter-gathering to pastoral societies.

Ivan Gatsov

The latest results from the technological and typological analysis of chipped stone assemblages from Ilipinar, Pendik, Fikir tepe and Mentes

The papers presents the latest results from the technological and typological analysis of chipped stone assemblages from Ilipinar, Pendik, Fikir tepe, and Mentese in NW Turkey. The stone industry of Ilipinar shows parallels with the chipped stone material from Fikir tepe. At Ilipinar the period of technological and raw material changes in Bulgarian Thrace correspond to the end of phase V-A and to the whole V-B, but the technological and typological features are completely different.

Martin Richards

The Neolithic transition in Europe: archaeological models and genetic evidence

The major pattern in the European gene pool is a southeast-northwest frequency gradient of classic genetic markers such as blood groups, which population geneticists initially attributed to the demographic impact of Neolithic farmers dispersing from the Near East. Molecular genetics has enriched this picture, with analyses of mitochondrial DNA and the Y chromosome allowing a more detailed exploration of alternative models for the spread of the Neolithic into Europe. This paper considers a range of possible models in the light of the detailed information now emerging from genetic studies.

Chaodong Zhao, Jincheng Yu, Tao Wang, Xiaohong Wu, Shougang Hao, Xueping Ma and Zhengkai Xia

A study on an early Neolithic site in North China

These are few sites about 10 000 BP in the early Neolithic period in North China; among these, the Donghulin site is the only one which included the remains of peoples' use of fire (hearth pits), stone implements, pottery objects, and human tombs. The excavation of the Donghulin site in 2001 provides very important information for research on people and culture in the early Neolithic period in North China. The finding of Donghulin Man has filled the gap in our knowledge of human development since the period of the "Upper Cave Man" (30 000a BP) in North China. It is also important for research on people-land relationships.

© Department of Archaeology, Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana 2005
Last update: 16.02.2005