Going West? uses the latest data to question how the Neolithic way of life was diffused from the Near East to Europe via Anatolia. The transformations of the 7th millennium BC in western Anatolia undoubtedly had a significant impact on the neighboring regions of southeast Europe. Yet the nature, pace and trajectory of this impact needs still to be clarified. Archaeologists searched previously for similarities in prehistoric, especially Early Neolithic, material cultures on both sides of the Sea of Marmara. Recent research shows that although the isthmi of the Dardanelles and the Bosporus connect Asia Minor and the eastern Balkans, they apparently did not serve as passageways for the dissemination of Neolithic innovations. Instead, the first permanent settlements are situated near the Aegean coast of Thrace and Macedonia, often occurring close to the mouths of big rivers in secluded bays. The courses and the valleys of rivers such as the Maritsa, Strymon and Axios, were perfect corridors for contact and exchange.Using previous studies as a basis for fresh research, this volume presents exciting new viewpoints by analyzing recently discovered materials and utilising interdisciplinary investigations with the application of modern research methods.
The seventeen authors of this book have dedicated their research to a renewed evaluation of an old problem: namely, the question of how the complex transformations at the transition from the Mesolithic to the Neolithic can be explained. They have focused their studies on the vast area of the eastern Balkans and the Pontic region between the Bosporus and the rivers Strymon, Danube and Dniestr. Going West? thus offers an overview of the current state of research concerning the Neolithisation of these areas, considering varied viewpoints and also providing useful starting points for future investigations.
About the Author
Agathe Reingruber, researcher at the Freie Universität Berlin, is specialized on topics related to the Neolithic and Chalcolithic of southeast Europe (Greece, Turkey, Romania). She is currently running a project in northeastern Thessaly focusing on population dynamics.
Zoï Tsirtsoni, researcher at the French National Centre of Scientific Research (CNRS, Laboratory Archéologies et Sciences de l’Antiquité, Nanterre), is specialized on the Neolithic, Chalcolithic and Bronze Age periods in the Aegean and southern Balkans. She is co-director of the Greek-French research project at the multilayer (tell) settlement of Dikili Tash in northern Greece.
Petranka Nedelcheva, Assistant Professor at the New Bulgarian University (Sofia), is a lithics specialist for the Neolithic, Chalcolithic and Bronze Age periods in southeast Europe, western Anatolia and the Caucasus. She participates in several projects in Greece, Turkey, Romania and Georgia.
Table of Contents
Northwest Anatolia: A Border or a Bridge between Anatolia and the Balkans during the Early Neolithic Period?
Anatolia and the Balkans: The Role of the Black Sea between ‘East’ and ‘West’ during the Neolithic Period
Whither the Aegean Neolithic?
Identifying the Earliest Neolithic Settlements in the Southeastern Balkans: Methodological Considerations based on the Recent Geoarchaeological Investigations at Dikili Tash (Greek Eastern Macedonia)
Laurent Lespez, Zoï Tsirtsoni, Pascal Darcque, Dimitra Malamidou, Haïdo Koukouli-Chryssanthaki and Arthur Glais
Lithic Industries and their Role in Neolithisation Models in Southeast Europe
Ivan Gatsov, Petranka Nedelcheva, Malgorzata Kaczanowska and Janusz K. Kozłowski
Thrace, post-6000 BC
The First Balkan Neolithic in the Lower Danube Plain and the Making of a Pottery Tradition
The Beginning of the Neolithic Way of Life in the Eastern Lower Danube Area: A View from the North
The Transition from the Mesolithic to the Neolithic between Western Anatolia and the Lower Danube: Evidence from Burial Customs
Appendix: 14C Database for Southeast Europe and Adjacent Areas (6600–5000 cal BC)
Laurens Thissen and Agathe Reingruber