Documenta Praehistorica

Published by University of Ljubljana
Online ISSN: 1854-2492
Print ISSN: 1408-967X
Publications
Was the spread of agropastoralism from the Eurasian founder regions dominated by demic or by cultural diffusion? This study employs a mathematical model of regional sociocultural development that includes different diffusion processes, local innovation and societal adaptation. This simulation hindcasts the emergence and expansion of agropastoral life style in 294 regions of Eurasia and North Africa. Different scenarios for demic and diffusive exchange processes between adjacent regions are contrasted and the spatiotemporal pattern of diffusive events is evaluated. This study shows that there is no simple or exclusive demic or cultural answer, but that in most regions of Eurasia both demic and cultural processes are active, sometimes concurrently, sometimes alternating. Only few, possibly environmentally marginal, areas show a dominance of demic diffusion. I argue to investigate diffusion processes in a diachronic fashion and not from a time-integrated perspective: the complexity of diffusion processes that this deterministic model shows should be expected to have been surpassed by past people who made choices and pursued interests.
 
Pottery sherds can be dated by four methods: (i) stylistic features; (ii) luminescence analysis of minerals within the sherd; (iii) 14C assay of carbon on or within the sherd; and (iv) archaeomagnetic intensity of the sherd. Each method has its own sources of uncertainty. The results obtained by the various methods are reviewed, and the conclusion reached that a combination of at least two of the methods, where possible, is recommended in order to enhance confidence in the validity of the outcome.
 
The results of stable carbon and nitrogen-isotope analyses of human bone collagen from the Iron Gates sites of Lepenski Vir, Vlasac and Schela Cladovei are reconsidered in the light of recent developments in stable isotope palaeodietary research and new information on chronology. The revised data have implications for the interpretation of Lepenski Vir and Vlasac, and the timing of the Mesolithic-Neolithic transition in the Iron Gates.
 
Sample of Grinding Stones from WF16. 
WF16 is a Pre-Pottery Neolithic site in the Southern Levant that has produced an important collection of ground stone artefacts. These include one explicit and one ambiguous representation of a phallus – the latter may be a human head and shoulders. The authors note the visual similarity of certain pestles from WF16 to phalli and suggest that such artefacts and their use may have been imbued with sexual metaphor. As such, the most potent references to sex, reproduction and fertility in the early Neolithic may not be the exotic figures claimed to be ‘Mother Goddesses’ but located in the most mundane of domestic artefacts.
 
Despite their widespread presence and potential to shed light on various aspects of prehistoric life, for a long time Neolithic macrolithics attracted little scholarly attention. The situation, however, is rapidly changing as more and more assemblages are being studied and published systematically. The study of the grinding and abrading tools from the earlier Neolithic site of Pontokomi-Souloukia in northern Greece is part of this recent trend, as it integrates macroscopic examination, use wear, microbotanical and macrobotanical analysis, an experimental program, ethnographic data, as well as contextual analysis. In this article, we present the results of our study and make comparisons with other assemblages, placing the Pontokomi-Souloukia material in its wider Aegean Neolithic context.
 
In order to review evidence of hunian-animal relations, the paper offers an overview of the customs and fiinerary traditions of the Square Mouthed Pottery culture, between c. 5000 and 4300 calBC. We focus on the importance of domestic and wild animals on the basis of an analysis of grave-goods, funerary rites and personal ornaments. We also consider recent discoveries of peculiar offerings of animals and some dog burials. The evidence testifies to a diffusion of a wild component, symbolically emphasising the importance of the hunter identity in a society where subsistence actually depends primarily on domestic animals. Therefore, a contrast is drawn between the everyday and the symbolic worlds.
 
Following some 30 years of radiocarbon research during which the mathematical principles of 14C-calibration have been on loan to Bayesian statistics, here they are returned to quantum physics. The return is based on recognition that 14C-calibration can be described as a Fourier transform. Following its introduction as such, there is need to reconceptualize the probabilistic 14C-analysis. The main change will be to replace the traditional (one-dimensional) concept of 14C-dating probability by a two-dimensional probability. This is entirely analogous to the definition of probability in quantum physics, where the squared amplitude of a wave function defined in Hilbert space provides a measurable probability of finding the corresponding particle at a certain point in time/space, the so-called Born rule. When adapted to the characteristics of 14C-calibration, as it turns out, the Fourier transform immediately accounts for practically all known so-called quantization properties of archaeological 14C-ages, such as clustering, age-shifting, and amplitude-distortion. This also applies to the frequently observed chronological lock-in properties of larger data sets, when analysed by Gaussian wiggle matching (on the 14C-scale) just as by Bayesian sequencing (on the calendar time-scale). Such domain-switching effects are typical for a Fourier transform. They can now be understood, and taken into account, by the application of concepts and interpretations that are central to quantum physics (e.g. wave diffraction, wave-particle duality, Heisenberg uncertainty, and the correspondence principle). What may sound complicated, at first glance, simplifies the construction of 14C-based chronologies. The new Fourier-based 14C-analysis supports chronological studies on previously unachievable geographic (continental) and temporal (Glacial-Holocene) scales; for example, by temporal sequencing of hundreds of archaeological sites, simultaneously, with minimal need for development of archaeological prior hypotheses, other than those based on the geo-archaeological law of stratigraphic superposition. As demonstrated in a variety of archaeological case studies, just one number, defined as a gauge-probability on a scale 0–100%, can be used to replace a stacked set of subjective Bayesian priors.
 
In the late 5th, 4th, and early 3rd millennia BC, different archaeological units are visible in western Lesser Poland. According to traditional views, local branches of the late Lengyel-Polgár complex, the Funnel Beaker culture, and the Baden phenomena overlap chronologically in great measure. The results of investigations done with new radiocarbon dating show that in some cases a discrete mode and linearity of cultural transformation is recommended. The study demonstrates that extreme approaches in which we either approve only those dates which fit with our concepts or accept with no reservation all dates as such are incorrect.
 
14C dating of bone collagen is believed to produce the most reliable absolute dates for the Central European Early Neolithic, as the selection of bones in anatomical context minimises ta­phonomic problems. In contrast, a comparison of three newly published local or regional chronolo­gical models as well as a comparison of several series of dates from bone collagen, charcoal and cereals highlights problems probably caused by diagenetic influences, especially on collagen. There­fore, at least the checking of bone collagen 14C dates against charcoal or cereal dates from the same contexts seems to be indispensable.
 
Bayesian modelling of radiocarbon dates directly integrates information obtained through archaeological analysis. Here, I explain how to add known information/reasonable assumptions about the length of a deposition phase, using the example of date sequences from two Early Neolithic communities in the Aegean whose dating has been hotly debated, i.e. basal Knossos (Crete) and Nea Nikomedeia (Northern Greece). The consequences of the re-evaluation of their dates are discussed for the broader picture of the Neolithisation in the Aegean and for the chronology of the regional use of stamps.
 
14C dating of bone collagen is believed to produce the most reliable absolute dates for the Central European Early Neolithic, as the selection of bones in anatomical context minimises ta­phonomic problems. In contrast, a comparison of three newly published local or regional chronolo­gical models as well as a comparison of several series of dates from bone collagen, charcoal and cereals highlights problems probably caused by diagenetic influences, especially on collagen. There­fore, at least the checking of bone collagen 14C dates against charcoal or cereal dates from the same contexts seems to be indispensable.
 
In the late 5th, 4th, and early 3rd millennia BC, different archaeological units are visible in western Lesser Poland. According to traditional views, local branches of the late Lengyel-Polgár complex, the Funnel Beaker culture, and the Baden phenomena overlap chronologically in great measure. The results of investigations done with new radiocarbon dating show that in some cases a discrete mode and linearity of cultural transformation is recommended. The study demonstrates that extreme approaches in which we either approve only those dates which fit with our concepts or accept with no reservation all dates as such are incorrect.
 
Location of sites mentioned in the text.
Orientation of primary burials.  
Secondary burial of individuals HD, HE, EX, LK.  
Jewellery frequency by age.  
Number of ornamental objects per decorated individual by age.  
Al-Buhais 18 is a Neolithic site in the United Arab Emirates. It consists of a graveyard with more than 420 individuals, an ancient spring, and a campsite. It is interpreted as a central place for a group of mobile herders in the 5th millennium BC. More than 24 000 ornamental objects have been found, many of them in a secure funerary context, making it possible to reconstruct ornamental ensembles, and shedding light on specific rules concerning the way jewellery was worn by different sub-groups of the population. Based on these observations, some hypotheses are developed on the intentions and beliefs structuring mortuary practices and the role of jewellery within these rites. Finally, questions of continuity and change in mortuary practices can be addressed by comparing al-Buhais 18 with other, younger, sites in the region.
 
Many of you knew and worked with the respected Professor Tatjana Bregant years before me. You were her colleagues and co-workers in the research at Ljubljansko barje and Celje Castle, and in Lupljanica and Obre in Bosnia. You saw and knew the aspirations she had, and the energy she put into establishing the chair of “Neolithic Archaeology” and the study and research programmes at the Department of Archaeology and the Science Institute of Filozofska Fakulteta in Ljubljana.
 
The paper presents figurines from excavations at Vinca 1998-2000 dated to the very end of the Late Neolithic. Along with a presentation and analysis of these objects, the paper addresses questions of the development of sculpture in Vinca, and matters of symbolism in the Late Vinca period. Some interesting contexts with an abundance of anthropomorphic figurines are presented and discussed.
 
Location of the study area and main sites cited in the text.
a-d Sculptures from the study area (a after Muñoz Amilibia 1981; b-d Photos by the author), e-f Cerrillo Blanco (after Blanco Freijeiro 1987; 1988), and g El Pajarillo (after Ruiz et al. 2010.Fig. 4).
Painted vases from: a El Campillo (after Lillo Carpio 1989-1990. 141); b Cabezo del Tío Pío (photo by Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport, National Archaeological Museum); c Cabecico del Tesoro; d El Cigarralejo; e Bolvax (photos by the author, Archaeological Museum of Murcia).
Elements with Mediterranean influences and imported goods documented in the study area: a Attic pottery and other imported products (photos by the author, Archaeological Museum of Murcia); b Bronze cuirass from Cabecico del Tesoro and detail of its decoration (after Graells 2012.Figs. 49-50); c Helmet from El Cigarralejo (photo by the author, Archaeological Museum of El Cigarralejo).
Bronze votive statuettes and sculptures documented in the south-east of the Iberian Peninsula: a Bronze statuette from La Luz representing a high-ranking Roman military man dressed in a very short cloak that evokes the legionary paludamentum (after Lillo Carpio 1991-92.131, 133); b Bronze warrior with cloak from Monteagudo (photo by the Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport, National Archaeological Museum); c Togati from el Cerro de los Santos (after Uroz 2008.Fig. 7).
The aim of this paper is to analyse some strategies of power, social control and legitimation during the Iberian Late Iron Age (6th–1st centuries BC). It addresses how the Iberian elites exploited the domain of the ‘outside’ to legitimise and to retain their status. A diachronic approach is presented seeking to analyse the role of the outside realm throughout all the examined period and the variety of its expressions within the Iberian societies. In particular, the paper focuses on the south-east of Spain, an area with a rich archaeological record which, however, have never been approached from this view.
 
Recent developments related to the emergence of pottery in East Asia and neighbouring regions are presented. According to a critical evaluation of the existing evidence, the oldest centres with pottery in East Asia are situated in South China (dated to c. 18 000 calBP), the Japanese Islands (c. 16 700 calBP), and the Russian Far East (c. 15 900 calBP). It is most likely that pottery-making appeared in these regions independently of each other. In Siberia, the earliest pottery now known is from the Transbaikal region (dated to c. 14 000 calBP). However, it did not influence the more westerly parts of Siberia in terms of the origin and spread of pottery-making.
 
Our knowledge of the Neolithisation of Western Anatolia has increased considerably in recent years. Being located beyond, but on the border of the formative zone of Neolithisation, the region has acted as a buffer in the dispersal of the Neolithic way of life farther to the west. Recent research in Western Anatolia has shown that Neolithic sites appeared in the second quarter of the 7th millennium BC and had become widespread by the second half of the same millennium. There is now adequate data available on both the distribution of sites and the material culture in some subregions. In this context, this article will focus not on the Neolithisation process, but on the characteristic features of the sub-regions and the interaction between them.
 
Map of the Aegean and close-up view of the survey area (map by Ç. Çilingirog glu).
Site of Kömür Burnu from the East (photo by Ç. Çilingirog glu).
Different areas with archaeological finds from the Kömür Burnu site (map by Ç. Çilingirog glu).
Sites mentioned in the text (map by Ç. Çilingiroglu).
Obsidian pieces from Kömür Burnu. Left and center: flakes on Göllüdag g obsidian; right: medial blade fragment on Melian obsidian (photo by G. Arcan).
Recent surveys led by the author in Karaburun Peninsula discovered multiple prehistoric sites. This article introduces one of the Neolithic sites called Kömür Burnu in this marginal zone of coastal western Anatolia. The site offered various advantages to early farmer-herders including freshwater and basalt sources as well as proximity to agricultural lands, forested areas and marine resources. The plain slipped pottery from the site suggests a date between 6200-6000 cal. BC for the Neolithic occupation. P-XRF characterization of obsidian pieces from Kömür Burnu revealed that these were acquired from two different sources (Melos-Adamas and Göllüdağ). These constitute the first evidence for the participation of Karaburun early farmer-herders in the exchange networks that were active in Neolithic Anatolia and the Aegean. The differential technological features of these pieces concur well with the dual obsidian mobility model suggested by M. Milić for the western Anatolian Neolithic.
 
Recent surveys led by the author in Karaburun Peninsula discovered multiple prehistoric sites. This article introduces one of the Neolithic sites called Kömür Burnu in this marginal zone of coastal western Anatolia. The site offered various advantages to early farmer-herders including freshwater and basalt sources as well as proximity to agricultural lands, forested areas and marine resources. The plain slipped pottery from the site suggests a date between 6200-6000 cal. BC for the Neolithic occupation. P-XRF characterization of obsidian pieces from Kömür Burnu revealed that these were acquired from two different sources (Melos-Adamas and Göllüdağ). These constitute the first evidence for the participation of Karaburun early farmer-herders in the exchange networks that were active in Neolithic Anatolia and the Aegean. The differential technological features of these pieces concur well with the dual obsidian mobility model suggested by M. Milić for the western Anatolian Neolithic.
 
New research in southeastern Anatolia at Early Neolithic sites has brought a fresh perspective on the emergence of the Neolithic way of life in southwest Asia. In addition to providing more details on the transition to settled life, food production, and technological innovations, this more recent work has increased our understanding of both the time span and geography of the last hunter-gatherers and the earliest farmers in the wider region. Now the picture of the beginning of the Neolithic is more complex and fragmented. This complexity necessitates a multifaceted approach to the questions of the emergence of the Neolithic. In this regard, the data coming from Pre-Pottery Neolithic A sites in southeastern Anatolia, particularly in the Upper Tigris Basin, is remarkable. In this paper the transitional stage to the Neolithic in the region and new data from Gusir Höyük is discussed according to the architectural data.
 
The Neolithic is an interesting phase for observing the changes which affected the material culture and the ideology of the prehistoric groups in Europe. The production of personal ornaments improved and new types appeared. A new kind of adornment object was often linked to a new costume expressing a particular social identity, and therefore to new social messages. This paper focuses on the personal ornaments of the Early and Middle Neolithic groups of northern Italy dated between 5600 and 4300 calBC taking into consideration their geographical distribution, the raw materials employed, the exchange networks, the interrelation between different groups and the funerary practices. The analysis of the changes in raw materials, colours and shapes of adornment objects can also give an insight into Neolithic social identities.
 
Since the 1960s, more than 250 radiocarbon dates have been obtained for materials in the Upper Western Dvina area, which cover a timeframe from the 7th to the 1st millennium BC. Ra­diocarbon dates for materials of the Dnepr-Dvina area date the appearance and decline of various cultural traditions – from the formation of the most ancient pottery among hunter-gatherer com­munities until the appearance of the first stock-breeders in the forest zone, the bearers of cultural traditions of the Corded Ware culture. Dates for materials from the Upper Dvina area show both the existence of hiatuses between some cultural-chronological groups coinciding with some sig­nificant climatic and environmental changes, and the quasi (?) co-existence of some of the groups. Could these hiatuses also be traced in material culture, or do they appear because of a lack of data?
 
Since the 1960s, more than 250 radiocarbon dates have been obtained for materials in the Upper Western Dvina area, which cover a timeframe from the 7th to the 1st millennium BC. Ra­diocarbon dates for materials of the Dnepr-Dvina area date the appearance and decline of various cultural traditions – from the formation of the most ancient pottery among hunter-gatherer com­munities until the appearance of the first stock-breeders in the forest zone, the bearers of cultural traditions of the Corded Ware culture. Dates for materials from the Upper Dvina area show both the existence of hiatuses between some cultural-chronological groups coinciding with some sig­nificant climatic and environmental changes, and the quasi (?) co-existence of some of the groups. Could these hiatuses also be traced in material culture, or do they appear because of a lack of data?
 
Estonian Stone Age periodization together with Baltic Sea developmental stages (Kriiska et al. 2020.17; Hang et al. 2020).
Sites (red dots) and stray finds (black dots) discovered in the northern study area together with coastlines in 5300 cal BC (land denoted by green) and in 4000 cal BC (white).
The findspots of the Massu I-V sites together with paleocoastlines for 4500 cal BC (yellow), 4000 cal BC (end of the Narva stage, land denoted by green), 3000 cal BC (middle of the Comb Ware stage, white continuous line) and 2000 cal BC (final Neolithic, white dashed line) on the map of both Massu paleoislets (B) and the surroundings of the settlement sites (A). White dots: quartz, blue dots: Silurian flint, red dots: Carboniferous flint, yellow star: the rhombic bifacial arrowhead.
Sites (red dots) and stray finds (black dots) discovered in the southern study area together with coastlines in 3500 cal BC (land denoted by green) and 2000 cal BC (white).
Results of archaeological surveys of paleocoastlines in the Western Estonian Lowland are discussed with paleogeographic reconstructions. Mapped sites and stray finds can be dated to the period between the end of the Pre-Pottery Mesolithic and the end of the Neolithic (roughly 5300–2000 cal BC). Uniquely for Estonia and neighbouring countries in this time frame, the overwhelming majority of the sites are aceramic (and the rest feature very few pottery finds) and the find diversity is otherwise low, too. The findings are interpreted as traces of seasonal occupation and mobility, for the first time demonstrated in the Eastern Baltics on such a large scale.
 
The occupation evidence shown by the cave El Toro, is that of a unique stockbreeding community in the Andalusian region. The calibrated dates for this occupation period go from the second quarter of the sixth millennium up to the second millennium BP. There is also evidence of occasional occupation throughout later millennia up to the Hispano-Muslim period. The nature of thisoccupation is determined by the close link between the cave and the community which occupied it, both continuously and periodically. Throughout the occupation levels, the community's skillful control of technical processesand its remarkable knowledge on how to transform local primary resources, have shown that this community reached a high level of technological development. However, its main economic activity was related to agricultural and farming exploitation, particularly to stockbreeding.
 
The onset of the Iron Age underwent manifold disruptions. The emergence of long-lasting nucleated villages in Iberia c. 900/800 BC best encapsulates such profound changes. This paper draws on the results of excavations over the last few decades at a fortified tell-like settlement in central Iberia: Cerro de San Vicente (Spain). The article focuses on formation dynamics in earth architecture to understand the role of cultural choices in the genesis of these sites. The occurrence of sophisticated lifestyles and novel cultural expressions in this village (avant-garde devices such as a drain pipe, unprecedented building techniques, exotic imports and alien practices) suggests the plausible role of inter-regional migration in their adoption. The appraisal of intra-site spatial ar­rangements sheds fresh light upon the diachronic social trajectories of these agrarian communities, from a seemingly egalitarian organisation to an increasingly ranked one.
 
Open-area excavations in 2006. 
Forms of house abandonment. A rectangular burnt building devoid of items (partially overlaid by medieval walls); B burnt roundhouse infilled with several layers of cached mud-bricks (sooting apparent on the floor, under the adobes). 
Test-pit in 1990 showing a fence of boulders demarcating a compound (a), a drain pipe of slate slabs (b), an adobe-paved outdoor courtyard (c), and part of a roundhouse with multiple (17) soil layers (d). 
Unique terracotta zoomorphic object of unknown function. Scale in cm. 
The onset of the Iron Age underwent manifold disruptions. The emergence of long-lasting nucleated villages in Iberia c. 900/800 BC best encapsulates such profound changes. This paper draws on the results of excavations over the last few decades at a fortified tell-like settlement in central Iberia: Cerro de San Vicente (Spain). The article focuses on formation dynamics in earth architecture to understand the role of cultural choices in the genesis of these sites. The occurrence of sophisticated lifestyles and novel cultural expressions in this village (avant-garde devices such as a drain pipe, unprecedented building techniques, exotic imports and alien practices) suggests the plausible role of inter-regional migration in their adoption. The appraisal of intra-site spatial ar­rangements sheds fresh light upon the diachronic social trajectories of these agrarian communities, from a seemingly egalitarian organisation to an increasingly ranked one.
 
In this paper, it is argued that agriculture is a very complex technology, which takes a long time to learn, thus making it very difficult for agrarian practises to spread as ideas. Instead, based on a detailed survey of primary agrarian evidence (direct 14C dates of cereals and domesticated animals) and secondary evidence of material culture (polished axes and pottery), it is claimed that the expansions of agrarian practises in South Scandinavia are associated with the migration of farmers who were related to the Michelsberg Culture. These incoming farmers had the appropriate skills and the ability to teach the indigenous hunter-gatherer populations about agriculture by establishing communities of practice, a fact which supports the theory of integrationism. The engagement in these communities of practise changed the identity and material culture of the immigrating farmers, as well as the indigenous hunter-gatherers, thus creating new agrarian societies in South Scandinavia which were interconnected in a regional as well as larger European network.
 
Earliest ceramic complexes in the Circum-Baltic space (Ertebølle, Narva, Neman culture, Dąbki site), sites with Narva culture materials in the eastern part and Dnieper-Dvina basin (based on the data from Courel et al. 2020; Kotula et al. 2015; Hartz, Lübke 2006; Povlsen 2013; Tkachou 2018; Wawrusiewicz et al. 2017).
Early Neolithic bone industry: 1-2 Serteya II; 3, 7-9, 10 Rudnya Serteyskaya; 4, 5, 6 Serteya X.
The Dnieper-Dvina area is one of the regions in Eastern Europe which was part of a wider network of the earliest ceramic traditions, spread in the first half to the middle of the 6th millennium BC. After the collapse of this network new ceramic complexes appeared here, called the Rudnya culture, and at the end of the 6th millennium BC this manifested in changes in the directions of cultural connections. This region became part of the cultural space of the Circum-Baltic area. Several complexes within the Rudnya culture originated in different groups of Narva pottery, and are dated to c. 5400–4400 cal BC.
 
The Takarkori rockshelter shown in the region of the Messak plateau and surroundings (modified, from di Lernia et al. 2013).  
Showing the cultural sequence in the Tadrart Acacus region, pottery , rock art and food security. Histograms demonstrate the prevalence of dairy fat, ruminant and wild fauna adipose fats within ceramics excavated from the Takarkori rock shelter (modified, after Dunne et al. 2012).  
Plot of the ∆ ∆ 13 C values for the archaeological fat residues (Late Acacus/Early Pastoral and Middle/Late Pastoral). Significantly, the residues originating from the Late Acacus and Early Pastoral periods (Plot a) do not contain dairy fats, and plot in the non-ruminant range, probably deriving from wild fauna. Plot b clearly demonstrates that extensive processing of dairy products in pottery vessels from this region begins in the Middle Pastoral period c. 5200–3800 BC. The ranges shown here represent the mean ± 1 s.d. of the ∆ ∆ 13 C values for a global database comprising modern reference animal fats and fats from Africa, UK (animals raised on a pure C 3 diet) (Dudd, Evershed 1998), Kazakhstan (Outram et al. 2009), Switzerland (Spangenberg et al. 2006) and the Near East (Gregg et al. 2009), published elsewhere.  
Previous research has identified the antiquity and chronology of dairying practices as beginning in the Near East and its subsequent spread across Europe. In the Libyan Sahara, archaeological evidence, confirmed by the remarkable rock art depicting cattle herding, together with faunal evidence, also suggests an early inception of dairying practices in North Africa and the formation of an independent 'secondary products' economy by mobile pastoral groups. In this paper, we elaborate on the first unequivocal chemical evidence, based on the δ13C and Δ13C values of the major fatty acids of milk fat, for the adoption of dairying practices by prehistoric Saharan African people in the fifth millennium BC.
 
Alkali ponds in the Danube Tisza Interfluve region (R. Balázs). 
Map showing the distribution of the first farmers (LBK culture) in Central Europe (S. Hansen, modified by E. Bánffy). 
Map showing the distribution of the first farmers (LBK culture) in Central Europe, with the three major salt regions marked (S. Hansen, adapted by E. Bánffy). 
While there are ample data for salt exploitation in later prehistory, in the Neolithic, i.e. 6th–5th millennium BC, archaeological data from Southern Central Europe remain scanty. The paper attempts to give an overview of Neolithic salt research in the Carpathian basin. Both the archaeological traces and the research of Neolithic salt extraction activity are rather uneven there. While the eastern half had close contacts with Transylvanian salt regions, the western part, i.e. Transdanubia, lacks salt sources of any kind. The obvious need for salt gave rise to the search for salt-rich areas within reach of the early LBK migration in Central Europe, and indeed, these groups had rapidly settled in three key salt regions in Western and Central Germany, as well as in Little Poland. One of the reasons for the rapid migration and long-term contacts with these zones might thus have been access to salt. In general terms, it is in many cases highly probable that some sites specialised in salt exploitation, and that certain regions served as settings for exchange networks
 
Map of the area with the main Neolithic and Copper Age sites: 1 Paradeisos, 2 Kastri, 3 Limenaria, 4 Polystylo, 5 Dikili Tash, 6 Eleftheroupoli, 7 Kalamonas, 8 Kalambaki, 9 Doxato, 10 Kefalari, 11 Adriani, 12 Kallifytos, 13 Arkadikos-Drama, 14 Xeropotamos, 15 Mylopotamos, 16 Petroussa, 17 Maaras-Angitis Sources, 18 Kali Vrysi, 19 Megalokambos, 20 Sitagroi, 21 Mavrolefki, 22 Symvoli, 23 Orpheas-Alistrati Cave, 24 Angista R.S.-Paliokostra, 25 Nea Bafra, 26 Aïri Baïri, 27 Dimitra, 28 Fidokoryfi, 29 Mikro Souli, 30 Moustheni, 31 Podochori, 32 Loutra Eleftheron, 33 Akropotamos, 34 Kokkinochori, 35 Galepsos, 36 Ofrynio, 37 Amphipolis-Hill 133, 38 Kryoneri, 39 Kastanochori, 40 Zervochori, 41 Tholos, 42 Toumba, 43 Pentapoli, 44 Agio Pnevma, 45 Fakistra Chryssou, 46 Chrysso R.S., 47 Vergi, 48 Strymoniko, 49 Promachon-Topolnica, 50 Katarraktes-Sidirokastro, 51 Asprovalta-Agia Lydia, 52 Asprovalta-Platoma, 53 Arethoussa, 54 Mikri Volvi, 55 Nea Apollonia, 56 Profitis. Sites no. 51 to 56 belong administratively to the region of central Macedonia. Red dots indicate sites with evidence of metal objects and/or metallurgy.
Limenaria, silver pin (© Ephorate of Antiquities of Kavala).
Dikili Tash, fragment of a gold-painted vessel from sector 2 (© Dikili Tash Project-EFA).
Copper, gold, and silver artefacts, together with evidence of metallurgical activities, have been retrieved from Late Neolithic strata in several settlements in Greek Eastern Macedonia. Recent excavations at Dikili Tash revealed that gold was further used in paints for the decoration of pottery. It appears that the area’s inhabitants had a great familiarity with different metals and the distinct stages of the production-elaboration processes, including those interfering with other chaînes opératoires. Considering also the results from geological research, we propose a reflection on the socio-economic role of metal production and consumption for these societies, in their broader Balkan context.
 
The archaeobotanical remains from Velištak are the first evidence of plant economies from an open-air settlement dating to the late Neolithic Hvar culture in Croatia (c. 4900–4000 cal BC). The results presented here are from the 2007–2013 field seasons. Based on an examination of carbonised macro-remains, it is suggested that emmer, einkorn, and barley were the main crops at Velištak, along with lentils, bitter vetch, and possibly peas and flax. Wild plants were also exploited, with evidence of wild fruits, such as cornelian cherry. Similarities with archaeobotanical finds from the early/middle Neolithic (c. 6000–4900 cal BC) also suggest that plant economies remained relatively unchanged during the Neolithic.
 
The distribution of the pits around the communal building (Ug gurlu Archive).
Illustration of an adult male (Indv. 7), the arms and hands positions suggesting binding (illustration by Begona Rodriguez).
Illustration of the bodies in order in the pit (by Begona Rodriguez).
Intertwined extremities of different individuals with no fill between them indicating simultaneous disposal of the bodies.
Eleven human skeletons were found in a 2m deep circular pit in an open area dating to 5389–5300 cal BC at Uğurlu/Gökçeada. The pit can be considered as a part of the pit tradition frequently seen in Thracian and Balkan prehistory. Its unique contents, however, are discussed in this paper in the scope of possible motivations. An ‘accompanied dead’ hypothesis is offered as the possible motivation of the case based on the contents and depositional details of bodies within the pit. This type of deposition was practiced throughout Europe starting from the early Neolithic through the Chalcolithic.
 
The transition from a (predominantly) mobile way of life relying on hunting, fishing and gathering to a (predominantly) sedentary life-style based on farming and animal husbandry is considered in the western Pontic archaeological tradition almost exclusively from a southern, AegeanAnatolian perspective. Contacts between the steppe and forest steppe of the north-eastern Balkans and the north-western Pontic were seen as linear and unidirectional; ‘cultures’ were defined almost exclusively on the basis of pottery styles. Not only such traditional viewpoints, but also the political conditions of the 20th century further biased prehistoric research. However, the outer Carpathian region should not be treated as a periphery of the inner Carpathian Cris culture, but as a region of multidirectional exchange networks. Moreover, certain traditions are obviously rooted in the Mesolithic of that area.
 
Intensive and systematic surveys in the area south of Mount Olympos and west of Mount Ossa revealed not only tell settlements, but also several flat sites from different prehistoric periods. For one of the settlements, namely Elateia 1, a detailed relative chronological assessment was made with the help of statistical evaluations of pottery assemblages. In addition, short-lived bone samples confirmed and more precisely defined the exact chronological position of this 10-hectare site within the Middle Neolithic period. The present study underlines the importance of statistical evaluations of complete pottery assemblages, even those obtained through survey investigations, and their significance for a better understanding of chronological, chorological and post-depositional processes.
 
Map locating Girmeler Cave and other major sites mentioned in the text.
Trench A with the remains of a late 9 th /early 8 th millennium BC structure with a lime-plastered floor and related features such as hearths, bins, basins, and postholes.
A mound settlement in front of the Girmeler Cave near the major Lycian city of Tlos in SW Turkey revealed evidence for occupation during the late 9th and 8th millennia BC. The ccupation is characterized by a structure with at least two layers of lime-plastered floor, hearths and bins and a wattle-and-daub superstructure, all pointing to a sedentary community engaged in intensive hunting and gathering. The trial trenches at Girmeler Cave also yielded evidence of an Early Pottery Neolithic period at the end of the 8th millennium BC. The remains of several buildings with terrazzo floors and wattle-and-daub superstructures were found. It is likely that the cave served as a sacred site in the Early Pottery Neolithic period. There was a hiatus between the late 9th/early 8th millennium BC and the Early Pottery Neolithic occupations at the site. IZVLE∞EK - Naselbina na gomili pred vhodom v jamo Girmeler v bli∫ini pomembnega likijskega mesta Tlos v jugozahodni Tur≠iji razkriva dokaze o poselitvi v ≠asu poznega 9. in 8. tiso≠letja pr. n. Πt. Zna≠ilnost poselitve je struktura z vsaj dvema plastema z apnom prekritih tal, ognjiΠ≠, odpadnih jam in butane nadgradnje, kar ka∫e na sedentarno skupnost, ki se je ukvarjala z intenzivnim lovom in nabiralniΠtvom. Testne sonde v jami Girmeler so prinesle dokaze o poselitvi v obdobju zgodnjega kerami≠nega neolitika ob koncu 8. tiso≠letja pr. n. Πt. Odkriti so bili ostanki ve≠ zgradb s teraco tlemi in butano nadgradnjo. Verjetno je, da je jama v zgodnjem kerami≠nem,neolitiku slu∫ila kot svet kraj. Med poznim 9./zgodnjim 8. tiso≠letjem pr. n. Πt. in poselitvijo v zgodnjem kerami≠nem neolitiku je prepoznana prekinitev.
 
Examples of refuse recovered in room SA IIa. a broken bronze knife (A.423.1); b large bowl with repair in antiquity (A.516.18); c jug with ancient breakages (A.434.8); d picrolite with traces of macro use-wear (A.342.95) (readapted from Bombardieri 2017).
Rooms investigated in the workshop complex of Erimi-Laonin tou Porakou and the distribution of the burnt layer (elaborated by the author).
Unit SA X before and after the archaeological investigation. On the bottom (left side) are shown the blocks removed from the room (archive Erimi archaeological project/Italian archaeological mission in Erimi, Cyprus).
A typical Cypriot building after the partial dismantling (photo by A. Villani).
Reconstruction of the renovations layout in area B (Bombardieri 2017.70, Fig. 3.87).
The aim of this paper, starting from the analysis of the assemblage and stratigraphy of the unburned rooms, is to analyse the possible discard and disuse processes during the planned and gradual abandonment at Erimi-Laonin tou Porakou (Cyprus). Scholars note how the decision to leave objects when a place is abandoned depends on multiple factors, from functional reasons to ritual practices. At Erimi some markers suggest a possible intentional closure treatment of parts of the site in which it is possible to recognise a mix of functional and symbolic abandonment behaviours.
 
The Abharroud basin is an important region in archaeological studies of the northwestern outskirts of the central plateau, and the west and northwest ofIran. Considering its environmental capabilities and geographical location, studying the region can leads us to a better understanding of regional relations and also inter-regional interaction between the cultural-geographical regions. During the two seasons of archaeological survey, 257 archaeological sites were discovered, dating from the lower Palaeolithic to recent ages. Of these, 54 sites contained prehistoric remains. Most of the identified sites are the remains of scattered villages and seasonal camps in different areas of the basin, on the plain and also impassable heights.
 
This paper is an introduction to the discussion of radiocarbon chronology of Neolithic cul­­tures in Eastern Europe. It relates to a number of papers published in this volume.
 
This paper is an introduction to the discussion of radiocarbon chronology of Neolithic cul­­tures in Eastern Europe. It relates to a number of papers published in this volume.
 
East Chia Sabz is a PPN site located in the Seimareh Valley, western Iran. 14C dating results indicated that the site was occupied from the early 9th millennium to the early 7th millennium BC. As we have very little information about early Neolithic sites in Iran in comparison with the other regions of the Near and Middle East, the site of East Chia Sabz will provide a new benchmark for investigating the Neolithisation process in Iran. It is important to note that further investigation of Chia Sabz will certainly provide more secure information about how and when the Epipaleolithic transition to the Neolithic started in the region. This paper will present the recent excavations at the site, and then, based on the 14C dates, will discuss the site's importance in western Iran.
 
Investigations of a balk in the centre of the prehistoric settlement of D∫uljunica-SmərdeΠ comprised a sequence of archaeological deposits from the very onset of Neolithisation in Southeastern Europe throughout the end of the Early Neolithic. The arrival of Neolithic lifeways in the region coincides with the end of a period for which palaeoclimate proxies attest to considerable climate fluctuation. In connection with these investigations, the zoological finds were examined, which provide insight into the economy of this key settlement for the entire Balkan region. IZVLE∞EK - Raziskave ozkega pasu sedimenta med dvema izkopnima jarkoma v srediΠ≠u prazgodovinske naselbine D∫uljunica-SmərdeΠ predstavljajo zaporedje arheoloΠkih depozitov od samega za- ≠etka neolitizacije v Jugovzhodni Evropi do konca zgodnjega neolitika. Prihod neolitskega na≠ina ∫ivljenja v regiji sovpada s koncem obdobja, za katerega paleoklimatski kazalci pri≠ajo o znatnih klimatskih nihanjih. V povezavi s temi raziskavami smo preu≠ili zooloΠke najdbe, ki omogo≠ajo vpogled v gospodarstvo te za celoten Balkan klju≠ne naselbine.
 
Weight analysis of ring bars from southern Germany (after Lenerz-de Wilde 1995). 
Examples of artefacts that could be perceived according to a linear measure in the Eneolithic period (after various authors): 2A-copper rings of the Baden culture; 2B-examples of necklaces from the Alpine region dated to the end of 4 th millennium; 2C-copper beads of Cortaillod culture; 2Dexamples of the sheet and wire industries of the later Eneolithic in the Alps; 2E-objects made from copper wire of the Epi-Corded Ware communities. 
The placement and analysis of copper beads in Colmar. Certain values have been attached to particular parts of the body (after Dzbyński 2013). 
If we accept the thesis that advanced metrological systems existed in Bronze Age societies, described and analysed as weight standards by many authors, we should also consider its simple consequence; these weight standards were the successors of earlier and rather simpler systems of value that developed within Eneolithic societies. Dealing with the issue of early metallurgy in Europe, some authors have traced patterns and proliferation cycles of copper for this period that allow us to see that the introduction of metal to the main regions in Europe was the subject of growth, spread, and changing social perspectives rather than a crisis in metal production and hiatus. This is the point, I think, at which we can embed one source of Bronze Age weight standards on the one hand, and earlier simpler methods of measuring copper, on the other.
 
The Birth of Neolithic Britain is the fourth major work by the acclaimed Julian Thomas, one of the leading proponents of interpretive archaeology or archaeology informed by philosophy, anthropology and discussions in the arts and social sciences in general. After exposing the assumption and prejudices of archaeologists’ narratives of the Neolithic and presenting innovative explanations of the shift from hunting-gathering to farming as well as other issues in Rethinking the Neolithic (1991; reworked and updated version Understanding the Neolithic in 1999), questioning Western conceptualisations of time, identity, materiality with the help of archaeological case studies in the ‘Heideggerian’ Time, Culture and Identity (1996) and further contextualised archaeology as part of a (post)modern worldview in Archaeology and Modernity (2004), this book seems to be a relevant continuation of Thomas’s work. This is probably the first significant work on Neolithisation since Graeme Barker’s global overview The Agricultural Revolution in Prehistory (2006, Oxford: Oxford University Press), this time with a focus on Europe and particularly Britain.
 
Investigating accounting systems and their progressive development during the prehistoric period is a critical issue in the recognition of human societies, their communication, and the formation of inter- and intra-regional trade systems, which led to the invention of writing systems. The present study deals with the typology and classification of the Chalcolithic (Bakun) period. Numerical/counting tokens have been discovered in Tal-e Mash Karim in Semirom district in Esfahan province in Iran. The cultural materials include thirty-two numerical tokens and a clay slab with tally marks. The numerical tokens may be divided into three main categories and seven subcategories: round and oval tokens for measuring agricultural products, and flat and disc-shaped tokens representing animals and food products. The discovery of a tallying slab beside the artefacts proves the existence of an early accounting system.
 
Investigating the accounting systems and their progressive development during the prehistoric period is a critical issue in recognition of human societies, their communication, and formation of inter- and intra-regional trade system transformed to innovation of writing systems. The present study aims at studying the typology and classification of the Chalcolithic (Middle Bakun, 4500 BC) period. Numerical objects discovered in Tal-e Mash Karim in Semirom district located in Esfahan province, Iran. The discovered cultural materials contain 32 numerical tokens and a clay tallying slab. The numerical tokens are divided into three main categories and seven subcategories. On that basis, round and oval shape tokens for measuring agricultural products and flat and disc shape tokens are representing animals and animal products related productions. The discovery of a tallying slab beside the artifacts all is proving the existence on an early accounting system.
 
The Pre-Pottery-Neolithic refers to a period in the Eastern Mediterranean when ceramic containers were not yet in use (although small objects made of clay were already being created). This concept, which reflects a specific and quite unique stage in the development of human history, was introduced to Aegean prehistory under the term of Preceramic during the 1950's (e.g., in Argissa-Magoula and Sesklo). Shortly thereafter, a different term, the Aceramic, was applied in the Aegean (e.g., in Knossos) for levels devoid of pottery, although ceramic products were supposedly used in the wider region. In some cases, the thin levels interpreted as Preceramic or as Aceramic contained sherds that were regarded as being intrusive from above (e.g., Argissa-Magoula, Franchthi Cave). The new sequences of radiocarbon dates allow a more precise description of this early period and thereby contribute, not least, also to the clarification of terminological issues.
 
The research discussed in this paper focused on the analysis and identification of organic residues either preserved as visible or absorbed organic remains on Neolithic and Eneolithic pottery from various archaeological and geographical contexts. These are connected with various food preparation strategies and past human activities, i.e. cave burials in Ajdovska jama (food as a grave good/offering), the rock shelter at Mala Triglavca (meat and dairy animal husbandry practices) and Moverna vas, which had a long occupation sequence (complex farming and animal management). The preservation of biomarkers mirrored past human activities and different pottery uses at various types of sites. The carbon stable isotope ratios of primary fatty acids in lipid pottery extracts confirmed the presence of adipose and dairy fats as well as biomarkers of plant fats, beeswax and birch bark tar. IZVLE∞EK - Predstavljeno raziskovalno delo se je osredoto≠alo na analizo in identifikacijo organskih ostankov na povrΠini neolitske in eneolitske keramike ter ostankov lipidov absorbiranih v kerami≠- no matrico vzorcev iz razli≠nih arheoloΠkih in geografskih kontekstov. Ti so povezani z razli≠nimi strategijami priprave hrane in preteklimi ≠loveΠkimi aktivnostmi - pokopi v Ajdovski jami (hrana kot grobni pridatek), skalni previs Mala Triglavca (mesna in mlekarska ∫ivinoreja) ter naselbina Moverna vas z dolgo stratigrafsko sekvenco (kompleksno poljedelstvo in ∫ivinoreja). Razli≠ne tipe najdiΠ≠ je bilo mogo≠e povezati z raznolikimi dejavnostmi in raznoliko uporabo kerami≠nih posod prek ohranjenih biomarkerjev. Analiza razmerja stabilnih izotopov glavnih maΠ≠obnih kislin v kerami≠- nih ekstraktih je potrdila prisotnost mesnih in mle≠nih maΠ≠ob glavnih domestikatov kakor tudi navzo≠ nost lipidnih biomarkerjev rastlinskega izvora, ostanke ≠ebeljega voska in smole.
 
Top-cited authors
Lee Clare
  • Deutsches Archäologisches Institut
Bernhard Paul Weninger
  • University of Cologne
Mihael Budja
  • University of Ljubljana
Olaf Jöris
  • Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum - Archaeological research institute
Jörg Linstädter
  • Deutsches Archäologisches Institut