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(un)settling the Neolithic

Edited by Douglass Bailey, Alasdair Whittle and Vicki Cummings

Oxbow Books

Published by Oxbow Books, Park End Place, Oxford OX1 1HN

© Oxbow Books and the individual authors, 2005

ISBN 1-84217-179-8

A CIP record of this book is available from the British Library

This book is available direct from Oxbow Books, Park End Place, Oxford OX1 1HN (Phone: 01865-241249; Fax: 01865-794449) and The David Brown Book Company PO Box 511, Oakville, CT 06779, USA (Phone: 860-945-9329; Fax: 860-945-9468) or from our website www.oxbowbooks.com

Cover image: "Disrupting the view, with apologies to Theocharis" designed by D W Bailey

2005;

General Library System University of Wisconsin - Madison 728 State Street Madison, WI 53706-1494 U.S.A.

Printed in the United Kingdom by Arrowsmith, Bristol

Dedicated to the memory of John Evans (1941-2005) who died while this volume was at proof stage. In many ways these papers carryon in the spirit with which John attacked, challenged and questioned much of what we take for granted.

Contents

List of Contributors 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. Unsettling the Neolithic: breaking downconcepts, Douglass Bailey and Alasdair Whittle boundaries and origins

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1 8 16 ; 32 38 51
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Across the border: unstable dwellings and fluid landscapes in the earliest Neolithic of Greece Kostas Kotsakis 00............................................................................................. Deconstructing essentialisms: unsettling frontiers of the Mesolithic-Neolithic Duson Boric Can seasonality studies be used to identify sedentism in the past? Nicky Milner Resettling the Neolithic: faunal evidence for seasons of consumption and residence at Neolithic sites in Greece Paul Halstead Plain talk: animals, environment and culture in the Neolithic of the Carpathian Basin and adjacent areas Laszlo Bartosiewicz Lived experience in the Early Neolithic of the Great Hungarian Plain Alasdair Whittle : The role of pottery in agropastoralist communities in early Neolithic southern Romania Laurens Thissen Sensing the place: sounds and landscape perception Steve Mills Beyond the meaning of Neolithic houses: specific objects and serial repetition Douglass Bailey Weaving house life and death into places: a blueprint for a hypermedia narrative Ruth Tringham Memory and ordination: environmental archaeology in tells J.G. Evans The spatio-temporal organization of the early 'town' at Catalhoyuk Ian Hodder Settling the Neolithic: a digestif Andrew Sherratt Balkans

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90 98 112 126 140

List of Contributors

Douglass Bailey School of History and Archaeology Cardiff University ColumDrive Cardiff CFIO 3EU United Kingdom Laszlo Bartosiewicz Institute of Archaeological Sciences Lorand Eotvos University Miizeum konit 4/B 1088 Budapest Hungary Dusan Borie Department of Archaeology Cambridge University Downing Street Cambridge CB2 3DZ United Kingdom John Evans School of History and Archaeology Cardiff University ColumDrive Cardiff CFI0 3EU United Kingdom Paul Halstead Department of Archaeology and Prehistory University of Sheffield Northgate House Sheffield S 1 4ET United Kingdom

Ian Hodder Department of Cultural and Social Anthropology Stanford University Building 110, Main Quad Stanford, California 94305 United States Kostas Kotsakis Department of Archaeology Aristotle University of Thessaloniki Thessaloniki,54124 Greece Steve Mills School of History and Archaeology Cardiff University ColumDrive Cardiff CFlO 3EU United Kingdom Nicky Milner Department of Archaeology University of York The King's Manor York YOI 7EP United Kingdom Andrew Sherratt Ashmolean Museum Oxford OXI 2PH United Kingdom Laurens Thissen 2e Jan v/d Heydenstr. 86 1074 XZ Amsterdam The Netherlands

Ruth Tringham Department of Anthropology University of California at Berkeley 232 Kroeber Hall Berkeley, California 94720-3710 United States

Alasdair Whittle School of History and Archaeology Cardiff University ColumDrive Cardiff CFlO 3EU United Kingdom

Index

A Abu Hureyra 112,113; fig. 12.1 aceramic Neolithic 9, 119 AchilleioniAkhillion 33, 40, 43; figs 5.1, 5.2 acoustic information 3, 4, 79-89 agency 64, 81 Agia Sophia 43; figs 5.1, 5.2; tables 5.1, 5.2 agriculture 2, 3, 4, 12, 66; seasonal patterns of 40, 43, 45 Anau 117; fig. 12.1 Andre, C. 93, 96n6; Lever (1966) 94, 95 animal 2, 38-50, 51-63; birthing seasons 2; domestication 4; grazing 53; husbandry 38-50, 51; mortality patterns 2, 3940; relationships among species, 53-4; sounds of 4, 84-88; wild 51,54,56,57,60; figs 6.3, 6.9; tables 5.1, 5.2, 6.2 Arapi 51 architecture 2-4, 90-97; see also flat sites, pit features, tells, villages Argissa 1, 8, 9, 13; animal bones fr~m 51 Asiki Hoyiik 116, 120, 123, 131, 133, 142; figs 12.1, 12.3, 12.4 auditory archaeology 81 aurochs 51, 52, 56, 58, 60 B Bachelard, G. 98, 108nl Bal~ 76n8 Barrett, J. 64 beaver 53 Beycesultan 117; fig. 12.1 birds 4, 33, 66, 84, 85, 87 bitter vetch 41 Bladen, R. 93, 94 Boian culture 72, 73, 82 bone jewellery 58 bone tools 56 border: as interpretive concept 10, 12, 18 boundaries 5-6, 18, 71 built environment see architecture C Can Hasan 117; fig. 12.1 Carcea 74; animal bones from 76nl0 Catalhoytlk Sv S, 103, 105, 116, 117, 118, 119, 126-139; burials 129, 130, 131, 133, 135-136; skulls 134; figs 12.1, 12.5,

12.7, 13.1, 13.2, 13.3, 13.4, 13.5 cattle 4, 5, 51, 52, 55, 58, 72, 84; used for traction 57 Cayonu 112, 131, 133; figs 12.1, 12.2 cereals 43, 45, 47, 66 Chapman, J. 106, 123 Childe, G. 10, 142; definition of the Neolithic 4, 8, 12,40,51 choreography 64, 65 conviviality 6, 64-65 cooking 5, 71-78, 128; with stones 74-75, 76n13 Cris culture 65; animal bones from 55 Crvena Stijena: fig. 3.1 Cyclope Cave 19,21; fig. 3.1 D Danube Gorges 16, 19-27; animal bones from 55; fig. 3.1 diffusion 11, 13, 16 Dimini 43, 120; figs 5.1, 5.2, 12.1, 12.8; tables 5.1, 5.2 Divostin 99, 101 dog 53-4 Doliana 47,48; fig. 5.1; tables 5.1, 5.2 Dolnf Vestonice 112; fig. 12.1 domicide 6, 106-107 dornithanasia 6, 106, 107 Donja Branjevina 74 Drosia 9 Dudesti culture 5, 72, 73, 76n12 dwelling 64, 68 E Ecsegfalva 7, 65-70, 115; animal bones from 55, 56 emotion 6 Endrod 119; animal bones from 51, 55 Erbaba 120; fig. 12.1 Ertebelle 34 ethnographic data: use in Neolithic archaeology 16, 35, 67 F farmers 1, 4, 12, 23; as distinct from hunter-gatherers fauna 2, 33-37, 38-50 feasting 49 figurines 135 fire 6, 98-111 fish 33, 60, 66 fishing 6, 12, 24, 51, 60, 72, 74

148

Index

flat sites 2, 3, 4, 9, 43, 45-48, 91; year-round activity at 48 Flavin, D. 93, 96n7, 97n7 flora 33-37, 40 food production 4, 5, 6; see also fauna foragers 4, 9, 17, 23, 32 Franchthi Cave 19; fig 3.1 frontier: as interpretive concept 10-11, 12, 16-31; multiple 11-12 G gathering 12, 51 Glavanestii Vechi 74, 76n8 Gobekli Tepe 112, l33; fig. 12.1 Gomolava 106 Gorzsa: fig. 6.6 Greek Neolithic: historiography of 8-13 Grotta dell ,Edera 19; fig. 3.1 Gumelnita culture 82 Gura Baciului 74 H Hajducka Vodenica: fig. 3.5 Hamangia culture: animal bones from 55 hearth 6, 129 Herpaly culture 51,57,58 Herpaly: fig. 6.6 houses 3, 90-97,126,127, 128-l31, 132, 134, 136-7; burnt 6, 99-111 human bone 5; at Lepenski Vir 23-25; stable isotope analysis of, 23-25, fig. 3.5 hunter-gatherers 1,4, 12, 17,32,71; as distinct from farmers 1, 9 hunting 6, 12, 51, 52, 53, 54, 56, 58, 66, 72, 74

Lengyel culture 58 Lepenski Vir 5, 19, 22, 53; animal bones from 55; burial number 7 at, 23-25; human bone 23-25; figs 3.3, 3.4, 3.5 LeWitt, S. 94, 96n5 Linearbandkeramik 32, 91; animal bones from 55 lithics 19 Ludas-Budzsak: animal bones from 55 M Magura 82, 83 Makriyalos 2, 9, 45, 47, 48; Pit Number 212 at, 47-48, 49; fig. 5.1; tables 5.1, 5.2 Maroslele-Pana 1, 25, 75; animal bones from 55; burial at 26; figs 3.1, 3.6 material culture 4-5, 6, 12, 71-78, 131; see also pottery, specific objects Medena Stijena: fig. 3.1 memory 3, 5, 6, 23, 112-125, 128, 131-136 Mesolithic l3, 19, 32, 71; versus Neolithic 5, 6, 9, 10, 12, 13, 16-31 Mesolithic-Neolithic transition 16-31, 71, 74 milking 55-6 Milojcie, V. 8, 10 Minimalism 92-96 mobility 1-4, 5, 12, 32, 33, 38-50 Morris, R. 92, 96n4; untitled (2 L Beams) 92, 94, 95; fig. 10.2 N Nea Nikomedeia 114, 118; fig. 12. Nineveh fig. 12.1

o
ochre 5, 73, 74, 76nll Ocna Sibiului 76n8 Ocsod: fig. 6.6 Odmut 19; figs 3.1, 3.2; table 3.1 Opovo 106, 108 orientalism 10, 16, 17, 27 Otzaki 9, 51 Ovcharovo 103, 105 oven 99 Overing, J. 64-65 P Padina 19; animal bones from 55; fig. 3.5 performances 6, 134 pig 4, 39-40, 41, 43, 47, 48, 51, 52, 53, 83, 84; table 5.1 pit features 72, 73-74, 91, 114 Plateia Magoula Zarkou 40-41, 45, 117, 123; figs 5.1, 5.2, 12.1; table 5.1 Pobiti Kamani: fig. 3.1 Poienesti 76n8 Polgar-Csoszhalom 143; animal bones from 57; fig. 6.5, 6.7 Porteous, D. 107 pottery 5, 71-78 Prodromos sites 43, 45; figs 5.1, 5.2; tables 5.1, 5.2 Pupicina Pee 19; fig. 3.1 pyschoanalysis 3, 112-125; the unconscious and 3

identity 6, 12, l3, 16, 18, 27, 120 Ilipinar 118~119, fig. 12.1 Ingold, T. 64 innovation 5 J Jarmo 112, 113; fig. 12.1 Jasbereny I: fig. 3.1 Jasztelek I: fig. 3.1 Jericho 112; fig. 12.1 Judd, D. 93, 95, 96n3 K Karanovo: animal bones from 55; fig. 12.1 Klisura 1; fig 3.1 Konispol Cave 19; fig 3.1 Kopytoff,T. 10-11, 12 Koros culture 4, 58, 59, 60, 64-70, 69n1, 75; animal bones from 51, 54, 55, 57 Kostenki 112; fig. 12.1 Kremastos 9 L Laceni 82 Lachish 118; fig.12.1 landscape 3, 6, 64, 74, 79-89, Lebo 55

Q
117-118, 120; fluid 13 Qermez Dere 112; fig. 12.1

Index

149

R red deer 34, 51, 58; teeth of 58; fig. 6.7 repetition 3, 90-97, 127, 128, 129, 136 residence 1-4; claims for 4; see also tells, villages S Said, E. 17, 18 Schela Cladovei 71; fig. 3.5 seasonality 2, 38-50; of consumption 45-48, 49; study of 3237, 39-40; at tells 43-45; fig. 5.2 Sebrn Abri: fig. 3.1 sedentism 1-4, 12, 32-33, 36, 38-50, 140-146; see also residence, settlement Selevac 100, 115; fig. 12.1 seriality 3, 95, 97nll Sesklo 1, 8, 9, 13, 40, ll8; fig. 12.1 settlement 1-4, 140-146; see also residence, sedentism, tells, villages Sensa 76n8 sheep/goat 4, 5, 34, 39~40, 41, 43, 47, 48, 51, 52,53, 54, 55, 59, 66, 68, 76nl0; table 5.2 shellfish 34, 66 Sidari: fig. 3.1 Sitagroi: fig. 12.1 site:' definition of 4; experimental 13 Smith, T. 93, 94 specific objects 95 Star Carr 34 Starcevo 9, 51, 74 Starcevo-Cris culture 5, 7, 65, 72 Stevanovic, M. 98 T Techirghiol: animal bones from 55 Teleor 003 7, 71-78

tells 1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 9, 32, 40, 43, 45, 57, 82, 87, 88, 91, 108, ll2-125, 126-139; compared to flat sites 57, 115, 120; evidence for seasonality at fig. 5.2; visuality of 120, 121; fig. 12.9 Theocharis, D. 8, 10, 11 Theopetra 13, 19, 21; fig 3.1 Tisza culture 51, 58; animal bones from 56, 57 Tiszapolgar culture 58 Topole-Bac 25; burial 26; fig. 3.1 Trestiana 76n8 Tripolye culture 51, 52, 58, 98, 104 Turner, F.J. 17 U Umm Dabaghiyah 119; fig. 12.1 unconscious 114-J 15, 121 Ur 115; fig. 12.1 V Vadastra culture 72, 73 Verbita 76n8 villages 1, 90-97, 126 Vinca 9 Vinca culture 100 Vitanesti 82, 83 Vlasac 53; fig. 3.5 Vruca Pecina: fig. 3.1 W wave-of-advance woodlands 114

model l I, 17

XYZ
Zas Cave 47, 48; fig. 5.1; tables 5.1, 5.2 Zseliz group: animal bones from 56-7

1. Unsettling the Neolithic: breaking down concepts, boundaries and origins


Douglass Bailey and Alasdair Whittle

Introduction
To unsettle the Neolithic of central and eastern Europe is to recognise the limitations of fundamental concepts and structures that underlie research. It is to ask difficult questions and to think in new and challenging ways. Are we satisfied with our use of concepts such as sedentism and mobility, or domestic economy? Are we aware of the inherent assumptions that accompany ideas about the origins of or transitions to the Neolithic? Are we at ease with the very idea of an entity that we call the 'Neolithic'? The major aim of this book, besides presenting a range of individual reports on innovative research, is to ask these questions and, in doing so, to unsettle our understariding of human activities in central and eastern Europe from 6500-3500 cal Be. If, as we suspect, the answers that emerge expose frailties in many of the core concepts that we use to orchestrate our research, our excavations and our interpretive efforts, then what are the consequences? If we become dissatisfied with the ways in which we engage the Neolithic of central and eastern Europe, then what are we to do? Unsettling the Neolithic is not only a stimulation to question the coherence and independent validity of phenomena such as mobility or sedentism, though these are important issues that contributors raise in the pages that follow. By attacking assumptions about the distinctions between hunter-gatherers and farmers, our idea of unsettling the Neolithic intends to unbalance the inherent equilibrium of the concept of the Neolithic as an essentialised cultural and archaeological phenomenon. Overall, our call is to abandon the widespread intellectual comforts of generalisation that permeate work on our common field of study. This is a process which requires critical examination of the metaphors and devices through which we speak and write about broad concepts, such as sedentism, and about explanatory and descriptive constructs, such as the type-site for a culture. For example, Kostas Kotsakis (chapter 2) undermines the way in which

the tell settlements at Argissa and Sesklo in northern Greece became official representatives for the Greek Neolithic. In a similar fashion, John Evans (chapter 12), Paul Halstead (chapter 5) and Ian Hodder (chapter 13) question the soft acceptance of a settlement tell as a generalised social and taphonomic construct, and Laszlo Bartosiewicz (chapter 6) uses the Hungarian early Neolithic occupation of Maroslele-Pana, often quoted as some kind of reliable reference point, as an example of how much of our perception of such sites may be changed by more rigorous recovery methods and analysis. To borrow Kotsakis' phrase, the invitation to reader (and contributor) is to 'anatomise the concepts' of the Neolithic, to rupture the simple equations between residence, economy, materials, transitions and origins that underpin our understanding of central and eastern Europe in the Neolithic. The call is for a radical reappraisal or, at the least painful, a re-thinking of the traditional models and concepts that have conditioned the study of this region in this period.

Beyond sedentism, residence, mobility and settlement


Many of the papers in this volume critically examine the concepts of sedentism and mobility. Some suggest, like Laurens Thissen (chapter 8) that we speak of a Neolithic in terms of semi-sedentism, and that we recognise that the sites that are taken to represent the Neolithic in a particular region (for example sites such as Sesklo in northern Greece) are only one part, and importantly perhaps a significantly small part, of a region's total settlement system. Others, like Paul Halstead (chapter 51, make the case that sedentism does not preclude a significant degree of mobility, that there is a range of mobilities (daily, seasonal, inter-annual, generational and longer-term), and that different temporal and spatial scales of mobility can characterise sedentary villages. The closer that one looks at familiar, basic concepts in

Douglass Bailey and Alasdair Whittle entireties, of farming groups. The more critical the discussion that takes place, the greater becomes the risk that the faunal approach to documenting mobility/ sedentism is nothing more than an exercise to fill-in-theblanks of rigid sentences written decades ago, which themselves followed an inflexible structure and grammar that have remained unchanged and, indeed, which resist alteration. For the majority of Neolithic data sets, the critical qualifier is the presence (or in many cases absence) of appropriate excavation and analytical controls over interassemblage micro-chronology and taphonomic process. As important is the recognition that even in cases where high levels of attention to recovery detail are present (for example at Makriyalos in northern Greece: see Halstead, chapter 5), we are left with a site that gives itself equally to either a sedentary or a mobility interpretation. The questions to be asked are fundamental, yet often avoided. At a Neolithic site, can separate assemblages of bioarchaeological data be securely locked together into a single annual cycle of site use? This is what is assumed. If there is evidence for activity at a site from each season of the year, does each set of evidence come from the same individual year? Can the intense precision that we employ in our retrieval and recording activities permit us to answer these questions? If not, do we have any right to ask about sedentism and mobility? If not, is it not equally possible that the record we piece together represents a much more chaotic culmination of unpatterned sets of activities that, for example, might have occurred over a period of five or ten years during which winter activities might not have alternated so smoothly with summer ones as so often presumed? There are other assumptions that need similar scrutiny. Why is it commonly accepted that the presence of a built environment (that is, the presence of what we call architecture) is a proxy for sedentism and residential permanence? What if architecture represents nothing more (nor less) than claims for, assertions of, residential occupancy when actual residence was not possible or not desirable? Evans (chapter 12), Halstead (chapter 5), Hodder (chapter 13), Mills (chapter 9) and Bailey (chapter 10) all question in different ways the common-sense assumptions about Neolithic building and settlement which limit the current study of the Neolithic in central and eastern Europe. In a crucial contribution about the complexity of the settlement record in northern Greece, Halstead uses his deep engagement with faunal data to argue that settlement tells were not continuously occupied by all residents at all times and that flat sites, such as Makriyalos, were probably occupied continuously but only for a few years at a time. At a stroke, Halstead destabilises two of the major assumptions about Neolithic site typology and recognitions of sedentism/mobility: the widely held assumptions that tells equal long-term sedentism and that caves and flat-sites represent group mobility.

the study of the Neolithic, such as sedentism, the clearer become doubts about their applicability without considerable qualification and elision. A common aim in much work on the Neolithic in central and eastern Europe (though also to the west) is to seek out and document distinctions between sedentary and mobile communities. Indeed this distinction is at the core of many traditional definitions of Neolithic behaviour. A significant justification for these definitions is the assumption that what we understand as sedentism and mobility can be read from re-constituted records of homogenous, repeated, static human behaviour of the past. Importantly, the majority of serious searches for sedentism/mobility in the Neolithic rely on the use of proxy evidence. As Nicky Milner argues (chapter 4), there are substantial problems in using proxy evidence to support conclusions about human residential activities. The widely held bioarchaeological assumption is that patterns of faunal remains provide a proxy for seasonality of residential activities. Milner questions these relationships and examines the employment of seasonality studies in building models of mobility or sedentism. She reveals the simplicity of arguments that reconstruct degrees of sedentism or mobility and which rely on seasonal availability of plants and animals in order to do so. She notes variations in the use of concepts such as sedentary and permanent, and she highlights the frequent absence of explicit definition. The basic question to be faced is whether we can in fact justify the use of modern analogies to understand prehistoric plant, animal and human behaviour. Milner suggests that behaviour that we witness today (such as patterns of bird distribution) does not necessarily correlate with behaviour in the past. Thus, there are important variations in the birthing seasons of particular animals (such as sheep) which complicate simple correlations of sheep mortality patterns with human behaviour. The use of annual lines on oysters can vary depending on ambient environment. In the end, the utility that modern behaviour has for understanding the Neolithic rests not on the patterns of the data recovered but on the questions which direct analysis and fashion interpretation. Crucially, in ethnographic terms, a society may have had a significant element of mobility in its lifestyle, but the archaeological record of that society may well suggest sedentism. Equally important is Halstead's recognition (chapter 5) of the possibility that Neolithic mortality patterns of young livestock may display seasonality for reasons unconnected with actual temporal patterns of human residence. Critically, evidence for year-round Neolithic activity is related not to the type, location or date of a site, but to sample size and preservation, retrieval strategies, levels of detail of analysis of dental remains and chronological resolution of individual excavations. As Kotsakis suggests, we are very bad at understanding the logistical mobility for segments, as opposed to the

Unsettling the Neolithic

In a similarly incisive questioning of the taken-forgranted, John Evans' investigation of tell settlements draws our attention to the implicit conflict that tells present: how could it be that the growth of a tell was so purposeful and yet so incremental as to be invisible to adjacent generations? Evans asks basic, but critical questions: why do tells emerge where they do and when they do while they have not emerged in other times and places where environmental, social and economic conditions were similar? How do we tackle issues of intent when thinking about tells? Evans thinks through the visuality of tells in the landscape, provoking us to struggle with the ways in which the place of the tell would have been tempered by the surrounding woodland environment. Drawing on psychoanalysis and evocations of the unconscious, he investigates relationships between woodlands, and sites. Evans focuses on woodlands and woodland clearings as arenas of the unfamiliar, as places away from the usual and away from the familiarity of the settlement and the tell. These stimulations move the debate towards an archaeology of the gaps, a consideration of the periphery and marginal, of negative landscapes in which the strong personalities of a community (as often supposed, its leaders) are absent. It is the rise of illogical worlds, without trends in relations of power and directedness. Evans provides a critically valuable and extremely noneconomic view of the landscape and its elements, far removed from discussions of locations of soil types for farming or access to water sources. At their simplest, Evans' and Halstead's contributions highlight the over-simplified way in which most archaeologists have seen tell settlements as centres of agricultural production and distribution, as centres of control, or as the creations of social identity. As Evans argues, the contrast between 'tell' and 'flat-site' is unhelpful because it sets up the tell as special. There is no reason to see tells as endowed with greater senses of place then flat-sites, nor that a greater sense of place was a part of tell meaning and function. It may be more important to see alteration in the landscape as a dialectic of continuity and change within an unconscious world. Evans tempts us to think about the healing of a communal pathology through transference and, in this way, to readdress issues of abandonment or change in settlement locations over short distances. Fundamentally, he suggests that when we excavate a tell we engage past social and unconscious worlds. Not dissimilar are Hodder's arguments (chapter 13) that the anatomical order of a tell is a part of the social order (and not merely a reflection of that changing order), that the tell is, itself, a social matrix. Hodder picks apart the vertical and spatial relationships embedded in the tell at Catalhoyuk and, in doing so, sees how the anatomy of the tell can inform us on the nature of social relationships. Hodder's attention focuses not only on the effects of a large agglomeration of people living packed against each

other, but also on the construction of memories, as well as on the transmission of rights and properties in a smallscale house-based society. What did it mean to 'live' in these houses? How much time did people actually spend inside them? If the house was an important location for socialisation into roles and behaviours at Catalhoyuk, did the house unit grow at the expense of the community at large? Hodder argues that practices within houses established specific sets of memories that were consciously passed down through time. Specific archives of memory were constructed within specific houses or groups of houses; the politics of commemorative memory, like the politics of habituated practices, were primarily house-based. Continuity was the product of the habituation of practices and a shift from myth to history within commemorative memory. Houses appropriated generalised myth and transformed it into history, while dominant houses were particular guardians of the archive of memories. Having proposed this for Catalhoyuk, Hodder pushes on: can we see subaltern or contested memories in these places? These contributions of Halstead, Hodder and Evans make us look at a fundamental part of the Neolithic in. radical and provocative new ways. Mills (chapter 9) asks us to listen to the Neolithic in similarly challenging fashion. Mills argues that the association of acoustic information with Neolithic settlement tells is a significant component of understanding their use and location in the landscape. Stimulated by work on auditory scene analysis, Mills redefines parts of a Neolithic river valley landscape in terms of the amount, range and density of acoustic information. The result is a new and otherwise invisible understanding about how people, animals, and the landscape itself are manifest in various ways. Bailey (chapter 10) also asks us to follow unusual avenues of approach to the Neolithic built environment. He suggests that we have been looking at Neolithic architecture at the wrong scale, that we have been sucked into hyper-detailed recovery and documentation and, in doing so, that we have missed the environmental effect that buildings, houses and villages may have had on people. Drawing on debates over 'specific objects', negative volume, repetition and seriality, he argues that in a sense it may not matter what anyone house or village contained or what its function was. Rather the meaning of a Neolithic house or village may rest in understanding the ways in which houses were themselves specific objects which forced people to continually (re)assess who they were and what were their relationships with others. Taken together, all these papers urge us to move beyond the search for sedentism or mobility as a characteristic of a community or society. Halstead argues that sedentism (as a concept) is restrictive as it sets up a binary opposition to mobility; we know that life (Neolithic or otherwise) is not so simply defined and categorically bounded. In the end, notions such as mobility and sedentism may not be of much use to us as independent

Douglass Bailey and Alasdair Whittle game, about a middle Neolithic when cattle and pig gained importance, and about a late Neolithic when sheep/goat became much less important while large game became more so. On the other hand, one could see general variation in patterns across different regions, such as the long recognised distinctions between the north and south Balkans in which the former contain a dominance of bovids and the latter a preference for sheep/goats. Perhaps most critical is Bartosiewicz's demonstration that the range of species present at a site is at least as much a factor of faunal assemblage size as the result of behaviour or diet preference. Understanding the relationships between hunting and animal keeping at Karas culture sites rests on recognising that larger, better recovered assemblages more reliably reflect sheep/goat keeping, while smaller assemblages, less rigorously recovered, have given the impression of a false importance of hunting. There is further relevance for attempts to compare smaller middle Neolithic assemblages with larger ones from either earlier or later parts of the period and, most critically, to our attempts to identify significant trends in human/animal relationships. Furthermore, when comparisons (between regions or phases of period) rely on the pooled data from several sites (or phases within sites) then subtle inter-species relationships are smoothed into generalisation. If we are to continue to exploit faunal material from Neolithic sites, we would do well to follow Mills' suggestions (chapter 9) that we consider animals (either wild or domestic, or perhaps beyond these restrictive categories) in terms of different significances. Mills' attention to acoustic information provokes us to think in radically different ways about the bones that we dig up and which usually disappear into species frequency charts and MNI statistics. To take one example, Mills suggests that Neolithic people may well have placed a high premium on birds and mammals with respect to their contribution to the acoustic fabric and form of places. Birds, mammals and their sound were integral to ways that those places were acoustically defined. Variation in the contribution of birds to ambient sounds and noise is likely to have been unconsciously embedded in understandings of daily cycles; similar arguments can be played out through the seasons. Thus, although they may only be a minor element in the archaeological record; birds may have been of major significance in Neolithic understandings of the distribution of key resources, daily and seasonal cycles and the identities of place.

or bounded concepts. Even with the most securely assumed monuments to sedentism (tells) there is increasing evidence that reconstructions of static, permanent, sedentary life are misguided. It may be much more likely that the construction of a built environment represents claims for residence in situations where actual physical occupation was not always possible, though even here we are generalising at an unacceptable level. Generalised definitions and classifications of sites such as 'tells' or 'flat-sites' may do more damage than good; the difference between the two may only reflect a difference in Neolithic people's attitudes to the material with which they lived their lives and to their practices of disposal, curation, hoarding, hiding and displaying. Indeed, perhaps we need to look beyond even the concept of 'site' as an unsupportable generalisation that may deform our understanding of Neolithic existence. While it is not acceptable to. equate a site-type with a degree of sedentism or mobility, it is profitable to address each place on its own; perhaps it is better to speak not of sites but of traces of the human and material engagement across dynamic and shifting landscapes. Halstead prefers to think of spectra of movements within a landscape.

Beyond economies and food production


In addition to unsettling sites, settlement, sedentism and mobility, these papers also question a second fundamental component of traditional definitions of the Neolithic: the shift from food gathering to food production. Kotsakis urges us to abandon the still dominant Childean tradition that conceptualises differing ways of life directed by economic subsistence strategies. The call is to avoid thinking about foragers, hunter-gatherers, and farmers (or Mesolithic and Neolithic groups) in terms of essentialist, dichotomous, economic concepts. Indeed, as Kotsakis makes clear, we know so little about the earliest agriculture that using it to define the Neolithic is a purely verbal exercise. Food producing activities need not be the privileged domain in our understanding of the earliest Neolithic groups. The argument throughout is that we should not privilege food producing strategies when we engage the Neolithic. If food is important, then its importance may best be found in the role(s) that it (and many other materials) played in constructing identities through the processes, consequences and significances of consumption: shared or private, open or restricted, cautious or carried to excess. Bartosiewicz argues (chapter 6) that it is no longer acceptable to speak of a single economic strategy such as domestication as a homogenous, coherent phenomenon. Nor can we assume that the same attitudes to animals (domestic and wild) prevailed throughout the Neolithic. On the one hand, relationships between people and animals vary though different parts of the Neolithic. Thus, one could generalise about an early Neolithic defined by the predominance of sheep/goats with few pigs or large

Beyond materials
If unsettling the Neolithic involves unbalancing accepted ideas about sedentism and economies, then it also requires new thinking about the materiality of life in central and eastern Europe after 6500 cal BC. For Hodder, one of the most basic aspects of the Neolithic was the massive increase in the amount of enduring materiality that came

Unsettling the Neolithic

to surround people. From the settlement mounds themselves, to the houses within them, to the pottery and grounds tone objects, people became encumbered in a world they had made. Hodder understands a significance of this materiality as the creation of memory that is indistinguishable from the object world; this type of memory is only possible when attached to an object, or a name. In the Neolithic, the increased constructed materiality of life provided a whole new arena for social manipulation and engagement: that of the material past and the memories embedded within the objects of daily and ritual life. Hodder sees the mound at Catalhoyuk as a vast archive of highly selected memories. Some events were to be institutionally forgotten; they were stored away through the processes of infilling and abandonment. Some things such as cattle scapulae, some obsidian points, and some burials were to be left, filled in and not seen again. For Hodder, it was a politics of memory that determined what was retained in an archive (and thus made available for consultation) and what was hidden away so that it was not available. Specific archives of memory were constructed within specific houses or groups of houses. There are other, similarly provocative ways to think about Neolithic material culture. Thissen provides an excellent example in his discussion of pottery (chapter 8). In his treatment of early and middle Neolithic material from southern Romania, Thissen directs his attention not at typology and technology as much as at the feel of the sherds, and the weight and sound of fragments. He raises issues of ambiguity in surface decoration, and questions potential consequences of mistakes made while painting. In his argument, Thissen is not interested in chronology or in style or even in issues of identifying pottery workshops. Instead he writes about how craft-persons were able to insert ceramics into society, about the degree of a community'S willingness and readiness to embrace innovation, and about how innovation existed alongside existing practices. Thissen proposes that, for society in the early Neolithic of southern Romania, initial pottery use can be linked to the preparation and boiling of foods that employed pre-Neolithic practices. Most provocatively of all, he asks us to think about pottery in new ways, to consider how a pot felt in a person's hands or against their lips.

Beyond boundaries and origins to the flow of life


Equally important to re-think are the ways in which boundaries and origins are deployed in traditional archaeological thinking about the period. In his contribution, Dusan Boric (chapter 3) asks us to break down the dichotomy of Mesolithic versus Neolithic. Boric's request is that we question the boundaries of the Neolithic and that we explore their potential for porosity and

permeability. Kotsakis sees the metaphoric border become a territorial frontier, similar to the boundaries of colonisers (such as in the case of Hellas and the East). As Boric and Kotsakis expose the sources of the boundary and frontier metaphors, the long secure distinction between Mesolithic and Neolithic (as well as that which separates Neolithic from Early Bronze Age) loses its assumed stability. Equally important is Kotsakis' argument that the direction of movement across boundaries and borders is essentialised. All temporality is suppressed, and what predominantly are the historically contingent results of agency are perceived as one decontextualised entity, within a framework of stability. Kotsakis makes it clear that, in reality, directions (like frontiers) can be many and conflicting, and can reflect variable temporalities. At times they can be stable, at other times shifting, reversed or eclipsed. The call is to move beyond the barriers of boundaries and the assumption of essential directionality. Kotsakis' proposal (to think of multiple local frontiers) offers insight on the interaction that is active on the borders, not only between hunters and farmers, but also, and perhaps more frequently, among farmers of different social groups. The call is to look at the strong and dynamic processes that occur in the border zone and thus to re-examine the creation of a Neolithic that was clearly distinct from what had come before. Provocatively, Thissen argues that we should see the Mesolithic-early Neolithic as a single historical trajectory: the early Neolithic as incipient and implicit in the Mesolithic. Thus, the predominance of cattle in favour of sheep/goats in the record of Starcevo-Cris occupations (and in the subsequent Dudesti phenomenon) should be considered in the contexts of pre-Neolithic practices, ideally to be explored along Mesolithic dealings with bovids. Furthermore, Thissen's assessment of early Neolithic cooking pots that may have used boiling stones fits in with pre-Neolithic food processing patterns. Though the adoption of pottery within Starcevo-Cris culture was fullhearted, Thissen suggests that its use was no more than an addition to existing ways of life. Within a semisedentary setting such as Starcevo-Cris communities, possibly a range of techniques of cooking continued to be used simultaneously. People may have used the old ways of cooking (in non-ceramic containers) while groups were mobile and used the new method of cooking (in pottery vessels) only while resident. From these perspectives, the use of pottery can be explored fruitfully within a framework of continuity and incorporation, and it can be set off against, but more significantly perhaps treated as an addition to, existing traditions of non-ceramic containers in the Mesolithic period. In his discussion of skulls from Lepenski Vir, Boric agues for the use of human bones as relics that bridged the Mesolithic/ Neolithic border. Thissen suggests that the use of red ochre in Starcevo-Cris communities is proof of unchanging ritual practice.

Douglass Bailey and Alasdair Whittle forces us to think about the performances and consequences of a house killing carried out by residents or their friends (and not by invading or warring hordes). Domicide may result in the destruction of a place of attachment and refuge, the loss of security, the partial loss of identity, the de-centring of place, family and community, the loss of historical connection, the weakening of roots and the partial erasure of sources of memory, dreams and nostalgia. If the house has multiple meanings then so do acts of its destruction. Tringham constructs a picture in which the burning of a Neolithic house was not only dramatic and sensual but also traumatic. If the purpose of the conflagration was to ensure a continuous place, to create social memory, to strengthen identity of community, and to incorporate social reproduction, then the performances that took place before, during, and after the fire ensured that burning events fulfilled these purposes. Tringham argues that house burning was a ritual performance that marked the end of a house (or household) in social memory and coincided with the death of a significant person (who was not burned or buried in the house). Both house burning and human burial within houses were strategies for ensuring the continuity of place and the construction of social memory. House killing bound people together, nurtured memories and contributed to the continuity of place.

Kotsakis asks us to think of the Neolithic in terms of a dynamic place of mutual exchange, where fluidity must have been prevalent and where identities and accompanying material culture expressions were constantly reformulated. Instead of the usual picture of a Neolithic culture winning over the Mesolithic, this process might have happened in a fluid landscape with multiple frontiers and conflicting directions, in a constant process of creating hybrid identities. All of these arguments blur the traditional boundaries between Mesolithic and Neolithic. If we can no longer assume that food production was simply a better, more efficient way of living or that buildings were inherently valuable because they provided shelter from the elements, then what are we to do? Alasdair Whittle's suggestion (chapter 7) is that we think about the creation and practices of social values through which daily social existence is carried out. This is an invitation to investigate values, emotion, and lived experience. Whittle seeks an understanding of being in the Neolithic through considerations of conviviality, of the informal and the performative. To do this requires that we look at social groups in new ways, specifically not seeing them as villages or camps or even cultures, each of which is locked to a place, a set of architectures or a shared set of material forms. Rather, Whittle wants us to look at 'alternative possibilities for affiliation' and 'choreographies of social existence', to generate models oflived experience, and to engage the mood of the people. In these terms, the Neolithic can be a willed creation of a distinctive form of social existence and not the inexorable spread of one way of life. As important as fresh thinking about the creation and practice of social values is the need to· explore other dimensions of the complex lives of the Neolithic. In her contribution on the complexity of the destruction of Neolithic buildings by burning, Tringham (chapter 11) focuses on fire and its manipulation. To think about fire is to move beyond simple and static definitions of hearth, oven, kiln or thermal structure and to confront the phenomenon of burning. Tringham demonstrates not only that the 'burned house horizon' is far from ubiquitous or homogenous but also that the human engagements, understandings and (mis)uses of fire range through diverse motivations, scales and stages. Fire is creative, inspiring and emotional; it is cunning, unruly, alive, exciting, sexual, and sensual. Dramas of house burnings evoke passion and fear and stimulate the senses, particularly with respect to colours and sounds. Furthermore, fires have life-histories and can be the sources of renewal and rebirth as well as of death and destruction. While fire can clean, heal and revitalise, its products are often considered dirty: soot, charred wood, ash. Tringham urges us to think about social memory and of the shocking and memorable event that a house killed by fire would have been. Using the terms domicide and domithanasia and writing about euthanising houses, she

Moving forward
In presenting these papers and making calls for a radical re-thinking of central issues, we do not want to separate ourselves from previous practice and literature. For a start, the contributors disagree among themselves on many issues, and it remains to be seen how for example dramatic events such as the house burnings just discussed relate to patterns of residence. Both Halstead and Andrew Sherratt in his elegant digestif (chapter 14) pick up on and turn the motif of 'unsettling', preferring notions of resettling and settling. Many others may prefer the same. We recognise the difficulties of our enterprise. As archaeologists working with archives of older excavations as well as with the results of colleagues' current fieldwork, we are faced with clash of scales: between the types of evidence that we collect (and their temporally coarse resolutions) and the types of things that we want to talk about in the Neolithic. If we are to heed Whittle's call (and those of others in this book), then we also must listen to Halstead's concerns that we may be replacing the traditional Neolithic package with a more fashionable bnt equally unfounded orthodoxy of gradual piecemeal adoption of domestication, sedentary life and Neolithic material culture. We note also Thissen's warning that if we agree that it is better to characterise the early Neolithic commitment to land in terms of semi-sedentism, then we must be careful in our interpretations of what we find but more importantly of what we do not recover. Thus, the

Unsettling the Neolithic

near absence of hunting and fishing evidence in the faunal record of a site in southern Romania (i.e. the StarcevoCris site Teleor 003; Adrian Balasescu pers. comm.), may indicate that these activities were carried on off-site, or even off-area and, furthermore, that these might well relate to different seasons. We recognise that there is diversity and that we cannot always correctly predict the outcomes of our research. Thus the investigations at Ecsegfalva on the Great Hungarian Plain (discussed in chapters 6 and 7) were started with the hopes that it might prove possible to document occupation restricted to certain seasons of the year and by fine recovery methods to chart in more detail the apparent major contributions of hunting, fishing, shellfishing.and fowling to subsistence practices. As those chapters will describe, the outcome has been rather different. In acknowledging all these problems and the likely diversity of styles of existence in central and eastern Europe between 6500-3500 cal BC, we do maintain the need for re-thinking, re-aligning and broadening present practices of interpretation. As Steve Mills notes (p.80), it is the nature of the world that things are always changing, beginning and ending, in cycles of life, death, seasons and rhythms. We need attention to the flow of life, its choreographies and socialities, its sounds and unconscious undertow, its links with shifting pasts and memories. We must embrace all this in our investigations;

instability, the unsettled nature of the world, is often the norm. To unsettle the Neolithic we must move beyond essentialised concepts. To rewrite the Neolithic we must not generalise; we need highly detailed studies from many particular contexts. To rethink the Neolithic we must not assume the homogeneity of human behaviour or archaeological phenomena; the value is in the particular.

Acknowledgements
These papers are the first outcome of a conference held in Cardiff University in May 2003. We are grateful above all to The British Academy for financial support, as well as to Liz Walker, Aled Cooke and Ian Dennis in our department for administrative and technical help. Vicki Cummings has contributed not only in the running of the conference but also in the editing of these papers. Many thanks to David Brown and Clare Litt at Oxbow and especially to Sarah Monks who greatly improved the final version of this volume. Not all those who spoke at the conference are represented in this volume; a second collection, focused on individual projects and specific analyses, is in production. School of History and Archaeology Cardiff University February 2005

(un) settling the Neolithic


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Douglass Bailey, Alasdair Whittle and Vicki Cummings

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2. Across the border: unstable dwellings and fluid landscapes in the earliest Neolithic of Greece
Kostas Kotsakis

The 1960s was an outstanding decade for Greek Neolithic studies. For Greece as a country, it was the first period of relative prosperity and peace after a long epoch of turbulence and unrest. The difficult period opened with the Balkan Wars in the early 1900s and ended some 50 years later in a civil clash that followed the Second World War and lasted until well into the 1950s. In 1922, .as a result of the defeat of Greece by Turkey, and the subsequent Treaty of Lausanne, one and a half million Orthodox Christians were moved to Greece from Asia Minor, Pontus and Eastern Thrace (Mackridge and Yannakakis 1997). Greece reached the middle of the twentieth century a very different country in many respects; economically, culturally, demographically and socially. For Neolithic studies in particular, the period of post-war stability meant a revival of a research track that was initiated at the beginning of the twentieth century with the groundbreaking syntheses of Tsountas (1908) and Wace (Wace and Thompson 1912). After that promising beginning, Neolithic studies retreated into a marginal backwater of research, almost eclipsed by the spectacular discoveries of the palatial centres in Crete and in continental Greece. As domestic and international audiences were grasped firmly by the grand quest for the Hellenic Bronze Age culture (and to a lesser extent society), the Neolithic was restricted to small-scale research which focused mainly on trivial issues of chronology and cultural affinities and which was undertaken sporadically as a by-product of major archaeological projects, as at Corinth or Knossos (Weinberg 1965). Research in Macedonia in the north of the country was just beginning to map the prehistoric past of that region, mainly via extensive archaeological prospection (Heurtley 1939). Too soon for detailed prehistoric research (let alone any focused on the Neolithic), the Neolithic retained a marginal role, dominated by a strong sense of otherness seen against the Aegean culture. This continued until late in the twentieth century (Fotiadis 2001; Kotsakis 1998,47).

It was more than 50 years after Tsountas and Wace that independent research on the Neolithic period was resumed. Two central and influential figures of postSecond World War prehistoric archaeology in Greece, Demetrios Theocharis and Vladimir Milojcic took the lead. They initiated intensive, systematic excavations in Argissa Magoula (Milojcic 1960) and Sesklo (Theocharis 1957). Both scholars viewed the Neolithic as an independent phenomenon, and shared a common belief that the Neolithic of Greece was crucial for an understanding of the European shift to the Neolithic. In the meantime, the Neolithic origins of Europe had become an established concept as one of the defining features of a European identity (Zvelebil 1996). Partly because of the previous research, which had identified the importance of Argissa and Sesklo, and partly because of the fascination of archaeology of that time with central and key-sites, the two sites were judged by similar criteria and therefore had more similarities than differences. Both were tells, standing out in the landscape, indicating a long and uninterrupted habitation. Both had distinctive substantial architecture, with abundant material culture. Both could be described as central sites. Within the normative perception of culture that was dominant in the discipline at that time, these sites were understood to contain essential traits that were representative of Neolithic culture as a whole. Sesklo and Argissa, thus, were obvious choices for answering the central questions that were current in the discussion of the 1960s. In his comprehensive report on the work in Thessaly of the German Institute, Milojcic defined the aims along two dimensions: to follow the movement of peoples from north to south and from south to north, and to shed light on the permanence of settlement and on the adoption of agriculture (Milojcic 1960). In this report, Thessaly is perceived as a bridge which connects the south to the north, a contact point of the various cultures. Childean diffusionism is resonant here, and the culture-historical

Across the border: unstable dwellings and fluid landscapes in Neolithic Greece

style is unmistakable. In fact, even before the excavations began, the broad conceptual dimensions of the Neolithic in Greece (including its emergence) had already been formed as a regional episode of the Neolithic Revolution. What followed, in terms of excavation, was more or less a technical clarification of particular aspects of that framework. Both Sesklo and Argissa (and later Otzaki) (Milojcic 1983) conformed neatly to this framework. Being longlived and prominent, the mounds of Sesklo and Argissa had already an emblematic significance for the Neolithic of Greece as focal places of sustained human interaction. They were soon to be recognized as typical. Argissa, next to the Peneios River, was strongly reminiscent of the major Balkan sites, like Vinca and Starcevo, with which Milojcic was closely familiar, being a Serbian himself, and having worked on his doctoral research in that area (Milojcic 1949). Argissa offered a direct (not simply conceptual) link with the Northern peoples. Sesklo, on the other hand, had a long-established reputation for being the key-site, a sort of flagship for the Thessalian Neolithic, an archetypic Neolithic settlement with distinctive material culture. It is no surprise, therefore, that the dominant archaeological perception of the Greek Neolithic was modelled on these two sites. The perception encompassed prominent tells, formed from long and continuous habitation (documented by deep anthropogenic deposits), advantageous natural setting next to rivers (in floodplains or within light.arable land), relative self-sufficiency through successful subsistence economy, and, above all, early pottery of a distinct style. These essential traits, all fashioned after the model sites, were imperceptibly attributed to the early stages of the Neolithic as a whole (Demoule and Perles 1993). For the emergence of the Neolithic in particular, the significance of Sesklo and Argissa was further asserted once both excavators reported the earliest aceramic deposits of the Neolithic in Greece. Although the presence of true aceramic deposits has been challenged, indeed almost dismissed, by the majority of researchers (Bloedow 1991; Demoule and Perles 1993; Perles 2001), the argument brought to the forefront deep notions of stability and permanence, of a continuous evolution towards the Neolithic as a result of the gradual adoption of typical traits, in particular, pottery, domesticated plants and settled subsistence economy, all achievements the Mesolithic people could not claim. In the meantime, the detailed sequences of material culture, standardized and formalized in a meticulous, central European fashion, enhanced this sense of stability further, and created a clearly and neatly categorized material culture, radically different from anything pre-Neolithic. Of course, we may now argue that this sense of neat stability, ascribed to the totality of the Neolithic, was an illusion, created in the 1960s and 1970s both through the pages of nicely illustrated books (Theocharis 1973) and by expanding selected traits from the type-sites to

represent the totality of the Neolithic. During the last two decades, an international archaeological discussion has become progressively more contextual and has gradually illuminated the subtle variabilities of the diverse and ephemeral Neolithic ways within Europe and the Balkans (e.g. Bailey 2000; Chapman 1994; Edmonds and Richards 1998; Tringham 2000). The power of the old model, however, which was deeply influenced by the readings of the post-war pioneers, was still powerful for the Neolithic of Greece, even well after the 1960s. Also, we know now that at least some of the proposed Neolithic traits are not as central as was thought in the 1960s. Recent research in Northern Greece has revealed that tells are just one type of site; flat extended sites form a significant part of the habitation pattern and in some regions are the dominant one (Andreou et al. 1996; Kotsakis 1994; 1999). The recent excavations at Makriyalos in Macedonia, Greece (Pappa and Besios 1999) and in Thessaly (Toufexis 1997) have confirmed this insight and provided factual evidence for the structure and development of flat, extended sites. Similarly, in view of the many one-period or short-lived sites that have been explored, the longevity and continuity of Neolithic settlements now seems less likely to be a recurrent feature. Moreover, long-term success and complex material culture as a whole is rarer than previously assumed once we depart from the stereotypes of the 1960s and the privileged regions, we see that the temporary, more mundane sites like Drosia in Western Macedonia (Kotsos 1992) and Kremastos in Grevena (Toufexis 1994) are common. In short, continuing research undermined the stereotypic approach that had been built on the research of the 1960s.

The central concepts


The problems with the received view of the Neolithic, apart from their progressively poorer coincidence with archaeological evidence, become more critical when the defining traits inform the discussion of the beginning of the Neolithic as a historical process. This happens, for instance, when research into the earliest Neolithic focuses on regions and environments of later successful settlement (such as the eastern Thessalian plain) or alternatively, when the evidence for transitional material culture is sought in the deepest deposits of long-lived mounds (like Argissa), My argument therefore is that the way we understand, interpret and seek evidence for the process of Neolithization in Greece is still, to a large extent, conditioned by the early work of the 1960s and by the essentialist arguments that were put forward at that time on the content and character of the earliest Neolithic. A clear distinction between Neolithic farmers and Mesolithic hunter-gatherers and foragers is instrumental to an essentialist understanding of the Neolithic and its emergence. The distinction is first and foremost about integrated subsistence modes, and it can be compared to

10

Kostas Kotsakis also be the social content of the processes in which these scattered immigrants were engaged. My intention here, it should be obvious by now, is to anatomize the concepts that inform the discussion on the earliest Neolithic in Greece and propose some alternative views. To begin, we could attempt to identify common basic points which can be considered central to the traditional argument. Setting up of a border comes first to mind. Obviously the concept of the border is the flip-side of the disassociation between Neolithic farmers and Mesolithic hunter-gatherers, which as we have seen, is prominent in the readings of the Greek Neolithic. In this case, however, the border does not simply refer to an abstract conceptual or cultural difference which possesses a metaphorical significance, to be applied to any form of cross-border cultural interaction, as Bohannan and Plog (1967) suggest. Rather, it involves a predominantly strong and concrete geographical aspect. Disassociation in this context becomes virtual dislocation and, in this sense, Aegean and Anatolian regions would stand apart: the former acting as the recipient of the Neolithic, the latter as the origin. The metaphoric border becomes a frontier, similar to other colonizing frontiers, familiar in anthropology and history, and deep-seated in European thought (Turner 1994). On closer inspection, it becomes a question of scale, within which archaeological investigation perceives the movement and relocation of people. For example, how extensive should an area be before the normal shift in habitation within it is considered population movement, let alone migration or even colonization? And how uniform, and in which terms, should this area be before the shift in habitation is considered usual and the population stable? A strong tradition of a frontier between Hellas and the East has informed most of archaeology, well into the twentieth century (especially classical archaeology). Historically, this idea goes as far back as Herodotos, where the definition of the Hellinikon was set against the oriental Other; also it can be traced in the discussion of orientalism and the perception of the Orient as a largely negative element of European identity (Morris 2000). Henry Frankfort's 1926 Asia, Europe and the Aegean and their earliest interrelations is an eloquent testimony to the long tradition of this concept in Greek archaeology. Needless to say, we can ascribe to the same, orientalist notion the familiar concept of a bridge between the East and Europe which was so frequent in Childe's writings and which, as pointed out by Ruth Tringham (2000), is still popular among modern versions of diffusionism (for example, the island hopping notion discussed by Perles 2001, 58-63) However, what is lacking in this recurring perception of the frontier is the realization that there, in that zone, strong social processes are taking place. In discussing African political culture in relation to Turner's notion of a frontier zone, Kopytoff gives the following general account for the social phenomena at work:

the adaptive processes put forward in the Near East (e.g. Redman 1978). The comparison indicates that the distinction is directly related to a tradition of normative archaeology which restricts explanation to defining successive historical stages. But in the case of Greece, a country with a strong classicist tradition in archaeology, an additional important factor needs to be considered. Ian Morris (1994; 2000) has stressed the deep and critical control of Hellenism on Greek archaeology and classical studies. Within this austere classicist context, alternative readings that stressed adaptation processes rather than subsistence modes were overtly neglected. The anthropological view of culture, as implied by an adaptation process, has always been considered more or less irrelevant, almost trivial for understanding classical civilization (Renfrew 1980). The sense offamiliarity with subsistence as a rational response to the simple needs of a rural life, and a tacit notion of continuity going back to Hesiod certainly contributed immensely to. this indifference (Fotiadis 1995). Coming from different directions, all these strands worked together to form a perception of break and discontinuity in the prehistory of Greece which has been firmly established in the literature. The break is not entirely implausible, in view of the numerous archaeological characteristics, some of which we have already discussed. Nevertheless, the influence of the 1960s' work should not be forgotten; the excavations conducted at that time made a. lasting impression, and the ideas formed within the context of Greek archaeology helped to establish a simplified view that equated Neolithic people with farmers and Mesolithic people with hunter-gatherers. Up to now, this clear distinction, plainly expressed in the work of Milojcic and Theocharis, has informed nearly all discussion about the beginning of the Neolithic in Greece. The arguments that elaborate the notion of discontinuity in early Greek prehistory refer to major aspects of prehistoric culture. The absence of a significant Mesolithic population has been presented as irrefutable evidence in support of a large-scale colonization of Greece. Similarly emphasised have been the absence of wild progenitors of domesticates and the discontinuities in Mesolithic and Neolithic material culture. All three arguments have been discussed since the 1960s (e.g. Theocharis 1967; 1973), and have been assigned varying degrees of validity (Kotsakis 2001; 2002; 2003; contra Perles 2003). In the present paper, the issue is not the evidence that supports the narrative of the Neolithic, nor whether scattered immigrants, organized colonizers or just people were wandering in south-eastern Europe around the end of the eighth to the beginning of the seventh millennium cal. BC, carrying with them domesticates and ideas on how to produce distinct material culture. Rather the issue is the construction of research concepts, their context, their presumptions and their biases, if any. On further analysis, the issue could

Across the border: unstable dwellings and fluid landscapes in Neolithic Greece

11

... sweeping like a tidal wave or a succession of waves across a sub-continental or at least national landmass, such a 'tidal' frontier brings with it settler societies engaged in colonizing an alien land from a base in a metropolitan society ... But in most anthropological usages, the frontier is a geographical region with sociological characteristics .... In this volume, we shall carry further this reduction in scale by making the frontier encompass even more narrowly local phenomena. The African frontier we focus on consists of politically open areas nestling between organized societies but 'internal' to the larger regions in which they are found - what might be called an 'internal' or 'interstitial frontier' (Kopytoff 1987, 8-9).

It is clear from this excerpt that Kopytoff rejects a linear notion of a single widespread frontier (a 'tidal wave') in favour of a far more dynamic and socially significant concept of many local frontiers where there is a constant restructuring of 'bits and pieces - human and cultural - of existing societies':
For example the thesis sees the frontier as a natural force for cultural transformation. In this regard, our analysis stands Turner's thesis on its head, for we suggest that the frontier may also be a force for culture-historical continuity and conservatism. The frontier perspective taken here is that of the local frontier, lying at the fringes of the numerous established African societies. It is on such frontiers that most African polities have, so to speak, been 'constructed' out of the bits and pieces - human and cultural - of existing societies. This posits a process in which incipient small polities are produced by other- similar and usually more complex societies. This conception of political development is entirely opposite to those 'evolutionary' theories that see small polities as arising out of some hypothetical archaic bands roaming over a hypothetical pre-historic landscape. Whatever the virtue of such speculations about a pre-historic 'in-the-beginning' they have nothing to do with the formation of real historic African societies (emphasis added; Kopytoff 1987, 3).

centre or cradle forces us to assume a diffusion in the form of concentric circles ... The relevant attempts, with maps of the consecutive zones of diffusion failed completely .. .It is clear, therefore, that in order to represent persuasively the rate of diffusion we have to consider ... not only geographical criteria, i.e. the position of each place in relation to a hypothetical centre. Above all, however, we have to consider the amenability of each site or region, in other words the natural or the constructed conditions for the early acceptance and the successful transplanting of the idea of the new economy... It remains the issue of movement of population and 'colonization'. We will not challenge here the role of migrations in prehistory ... but population movements ... do not leave to the miserable recipients any active part in the cultural process (my translation from the Greek text, emphasis added; Theocharis 1967, 68-9).

The wave-of-advance model (Ammerman and Biagi 2003) is probably the closest analogy to what Kopytoff would call a 'tidal wave frontier', where hypothetical immigrants are roaming over a hypothetical, empty, prehistoric landscape. There is good reason to think that the situation described by Kopytoff for Africa has more points of theoretic contact with the Greek Neolithic than the geographical and cultural distance would seem to permit. Interestingly, this was also an idea of Theocharis, expressed in 1967, almost twenty years before Ammerman and Cavalli-Sforza stated their own model for the beginning of the Neolithic in Greece (Ammerman and Cavalli-Sforza 1984).
Diffusion of the Neolithic is an element that exists within the Neolithic itself, mainly because it represents progress and revolutionary progress at that - and progress is contagious. Less secure seems diffusion as a necessary consequence of a 'sudden population increase'. Increase, and sizable at that, existed for sure, but we think that equally sizable was the potential for buffering ... The crucial point however, is the way of diffusion: the theory of the single

Clearly, from this excerpt, it is culture (the 'constructed conditions') as an independent phenomenon that commands first and foremost Theocharis' attention. Implicit here are anthropological, rather than culturehistorical arguments. The rejection of diffusionist models rests on his unwillingness to consider any social activity outside human culture;' it does not put forward logistical doubts about evidence or rates of demic diffusion and episodes of domestication. Had Theocharis expressed such factual concerns only, his argument would indeed be part of the typical indigenist paradigm, as the widespread opinion holds in the literature (e.g. Perles 2001; Runnels 2003). Nevertheless, that opinion should be revised, not only to do justice to Theocharis' theoretical thinking, but, more importantly, because it misses an important dimension of the discussion. A closer look at the previous quote reveals that the main issue focuses on the centrality of culture, the active role of human agency, and ultimately, we might add, its priority as a subject matter of archaeology. The critical disagreement with the diffusionists refers to their inherent predisposition to decontextualize events as taking place in a domain that is independent of culture and agency, as a linear function of time and space. Many years after Theocharis, this predisposition found its formal manifestation in the waveof-advance model, which, as a model (it should be pointed out) has no explanatory value; in Ammerman's own words it 'does not tell us what happened in the past' (Ammerman and Biagi 2003, 8). It should be categorically stated, that the disagreement with decontexualization has nothing to do with movement of people as such. This is the same underlying theme of the dynamic multiple local frontiers that Kopytoff puts forward for Africa. Taking the lead from Kopytoff, I maintain that rather than replicating bipolar obsolete oppositions of the indigenism versus diffusionism type, the discussion should turn towards the multiplicity of culture and should explore at greater depth the social and cultural conditions of the earliest Neolithic in Greece. In other words, transition to the Neolithic should be considered as strongly culture-dependent (Kotsakis 2001; 2003). Multiple local frontiers offer a better insight on the

12

Kostas Kotsakis
At times they can be stable,

interaction active on the borders, not only between hunters and farmers, but also, and perhaps more frequently, among farmers of different social groups. Perles has rightly observed that the material culture of the earliest Neolithic is heterogeneous and selective when compared to that of the Near East. However, if material culture is not considered as evidence of cultural relations or affiliations, but as elements of identity, the origin of the material cultural expression is no longer the essential aspect. Again, Kopytoff offers an interesting insight to this process:
Rather, the frontier as an institutional vacuum was a place where the frontiersmen could literally construct a desirable social order. They came to the frontier not with a sociological and political tabula rasa, to be shaped by its forests and plains, but with a mental model of a good society ... Thus the efforts to construct a.new social order on the frontier were, from the beginning, informed by an ideal model that the frontiersman' held - perhaps vaguely but certainly culturally ... The American frontier (the West) allowed frontiersmen to apply the ideal model and produce a result that was indeed purer, simpler, more narve and more faithful to the model that one could possibly have in the East (Kopytoff 1987, 13).

That simply means that there is an active social dynamic in the borders that transforms cultural reality, in ways that produce 'a purer, simpler and more naive' version of the original cultural template, whatever that was. This is closely related to the defensive conservatism of the moving groups, which stick to the 'ideal model' they carry from home. The social dynamic of the multiple frontiers would account more convincingly for the selective and heterogeneous similarities with Near Eastern material culture, as would the idea that the adventurous individuals carried only a part of their technical and cultural heritage and that they were coming from different original homelands, following different pathways. Needless to say, that 'simpler and more naive' version had to be related to interaction with other populations active on the frontier zone, each carrying its own cultural template, regardless of their being colonizers, indigenous, or transients. As Kopytoff points out, new social groups are formed from bits and pieces, human and cultural, of existing societies. This brings up the next central point that forms the perception of break and discontinuity, namely the idea of direction. Throughout the discussion on the Near Eastern origins, there is a strong sense of direction, from east to west, which is expressed quite clearly in the regular maps that are included in the relevant publications. The direction in these discussions, like the border we have seen previously, is completely essentialised. All temporality is suppressed, and what predominantly are the historically contingent results of agency are perceived as one decontextualized entity, within a framework of stability. In reality, directions (like frontiers) can be many and conflicting, and can reflect variable temporalities.

at other times shifting, reversed or eclipsed. There should not be a single privileged direction that could substitute the dynamic cleavage of human agency. As with the rigid border, however, the single direction is meaningless, unless the entities involved are definable and self-contained. We return thus to the dichotomy between farmers and foragers/hunter-gatherers that persistently appears in the post-1960s discussion. In fact, this dichotomy represents the third, and probably most important and complex concept that supports the perception of break and continuity. There is a vast anthropologicalliterature on hunter-gatherer societies and their diacritical traits (so vast that it is impossible to reiterate here; see Bettinger 1991; Ingold et al. 1988; Kelly 1995; Myers 1988). Those who believe that hunter-gatherer societies share common traits (despite the wide variability observed ethnographically) stress their economic dependence on hunting, fishing and gathering and on residential mobility (Kelly 1995, 111-48; ZvelebiI1998). Few doubts have been expressed in the literature on the Neolithic of Greece about the differences between that subsistence mode and agro-pastoral farmers. As we have seen in the case of Greece, the earliest Neolithic settlement was modelled on the successful sites dug in Thessaly, where longevity and stability was strongly suggested; the full package of domesticates and the evidence of agriculture are often the main distinctive traits for a group to be characterized as Neolithic (e.g. Hansen 1991). However, to paraphrase Sigaut in his discussion of the concepts of agriculture and huntinggathering from their technological perspectives, we know so little about the earliest Neolithic agriculture that using it to define the Neolithic is a purely verbal exercise. Foodproducing activities need not be the privileged domain in our understanding of the earliest Neolithic groups (Sigaut 1994,443). For example, the use of skins and fleeces for clothing was at least as important (probably more) as was meat producing. The same holds for mobility. Although we accept mobility as an obvious condition for hunter-gatherers we understand very poorly the possibility of logistical mobility for segments of the farming groups, if not for their entireties. Again, assuming that we understand from the start what Mesolithic mobility and Neolithic sedentism are, we are trapped in false common-sense assumptions. I would suggest therefore, that we should abandon the - still dominant - Childean tradition that conceptualizes these differing ways of life as predominantly economic subsistence categories. Instead, it might be preferable to consider them as places for the construction of collective and personal identities, of which food producing could indeed be one dimension (Hastorf 1999) but not necessarily the only one. In this respect, both foragers or hunter-gatherers and farmers (or Mesolithic and Neolithic groups) are not constructed as essentialist, dichotomous concepts and we avoid

Across the border: unstable dwellings and fluid landscapes in Neolithic Greece

13

simplifying and objectifying the complexity and the social dynamics of agency that are involved.

Conclusions
Weare coming full circle to what we had identified as a place of historically contingent agency. This is a dynamic place of mutual exchange, where fluidity must have been prevalent and where identities and accompanying material culture expressions were constantly reformulated. Instead of the usual picture drawn in Neolithic studies depicting a Neolithic landscape winning over the Mesolithic, this process might have happened in a fluid landscape with multiple frontiers and conflicting directions, in a constant process of creating hybrid identities (Joseph and Fink 1999). The tensions created would offer a better basis for understanding the selective and heterogeneous cultural characteristics prevalent in the earliest Neolithic of Greece, which we have already discussed. Despite the conservative attitude prevalent in the frontier zone, we should not understand the earliest Neolithic as a pure and fixed allochthonous identity which is confronted by the native Mesolithic identity of the local hunter-gatherers. All actors in this drama were equally immersed in dynamic fluidity. It remains to be discussed where the actual place of this fluidity might have been. It seems reasonable that fluidity was less prevalent in the central, long-lived, Neolithic sites, such as Argissa and Sesklo. The complexity of their material culture and their overall spatial arrangements indicate that they represent the end of a long process rather than its beginning. In contrast to these sites, small experimental sites, established in the frontier during the earliest Neolithic, would be more likely to preserve the traces of the fluidity I am proposing here. These sites would be in areas outside the mainstream Neolithic landscapes, occupying varying, even marginal, environments, not necessarily those where successful mounds subsequently evolved and normalised their cultural idiom over 1000s of years. They would represent the initial steps, predominantly as places of interaction or nodes in extensive networks. On the basis of this hypothesis, it has been proposed that the mountainous area of Grevena (western Macedonia) would be one possible region for the existence of these earliest experimental sites (Kotsakis 2000, 177). Located on the western edge of the Thessalian plain, Theopetra could be a node in this extensive network (Kotsakis 2003; Kyparissi-Apostolika 1994; 1999); the increasing number of Mesolithic sites in Greece (Runnels 1995; Runnels and van Andel 2003) shows that where specialised field research is conducted, the interface zone in other parts of the country is quickly populated. In conclusion, the earliest Neolithic in Greece needs a radical re-appraisal. To do that we need to revise traditional models, the basic outlines of which were formed in the 1960s. The indigenist versus diffusionist

dichotomy is also part of the 1960s way of reading the Neolithic, or more generally culture, and it should be abandoned also as merely an essentialized, objectifying approach. We need to think outside dichotomous, essentialist categories, and we need to approach the historical contingency active in Greece at that time, in its details, looking at real people, with real identities and real lives.

Acknowledgements
Some of these ideas were formed while I was at Stanford as visiting professor. I would like to thank Douglass Bailey, with whom I shared both an office at Stanford and our views on the Neolithic, as well as Ian Hodder, Michael Shanks and Ian Morris for their intellectual support. I would like also to thank Alasdair Whittle for gi ving me the opportunity to participate in the Cardiff symposium and present my views and Paul Halstead for the ongoing and stimulating discussion on the Neolithic of Greece. In particular, I need to thank Douglass Bailey for his patience.

Note
Consider, for instance, also the following excerpt from Theocharis (1967, 4): The role of 'science' and 'technology' in archaeological research must be recognized, but should not be overrated. Culture is a human creation, not a creation of the environment, and in prehistoric archaeology the concept of culture is dominant, roughly similar to the concept of art in classical archaeology. As long as this essential restriction applies, the principal role in research will be held by the archaeologist who is responsible for the study of the cultural manifestations of man ... It is unfortunate that even today, for some 'cultures', we know nothing more than pottery styles (my translation from the Greek text).

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social process and cultural change. New York: American Museum of Natural History. Chapman, J. 1994. The origins of farming in south east Europe. Prehistoire Europeenne 6, 133-56. Demoule, J.-P. and Perles, C. 1993. The Greek Neolithic: a new review. Journal of World Prehistory 7, 355-416. Edmonds, M. and Richards, C. (eds) 1998. Understanding the Neolithic of north- western Europe. Glasgow: Cruithne Press. Fotiadis, M. 1995. Modernity and the past-still-present: politics of time in the birth of regional archaeological projects in Greece. American Journal of Archaeology 99, 59-78. Fotiadis, M. 2001. Imagining Macedonia in prehistory, ca. 1900-1930. Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology 14, 115-35. Hansen, J. M. 1991. The palaeoethnobotany of Franchthi Cave. Excavations at Franchthi Cave, Greece 7. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press. Hastorf, C. 1999. Cultural implications of crop introductions in Andean prehistory. In C. Gosden and J. Hather (eds), The prehistory of food. Appetites for change, 35-58. London: Routledge. Heurtley, W. A. 1939. Prehistoric Macedonia. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Ingold, T., Riches, D. and Woodburn, J.(eds) 1988. Hunters and gatherers. Oxford: Berg. Joseph, M. and Fink, J. N. 1999. Performing hybridity. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Kelly, R. L. 1995. The foraging spectrum: diversity in huntergatherer lifeways. Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press. Kopytoff, I. 1987. The internal African frontier: the making of African political culture. In I. Kopytoff (ed.), The African frontier. The reproduction of traditional African societies, 3-84. Indiana: Indiana University Press. Kotsakis,K. 1994. The use of habitational space in Neolithic Sesklo. In J.C. Decourt, B. Helly and K. Gallis (eds), La Thessalie. Quinze annees de recherches archeologiques, 1975-1990. Bilans et perspectives, 125-30. Athens: Ministere de la Culture. Kotsakis, K. 1998. The past is ours. In L. Meskell (ed.), Archaeology under fire, 44-67. London: Routledge. Kotsakis, K. 1999. What tells can tell. Social space and settlement in the Greek Neolithic. In P. Halstead (ed.), Neolithic society in Greece, 66-76. Sheffield: Sheffield University Press. Kotsakis, K. 2001. Mesolithic to Neolithic in Greece. Continuity, discontinuity or change of course? Documenta Praehistorica 28, 63-73. Kotsakis, K. 2002. Book review of Catherine Perles, The Early Neolithic in Greece. European Journal of Archaeology 5, 373-77. Kotsakis, K. 2003. From the Neolithic side: the Mesolithic/ Neolithic interface in Greece. In N. Galanidou and C. Perles (eds), The Greek Mesolithic, 217-22. London: British School at Athens. Kotsos, S. 1992. Anaskafi neolithikou oikismou sti viomihaniki periohi Drosias, Edessas. To Archaiologiko ergo sti Makedonia kai Thraki 6, 195-202. Kyparissi-Apostolika, N. 1994. Prehistoric inhabitation in Theopetra Cave, Thessaly. J.C. Decourt, B. Helly and K. Gallis (eds), La Thessalie. Quinze annees de recherches archeologiques, 1975-1990. Bilans et perspectives, 103-

108. Athens: Ministere de la Culture. Kyparissi-Apostolika, N. 1999. The Neolithic use of Theopetra Cave in Thessaly. In P. Halstead (ed.), Neolithic society in Greece, 142-52. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press. Mackridge, P. and Yannakakis, E. 1997. Ourselves and others. The development of a Greek Macedonian cultural identity since 1912. Oxford: Berg. Milojcic, V. 1949. Chronologie der jiingeren Steinzeit Mittelund Siidosteuropas, Berlin: Gebr. Mann. Milojcic, V. 1960. Hauptergebnisse der deutschen Ausgrabungen in Thessalien 1953-1958. Bonn: Rudolf Habelt Verlag. Milojci6, V. 1983. Die deutschenAusgrabungen aufder OtzakiMagula in Thessalien 11: Das mittlere Neolithikum. Die mittelneolithische Siedlung. Bonn: Rudolf Habelt Verlag. Morris, I. 1994. Archaeologies of Greece. In I. Morris (ed.), Classical Greece: ancient histories and modern archaeologies, 8-47. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Morris, I. 2000. Archaeology as cultural history. Oxford: Blackwell. Myers, F. 1988. Critical trends in the study of hunter-gatherers. Annual Review of Anthropology 17, 261-82. Pappa, M. and Besios, M. 1999. The Neolithic settlement at Makrigialos, Pieri a, Greece. Journal of Field Archaeology 26, 177-95. Perles, C 2001. The Early Neolithic in Greece. The first farming communities in Europe. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Perles, C. 2003. An alternate (and old fashioned) view of Neolithization in Greece. Documenta Praehistorica 30, 99113. Redman, C. L. 1978. The rise of civilization. San Francisco: W.H. Freeman and Company. Renfrew, C. 1980. The great tradition versus the great divide. American Journal of Archaeology 84, 287-9. Runnels, C. and van Andel, T. H. 2003. The early Stone Age of the Nomos of Preveza: landscape and settlement. In J. Wiseman and K. Zachos (eds), Landscape archaeology in Southern Epirus, Greece I, 47-134. Princeton: The American School of Classical Studies at Athens. Runnels, C. N. 1995. Review of Aegean prehistory IV: the Stone Age of Greece from the Palaeolithic to the advent of the Neolithic. American Journal of Archaeology 99, 699728. Runnels, C. N. 2003. The origins of the Greek Neolithic: a personal view. In A. J. Ammerman and P. Biagi (eds), The widening harvest, 121-32. Boston: Archaeological Institute of America. Sigaut, F. 1994. Technology. In T. Ingold (ed.), Companion encyclopedia of anthropology. Humanity, culture and social life, 420-59. London: Routledge. Theocharis, D.R. 1957. Ai arhai tou politismou en Sesklo. Proceedings of the Academy of Athens 32,151-9. Theocharis, D.R. 1967.1 Avgi tis Thessalikis Proistorias. Volos: Filarhaios Etaireia Volou. Theocharis, D.R. 1973. Neolithic Greece. Athens: National Bank of Greece. Toufexis, G. 1994. Anaskafi sto neolithiko oikismo Kremastos tou N. Grevenon. To Archaiologiko ergo sti Makedonia kai Thraki 8, 17-26. Toufexis, G. 1997. Recent Neolithic research in the Eastern

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ra in
's. ty

'1-

;ilie .),

Thessalian Plain, Greece, Unpublished paper: International Symposium, The Aegean in the Neolithic, Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age. Urla - Irmir, 13-19 October. Tringham, R. 2000. South-eastern Europe in the transition to agriculture in Europe: bridge, buffer, or mosaic. In T. D. Price (ed.), Europe's first farmers, 19-56. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Tsountas, Ch. 1908. Ai Proistorikai Akropoleis Diminiou kai Sesklo. Athens: Sakellariou. Turner, F. J. 1994. Rereading Frederick Jackson Turner. 'The significance of the frontier in American history' and other essays. With commentary by John Mack Faragher. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Wace, A. J. B. and Thompson, M. S. 1912. Prehistoric Thessaly. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Weinberg, S. S.1965. The Stone Age in the Aegean. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Zvelebil, M. 1996. Farmers our ancestors and the identity of Europe. In P. Graves-Brown, S. Jones and C. Gamble (eds), Cultural identity and archaeology, 145-66. London: Routledge. Zvelebil, M. 1998. What's in a name: the Mesolithic, the Neolithic, and social change at the Mesolithic-Neolithic transition. In M. Edmonds and C. Richards (eds), Understanding the Neolithic of north-western Europe, 135. Glasgow: Cruithne Press.

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(un)settling the Neolithic


Edited by
(I

Douglass Bailey, Alasdair Whittle and Vicki Cummings

Oxbow Books

Published by Oxbow Books, Park End Place, Oxford OX1 1HN

© Oxbow Books and the individual authors, 2005

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3. Deconstructing essentialisms: unsettling frontiers of the Mesolithic-Neolithic Balkans


Dusan Boric

The reputation, name, and appearance, the worth, the usual measure and weight of a thing - originally almost always wrong and arbitrary, thrown over things like a dress and quite foreign to their nature and even to their skin- has, through the belief in it and its growth from generation to generation, slowly grown onto and into the thing and has become its very body: what started as appearance in the.end nearly always becomes essence and effectively acts as its essence! (Nietzsche 2001, 69-70; aphorism 58).

Existing models that consider foraging (Mesolithic) and first farming (Neolithic) societies, their interaction, and coexistence rarely reflect wider discursive problems, such as Orientalism and its dichotomous structure that reproduces binary classifications. Complex historical processes are dichotomized, essentialized and, finally, colonized for the sake of proliferating familiar narratives and hardening the progressive time-arrow. Vocabularies used to describe, narrate, and represent these processes of culture change are unavoidably biased and summoned by (post)colonial analogies; there is little care about the terms we use. Issues about subsistence are still central and many models of culture change rely on social evolutionary stadial schemes. Though this chapter works through these theoretical concerns by looking at the Mesolithic-Neolithic evidence in the Balkans, the discussion is applicable to other regions.

which remain the main sources for intellectual inspiration in prehistoric archaeology), naturalization and analogy remain naive, uncritical and non-reflexive. If prehistoric archaeologists intend to use ethnographic data effectively for their prehistoric case studies, they need to go beyond theoretical proxies, such as frontier interactions, cultural resistance, or acculturation. They need to update and nuance their theoretical foundations and embrace the field of postcolonial studies. In order to shape more original approaches, they must also become intellectual foragers themselves. In order to take account of the ambiguities of the historical transformation that is conventionally designated the Mesolithic-Neolithic transition, I intend to go beyond demic diffusion and the frontier model for the Neolithisation of the Balkans. The argument will follow a different conceptualization of identity construction and will require a re-examination of the notions of local knowledge and continuity. First, I will outline the theoretical concerns of Mesolithic and Neolithic labelling and the subsequent modelling of the culture change. Then I will examine the so-called Neolithisation process in the Balkans and focus on an example from the Danube Gorges region.

Introduction
It is time to shift the focus on subsistence that has long naturalized Mesolithic-Neolithic identities. It is time to abandon the simplistic and reductionist models of social interaction and transformation that emerge from ethnographic analogies. Though the naturalization of past identities and the use of unproblematized analogies have provided safe havens for the archaeology of MesolithicNeolithic studies, in reality they have obstructed theory and discussion. In their borrowings from ethnography and socio-cultural anthropology (i.e. the two disciplines

Essentialist proxies: frontiers, acculturations, resistances


Referring to the conventional labels Mesolithic and Neolithic, one of the editors of this book promised at a conference several years ago, 'I will try not to use M- and N-words'. He promised to buy a drink for anyone who spotted a slip of his tongue. He almost succeeded. Towards the end of his paper the habit of using the terms overwhelmed even his conscious decision to change the well-rooted vocabulary of prehistorians. Regardless of their provisional and arbitrary invention (cf. Lubbock 1865), the terms Mesolithic and Neolithic have become the theoretical currency for debates of

Deconstructing

essentialisms:

unsettling frontiers

of the Mesolithic-Neolithic

Balkans

17

Mesolithic-Neolithic archaeologists. Definitions for various uses of these terms have been offered (e.g. Bradley 1998; Price 2000; Thomas 1999; Whittle 1996; Zvelebil and Lillie 2000, 59). Strong criticism of the vagueness of these terms has been voiced as well (e.g. Pluciennik 1998; 1999; 2001; 2002). However, even though we have very different ideas about what the terms mean in different particular contexts, we continue to use these terms as shared proxies and heuristic aids. It would be a mistake to expect to replace Mesolithic and Neolithic with a more nuanced terminology and this is not a goal of this paper. Rather, I will point out theoretical and empirical problems that arise from currently popular models of the culture changes/transformations that occurred during the Mesolithic-Neolithic. Throughout, I will use the term transformation rather than transition as the latter ignores the dynamic nature of the process and suggests an irreversible character. for the phenomenon. The idea that Neolithic folk, migrating from the eastern Mediterranean across Europe, were the primary movers of the Neolithisation process and the main cause of the contemporary culture change is well established in European prehistory; it is prominent in the original version of the wave-of-advance model (Ammerman and Cavalli-Sforza 1973; also Renfrew 1987). Migrationists (most recently Lichardus and Lichardus 2003; Perles 2001; van Andel and Runnels 1995) see only the defeat and swift replacement of indigenous populations by advancing waves of farmers. The rise in popularity of hunter-gatherer studies (e.g. Lee and DeVore 1968) challenged this group of models in the 1980s. A new Mesolithic-oriented paradigm gave native Mesolithic/ foraging populations a larger role in the Neolithisation process (e.g. Bogucki 1988; Gregg 1988; Whittle 1996; Zvelebil 1986; 1994; Zvelebil and Lillie 2000). These indigenists give an active role to local forager groups in the process of Mesolithic-Neolithic transformations and they model active interactions among foragers and farmers. These are the availability models of a moving frontier (Zvelebil 1986; Zvelebil and Rowley-Conwy 1986; cf. Dennell 1985). There are important differences between the migrationist and indigenist positions. Mark Pluciennik (1999, 663-4; see also Rudebeck 1996) has identified distinct rhetorical tropes for each model: the first group of models has progressive/romantic and modernist undertones while the second group embodies a nostalgic rhetoric trope which, though it downplays progress, retains a social evolutionary character. Envisioning a form of multiculturalism, a more nuanced version of the indigenists' model suggests that coexisting Mesolithic and Neolithic communities mixed diverse cultural repertoires to produce newly moulded, hybrid identities (Thomas 1996, 123-9). The frontier model is more attentive to the dynamics of contact, interaction and exchanges between essentially different populations; it reconstructs local forager groups

in the progressive advance of farmers which the wave of advance model suggests. The model (e.g. Bogucki 1995, 95) builds on the frontier thesis of Frederick Jackson Turner (1893) who referred to the American frontier (i.e. the colonial conquest of America's Great West, a narrative with overwhelming modernist overtones; cf. Klein 1997). One of Turner's most exploited ideas is that frontier expansion and the frontiersmen of America's West produced American democracy and shaped the character of the American nation. For Turner, the ultimate hero was 'white, middle class, and male'. Turner sought to transfigure folk memory into historical consciousness (Klein 1997, 9). His tale is about an evolving historical consciousness (seen in the form of Hegelian spirit) that mastered nature. For Turner, nature represented 'wilderness, free land, abundance, barrier, nurturer, a spur of profligacy, the sphere in which the morality develops' (Klein 1997, 80). Most revealing is Turner's assertion that the frontier is the meeting point of savagery and civilization. In its original context, the frontier thesis was a way to represent this meeting point between nature (without history) and culture (with history). Also important is the frontier model's notion of the emptiness of free land: free to occupy and exploit (i.e. free to be inscribed with meaning).
The first ideal of the pioneer was that of conquest. It was his task to fight with nature for the chance to exist. Not as in older countries did this contest take place in a mythical past, told in folk lore and epic. It has been continuous to our own day. Facing each generation of colonists was the unmastered continent. Vast forests blocked the way; mountainous ramparts interposed; desolate, grass-clad prairies, barren oceans of rolling plains, arid deserts, and a fierce race of savages, all had to be met and defeated (F. Turner 1893, cited by Klein 1997, 81).

Though the coding is tacit rather than intentional, similar elements can be found in the frontier model proposed for the Mesolithic-Neolithic transformation. A wider underlying discursive formation is at work here. It is useful to examine the connection of the frontier thesis to Orientalism (cf. Said 1978; see also B. Turner 1994; 2001). According to Said, Orientalism is a system of classification that maintains the difference between the West and the Orient (Said 1978; 1993). The Orient is seen as a negative Other: 'if Orientalism, as Said describes it, has a structure, this resides in its tendency to dichotomize the human continuum into we-they contrasts and to essentialize the resultant 'other" (Clifford 1988, 258). For Said, the cause of this polarization is a western textualization that brings authority and speaks for the Other. Here, in Foucault's sense, knowledge is power (i.e. a specific Western will to power). Polarities can be dynamic/stationary, modern/traditional, progressive/ reactionary, or original/mimetic (B. Turner 2001, 65). To these originary dichotomies one can easily add the polarity of savage hunters/civilized farmers (i.e. foragers/ agriculturalists). Bryan Turner (2001) introduces the

--18 Dusan Boric frontier models (which often has a tragic narrative) is the notion of resistance and ultimate subjugation of local cultures. Yet, this uniform and cross-culturally universal interpretation may have alternatives which would have to challenge the taken-for-granted notion of monolithic and unchanging identity.
Stories of cultural contact and change have been structured by a pervasive dichotomy: absorption by the other or resistance to the other. A fear of lost identity, a Puritan taboo on mixing beliefs and bodies, hangs over the process. Yet what if identity is conceived not as a boundary to be maintained but as a nexus of relations and transactions actively engaging a subject? The story or stories of interaction must then be more complex, less linear and teleological. What changes when the subject of 'history' is no longer Western? How do stories of contact, resistance, and assimilation appear from the standpoint of groups in which exchange rather than identity is the fundamental value to be sustained? (Clifford 1988, 344)

notion of axial space in order to conceptualize the polarities that map out these differences and boundaries.
The point of these decisive borders is to rule out what I will call 'historical porosity', that is the ineluctable nature of leaking boundaries between cultures. Archaeological divisions of space constrain the irritant of leaky spaces, the diffusions of cultural porosity. Orientalism has been, in these terms, a major account of axial space. Disputes about the origins or places of a social movement or culture are disputes about how to draw the boundaries and borders of an axial space (B. Turner 2001,66).

However, the main issue about the nature of representation that Said's Orientalism provoked has much wider theoretical consequences.
The key theoretical issue raised by Orientalism concerns the status of all forms of thought and representation for dealing with the alien. Can one ultimately escape procedures of dichotomizing, restructuring, and textualizing in the making of interpretative statements about foreign cultures and traditions? (Clifford 1988, 261 original emphasis)

Thus, the representation present in the frontier model of the Mesolithic-Neolithic transformation has deep roots in Western power relationships, where power, discourse, and representation of knowledge are inescapably enmeshed. By perpetuating this type of model, historical processes and identities are dichotomized, naturalized and essentialized, for the sake of providing acceptable, forcefully coherent and, most of all, recognizable accounts. The use of these polarized categories and their taken-for-granted nature comes from the same discursive stratum as the colonial conceptualization of the encountered Other which is present through the history of colonial expansion and imperialism. In this way, the disruptive colonization of the past is invoked by archaeological accounts that lack a self-reflective stance over the issue of representation. This Orientalist theatre is a stage with a repeated performance (Clifford 1986: 12); it produces static images (cf. Todorova 1997, 7), lacking temporalization and historization of specificity. To model the dynamics of interaction within culture contact, archaeological frontier models frequently rely on the notion of acculturation (e.g. Zvelebil and Lillie 2000). Acculturation assumes that one group is absorbed by another in the culture contact between two groups as well as in the interaction which takes place through emulations and borrowings. Similar to the genealogy of the frontier thesis, acculturation has frequently been applied in particular (post)colonial contexts, understood as the westernisation of traditional cultures. Similar to the conceptualization of the Orient as passive, acculturated groups are frequently seen as passive recipients of externally imposed cultural values through commodities. Yet what if 'the adoption of certain items or practices and the abandonment of others may be part of a strategy to maintain group cohesion and identity, rather than an attempt to emulate or become identified with another group?' (Moore 1987, 87). Another frequent element of

For prehistorians to develop more nuanced scenarios with regard to the Mesolithic-Neolithic transformations, it is important to consider alternatives to the constitution of personal and collective identities, a topic widely discussed in the field of post-colonial studies (e.g. Clifford 1986; 1988; Drummond 1981; Fischer 1986) and increasingly in archaeology (e.g. Bruck 2001; Rothschild 2003; Schrire 1980; 1984; 1995, 49-70; Whittle 1998). Furthermore, for the period of the Mesolithic-Neolithic transformation, the construction of individual and collective identities remains strongly linked to a specific subsistence-base and economy. Recently, Pluciennik effectively traced a particular genealogy in the constitution of evolutionary stadial schemes that rely on subsistence as meaningful and useful societal categories (Pluciennik 2001, 742; 2002). Without denying the relevance of Marxist theory in relating the mode of production to a specific social identity, one needs to acknowledge that one's identity may be constructed along multiple lines (Meskell 2001, 199), depending on a particular social context and the values promoted in that context in a particular historical situation. Thus, the unchallenged use of social categories, such as foragers and farmers, cannot do justice to the complexity and particularism of studied historical processes. So far I have outlined some theoretical problems with the current modeling of the Mesolithic-Neolithic transformations. Now, I turn to the evidence of the MesolithicNeolithic transformations in the Balkans and I address pressing, specific, empirical problems that arise from the habit of applying either the wave-of-advance or the frontier model to the evidence.

Mesolithic-Neolithic continuities

Balkans: changes and

The scarcity of a pre-Neolithic presence in the Balkans frequently rehearsed (e.g. Runnels 2001; van Andel Runnels 1995) and is used as support for the

Deconstructing

essentialisms:

unsettling frontiers

of the Mesolithic-Neolithic

Balkans

19

IS

s, n Y 'd
1-

d ). ic ld ic ik
11-

es le of to 19 a
rat

he -rs nd ith
1S-

of an early Neolithic colonization of the region. Accordingly, sites/regions with evidence of Mesolithicearly Neolithic stratigraphies are seen primarily in terms of forager-farmer interactions (e.g. Budja 1999; Chapman 1994; Tringham 2000; ZvelebiI1994). The best researched case of Mesolithic-Neolithic stratigraphies in southeast Europe is the Danube Gorges where it is difficult to dispute continuities in various aspects of material culture between the Mesolithic and Neolithic, particularly at sites such as Lepenski Vir and Padina. In this section I will survey the main trends of Mesolithic-Neolithic transformations across the Balkans (Fig. 3.1) looking particularly at the significance of local knowledge and radiometric dates as evidence for site/regional continuities. The Danube Gorges example and the existing interpretations of its continuities are then examined. A number of factors affect the discovery and visibility of pre- Neolithic sites across the Balkans. One of the main hindrances is the paucity of detailed surveys that are aimed at locating sites of Mesolithic/Epi-Palaeolithic date. Such limitations result from a neglect of this period that is rooted in the history of the region's archaeology; archaeologists frequently have preferred later periods and have developed survey and research methodologies with those periods in mind (e.g. Galanidou 1996). Furthermore, during the Early Holocene some regions experienced considerable environmental change and physical alteration of the landscape. This is especially true for the floodplain networks of large rivers, such as the Danube, where conditions caused intensive and massive alluvial and erosive processes (e.g. the Pannonian Plains (Borsy 1990) and Dobrogea (Bolomey 1978)). Significant alterations also characterize submerged coastal regions of the Aegean and the Adriatic Seas at the beginning of the Holocene. However, mapping the distribution of known Mesolithic/ Epi-Palaeolithic sites across the Balkans (Fig. 3.1) shows that the region was far from empty, and that the previously postulated low population densities during the Mesolithic may be inaccurate. With a new research impetus in recent years, more sites of the pre-Neolithic age and with Mesolithic-Neolithic stratigraphies have become known; some of these have already been investigated or are presently under investigation. From the distribution map, it is apparent that more sites are situated in coastal/riverine zones.

seen along the axis of coastal/inland Mesolithic sites. For example, in terms ofthe presence of geometric microliths, there is a difference between coastal Franchthi Cave (Perles 1999; 2001; 2003) and the more inland Theopetra Cave (Adam 1999) in Greece. The use of the micro-burin technique has been noted in the north Adriatic (Grotta dell'Edera: Biagi and Voytek 1994) and in the Pannonian Plains (Jasztelek I and Jasbereny), in the latter region under the influence of central European technocomplexes (Kertesz 1994; 1996a; 1996b). Geometric microliths are restricted to the Aegean and eastern Adriatic coast but are absent along the Black Sea coast which, on the basis of the lithic material, seems closely related to the Danube Gorges (Gatsov 1989). With the start of the Neolithic in the Balkans, there is a general trend toward the laminarization of blades and the use of a steep retouch, as well as a tendency to use good quality raw material of attractive appearance, such as the yellow-spotted flint from the pre-Balkan platform that most likely originates in the region of Shumen in north-east Bulgaria (Voytek 1987). However, even though there was possibly discontinuous occupation of sites with Mesolithic-Neolithic stratigraphies based on the available radiometric evidence (see below), flint material at a number of these sites from the Mesolithic and early Neolithic levels bears similarities (e.g. Cyclope Cave, early Neolithic sites in the Marmara region, Theopetra Cave, Odmut, Pupicina Pee). Although important changes mark the start of the Neolithic (e.g. the need to acquire raw materials over long distances) people still used locally available flint (Pupicina Pee: Miracle 1997) and showed a good knowledge of local sources. At some other sites the processes of manufacture were very similar to preceding methods (Cyclope Cave: Sampson 1998; Sampson et al. 1998).

Absolute dates
In terms of radiometric evidence, some sites were continuously occupied (Konispol Cave, Odmut, Franchthi Cave); others had gaps in the Mesolithic-early Neolithic sequence (Theopetra, Cyclope Cave, Grotta dell'Edera, Pupicina Pee: Boric 2002b). Thissen (2000) and Biagi and Spataro (2001) have argued, for Greece and the Mediterranean coastal zone, that this chronological gap is a consequence of the span of occupation in these regions and that such a gap in occupation is evidence for a migration scenario for the start of the Balkan Neolithic. However, radiometric evidence is rather scarce, rarely exceeding a dozen dates covering Mesolithic and early Neolithic strata at anyone particular site; new dates from these sites may bridge the gaps between Mesolithic and early Neolithic occupations. Furthermore, it is unclear why Biagi and Spataro (2001) exclude the dates from sites such as Konispol (Harrold et al. 1999; Schuldenrein 1998) or Odmut (see Table 3.1 and Fig. 3.2), where the radiometric series indicate an unbroken continuity in occupation between the two periods.

ic-ss he .he

Lithics
Across the Balkans, Mesolithic lithic manufacturing bears strong elements of the Epi -Tardigrevettian technocomplex which are characterized by splintered pieces and specific elements of core reduction (Kozlowski and Kozlowski 1983). This general pattern is coupled with local adaptations and influences coming from other techno-complexes: from Anatolia into the Aegean and from central Europe into the Pannonian Plains. Distinction in relation to the use of particular techniques for lithic manufacturing and of specific tool forms can be

20

Duson Boric

.... cave sites

!D open-air sites EN open-air sites

Figure 3.1 The Balkans - sites with the Mesolithic and early Neolithic stratigraphies, Neolithic sites with Mesolithic dates. Site/region sources:
Marmara Region: Gatsov and Ozdogan 1994; Ozdogan 1997; Ozdogan and Gatsov 1998. Pobiti Kamani: Gatsov 1989. Cyclope Cave: Sampson 1996; 1998; Sampson et al. 1998; 2003; Moundrea-Agrafioti 2003; Trantalidou 2003; Powell 2003. Theopetra Cave: Kyparissi-Apostolika 1995; 1998; 2000; 2003; Adam 1999; Newton 2003. Franchthi Cave: Jacobsen 1969; 1976; Jacobsen and Farrand 1987; Pedes 1990; 1999; 2001; 2003. Klisura 1: Koumouzelis et al. 1996; 2003. Sidari: Sordinas 1969; 2003. Konispol: Schuldenrein 1998; Harrold et al. 1999; in press; Russell 1998.

Mesolithic sites and two early

Odmut Cave: Srejovic 1974; Markovic 1974a; 1974b; 1985; Kozlowski et al. 1994. Ymca Pecina: Djurisic 1997. Crvena Stijena: Benac and Brodar 1958; Benac 1975; Mihailovic and Dimitirijevic 1999. Medena Stijena: Mihailovic 1996; 1998; 1999. Jasztelek I and Jasbereny I: Kertesz 1994; 1996a; 1996b; Kertesz et al. 1994. Dobrodgea: Bolomey 1978. Pupiclna Pee and Sebrn Abri: Miracle 1997; 2002; Miracle et al. 2000. Grotta dell'Edera: Biagi and Voytek 1994. Danube Gorges and Early Neolithic sites: see the text.

Deconstructing

essentialisms:

unsettling frontiers

of the Mesolithic-Neolithic

Balkans

21

Mesolithic and early Neolithic inhabitants' knowledge of local landscapes, resources, and communications is important even at sites with discontinuous sequences between the two periods. At Theopetra Cave, KyparissiApostolika (2000, 138) notes that it is unlikely that new colonists at the beginning of the Neolithic would recognise or use the cave location unless they had previous memory and knowledge of the surrounding landscape. Similarly, at Cyclope Cave, early Neolithic inhabitants had a good knowledge of local landscapes and resources, and were skilled in seafaring, similar to earlier Mesolithic inhabitants despite the discontinuous radiometric sequence and significant changes in subsistence (Sampson 1998; Sampson et al. 1998). At face value, the available radiometric evidence and claims for the significance of local knowledge of landscapes, communications and resources suggest a mixed character for the Mesolithic-Neolithic transformation; the appropriate metaphor would be a mosaic or patchwork of processes of transformation (cf. Tringham 2000; Whittle et al. 2002). One cannot over-emphasize the fact that 'much can be gained by shifting our analytical sights from very broad and general scales (i.e. autochthonous vs. allochthonous models of the early Neolithic in Europe) to the smaller scales at which past human decisions and strategies were conceived or implemented' (Miracle 1997, 57). Also important are the possible reasons for re-occupying locales in the landscape

at the start of the Neolithic; this recurrent practice may relate to long-term memory and complex processes of the invention of culture (cf. Boric 2002b; Wagner 1980). These examples undermine previous arguments about the wholesale introduction of the Neolithic package and they illuminate the need to seek an alternative route to examine the process. The evidence provides only indirect clues about the nature of the Mesolithic-Neolithic transformation. Examples from the Danube Gorges provide a finer insight into shared practices and materialities between the Mesolithic and Neolithic realms.

Exception or clue? The Danube Gorges regional group and beyond


The Danube Gorges region is the case of MesolithicNeolithic continuities in the Balkans par excellence (e.g. Boric 1999; 2002a; 2002b; Boric and Miracle 2004; Boroneant 2001; Radovanovic 1996a; Srejovic 1969; 1972). Site locations, radiometric dates, spatial recognition of older features, rectangular stone hearth architecture, elements of portable material culture (e.g. bone, antler and boar's tusk tools) as well as subsistence practices underline strong continuities between chronologically distinct Mesolithic and early Neolithic periods (c. 10,000-5500 cal BC). However, there is no consensus among researchers over these continuities (or even of the

Stratum IIb IIb Ira Ira lIa Ib Ib 'y Ib la Ib

Context description

LabID SI-2223

bp 6530 6730 6900 6985 6995 7030 7080 7150 7350 7440 7720 7790 8590 9135 10045

sd 75 160 100 100 100 160 85 100 160 150 85 70 100 80 85

Cal BC 1 sd 5610-5380 5750-5480 5890-5660 5980-5740 5990-5750 6020-5730 6020-5840 6160-5890 6390-6030 6440-6100 6640-6460 6690-6500 7750-7530 8460-8260 9750-9310

Cal BC 2 sd 5620-5320 6000-5350 5990-5620 6030-5660 6060-5660 6250-5600 6160-5740 6230-5800 6500-5800 6600-5950 6800-6350 7000-6450 8000-7450 8560-8210 10200-9250

Attribution Early Neolithic? Early Neolithic? Early Neolithic Early Neolithic Early Neolithic Mesolithic? Mesolithic? Mesolithic? Mesolithic Mesolithic Mesolithic Mesolithic Mesolithic Mesolithic Mesolithic

Primary source

block V, layer 11

Z-412 SI-2222 SI-2217 SI-2219

RC 19: 473

block 1, layer 19

Z-457 SI-2227 SI-2220

RC 19: 473

block 5, layer 21 block 5, layer 15

Z-413 Z-411 SI-2221 SI-2226

RC 19: 473 RC 19: 473

;;

Ib Ib

;;

la/lb Ib

'mixed dark and yellow sediment' sector III 1, layer 17

SI-2224 SI-2228 SI-2225

J;

XD

Ie

Table 3.1 Radiometric

dates from Odmut with their context, where applicable

(Sources: Srejovic 1974, 5; RC 19

[1 977], 473; Markovic 1985; Chapman and Muller 1990, table 1; Gob 1990, 197; Kozlowski et al. 1994, 55-56).

22

Dusan Boric

Odmut
10500 10000 9500 9000 8500 8000 7500 7000

.~
0
III
CII

oc'

~ ~ ~

.i1
.~

~
,.p

co ~ '"
N

;9

@ ;::;
Lab ID

'"
.~

IN

c-t

i:9

'"

f=.'

;S

t1

'9

r::'

0-

@
:=
ee

R M

"" ~ ~ ~

Figure 3.2. Calibrated radiometric dates on charcoal from Odmut Cave. Solid bars show 1 s.d.; lines show 2 s.d. Source: Table 1.

stratigraphy and dating of the type-site of Lepenski Vir). Much debate has focused on dating of particular features at these sites to the Mesolithic (i.e. early Neolithic) and on the cultural attribution, continuity and definition of Mesolithic and early Neolithic identities. Regarding the absolute dating and material associations of trapezoidal buildings at Lepenski Vir, a research consensus is being reached. Corrections to the previously flawed understanding of the site's stratigraphy (Boric 1999; 2002a) have been augmented by new radiometric dates (Whittle et al. 2002) and by photographs of early Neolithic pottery on the floors of trapezoidal buildings (Garasanin and Radovanovic 2001). Most of the structures at Lepenski Vir, previously exclusively labelled as Mesolithic were most likely very late in the sequence (possibly dated to c. 6300 cal BC) and their construction continued throughout the early Neolithic occupation of the site (i.e. until 5500 cal BC). However, there remain important differences in the interpretations of the corrected chronology. For instance, Radovanovic defines the complete development of this regional group as the Iron Gates Mesolithic according to the type of economy (Garasanin and Radovanovic 2001;

Radovanovic 1996a). Economy was based on riverine resources and remained largely unchanged during the chronological span of the early Neolithic development (mainly due to the significant absence of domestic stock at least at some of the sites; cf. Dimitrijevic and Boric forthcoming). Many authors have adopted this perspective, postulating a frontier between indigenous Mesolithic societies and incoming farmers present in the surrounding areas (Budja 1999; Chapman 1993; 2000; Tringham 2000; Voytek and Tringham 1989). In this context, the abundant early Neolithic pottery and other material culture characteristics for the period at sites such as Lepenski Vir have been interpreted as the exchange of prestige items and commodities (Radovanovic 1996b; Radovanovic and Voytek 1997) between two genetically and culturally unrelated communities (Chapman 1999; 2000), differentiated primarily on the basis of subsistence strategies. Chapman (1999) even argues that the signs of violence on some skeletons document violent encounters of the Danube Gorges forgers and the surrounding farmers (even though such burials date to before the appearance of the early Neolithic pottery in the Balkans by several centuries, (cf. Cook et al. 2002, table 3).

Deconstructing

essentialisms:

unsettling frontiers

of the Mesolithic-Neolithic

Balkans

23

According to this scenario, the forager population in the Danube Gorges was in the end acculturated after several centuries of resistance to the incoming farming lifestyle. This position undermines the historical context of trapezoidal buildings and the practices taking place in these features, it relies on economy as the key definition of a society, and it downplays the complexity of the process of identity construction (cf. Boric 1999; 2002a; in press). Postulations of such differences between foragers and farmers as ideal categories are built on the notion of pure cultures and transplant the familiar narrative of colonial encounters, especially evoking the ideas of frontier, acculturation and resistance. I suggest that Mesolithic identities cannot be clearly distinguished from early Neolithic ones either in the forager context of the sites in the Danube Gorges or in the farming context of early Neolithic settlements across the central Balkans. It is not easy to distinguish the cultural categories of purely Mesolithic from purely ,Neolithic. Lepenski Vir provides a case-study for examining this

issue, especially in the use of disarticulated human bone as a way of incorporating Mesolithic remains in early Neolithic contexts. This use of human bone also relates to the problem of material social memory and might have been surrounded with various meanings, such as the ancestral apotropaic potency of these remains which could have been understood as relics (cf. Bori" 2003). However, I am primarily interested in the idea that material traces from the (Mesolithic) past are part of the (early Neolithic) present at Lepenski Vir.

Burial 7, Lepenski Vir


The clearest examples of the complexity of mortuary rites at Lepenski Vir are Burials 7/I-a and 7/11-b (Srejovic 1967; 1972; Srejovic and Babovic 1983, 136; Stefanovic and Boric in press). Burial 7/I-a is an extended inhumation of an adult man, placed in a burial pit cut through the floor of House 21 (Fig. 3.3). This building is the last of four buildings that overlap and horizontally displace each other (see Boric 2003). The burial may

i.

le le
B

tt :k ic
rIS

Ie 0; is er

CD
House 21

;h
of
b;

ly 9;
::e
limestone floor

of rs
19

o
m

burials 7lJ7a and 7II17b sculptured boulder

rre
ns
I).

Figure 3.3 House 21 and Burials 711-a and 7Ill-b, Lepenski Vir (after Stefanovic and Boric in press, fig. 15).

24

Dusan Boric the two burials and were used to further investigate the possibility that the skulls were from different periods. The value of this method relies on Bonsall et al,' s assumption (Bonsall et al. 1997; 2000; Cook et al. 2002) that one can assume that burials with higher ol5N values (above +13%) are Mesolithic in date, while those with lower ol5N values «+13%) are dated to the transformational or early Neolithic phase of occupation (see Boric et al. 200S). Differences in Ol5N are the results of varying intake of freshwater and migratory Danube fish and its products (e.g. fish roe) and in changes in the importance of other food resources, such as wild game or carnivorous animals (Boric et al. 200S; Grupe et al. 2003). However, these differences cannot be easily translated into a clear-cut Mesolithic-Neolithic subsistence dichotomy since stable isotopes of early Neolithic individuals still indicate a significant reliance on fish remains (see Fig. 3.S). For this separation of Mesolithic and early Neolithic diets to become a more secure dating proxy, many more analyses (with absolute dates) are needed, especially for early Neolithic individuals. In the context of double Burial 7 and keeping in mind the morphological differences of the skulls, it is useful to look at their stable isotope values. Burial 7/II-b has a Ol5Nvalue of lS.12%, which corresponds to the range of Ol5N values of individuals dated to the arbitrarily distinguished Mesolithic and transition phases. On the other hand, the Ol5N value for Burial 7/1-a is 11.49% which corresponds with the early Neolithic group of burials at Lepenski Vir (cf. Boric et al. in press; Grupe et

have signified the final abandonment of the location. Apart from the extended inhumation inside the burial pit, there was a disarticulated human skull labelled as Burial 71II-b, placed on the left shoulder of Burial 711-a, and facing the deceased. Next to the right side of Burial 711-a, an aurochs skull was placed upside-down. Without radiometric dating, one can only speculate about dates for the individuals represented by the two skulls. However, comparison of their morphological features and of their stable isotope values provide some evidence for their date. A comparison of skull morphology reveals that they have very different degrees of robusticity. Thus, the disarticulated skull of Burial 7111 has very -b pronounced eyebrow ridges, which are absent on the skull of Burial 7/1-a (Fig. 3.4). While the 7/IIb skull resembles a group of very robust individuals found at Lepenski Vir, the similarity is even stronger at the sites of Vlasac, Padina and Hajducka Vodenica (e.g. .Mikic 1980; Nemeskeri 1969;'1978; Roksandic 1999; 2000; Zivanovic 1975a; 1975b; 1975c; 1976; 1979). Some of these robustlooking individuals have been dated to the Mesolithic, between c. 9700 and 7000 cal BC (Bonsall et at. 1997; Boric and Miracle 2004). On the other hand, more gracile skulls found at Lepenski Vir fall within the transformational phase or into the early Neolithic (i.e. between around 6400-SS00 cal BC). It is possible that one could date the detached skull, Burial 7III -b, to the Mesolithic period and the articulated inhumation, Burial 7/1-a, to the period after 6400 cal BC. Stable isotope values provided dietary signatures for

Figure 3.4. (left) Gracile skull Burial 71J-a and (right) robust skull Burial 7III-b, Lepenski Vir.

Deconstructing

essential isms: unsettling frontiers

of the Mesolithic-Neolithic

Balkans

25

al. 2003; contra Bonsall et al. 2000, 129). On the basis of this information at Lepenski Vir the incorporation of individual bones from older burials (possibly as relics) into burials of individuals during the early Neolithic relates to the occupation of trapezoidal buildings. This Lepenski Vir case suggests profound material links between the two periods: the continuing relevance of Mesolithic materialities during the early Neolithic, in this case human bones. The proof of continuities is also found in the evidence for early Neolithic dwelling at the places of previous Mesolithic occupations or in the use of the same form of rectangular stone hearths (Boric 2003). Furthermore, one is intrigued by the position of the extended inhumation Burial 7/I-a·. While the burial in question is most likely dated to the early Neolithic part of the sequence, this type of mortuary rite characterizes the preceding Mesolithic period at this and other sites in the

Danube Gorges. In addition, several other burials at Lepenski Vir cross the assigned Mesolithic/Neolithic categories in a similar way (Boric in press). This example from the Danube Gorges helps us examine whether the mix of Mesolithic and Neolithic in this region is an exception or whether it provides a clue to usually unclear continuities between the periods. Additional evidence from other human burials from two early Neolithic sites in the north Balkans (in the Pannonian Plains, see Fig. 3.1) provides more information.

Pannonian Plains
Surprisingly, two recent radiometric analyses of human bones from the early Neolithic sites of Topole-Bac in Serbia and Maroslele Pana in Hungary (Fig. 3.1) produced dates of Mesolithic age (Whittle et al. 2002).

:s
ID

V\

delta
13C
-2.5 -20
-10

delta
15N o
10

15

2.0

Figure 3.5 Oi3C and o15N values for securely dated human individuals from different sites in the Danube Gorges. Dates corrected for the freshwater reservoir effect according to Method 2 as described by Cook et al. (2002, 82). All calibrated with OxCal v. 3.4.
LV (Lepenski Vir) = Bonsall et al. 1997, table 3; 2000, table 3; Cook et al. 2002, table 4. V (Vlasac) = Bonsall et al. 1997, table 5; 2000, table 3; Cook et al. 2002, table 5. HV (Hajducka Vodenica) = Boric 2002b, table 4.4; Boric and Miracle 2004. P (Padina) = Boric 2002b, table 4.10; Boric and Miracle 2004. SC (Schela Cladovei) = Bonsall et al. 1997, table 4; 2000, table 3; Cook et al. 2002.

26

Duson Boric them at these sites. The latter possibility is more likely for Burial 7 from Maroslele Pana (a disarticulated human skull) than for Burial 2 from Topole-Bac, a contracted articulated inhumation. For Burial 2 at Topole-Bac, one could also reconstruct mummifying or wrapping that would have kept the bones articulated for a long period of time and thus have enabled their circulation. There is a clear underlying principle that speaks about a strong relevance of past materialities, significantly in the form of human remains (cf. Boric 2003), regardless of whether the two sites were occupied in the Mesolithic at the time when the two individuals died (and were possibly buried here and the sites then re-occupied at the outset of the early Neolithic), or whether the bones of the old dead were brought from some other place and deposited here in the early Neolithic. The Lepenski Vir disarticulated remains of Mesolithic date, present in an early Neolithic context, and similar evidence from the two other early Neolithic sites are clear examples of Mesolithic-Neolithic transformations, through which identity and belonging are defined through material references to the preceding period. This is not to propose a wholesale transmission of meanings from the (Mesolithic) past into the (early Neolithic) present. Rather, they illuminate long continuities of locally

The first date is OxA-8504 (8085±55 bp) from the contracted inhumation Burial 2 at Topole-Bac; it calibrates to 7310-6820 cal Be (2 s.d.), almost 1000 years older than a neighbouring dated skeleton found in the same position (i.e. Burial 1 (OxA-8693: 7170±50 bp, calibrated to 6170-5910 cal Be, 2.s.d.); see Boric 1999, fig. 28). The other Mesolithic date (OxA-X-922-30; 7680±70 bp, for a disarticulated human skull, Burial 7, from Maroslele Pana (Whittle et al. in press) which calibrates to 6650-6410 cal Be (2 s.d.) replaces the less precise date of OxA-9403 (7765±55 bp). This date is significantly older than those from four other burials at the site (Fig. 3.6) all of which indicate an early Neolithic occupation at around 5900-5500 cal Be. On the one hand, the two burials of Mesolithic date from the early Neolithic contexts could be statistical outliers with a limited implication for the beginnings of the Early Neolithic across the Balkans. On the other hand, if accepted, they provide new evidence for studying the Mesolithic-Neolithic transformations. At present it is unclear whether Topole-Bac and Maroslele Parra were occupied during the Mesolithic period or whether the dated Mesolithic human bones were circulated and kept as relics or heirlooms, perhaps, of groups who brought them from some other place before depositinglburying

Maroslele Pana
Excavated area: pit features and burials

Burial 6
OxA,9402,4460+i-4S bp (33S0-2920 Cal BCI

--------- if
N

Burial 3
OXA,9400, 6740+/'SO bp (S730,SSSOCal BC) OxA,-20S, 6845+/,SO bp(S840-5630 Cal Be)

Burial?
OxA-X,922,30, 7680+/,70 bp(6650-6410 Cal BC)

O)(A,940H780+I-SO

bp (57S0,S560C31 BC)

,.,-\__,___.-.--

__

--,---.-J

i.

L.___----,

Burial 1
OxA,9399,6%S+/-SO bp (5980,5720 Cal BC)

Figure 3.6. Early Neolithic features and the AMS dated burials at Maroslele Pana (adopted from Trogmayer 1964, fig· 1; dates after Whittle et al. 2002).

Deconstructing

essentialisms:

unsettling

frontiers

of the Mesolithic-Neolithic

Balkans

27

y
11

:l e
Lt

,f

a g n
~r

e d e d

C If

grounded habitual practices that were not related to other axes of identity and belonging but which were limited to identity as a practice of belonging and dwelling at these places. Meanings associated with these places' pasts might have been transmitted, re-invented and/or significantly altered over the long-term, regardless of various constitutive elements that we define as a coherent and bounded culture/tradition. It is not pure cultural essences that we encounter in these examples from either side of the Mesolithic-Neolithic divide; the examples indicate fluid boundaries between our Mesolithic and Neolithic categorizations. In this respect, the Danube Gorges should not be taken as an exception to the nature of the Mesolithic-Neolithic transformations; it should be seen as a case study with rich potential for framing more nuanced theoretical arguments, which could inform other regional sequences.

266-70. Athens: British School at Athens. Ammerman, A. J. and Cavalli-Sforza, L. L. 1973. A population model for the diffusion of early farming in Europe. In C. Renfrew (ed.), The explanation of culture change. models in prehistory, 343-57. London: Duckworth. Benac, A. (ed.) 1975. Crvena Stijena: Zbornik Radova. Niksic. Benac, A. and Brodar, A. 1958. Crvena Stijena - 1956. Glasnik Zemaljskog Mureja 13, 21-65. Biagi, P. and Spataro, M. 2001. Plotting the evidence: some aspects of the radiocarbon chronology of the MesolithicNeolithic transition in the Mediterranean Basin. Atti della
Societa per la preistoria e protoistoria Venezia Giulia 12, 15-54. della regione Friuli-

Biagi, P. and Voytek, B. 1994. The Neolithisation of the Trieste Karst in north-eastern Italy and its neighboring countries. A Nyiregyhazi J6sa Andras Muzeum Evkonyve 26, 63-73. Bogucki, P. 1988. Forest farmers and stockherders: early
agriculture and its consequences in north-central Europe.

ir s,

Conclusion
In this paper, I have presented ways to re-consider the porosity of the culture concept, our unnecessary reliance on an Orientalist dichotomy of Mesolithic-Neolithic transformations, and the familiar narratives of structured progress which exist in narratives of frontier models.Tn opposition to narrow and monolithic visions of cultural identity which dominate current discussions with regard to these periods, I have emphasized the complexity of identity construction. When examined in detail, evidence from Mesolithic and early Neolithic sites suggests mixed processes of cultural transformations and significant variability. The importance of local knowledge undermines arguments that use (dis)continuous sequences as the evidence for and against colonization (i.e. the indigenous scenarios of the Mesolithic-Neolithic transformations). The break with the past in the early Neolithic Balkans is less sharp than usually assumed; this may be a factor of cultural memory in particular locales and practices. Evidence from the region undermines ideas about progressive early Neolithic inscriptions over an empty landscape (as suggested by models of migration) and finds inadequate the modelling of encounters between cultures with supposedly pure essences.

Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Bogucki, P. 1995. The linear pottery culture of central Europe. In W. K. Barnett and J. W. Hoopes (eds), The emergence of
pottery: technology and innovation in ancient societies,

h
:0

le t.

Acknowledgements
I would like to thank Alasdair Whittle and Douglass Bailey for the possibility to join this publication and Anna Boozer, Nan Rothschild and Lindsay Weiss for providing comments on earlier drafts of this paper.

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Edited by
(I

Douglass Bailey, Alasdair Whittle and Vicki Cummings

Oxbow Books

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ISBN 1-84217-179-8

A CIP record of this book is available from the British Library

This book is available direct from Oxbow Books, Park End Place, Oxford OXI IHN (Phone: 01865-241249; Fax: 01865-794449) and The David Brown Book Company PO Box 511, Oakville, CT 06779, USA (Phone: 860-945-9329; Fax: 860-945-9468) or from our website www.oxbowbooks.com

Cover image: "Disrupting the view, with apologies to Theocharis" designed by D W Bailey

2005;

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Printed in the United Kingdom by Arrowsmith, Bristol

4. Can seasonality studies be used to identify sedentism in the past?


Nicky Milner

Introduction
The nature of sedentariness in the Neolithic remains an important question in archaeology. In recent decades there has been a move away from the concept of sedentary Neolithic societies toward one of a more mobile population (e.g. Edmonds 1995; Thomas 1991; Whittle 1996; 1997; 2003; cf. Cooney 1997). Whether interpreting indicators of sedentariness, such as houses, or exploring practical constraints on sedentism, such as flooding, demonstrating mobility or sedentism in the past is very difficult. Seasonality studies are usually employed to model mobility or detect sedentism in contexts where the archaeological remains allow. The results of seasonality studies are frequently open to interpretation. This paper will detail the problems encountered in seasonality studies and aims to determine whether or not it is possible to use seasonality assessments to interpret sedentism at a site.

Sedentism in the Neolithic?


During the long periods during which they had to obtain their food by appropriating ... animals and plants wherever and whenever these might be available, men had normally to move over considerable distances during the course of the year and could only exist in small widely distributed groups. By contrast communities of farmers were able to concentrate on a much more restricted territory and a narrower range of animals and plants, to maintain these within close reach of permanent settlements ... this in turn meant that they were able to lead settled lives in communities at once larger and more closely distributed, communities in which specialization and the possibility of large-scale organization made possible the development of progressively more complex cultures (Clark 1969, 72-73). Traditionally, prehistoric sedentism has been viewed in terms of cultural evolution. Archaeologists focus attention on the process of becoming sedentary because it is often understood to cause dramatic changes in trade,

territoriality, socio-political hierarchy and to lead to the development of agriculture (Kelly 1992; Rafferty 1985). In the Mesolithic, foragers lived a mobile, nomadic existence; towards the end of the Mesolithic people may have become more settled (e.g. the Ertebolle), and this may have enabled them to adopt a Neolithic, sedentary life of farming. Whittle suggests that few scholars have resisted the equation of farming with settled life (Whittle 1996, 6). The same applies to foragers and mobility. However, there are challenges to this evolutionary sequence. For instance, a Mesolithic structure dating to c. 7800 cal BC has recently been found in Northumberland, northeast England; the successive rebuilding of this structure along with its robust form and life-span of roughly 100 years has led to the suggestion that this represents permanent or at least semi-permanent occupation. This clearly challenges traditional models of Mesolithic settlement organisation (Waddington et al. 2003a; 2003b). Conversely, people in the Neolithic may have been much more mobile than sometimes envisaged. Kent (1989) demonstrates that horticulturalists do not have to be sedentary; there are many examples in the ethnographic literature of groups which practise food production but which also have a degree of mobility. Whittle (1996, 52) suggests that while some people may have become fully sedentary from an early stage, the evidence suggests that settling down in south-east Europe was a gradual process. Whittle hypothesises that the tell occupations in south-east Europe were anchors in patterns of radiating mobility, and that low mounds like Opovo could have been occupied on a seasonal basis. Bailey (1999, 97) describes tells as visible statements alluding to a permanence of place that did not in reality exist. Similarly, for the Linear Pottery culture (LBK) of central and western Europe, mobility may have been an important element in economic and social strategy with houses serving as symbolic tethers for a mobile people who followed cattle. The diet was supplemented by some hunting and gathering and limited cultivation; the pollen

Can seasonality studies be used to identify sedentism in the past?

33

diagrams indicate limited clearance (Whittle 1997, 18). While these different perceptions of mobility in the past do not turn the preconceived pattern into one of sedentism in the Mesolithic and nomadism in the Neolithic, they do emphasise the fact that the concept of sedentism in the past is open to interpretation. As Rafferty (1985) outlines, there are many different ways to recognise sedentism, including the presence of houses, ceremonial structures, pottery, heavy artefacts, large quantities of artefacts and mouse bones, as well as the proximity of sites to water sources. However, these indicators are rarely conclusive. There are examples in the ethnographic literature of communities who build houses and who use pottery but who are not sedentary (Rafferty 1985). Indeed, Whittle demonstrates that although well-built structures are often associated with the appearance of sedentary settlement, the use of space at Achilleion (in northern Greece) need not entail permanent occupation (Whittle 1996, 57). Practical constraints on sedentism must also be considered. Rafferty (1985) notes that sites occupied by sedentary communities should not be regularly threatened by flooding; on this same basis, sites in some areas. of south-east Europe which would have been located on active floodplains have been considered suitable. only for seasonal occupation or impermanence (Bailey 1999; van Andel et al. 1995; Whittle 1996). However, Halstead points out that by the same logic, future archaeologists would be entitled to conclude that many modern European cities were only occupied seasonally (Halstead 1999, 77). Instead, arguing that these may not have been regular flooding events, he makes a case for sedentism. Because there are always ambiguities in determining sedentism, the seasonality of resource use will often playa large part in the investigation of year round occupation. By analysing floral and faunal remains and considering the resources available to a community, models of yearly resource cycles can be constructed. Before determining whether or not seasonality studies can be used to identify sedentism at a site it is important to clarify what exactly sedentism means. Rafferty (1985) has demonstrated that the terms sedentary, sedentariness, sedentism, sedentarism, settled and permanent are used in different ways by different archaeologists and that few definitions are given in the literature; often the meaning must be derived from the context. Sedentary can sometimes be used to mean groups staying in one place all year round (but does this mean within one territory and could some, but not all, of the group move around?). Some use sedentary-cum-mobile or semi-nomadic to introduce an element of mobility for part of the group (this could then describe transhumance) but these terms can include a range of degrees of mobility. Others take sedentary to mean that most of the group lives at a site for the greater part of the year; this is open to differing definitions of 'most', and does 'greater part' mean over six months or ten months? Conversely, some authors use

the terms sedentary or permanent for long-term settlements; consequently, swidden agriculturalists who occupy a site for a couple of years and then move on can be defined as semi-sedentary or semi-permanent. There is the added confusion that site size is sometimes taken to be influential. At larger sites, perhaps such as tell sites, there is often more of an expectation that the community had been sedentary. Rafferty (1985, 115) follows Rice (1975, 97) to offer the following definition: 'sedentary settlement systems are those in which at least part of the population remains at the same location throughout the entire year'. This specifies year-round occupation but allows some mobility by some of the group, perhaps involved in transhumance, or trading. This is the definition that I will use here. Rafferty (1985, 116) also suggests that permanent should not be used as a synonym for sedentism; instead it should be used to imply long-term occupation (not necessarily of a sedentary nature).

Problems encountered in seasonality studies


There are an ever increasing number of scientific techniques being developed to assess seasonality of floral and faunal remains from archaeological sites. The two main methods are identifying the presence of seasonally available species (migratory animals), and examining physiological events that occur at certain periodic intervals (e.g. epiphyseal fusion; tooth eruption and wear; medullary bone deposits; incremental growth in shell, otoliths, scales). To understand seasonal patterns in animal migration, tooth eruption or shell growth, it is critical that modern controls are studied. However scientific the basis of the method, reliance on modern analogy means that results will always be subject to critical scrutiny. A common method for identifying seasonality is to look for the presence of migratory animals. Fish have been analysed from Danish Mesolithic and Neolithic shell middens and some species may have been caught seasonally; the eel is plentiful at Bjernsholrn and is easiest to catch when migrating downstream in large numbers in the autumn (Enghoff 1993). However, there is always the possibility that they could have been exploited at other times of the year. Migratory birds are also often used as seasonal indicators but there may be considerable challenges to the specific identification of ducks, geese and swans. Bones found at Glastonbury, originally thought to be whooper swans and thus indicative of winter exploitation, have since been shown to include mute swans which are present year-round (Serjeantson 1998, 31). More importantly, the patterns of bird distribution are dynamic, and seasonal habits can change, sometimes swiftly; the behaviour we witness today does not necessarily correlate with the behaviour in the past (Morales Muniz 1995; Serjeantson 1998). One of the main methods for detecting season of death

34

Nicky Milner on faunal remains, there is no consensus of opinion on the season of occupation. The key issue in the analysis of seasonality is to define the question being asked: what is the season of this activity, or what is the seasonal occupation of the site? The season of the activity is relatively straightforward; for example, the analysis of a number of oyster shells may show that oysters were gathered in the spring time. This result indicates seasonal aspects of resource acquisition activities only. It does not demonstrate that the site was only occupied in the spring; too commonly assumptions are made that relate such results to season of site occupation (Monks 1981). In order to investigate the seasonal occupation of the site it is important that the spectrum of procurement activities is analysed and their seasons evaluated as a whole (Monks 1981). The absence of indicators in one season will always be an obstacle. Imagine a site with seasonal indicators suggesting winter, spring and summer occupation. The site could have been abandoned in the autumn but equally it could have been occupied but no faunal or floral remains have survived. Either site formation processes have resulted in a loss of some seasonal fauna (e.g. fragile fish bone which may be lost to chemical processes), or the particular elements of the skeletons left are not the ones on which analysis can be done (e.g. jaws are needed for analysis of dentition). When trying to determine year-round occupation, the problem of absence-of-evidence-is-not-evidence-ofabsence will always lead to ambiguity. A second problem is that the methods used tend to have wide margins of error; the actual results of seasonality analysis are often so crude that the precision of the assessment is at the level of the season rather than a month. It is imperative that large sample sizes are used in order to be more confident about the results, although there are many cases when the samples used are very low, sometimes only one or two minimum number of individuals (Milner 2002). Even if large sample sizes are used and care is taken, the illusion of year-round occupation can be created all too easily. Take a hypothetical example of a pit which contains a variety of faunal material from sporadic occupation at different times of the year: in reality the people at the site slaughtered the sheep over two weeks in March, shellfish were eaten through May and June, and migratory swans were caught on one day in November (see Table 4.1). U sing various methods of seasonality analysis the archaeologist could come up with the following results: sheep assessment = late winter/early spring; shellfish assessment = late spring/summer; and migratory swans assessment = autumn/winter. This does not equal yearround occupation, though it could look that way (Table 4.2). This is a very simple scheme and perhaps with many more species and more results it would look more convincing, but the principle remains exactly the same and the results are misleading. This is the case for some of the large Ertebelle shell middens in Denmark which

is examination of dentition eruption and wear sequences. This has become an established method for a variety of species (e.g. sheep, pig, reindeer, gazelle) and relies on the examination of teeth in modern animals at various stages of their life (Davis 1987). Patterns can be related to age, which in turn can be related to season of death, providing the month or season of birth is known; this information is vital because it is needed as an anchor point. O'Connor (1998) reviews the methodology used for assessing seasonality of sheep. He shows that, depending on the flock of sheep, there may be different seasons of birthing: late January to late March; March to late May; or even autumn lambing by some flocks of Dorset Horn (0' Connor 1998, Ti: The spread of birthing over several months coupled with the variation in birthing periods mean that there is always quite a large margin of error in the results; he cautions that season-of-death in sheep should be considered with great care and then only in general terms (O'Connor 1998, 10). The use of an anchor point must also be applied in any study of incremental growth patterns, such as in analyses of shellfish or otolith seasonality. In the case of the oyster, modern samples have shown that an annual line is formed around March. The season of death is determined by looking at the amount of shell that has formed between the last annual line and the growing edge (Milner 2001). Again, there is the potential for error, Archaeological oysters may have deposited lines at slightly different times than do their modern counterparts; depending on their ambient environment, the range of time for line deposition can cover a couple of months, from the end. of February to the end of April. Again the anchor point is not firmly fixed and it is imperative therefore that large samples are taken in order to identify accurate trends in seasonali ty. Another problem is determining whether the fauna under analysis was killed and butchered at the site, or whether it was transported there at a later date. Many foods, such as fish, can be stored and moved, as can useful raw materials such as antler. The interpretation of seasonal occupation at Star Carr has changed over the years, partly because the red deer antler was initially used in the seasonality assessments. The red deer antler was used to posit that occupation occurred primarily in the winter months (Fraser and King 1954). It has been argued since then that the antler could have been imported to the site asa source of raw material and thus should be discounted from the seasonality assessment (Caulfield 1978). From investigation of the other faunal remains, the seasonality studies indicate spring and summer occupation (Caulfield 1978; Jacobi 1978; Legge and Rowley-Conwy 1988), though there are other interpretations (i.e. that the site had been visited sporadically during virtually all seasons of the year; Andresen et al. 1981; Pitts 1979; Price 1982). The case of Star Carr highlights the fact that even on a site where extensive investigation has been carried out

Can seasonality studies be used to identify sedentism in the past?

35

J sheep shellfish swans

M X

X X

Table 4.1. Hypothetical scheme showing the actual months of death of sheep in March, shellfish in May and June, and swans in November.

J sheep shellfish swans X.

F X

~
X

A X X

X X X X X

Table 4.2. Hypothetical scheme showing the seasonality assessments made for each species.

are usually described as sedentary sites. On examination of the seasonality studies there is no definitive evidence for year-round occupation and it is quite plausible to envisage more mobility, especially in the winter months (Milner 2002). The final fundamental problem in using seasonality studies to investigate sedentism is that most sites are palimpsests. When attempting to analyse seasonal events, the aggregation of seasonal activities that have occurred .. through time are always conflated into a single year. Ethnographers use the concept of the seasonal round which has been adopted by archaeologists to model mobility and sedentism, especially for hunter-gatherer sites. However, Jochim (1991) demonstrates that this is a normative concept which does not acknowledge behavioural changes from one year to the next or variation within a group. When ethnography is based on one year's fieldwork it will not pick up on differences between years; however, there are many examples of studies which do show significant year-to-year variation (Jochim 1991, 311). In addition, there are often different options for people within a group and although, for instance, some may choose to camp and hunt in one place, other groups may go elsewhere for another activity. Taking the hypothetical example above it is possible that the site was occupied by a group of people over the period of a year and there were other foodstuffs consumed though this is not shown in the seasonality studies. It is equally possible that the three activities could have been carried out by three different groups of people passing through that location in three different, short periods, with each group using the site in very different ways: some shepherds who are forced to kill their flock due to

a bad outbreak of disease; some women and children gathering shellfish; and some men needing swan feathers for a ritual. It is impossible to determine whether each of these events occurred within one year or perhaps at intervals of every two years. Alternatively, shepherds could have visited the site every year for ten years and each time killed a sheep and within this period there was one brief encampment when shellfish were eaten, and another for the hunting of swans, both by different groups. Site chronologies are not sharp enough to distinguish between these types of events. There are many different possible scenarios but with each one the interpretation of sedentism or seasonal occupation changes.

Conclusion
Can seasonality studies be used to identify sedentismin the past? In order to investigate whether a site was occupied year-round by a sedentary group of people there needs to be a secure context in which one is certain that all the faunal and floral material had been deposited within one year. From this faunal and floral material, there needs to be convincing evidence for activity throughout the year. Large sample sizes must be used and the wide margins of error inherent in these studies must be acknowledged. These requirements are not always met. While sites may be permanent, in the sense of long-term occupation, it is difficult, if not impossible, to demonstrate that they were ever sedentary. Even if such a site existed it would not provide a true representation of that society. In reality both sedentary and mobile people use lots of different sites or locations in the landscape for many different reasons.

36

Nicky

Milner

Perhaps a key problem in using the word sedentism is that it is used by different disciplines to describe different things. When ethnographers, anthropologists and social theorists use it they are talking about the activities of people in a landscape. Often study takes place over the period of a year or more and within this time a huge variety of places may be visited for many different purposes by different people and groups. Even if there is a permanent base which is occupied throughout most of the year, the variability of movement by individuals and small groups is of equal interest. When sedentism is used in archaeology it is often used to describe an individual site or location. This conflates individual and societal mobility and masks the variability and complexity of movements of different peoples within a landscape. In ethnographic terms a society may have had a significant element of mobility in their lifestyle, but in archaeological terms a site may suggest a sedentary community. Sedentism has been a key topic in archaeology because of the notion that sedentariness is fundamental to cultural evolution, specifically to increased social complexity, to the development of agriculture, and to the rise of the state and civilisation. However, sedentism may not hold the key to understanding these societal changes in the archaeological record. Indeed, it is possible. to identify changes in past societies without evidence for sedentism: for example, evidence for agriculture in the form of preserved faunal and floral remains. As we are aware of examples of mobile societies which practise cultivation (Kent 1989; Whittle 1997), we must expect that agriculture will not always have been synonymous with sedentism. Perhaps itis not useful to search for sedentism at all. The very word sedentary is restrictive because it sets up a binary opposition to mobility. The notional cutoff points created for where or when a society becomes sedentary are clearly problematic. Sedentism is laden with connotations: it may mean to one person what sedentismcum-mobile means to another. No cut-off point can be agreed upon. In sum, sedentism is difficult to prove. Not only can the presence of housing, pottery or agriculture be inconclusive but even the seasonality of resources may be ambiguous. The term sedentism is also vague in its meaning. Kent (1989, 2) questions how sedentary 'sedentism' is and highlights the fact that although modern day Euro-Americans are classified as sedentary, they do not occupy the same location for decades, or spend every month of the year in the same place. Therefore, perhaps it is more productive to think in terms of permanence, meaning occupation over many years (although not necessarily year-round occupation) and a spectrum of movements within a landscape.

Bibliography
Andresen, J.M., Byrd, B.F., Elson, M.D., McGuire, R.H., Mendoza, R.G., Staski, E. and White, J.P. 1981. The deer hunters: Star Carr reconsidered. World Archaeology 13, 31-46. Bailey, D.W. 1999. What is a tell? Settlement in fifth millennium Bulgaria. In J. Bruck and M Goodman (eds), Making places in the prehistoric world. Themes in settlement archaeology, 94-111. London: UCL Press. Caulfield, S. 1978. Star Carr - an alternative view. Irish Archaeological Research Forum 5, 15-22. Clark, J.G.D. 1969. World prehistory. A new outline. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Cooney. G. 1997. Images of settlement and the landscape in the Neolithic. In P. Topping (ed.), Neolithic landscapes, 23-33. Oxford: Oxbow. Davis, S.J.M. 1987. The archaeology of animals. London: Batsford. Edmonds, M.R. 1995. Stone tools and society. London: Batsford. Enghoff', LB. 1993. Mesolithic eel-fishing at Bjemsholm, Denmark. Spiced with exotic species. Journal of Danish Archaeology 10, 105-18. Fraser, F.C. and King, J.E. 1954. Faunal remains. In J.G.D. Clark, Excavations at Star Carr, 70-95. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Halstead, P. 1999. Neighbours from hell? The household in Neolithic Greece. In P. Halstead (ed.), Neolithic society in Greece, 77-95. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press. Jacobi, R. 1978. Northern England in the eighth millennium BC: an essay. In P. Mellars (ed.), The early postglacial settlement of northern Europe: an ecological perspective, 295-332. London: Duckworth. Jochim, M.A. 1991. Archaeology as long-term ethnography. American Anthropologist 93, 308-21. Kelly, R.L. 1992. Mobility/sedentism: concepts, archaeological measures and effects. Annual Review of Anthropology, 21, 43-66. Kent, S. 1989. Cross-cultural perceptions of farmers as hunters and the value of meat. In S. Kent (ed.), Farmers as hunters. The implications of sedentism, 1-17. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Legge, A.J. and Rowley-Conwy, P.A. 1988. Star Carr revisited: a re-analysis of the large mammals. London: Birkbeck College. Milner, N. 2001. At the cutting edge: using thin sectioning to determine season of death of the European oyster, Ostrea edulis. Journal of Archaeological Science 28, 861-75. Milner, N. 2002. Incremental growth of the European oyster, Ostrea edulis. Seasonality information from Danish kitchenmiddens. Oxford: British Archaeological Reports. Monks, G.G. 1981. Seasonality studies. In M.B. Schiffer (ed.), Advances in Archaeological Method and Theory 4, 177240. New York: Academic Press. Morales Muniz, A. 1995. The mobile faunas: reliable seasonal indicators for archaeozoologists? In T.R. Rocek and O. BarYosef (eds), Seasonality and sedentism. Archaeological perspectives from Old and New World sites, 123-45. Massachusetts: Harvard University. O'Connor, T.P. 1998. On the difficulty of detecting seasonal slaughtering of sheep. Environmental Archaeology 3, 513.

Acknowledgements
I am very grateful to William Fletcher and Geoff Bailey for providing useful discussion and comments on this paper.

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Pitts, M. 1979. Hides and antlers: a new look at the gathererhunter site at Star Carr, North Yorkshire, England. World Archaeology 11, 32-42. Price, D. 1982. Willow tails and dog smoke. Quarterly Review of Archaeology, 3, 4-7. Rafferty, J.E. 1985. The archaeological record on sedentariness: recognition, development, and implications. Advances in Archaeological Method and Theory 8, 113-56. Rice, G. 1975. A systematic explanation of a change in Mogollon settlement patterns. Ann Arbor, M1.: University of Washington Microfilms International. Serjeantson, D. 1998. Birds: a seasonal resource. Environmental Archaeology 3, 23-34. Thomas, J. 1991. Rethinking the Neolithic. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. van Andel, T., Gallis, K and Toufexis, G. 1995. Early Neolithic farming in a Thessalian river landscape, Greece. In J. Lewin,

M.G. Macklin and J.C. Woodward (eds), Mediterranean Quaternary river environments, 131-43. Rotterdam: Balkema. Waddington, C., Bailey, G., Bayliss, A., Boomer, 1., Milner, N., Pedersen, K., Shiel, R. and Stevenson, T. 2003a. A Mesolithic settlement site at Howick, Northumberland: a preliminary report. Archaeologia Aeliana 32, 1-12. Waddington, C, Bailey, G., Boomer, 1., Milner, N. and Shiel, R. 2003b. A Mesolithic coastal site at Howick, Northumberland. Antiquity 77, 295. Whittle, A. 1996. Europe in the Neolithic. The creation of new worlds. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Whittle, A. 1997. Moving on and moving around: Neolithic settlement mobility. In P. Topping (ed.), Neolithic landscapes, Oxford: Oxbow, 15-22. Whittle, A. 2003. The archaeology of people. Dimensions of Neolithic life. London: Routledge.

(un)settling the Neolithic


Edited by
(I

Douglass Bailey, Alasdair Whittle and Vicki Cummings

Oxbow Books

Published by Oxbow Books, Park End Place, Oxford OXI IHN

© Oxbow Books and the individual authors, 2005

ISBN 1-84217-179-8

A CIP record of this book is available from the British Library

This book is available direct from Oxbow Books, Park End Place, Oxford OXI IHN (Phone: 01865-241249; Fax: 01865-794449) and The David Brown Book Company PO Box 511, Oakville, CT 06779, USA (Phone: 860-945-9329; Fax: 860-945-9468) or from our website www.oxbowbooks.com

Cover image: "Disrupting the view, with apologies to Theocharis" designed by D W Bailey

2005;

General Library System University of Wisconsin - Madison 728 State Street Madison, WI 53706-1494 U.S.A.

Printed in the United Kingdom by Arrowsmith, Bristol

5. Resettling the Neolithic: faunal evidence for seasons of consumption and residence at Neolithic sites in Greece
Paul Halstead

Introduction
Had Eric Higgs lived to see the new millennium, it seems unlikely that the works of Julian Thomas or Alasdair Whittle would have been preferred reading at his Panton Street lair in Cambridge. And yet, on one issue, the palaeo economists of the 1970s and early 1980s could happily have made common cause with those who have sought to rethink the Neolithic in the 1990s; both groups emphasised the need to dismantle the traditional package of Neolithic material culture, farming and sedentism(e.g. Barker 1975; Dennell 1983; Jarman et al. 1982; Thomas 1996; Whittle 1996a). Moreover, despite radical differences of agenda, both groups stressed the heterogeneity of the European Neolithic and the desirability of exploring this variability in its local and regional context. Nonetheless, both groups have at times perhaps been over-zealous in their enthusiasm for discarding the traditional model without due attention to the local and regional archaeological record. At worst, the traditional model of a Neolithic package has been supplanted by a more fashionable, but equally unfounded, pan-European orthodoxy of gradual and piecemeal adoption of domesticates, sedentary life and Neolithic material culture. This chapter focuses on one particular aspect of the 'Neolithic package' - sedentism - which is explored in the context of the archaeological record from what is today Greece. Though a rather arbitrary geographical unit for the Neolithic, Greece is large enough to encompass a range of site types of diverse date and in a variety of ecological settings; yet it is small enough for a short paper to do reasonable justice to the available evidence. True to the critical spirit and contextual sensitivities of both the palaeoeconomists and more recent writers on the Neolithic, it is not claimed that the results of this study can be extrapolated to the rest of Europe; on

the contrary, similar empirical studies are needed for other areas. The basic argument advanced here is that the Neolithic of Greece is in need of resettling rather than unsettling. As Whittle has noted, recent discussion of Neolithic (im)mobility has embraced a range of temporal and spatial scales, ranging from seasonal to generational and from local to regional (Whittle 1997). Arguably, much recent discussion of Neolithic mobility has been muddied by the conflation of very different analytical scales. Before proceeding to argue for a largely sedentary Greek Neolithic, therefore, some clarification is offered as to the terms in which sedentism is understood here.

Sedentism
The primary focus of this study is on whether individual sites were occupied year-round or only seasonally. Sedentism or mobility on this time scale is a central issue for any attempt to explore the economic, demographic, social or ideological strategies of Neolithic populations. It is clear from ethnographic counter-examples that neither agriculture nor the storage of agricultural products necessarily ties farmers to a fixed residence. On the other hand, the duration and timing, as well as scale, of habitation in a given locality plainly constrain the range of viable subsistence strategies. The distinction between year-round and seasonal habitation may be crucial, therefore, in modelling Neolithic subsistence activity, even at the fundamental level of relative dependence on cultivation, animal husbandry and foraging (e.g. for the Neolithic of Greece: Halstead 1989). The degree of permanence of residence exercises an equally powerful influence on the nature of social interaction. While seasonal mobility offers a valuable safety valve for conflict resolution within local residential groups, year-round coresidence demands more active measures to maintain

----.-----

Resettling the Neolithic: faunal evidence from Neolithic sites in Greece

39

harmony. And, while seasonal mobility may present embedded opportunities for socialisation on a regional scale, year-round sedentism may require strategies for maintaining the inter-group relationships essential for biological and social reproduction. Likewise, sedentary and mobile populations are likely to have perceived the cultural landscapes that they inhabited in quite different terms, with far-reaching implications for resource use and ownership, for the nature of social relationships within and between local groups, and for cosmology (e.g. Barrett 1994; Chapman 1997; Edmonds 1999; Kotsakis 1999; Whittle 1996b). It must be emphasised, however, that 'sedentism", in the sense of year-round residence, does not preclude a significant degree of mobility. For any Neolithic habitation site, it is assumed here that, at minimum: - on a more or less daily basis, most inhabitants will have ranged off-site (within a site catchment of up to, say, one hour's walk) to work fields or gardens, gather food and fuel, collect water, graze livestock, and so on; - on a seasonal basis, at least some inhabitants will have ranged several hours from the site, possibly involving overnight absence, in pursuit of game, fruits, raw materials, information, and so on; - on a seasonal or inter-annual basis, some inhabitants will have visited neighbouring or more distant sites, variously to escape conflict 'at home', to acquire resources not available locally or to socialise with kin, friends and exchange partners; - on an inter-annual or generational time scale, individuals or groups of inhabitants will have taken up long-term residence at different sites as a result of exogamy, conflict and fission, or subsistence failure; - on a generational or longer time scale, some sites will have been abandoned, temporarily or permanently, as a consequence of conflict, disease, subsistence failure, environmental degradation, ritual contamination, and so on. It is worth noting that mobility on these temporal and spatial scales is probably characteristic of all modern Greek villages (e.g. du Boulay 1974; Karakasidou 1997; Sutton 2000), the majority of which would be classified by most Neolithic specialists as unambiguously sedentary.

Methodological

considerations

The extent to which habitation at Neolithic sites in Greece was seasonal or year-round is explored here primarily through faunal evidence for season of death of domestic animals. In practice, the analysis concentrates on domestic animals dying in their first year or so of life, as only such young remains can be aged with sufficient accuracy to shed much light on season of death. Because of the relative scarcity of young cattle remains (and, even more so, of wild animals), the following analysis focuses on sheep, goats and pigs.

In assessing age at death, neonatal postcranial remains, recognisable by their distinctive surface texture and internal structure as well as size and gross morphology (e.g. Prummel 1987), are assumed to represent animals dying within one month or so of birth. Otherwise, assessment of age at death is based solely on eruption and wear of mandibular cheek teeth, information on which is available in varying detail for different sites. Both timing of eruption and speed of wear are subject to some variability. For goats and sheep, ages are assigned to successive stages of dental eruption and wear following the studies of a range of herdslflocks by Deniz and Payne (1982) and Jones (in press) respectively, in each case adopting age ranges which encompass 95% of cases. In the case of pigs, for which such precise information is not available, ages are assigned to successive stages of dental development following Higham (1967). Interpretation of these age data in terms of season(s) of death entails assumptions about the timing of lambing/ kidding and farrowing. The peak lambinglkidding period in recent, unimproved sheep and goats fell during January-February in lowland northern Greece and a month or so earlier in lowland southern Greece (Halstead field notes). In the last few decades, herders have increasingly manipulated the timing of births, usually to take advantage of seasonal market conditions, by improving feeding and housing (so that females come into oestrus earlier) and by restricting the movements of breeding males. Despite archaeobotanical evidence that fodder was provided for livestock at Neolithic sites in northern Greece (Valamoti 2004), the decreasing stature of domestic animals through the course of the Neolithic, in Greece (e.g. von den Driesch 1987) as elsewhere, argues against intensive feeding on a scale sufficient to neutralise natural seasonal influences on the timing of births. Farrowing dates seem to have been rather variable in recent, unimproved pigs, not least because sows sometimes produced two litters per year (or five litters in three years), but there is evidence for a single farrowing season in one of the faunal assemblages discussed below. Among extensively herded pigs in woodland in northern Greece, the main farrowing season falls rather later than the peak lambing and kidding period (Halstead field notes) and, given the role of the autumn glut of acorns in bringing pigs to peak nutritional condition and the nearly four-month duration of gestation, this may plausibly be taken as the norm for Neolithic Greece. Thus farrowing is assumed here to have taken place in March-April, in northern Greece, and in February-March, in the south. It must be acknowledged that such normative birth seasons only represent the central tendency in lambing, kidding and farrowing times; for a variety of reasons, some earlier and later births are inevitable. For the sake of simplicity, however, it is provisionally assumed that the faunal evidence reviewed is largely derived from births during the peak season. For the same reason, although slightly earlier birth dates have been assumed here for southern

40

Paul Halstead or early winter (October-December; not spring - see Hillman 1981, 147-8) and harvested around early summer (June [pulses] and July [cereals] in northern Greece, one month earlier in southern Greece). Whether or not grain crops were grown in the vicinity of each site is discussed below. The sparse archaeobotanical evidence for gathering of seasonally available fruits and nuts is not considered, because the quantities involved are too small to preclude the possibility of exchange between sites rather than collection in the vicinity of each archaeological site.

than for northern Greece, a common definition is used for the four seasons: winter - December to February, spring - March to May, summer - June to August, and autumn - September to November. Interpretation of evidence for the timing of animal deaths in terms of season(s) of human habitation assumes that the remains of young domesticates represent animals killed on-site, or introduced soon after death, rather than the delayed transport of preserved body parts between sites. This assumption seems secure, not least because analysis here focuses ~n the mandible, which is of modest meat utility (Binford 1978) and so unlikely to have been curated and transported between sites on a significant scale. Whether or not faunal eyidence of human activity in all seasons of the year indicates year-round occupation (rather than complementary seasonal activities in different years) is discussed towards the end of this chapter. Two factors should be noted, however, that militate against demonstrating activity at a given site in every season. First, the combination of a two-month birth period and of variability in dental development ensures that much of the mandibular evidence, that forms the core of the following analysis, could potentially be assigned to a range of seasons (cf. O'Connor 1998). To reduce the risk of imprecisely aged specimens creating a spurious picture of occupation in all seasons, an assessment is initially made below of the minimum season(s) represented by the evidence from each site. For-example, if neonatal remains of sheep/goats clearly indicate late winter deaths, firstyear sheep mandibles aged more broadly to late winterearly summer and to autumn-winter may both be attributed to late winter. This procedure thus entails the rather unrealistically cautious assumption that the late winter-early summer specimens were fast developers, while the autumn-winter jaws were slow developers. Because the evidence for different seasons also tends to be of variable precision (see below), the effect of this procedure may well be to obscure indications of occupation in some seasons of the year. Secondly, it should be emphasised that the slaughter of young domesticates in recent, sedentary rural communities in Europe is often markedly seasonal, for a combination of ecological and cultural reasons (e.g. Cobbett 1979; cf. Halstead 1998 for some Greek examples). It is perfectly plausible that the slaughter of young livestock in the Neolithic may similarly have displayed some seasonality for reasons unconnected to temporal patterns of residence. Ironically, for this reason, year-round residence may be easier to demonstrate for Mesolithic sites in Denmark, with a diversity of wild animals including migratory species of restricted seasonal availability, than for Neolithic sites in Greece, with sparse evidence for hunting, fishing or fowling. Any archaeobotanical evidence for cereal and pulse grain crops is also noted for each site. It is assumed that such grain crops were mainly sown in mid- to late autumn

Seasons of consumption and residence at Neolithic tell sites in Thessaly, northern Greece
The depth of occupation debris at Neolithic tell sites in Thessaly provides striking evidence for habitation of considerable duration and was regarded by Childe (1957, 60) as indicative of sedentism and an advanced farming regime (cf. Kotsakis this volume). Strictly speaking, however, tell formation indicates recurrent building activity on a generational or longer time scale, rather than year-round residence. Moreover, tell formation is a cumulative process and so impressive mounds might well conceal the remains of very transient early occupation, as Whittle has argued with reference to thin early levels at Thessalian tells such as Sesklo and Akhillion (Whittle 1996a). Until recently, groups of trans hum ant or nomadic shepherds from the surrounding mountains over-wintered in the immediate vicinity of many lowland Thessalian tell sites and a similar pattern of regular seasonal movements has been suggested for the Neolithic (Jarman et al. 1982, 150-1). A third possibility should also be considered - that the Neolithic inhabitants of Thessaly moved on a more irregular basis, occupying individual sites at different seasons in different years.

Middle Neolithic - late Neolithic Plateia Magoula Zarkou


The idea of seasonally mobile Neolithic settlement received apparent support from geoarchaeological investigations around the tell site at Plateia Magoula Zarkou, on the northern edge of the flat, west Thessalian basin (Fig. 5.1) and close to the Pinios, one of the largest rivers in Greece. Coring suggested that early occupation was located in an active floodplain, subject to annual inundation in winter-spring until river incision, perhaps from the later middle Neolithic onwards, reduced the risk of flooding; as a result, it has been argued, early Neolithic and middle Neolithic human occupation at Plateia Magoula Zarkou would necessarily have been seasonal (van Andel et al. 1995; van Andel and Runnels 1995; Whittle 1996b, 17). As van Andel et al. (1995, 138) make clear, however, they were unable to determine the frequency of flooding, leaving open the possibility that the early Neolithic-middle Neolithic settlement was

Resettling the Neolithic: faunal evidence from Neolithic sites in Greece

41

flooded no more frequently than such major and longestablished European cities as Athens and Prague. Modest assemblages of faunal remains (overwhelmingly of domestic mammals) are reported from both middle Neolithic (Becker 1999) and late Neolithic (Becker 1991) levels at Plateia Magoula Zarkou. Neonatal sheep/goat are reported from both levels (Becker 1999, 12 table 4; 1991,20 table 5), implying a human presence around or up to a month after the suggested lambing/ kidding season of January-February, thus in mid-winter to early spring. Dental data for age at death of sheep and goats are not published in a format compatible with that used below for other sites, but young pig mandibles (Table 5.1) imply deaths in early spring to early summer and in mid-autumn to mid-winter during the middle Neolithic; and in late spring to late summer, in mid-autumn to mid-

winter and in early winter to mid-spring during the late Neolithic. The neonatal sheep/goats thus indicate human habitation at middle Neolithic and late Neolithic Plateia Magoula Zarkou firmly in the middle of the winter-spring period, when flooding supposedly drove people away from the site. Most of the young pig deaths are potentially compatible with this same period, but additional late Neolithic activity is implied at some less precisely identifiable stage(s) of the remaining mid-spring to early winter period. Information on the timing of deaths of first-year lambs and kids might further fill in the seasonal cycle, while middle Neolithic caches of bitter vetch, Vicia ervilia (Kroll cited in Becker 1991, 77 table 14; Jones and Halstead 1993), if cultivated locally, would confirm a human presence in mid-autumn to early winter (for sowing) and in early summer (for harvesting).

Figure 5.1 Map of Greece, showing the location of sites discussed in the text. Key: 1. Plateia Magoula Zarkou, 2. Prodromos 1-2 and 3, 3. Akhillion, 4. Ag. Sofia,S. of Zas, 8. Makriyalos. Dimini, 6. Doliana, 7. Cave

42

Paul Halstead

:>

o io ,=:
.......

>-,

§ ,

Z::;S §

,.e :> u o~

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Resettling the Neolithic: faunal evidence from Neolithic sites in Greece

43

Early Neolithic Prodromos 1-3


A cluster of Neolithic sites at Prodromos in the southern part of the west Thessalian basin lies close to the margin of recent marsh. Prodromos 3 forms an impressively tall tell, topped by Bronze Age and historical deposits. Prodromos 1 and 2 may represent two closely spaced low mounds, but with the benefit of hindsight might be interpreted as parts of a disturbed flat-extended site (see below). The deposits of Prodomos 1-2 and the lower levels of Prodromos 3 were assigned to early Neolithic and the transition to middle Neolithic. First-year pig mandibles from Prodromos 1-2 are assignable to deaths in late spring to late summer, in mid-summer to late autumn and In mid-autumn to midwinter; specimens from Prodromos 3 are assignable to deaths in mid-autumn to mid-winter and in early winter to mid-spring (Table 5.1). This evidence could be accommodated to short periods of human presence in late summer to mid-autumn at Prodromos 1-2 and in early or mid-winter at Prodromos 3, but is more likely to represent activity extending earlier and later at both sites. First-year mandibles of sheep/goats, assigned broadly to the periods between mid- or late summer and mid-winter (both sites) and between mid-autumn and mid-spring (Prodromos 1-2 only), are compatible with the evidence from young pig deaths (Table 5.2). Samples of cereal and pulse grains (Halstead and Jones 1980, 115 table 8), if derived from local cultivation, would favour an extended human presence at Prodromos 1-2, from harvest time in early and mid-summer until sowing time in mid-autumn to early winter. The apparent late winter to mid-spring gap at Prodromos 1-2; reflecting the lack of records of neonatal remains or of very young mandibles, should be treated with particular caution for two reasons. First, this site was excavated under rescue conditions, so that retrieval of small specimens may be worse than at the other tells discussed here. Secondly, neonatal bones were not distinguished as a separate category during recording of the Prodomos assemblages, but might be included among the lamblkid specimens represented by unfused scapula, pelvis, distal humerus and proximal radius recorded at both sites (Halstead and Jones 1980, 112 table 4c).

however, if derived from crops grown locally, would again entail a human presence in mid-autumn to early winter (sowing) and early to mid-summer (harvesting). Despite the paucity of relevant data, therefore, there is some evidence for occupation in all seasons of the year.

Late Neolithic Agia Sofia


The Agia Sofia mound is located in the slightly elevated north-eastern part of the Thessalian plain. The mandibular evidence for age at death of young undifferentiated sheep/goats (probably mostly sheep) and young pigs is published in reasonable detail for the late Neolithic Agia Sofia assemblage (von den Driesch and Enderle 1976). First-year pigs died in spring, in late spring to late summer, in mid-autumn to mid-winter, and in early winter to mid-spring (Table 5.1), implying activity at the site during spring and also later in the year - at minimum in early or mid-winter. First-year sheep(/ goat) deaths in late winter to late spring, in early spring to mid-summer, between mid-spring and mid-winter, and between mid-autumn and mid-spring (Table 5.2) are consistent with the evidence of young pigs, suggesting activity at the site at least during (and probably extending beyond) spring.

Late Neolithic Dimini


Dimini occupies a slight rise on the edge of the coastal plain of V olos and the modest sample of young sheep and goat mandibles (Halstead 1992 and original records) documents deaths in late winter to mid-spring, in mid- to late spring, in early spring to mid-summer, in midsummer to early winter, in late summer or early autumn to mid-winter, and in mid-autumn to early or mid-spring (Table 5.2). The few jaws from first-year pigs suggest deaths at least during late spring to late summer, during mid-summer to late autumn, and during mid-autumn to mid-winter (Table 5.1). Young sheep/goat and pig deaths thus concur in indicating occupation at least during late winter or spring and also, less precisely, during summer to mid-winter (minimally mid- to late autumn, but probably longer). Caches of both cereals and pulses (Kroll 1979), if grown locally, would indicate a human presence during mid-autumn to early winter (sowing) and early to mid-summer (harvesting) and so strengthen the evidence for activity in all seasons.

Early Neolithic-middle

Neolithic Akhillion

The tell site of Akhillion is located in the rolling hills on the southern edge of the Thessalian lowlands and is thus safe from the risk of flooding. Published mortality data do not distinguish between early Neolithic and middle Neolithic material (Bokonyi 1989, 323 table 13.8), but newborn specimens of sheep/goat and pig suggest deaths of livestock and a human presence in mid-winter to early spring and in spring, respectively. The use of very coarse age categories ('juvenile', 'subadult') precludes discussion of faunal evidence for the rest of the annual cycle. Sparse finds of cereal and pulse grains from both early Neolithic and middle Neolithic levels (Renfrew 1989),

Discussion: going nowhere in Neolithic Thessaly?


For none of these Thessalian tells can occupation be demonstrated for all seasons of the year, but this may well be an artefact of the nature of the available evidence. Activity can be firmly documented at some sites in late winter-early spring and/or spring because neonatal and infant remains are very distinctive and can be aged very precisely, but such remains are subject to acute preservation and retrieval biases and so their absence may shed no light on season(s) of human activity. As animals

44

Paul Halstead

.n a.l

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o
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S
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I

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00
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I

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Resettling the Neolithic: faunal evidence from Neolithic sites in Greece

45

progress through the first year, their mandibles become increasingly robust (e.g. Munson and Garniewicz 2003) and also larger, greatly enhancing the likelihood of both survival and retrieval; at the same time, because of variability in the timing of tooth eruption and, especially, in the speed of tooth wear, the precision of age determination declines (cf. O'Connor 1998). As a result, although later first-year animals are well represented in at least some of these assemblages, human activity tends to be identified for rather broad periods (summer-autumn, autumn-winter) rather than for single seasons. The clearest seasonal gaps in the evidence for human presence can plausibly be attributed to coarse analytical methods (e.g. late winter to mid-spring at Prodromos 1-2, summer to early winter at Akhillion), insufficient detail in published records (e.g. mid-spring to early winter at middle Neolithic Plateia Magoula Zarkou), or small sample size (e.g. late winter to early autumn at.Prodomos 3). Figure 5.2 offers a simplified overview of the evidence for seasons of occupation discussed in detail above. Faunal evidence is distinguished as very strong, strong or moderate (i.e. deaths assigned to a period of two-three months, four months or five months, respectively); weak evidence (deaths assigned to a period of six or more months) is treated in Figure 5.2 in the same way as an absence of evidence. In addition, the times of year are highlighted at which reported crop remains would - if grown locally - require a human presence for sowing and harvesting. With due allowance for variation in sample size, retrieval standards, and the precision of recording or reporting relevant data, the faunal evidence consistently indicates a human presence in winter and/or spring, probably extending into more or less of the summerautumn period. Other than the very unreliable absence of evidence for late winter-spring activity at Prodromos 1~ 2, there is no hint that different sites occupied complementary positions in a system of regular seasonal movements. Nor is there any support for the claim that the inhabitants of Plateia Magoula Zarkou were driven away from the site in winter-spring by flooding. If Neolithic tells were abandoned, therefore, in the context of regular seasonal movements, it seems that their inhabitants must have moved to un-recognized sites of a different type and/or located outside the Thessalian lowlands. Seasonal movement with livestock to summer pastures at high altitude, as practised by recent specialised pastoralists, is compatible with the faunal evidence, but as yet there is no evidence in favour of this practice - nor would it necessarily have involved movement of the entire human population of a tell settlement. Moreover, the window for such an absence is narrowed if cereals and pulses were grown in the vicinity of these sites, implying habitation at least during the June-July harvest season, and perhaps later if crops required processing for storage on a large scale. Local cultivation cannot be demon-

strated, but cereal and pulse grains seem to be encountered in all tell excavations (Kroll 1981), despite the lack of systematic sampling. Crops must have been grown round at least some of these sites, therefore, unless we posit the importing of cereals and pulses from sites that, again, remain to be discovered. Consideration of the extent and probable number of inhabitants of known sites leaves little room for doubt that cereals and pulses were grown in significant quantities around all Neolithic tells in Thessaly (Halstead 1989). When the practical implications of local crop husbandry are also taken into account (Fig. 5.2), the case is further strengthened for occupation of these sites in all seasons of the year. Given the longevity and coarse chronological resolution of these tell sites, it must be acknowledged that the faunal and archaeobotanical assemblages are compatible with a pattern of irregular seasonal mobility, in which individual sites were occupied at different seasons in different years. Such opportunistic residential mobility, however, seems far less likely than year-round habitation to have led to the accumulation (or even purposive creation - cf. Chapman 1997; Kotsakis 1999) of monumental tell sites. Arguably the most parsimonious interpretation of the available evidence (from early Neolithic, middle Neolithic and late Neolithic levels alike) is that these Thessalian tell sites were occupied year-round by at least some of their inhabitants.

Seasonality of consumption and residence at non-tell Neolithic sites in Greece


In addition to the impressive tells, known in largest numbers in lowland central and northern Greece, at least three other types of Neolithic site are now well documented in Greece: small and short-lived open sites, located in large numbers by survey projects in southern Greece, but also found in northern Greece; caves, frequently used in the later Neolithic, especially in southern Greece; and flat-extended open sites, recently recognized in northern Greece. The small open sites and, for obvious geological reasons, the caves are often located in agriculturally marginal locations, and inter alia have been interpreted as seasonal herding camps. The flatextended sites are, like the tells, found in the fertile lowlands, but represent a radically different form of spatial organization, with habitation traces drifting laterally through time rather than building up vertically on the same spot (Kotsakis 1999). Ditches encircling the flat-extended site of Makriyalos (Pappa and Besios 1999) are somewhat reminiscent of Neolithic enclosures in north-west Europe and perhaps invite speculation that these sites represent seasonal gathering places, rather than an alternative form of long-term residential site. The bioarchaeological evidence for seasonality of human activity is reviewed here for one site in each of these three non-tell categories (Fig. 5.3).

46

Paul Halstead

EN~MN Akhillion

December

January SG3

Winter (Dec - Feb)

Spring (March-May)

Summer (June-Aug)

EN Prodromos

1-2

December

November

P4

a
December

EN Prodromos

P4, P5

January P4, P5

ebruary P5

March

P5

il

P5

July

June

MN Plateia

Magoula'Zarkou

LN Plateia

Magoula

Zarkou

December P4
November

December P4, P5 P4
October March SG3,

P4

P5

September

April P5

August

May P4 July June

P4 July June P4

P4

P4

LNAg

Sofia

LN Dimini

December

January

P4, S5
November

P4, S5

~'I'I'!It~
March

P4, S5, P5
October

P4, S5,

S3, G5

April

SG4, P3, P5, SG5

S5, P5
August

April S2, S3, G5

P4, P5 July P4, SG5


June July

P4, SG5

P4, G5, P5

June

P4, G5

Figure 5,2 Evidence for season(s) of Neolithic human activity at tell sites in Thessaly.
Key: Darkfill'very strong' faunal evidence (deaths within period of 2-3 months); Mediumfill'strong' faunal evidence (deaths within period of4 months); Light fill - 'moderate' faunal evidence (deaths within period of 5 months); Unfilled - 'weak'(deaths within period of 6+ months) or no faunal evidence; Bold outline - probable harvest and sowing periods for cereal and pulse crops; SG3 etc - type of faunal evidence for activity in any month (e.g., S2, SG3, P4, G5 = sheep, sheep/goat, pig and goat deaths attributed to periods of 2, 3, 4 and 5 months, respectively),

Resettling the Neolithic: faunal evidence from Neolithic sites in Greece

47

Final Neolithic Doliana, Ipiros


Rescue work uncovered a small, short-lived open site of final Neolithic date in the Doliana basin, at 400m altitude on the western flank of the Pindos Mountains of northwest Greece. The brevity of occupation and lack of building remains other than two successive hut floors favoured interpretation as a seasonal herding camp (Dousougli 1996); a nearby pollen core has also been interpreted in terms of seasonal herding (Willis 1997). A modest faunal assemblage (Halstead et al. in preparation) included neonatal remains of sheep/goats and pigs, suggesting activity in mid-winter to early spring and in spring, respectively. Young mandibles indicate first-year deaths of sheep in mid-spring tef late summer, in midsummer to early winter, and in early autumn to midwinter (Table 5.2), and first-year deaths of pigs in midsummer to late autumn, in mid-autumn to mid-winter, and in early winter to mid-spring (Table jfi.I), The mandibular evidence thus implies further human activity at some stage(s) between early summer and early winter - at minimum, during mid- to late summer (sheep) and during mid- to late autumn (pigs). Although seasonal abandonment of the site cannot be ruled out, interpretation in terms of year-round activity would perhaps require less special pleading.

autumn to early spring (Table 5.2); pigs are rare, but late first-year mandibles imply deaths at least in early autumn to early winter and in late autumn to early spring (Table 5.1). The smaller late Neolithic sample provides a less continuous, but broadly similar, record of deaths of firstyear lambs and kids. Although only securely demonstrable for winter-spring, human activity in all seasons is the most parsimonious reading of the faunal data, especially for the larger final Neolithic assemblage. Cereal and pulse grains were found in considerable numbers in both the late Neolithic and final Neolithic levels (Zachos 1999, 156-7) and, if grown locally, would strengthen the case for a human presence nearby in late spring-early summer (harvest) and mid-autumn to early winter (sowing). Whatever the function of the cave, therefore, it seems more likely to have been used by people from a nearby and relatively sedentary settlement than as a shelter for mobile herders taking advantage of summer pasture on Mt. Zas.

Late Neolithic Makriyalos, Central Macedonia


The flat-extended site of Makriyalos is located on gentle slopes close to the sea. Extensive excavation of enclosure ditches, borrow pits and huts of early late Neolithic and late late Neolithic date yielded one of the largest faunal assemblages from prehistoric Greece. Unlike Zas, the assemblage did not avoid carnivore attrition, nor did rescue excavation permit the same high standards of retrieval, but again recent and detailed dental records are available. Analysis is restricted here to a single shortlived context, in order to reduce the risk that apparent evidence for year-round activity might in fact represent the conflation of numerous seasonal visits, the timing of which varied from year to year or even from century to century. The early late Neolithic Pit 212, with a diameter of 30m, produced the remains of at least several hundred domestic animals and a wealth of pottery, both apparently deposited rapidly over a period of months or just a handful of years and interpreted as the remains of large-scale collective feasting (Pappa et al. 2004, 16-44). It should be noted that the evidence for seasonality from Pit 212 seems to be very similar to that for the rest of the early late Neolithic assemblage. Remains of newborn sheep/goats and pigs indicate deaths in mid-winter to early spring and in spring, respectively. Young mandibles of sheep and goats suggest deaths in late winter to mid-spring, in mid- to late spring, in early spring to mid-summer, in mid- or late spring to late summer, in early summer to late autumn, in midsummer to early or mid-winter, in late summer or early autumn to mid-winter, and in mid-autumn to early or mid-spring. Young mandibles of pigs suggest deaths in late spring to late summer, in mid-summer to late autumn, in mid-autumn to mid-winter, and in early winter to midspring. Pit 212 provides the strongest faunal evidence yet considered for human activity in all seasons and this is strengthened by two further considerations. First, pre-

Late Neolithic-final Cyclades

Neolithic cave of Zas,

-aths

The cave of Zas is located at 600m altitude on the limestone mountain that dominates the island of Naxos. The cave is small and dark enough to cast doubt on its use as a habitation site, while an abundance of metal finds perhaps suggests a ceremonial or symbolic function (Broodbank 2000, 165). Either way, an agriculturally marginal location perhaps invites suggestions of use by seasonally mobile herders (Zachos 1999). The late Neolithic and final Neolithic faunal assemblage from this cave has benefited from strikingly better preservation (carnivore attrition was negligible) and retrieval (deposits were systematically and intensively sieved) than all other sites discussed in this chapter. In addition, the present author (with collaborators) recorded this assemblage (and those from Doliana and Makriyalos) recently, and thus has access to records far more detailed than would be tolerated by most publishers. Remains of newborn sheep/goats (both late Neolithic and final Neolithic) and newborn pigs (final Neolithic) imply activity at the cave in winter and in late winter to mid-spring, respectively, that is at the time of year when seasonally mobile herders might have been expected to be absent from the vicinity. At this site, sheep and goats are almost equally represented, but the latter exhibit more first-year deaths. In the larger final Neolithic assemblage, mandibles of lambs and kids suggest deaths in mid-winter to early spring, in early to mid-spring, in mid-spring to mid-summer, in late spring to early or mid-autumn, in early or mid- or late summer to early winter, and in early

48

Paul Halstead

liminary results from a study of enamel hypoplasia in the pig mandibles (cf. Dobney et al. 2002) provide empirical support for a single farrowing season (U. Albarella and K. Dobney pers. comm.); this makes it unlikely that the observed range of ages at death of young pigs represents seasonal slaughter of animals born at different times of year. Secondly, in the case of sheep, every stage of firstyear dental development is represented - and the same is almost true of pigs and largely so of goats; thus the argument for slaughter in every season of the year is independent of the assumptions made here as to the timing (absolute or relative) of lambing, kidding and farrowing. In addition, Pit 212 yielded archaeobotanical samples rich in cereal chaff-and these crop remains, if grown locally, provide supporting evidence for human activity at Makriyalos in mid-autumn to early winter (sowing) and in mid-summer (harvesting). Finally, as noted above, Pit 212 represents a relatively short depositional episode, probably spanning - at most - a handful of years; the record of deaths in all seasons, therefore, is highly unlikely to be an artefact of complementary seasonal episodes of slaughter in different years. Pit 212 surely results from year-round slaughter and consumption at late Neolithic Makriyalos.

Discussion: going nowhere in Neolithic Greece?


If tell sites have long been equated

with sedentary occupation, the reverse has often been assumed for Neolithic caves and small open sites and, more tentatively, for flat-extended sites. Contrary to these expectations, bioarchaeological evidence from the small open site of Doliana, from the Cave of Zas and from the flat-extended site of Makriyalos, is, in each case, more or less strongly suggestive of year-round human activity (Fig. 5.3). These three sites cannot be treated as typical of all such sites, but nor is there any reason to imagine that they are unusual - other than in the quantity and/or quality of available bioarchaeological data.

Conclusions
While bioarchaeological evidence for year-round activity at Neolithic sites in Greece is of variable strength, it must be underlined that several of the assemblages discussed are small and that most are of coarse chronological resolution, while most publications of data sets from tells address different research questions and so provide insufficient detail for assessment of seasonality. Moreover, almost any set of dental data could be accommodated

LN M akriyalos Pit 212 January 5G3, P4, P5, 55

FN Doliana January December 83, P4, P5,

December

P4, P5,55

P4, P5, 55

55

March P3,8G3, 53, P5,G5 April 52, P3, 53, P5,G5,G5


August

March

53, P3, P5

April

P3, P5, 55

G4, P4, P5, G5 July P4, P5,G4, G5,G5

June

G5,G5

July

June

P5,55

55

G4, P4, G5, G5

LNZas

FNZas

December December January January 5G3, P4, 55, 5G3, 53, P5 P5

5G3,55

5G3

February

November

February

5G3, G5
October March

P4, 55, P5
October

5G3, 53, P3, P5


March

"~~~r;;:~~IIII'
55 G5 G5,85 G4, G5
April August

P4,

52,53, P3, P5 April 52, P3, G4,

P4, G5, 55
August

G5,85

May

G5,55

July

June G4, G5, G5

G4,G5

G4, G5, G5

July G4, G5

June G4, G5

Figure 5.3 Evidence for season(s) of Neolithic human activity at non-tell sites in Greece. Key: see Figure 5.2.

Resettling

the Neolithic:

faunal

evidence

from

Neolithic

sites in Greece

49

y ,r

e e 11 e

y
:t

:l

1
s e :l

to seasonal slaughter by assuming the appropriate combination of early or late birth, precocious or tardy tooth eruption, and fast or slow tooth wear. On the other hand, it is striking that the strength of the evidence for year-round activity is related not to the type, location or date of each site, but to sample size and preservation, retrieval standards, the level of detail of available dental records, and the chronological resolution of each excavation. The most parsimonious interpretation of the evidence is that all of these sites were used more or less year-round. As has already been stressed, human activity in the Neolithic of Greece must have taken place off-site (i.e. away from archaeologically recognizable sites). It is also highly likely that known archaeological sites include loci (e.g. some of the ephemeral scatters of Neolithic material located by several survey projects in southern Greece) used on only a seasonal or shorter-term basis. It seems, however, that most excavated Neolithic sites, including tells, flat-extended sites and at least some caves and small open-air sites, were used more or less year-round by at least some of their occupants. Although uncomfortably close to traditional assumptions of a sedentary Neolithic, this conclusion poses some interesting questions: - how did local aggregations maintain communal solidarity in the face of the tensions inevitably arising from long-term co-residence and despite the divisive tendencies implied on most open sites by domestic architecture? - how did neighbouring sites (often close enough for regular contact in herding, gathering, hunting, etc) interact and how did they avoid (or win) conflicts? - how did communities, or individuals, maintain the distant social relationships needed to find marriage partners and implied by exotic objects and longdistance stylistic similarities? Answers to these questions are beyond the scope of this chapter, but the wealth of fine, often decorated tablewares in Neolithic ceramic assemblages from Greece suggests that the consumption of food and drink (and, perhaps, other stimulants) was of fundamental social, as well as nutritional, significance (Halstead 1995; Kotsakis 1983; Sherratt 1991; Vitelli 1989). Faunal evidence most dramatically, the massive assemblage from Pit 212 at Makriyalos - suggests that consumption of the meat of domestic animals played a major role in such commensal politics (Pappa et al. 2004, 16-44). While the recurring desire to question the link between farming and sedentism is undoubtedly healthy, the available evidence for the Neolithic of Greece favours a largely sedentary pattern of settlement, which in turn poses some important and interesting questions concerning social reproduction in the early farming populations of this region. Faunal remains both provide evidence for sedentary habitation and offer some hints as to how the attendant stresses on social life may have been resolved.

Acknowledgements
I am grateful to Doug Bailey and Alasdair Whittle, for encouraging dissent, and to Amy Bogaard and Valasia Isaakidou, for comments on drafts of this paper. For access to faunal material discussed here, I am indebted to Giorgos Hourmouziadis (Prodromos and Dirnini), Angelika Dousougli (Doliana), Kostas Zachos (Zas), and Maria Pappa and Manthos Besios (Makriyalos). I also thank Pat Collins and Valasia Isaakidou, for helping to record the Doliana, Zas and Makriyalos assemblages; Umberto Albarella and Keith Dobney, for preliminary results of their analysis of enamel hypoplasia in the Makriyalos pigs; and Gill Jones, for access in advance of publication to her study of sheep tooth eruption and wear.

Bibliography
Barker, G. 1975. Early Neolithic land use in Yugoslavia. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society 41, 85-104. Barrett, J.e. 1994. Fragments from antiquity: an archaeology of social life in Britain, 2900-1200 Be. Oxford: Blackwell. Becker, C. 1991. Die Tierknochenfunde von der Plateia Magoula Zarkou - neue Untersuchungen zu Haustierhaltung, Jagd und Rohstoffverwendung im neolithischbronzezeitlichen Thessalien. Priihistorische ZeitschriJt 66, 14-78. Becker, C. 1999. The middle Neolithic and the Plateia Magoula Zarkou - a review of current archaeozoological research in Thessaly (Greece). Anihropozoologica 30, 3-22. Binford, L.R. 1978. Nunamiut ethnoarchaeology. New York: Academic Press. Bokonyi, S. 1989. Animal remains. In M. Gimbutas, S. Winn and D. Shimabuku (eds), Achilleion: a Neolithic settlement in Thessaly, Greece, 6400-5600 BC, 315-32. Los Angeles: Institute of Archaeology, University of California. Broodbank, C. 2000. An island archaeology of the early Cyclades. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Chapman, J. 1997. The origin of tells in eastern Hungary. In P. Topping (ed.), Neolithic landscapes, 139-64. Oxford: Oxbow. Childe, V.G. 1957. The dawn of European civilisation. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul. Cobbett, W. 1979. Cottage economy (17th edition). Oxford: Oxford University Press. Deniz, E. and Payne, S. 1982. Eruption and wear in the mandibular dentition as a guide to ageing Turkish Angora goats. In B. Wilson, C. Grigson and S. Payne (eds), Ageing and sexing animal bones from archaeological sites, 155205. Oxford: British Archaeological Reports. Dennell, R.W. 1983. European economic prehistory. London: Academic Press. Dobney, K., Ervynck, A. and Feria, B.L. 2002. Assessment and further development of the recording and interpretation of linear enamel hypoplasia in archaeological pig populations. Environmental Archaeology 7, 35-46. Dousougli, A. 1996. Epirus - the Ionian islands. In G.A. Papathanassopoulos (ed.), Neolithic culture in Greece, 4648. Athens: Goulandris Foundation. du Boulay, J. 1974. Portrait of a Greek mountain village. Oxford: Clarendon.

50

Paul Halstead

Edmonds, M. 1999. Ancestral geographies of the Neolithic. London: Routledge. Halstead, P. 1989. Like rising damp? An ecological approach to the spread of farming in southeast and central Europe. In A. Milles, D. Williams and N. Gardner (eds), The beginnings of agriculture, 23-53. Oxford: British Archaeological Reports. Halstead, P. 1992. Dimini and the 'DMP': faunal remains and animal exploitation in late Neolithic Thessaly. Annual of the British School at Athens 87, 29-59. Halstead, P. 1995. From sharing to hoarding: the Neolithic foundations of Aegean Bronze Age society? In R. Laffineur and W.-D. Niemeier (eds), Politeia: society and state in the Aegean Bronze Age, 11-20. Liege: University of Liege. Halstead, P. 1998. Mortality models and milking: problems of uniformitarianism, optimality and equifinality reconsidered. Anihropozoologica 27, 3-20. Halstead, P. and Jones, G. 1980. Early Neolithic economy in Thessaly - some evidence from excavations at Prodromos. Anthropologika 1,93-117. Halstead, P., Collins, P. and Isaakidou, V. in preparation. Faunal remains from Final Neolithic Doliana. Higham, C.F.W. 1967. Stock rearing as a cultural factor in prehistoric Europe. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society 33, 84-106. Hillman, G. 1981. Reconstructing crop husbandry practices from charred remains of crops. In R. Mercer (ed.), Farming practice in British prehistory, 123-62. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. Jarman, M.R., Bailey, G.N. and Jarman, H.N. (eds) 1982. Early European agriculture. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Jones, G. in press. Tooth eruption and wear observed in live sheep from Butser Hill, the Cots wold Farm Park and five farms in the Pentland Hills, UK In D. Ruscillo (ed.), Advances in methods of ageing and sexing animal remains. Oxford: Oxbow Books. Jones, G. and Halstead, P. 1993. Charred plant remains from Neolithic-Bronze Age Plateia Magoula Zarkou, Thessaly. Annual of the British School at Athens 88, 1-3. Karakasidou, A.N. 1997. Fields of wheat, hills of blood. Chicago: Chicago University Press. Kotsakis, K. 1983. Keramiki Tekhnolog ia kai Keramiki Diaforopoiisi: Provlimata tis Graptis Keramikis tis Mesis Neolithikis Epokhis tou Sesklou. PhD thesis, University of Thessaloniki. Kotsakis, K. 1999. What tells can tell: social space and settlement in the Greek Neolithic. In P. Halstead (ed.), Neolithic society in Greece, 66-76. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press. Kroll, H. 1979. Kulturpflanzen aus Dimini. Archaeo-Physika 8, 173-89. Kroll, H. 1981. Thessalische Kulturpflanzen. ZeitschriJt fur Archaologie 15,97-103. Munson, P.I. and Garniewicz, R.C. 2003. Age-mediated survivorship of ungulate mandibles and teeth in canid-ravaged faunal assemblages. Journal of Archaeological Science 30, 405-16. O'Connor, T.P. 1998. On the difficulty of detecting seasonal slaughtering of sheep. Environmental Archaeology 3, 5-11. Pappa, M. and Besios, M. 1999. The Makriyalos project: rescue excavations at the Neolithic site ofMakriyalos, Pieria, northern Greece. In P. Halstead (ed.), Neolithic society in Greece, 108-

120. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press. Pappa, M., Halstead, P., Kotsakis, K. and Urem-Kotsou, D. 2004. Evidence for large-scale feasting at Late Neolithic Makriyalos, N. Greece. In P. Halstead and J. Barrett (eds), Food, cuisine and society in prehistoric Greece. Oxford: Oxbow. Prummel, W. 1987. Atlas for identification of foetal skeletal elements of cattle, horse, sheep and pig: part 2. Archaeozoologia 1, 11-42. Renfrew, J .M. 1989. Carbonized grain and seeds. In M. Gimbutas, S. Winn and D. Shimabuku (eds), Achilleion: a Neolithic settlement in Thessaly, Greece, 6400-5600 BC, 307-10. Los Angeles: Institute of Archaeology, University of California. Sherratt, A.G. 1991. Palaeoethnobotany: from crops to cuisine. In F. Queiroga and A.P. Dinis (eds), Paleoecologia e Arqueologia 2, 221-36. Vila Nova de Famalicao: Centro de Estudos Arqueologicos Famalicenses. Sutton, S.B. (ed.) 2000. Contingent countryside: settlement, economy, and land use in the southern Argolid since 1700. Stanford: Stanford University Press. Thomas, J. 1996. Neolithic houses in mainland Britain and Ireland - a sceptical view. In T. Darvill and J. Thomas (eds), Neolithic houses in northwest Europe and beyond, 1-12. Oxford: Oxbow Books. Valamoti, S.-M. 2004. Plants and people in late Neolithic and early Bronze Age Greece: an archaeobotanical investigation. Oxford: Archaeopress. van Andel, T., Gallis, K. and Toufexis, G. 1995. Early Neolithic farming in a Thessalian river landscape, Greece. In J. Lewin, M.G. Macklin and J.C. Woodward (eds), Mediterranean Quaternary river environments, 131-43. Rotterdam: Balkema. van Andel, T. and Runnels, C. 1995. The earliest farmers in Europe. Antiquity 69, 481-500. Vitelli, KD. 1989. Were pots first made for food? Doubts from Franchthi. World Archaeology 21, 17-29. von den Driesch, A. 1987. Haus- und Jagdtiere im vorgeschichtlichen Thessalien. Priihistorische Zeitschrift 62, 1-21. von den Driesch, A. and Enderle, K. 1976. Die Tierreste aus der Agia Sofia-Magoula in Thessalien. In V. Milojcic, A. von den Driesch, K. Enderle, J. Milojcic-v. Zumbusch and K Kilian (eds), Die deutschen Ausgrabungen auf Magulen urn Larisa in Thessalien, 1966, 15-54. Bonn: Rudolf Habelt. Whittle, A. 1996a. Europe in the Neolithic: the creation of new worlds. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Whittle, A. 1996b. Houses in context: buildings as process. In T. Darvill and J. Thomas (eds), Neolithic houses in northwest Europe and beyond, 13-26. Oxford: Oxbow Books. Whittle, A. 1997. Moving on and moving around: Neolithic settlement mobility. In P. Topping (ed.), Neolithic landscapes, 15-22. Oxford: Oxbow Books. Willis, KJ. 1997. Vegetational history of the Klithi environment: a palaeoecological viewpoint. In G. Bailey (ed.), Klithi: Palaeolithic settlement and quaternary landscapes in northwest Greece, 2: Klithi in its local and regional setting, 395-413. Cambridge: McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research. Zachos, KL. 1999. Zas Cave on Naxos and the role of caves in the Aegean Late Neolithic. In P. Halstead (ed.), Neolithic society in Greece, 153-63. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press.

(un)settling the Neolithic


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(I

Douglass Bailey, Alasdair Whittle and Vicki Cummings

Oxbow Books

Published by Oxbow Books, Park End Place, Oxford OXI IHN

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6. Plain talk: animals, environment and culture in the Neolithic of the Carpathian Basin and adjacent areas
Laszlo Bartosiewicz

Introduction
Domestication is at the core of what V. Gordon Childe termed the Neolithic Revolution (Childe 1936). Since this revolution was neither instantaneous nor uniform, domestication has formed a topic that is of equal interest to archaeologists (Hodder 1990) and archaeozoologists (Clutton-Brock 1989). In the twentieth century, archaeozoological finds were routinely interpreted as 'index fossils' in palaeontology, i.e. indicators of the natural environment. This introduced a degree of geographical determinism in research that has often led to circular reasoning. Archaeological animal remains were influenced by past human action. Environmental reconstructions based on these finds are biased by this anthropogenic noise (Bartosiewicz 2001). This primary human effect, however, is culturally idiosyncratic; wild animals were hunted selectively, domestic animals could be herded far from their original habitats. Therefore, the deposition of their bones inthe form of food remains is far from a proper representation of fauna of any sort.

The problem
In his early studies, Joachim Boessneck published Neolithic assemblages from Greece that became paradigmatic in the study of animal exploitation during the European Neolithic. The pre-pottery and early Neolithic layers at Argissa Magoula are characterised by sheep/ goat and a small contribution of wild animals (Boessneck 1962, 38).1 Animal remains from Arapi Magoula and Otzaki Magoula (Dimini culture) also show the overwhelming dominance of sheep and the lesser significance of cattle and pig (Boessneck 1956, 7-10). During an early Neolithic climatic optimum, animal husbandry expanded northwards from the Balkans. This

advance may be traced archaeologically, in particular along its northern frontier, in the variants ofthe Starcevo/ Koros/Cris culture in Yugoslavia, Hungary and Romania respectively. Some archaeozoological assemblages are similar to that of the pre-pottery Neolithic in Thessaly, although hunting, fishing and gathering complemented domestic animal resources to varying extents. The people of the Koros culture brought along a characteristically south-eastern composition of livestock (Bokonyi 1993, 3). Sheep/goat remains dominated over those of cattle. Bones of pigs and dogs occurred only in insignificant numbers. This type of animal keeping was rather ill-suited to the Carpathian Basin. Stocks of its most important species, sheep and goat, could not be upgraded by local domestication in the absence of the wild forms in the marshy environment. Moreover, as is shown by several bones with arthritic deformations, sheep of south-eastern origins were heavily stressed in this humid and cool habitat (Fig. 6.1); Bokonyi described a number of such bones from Endrod 119, Hungary (Bokonyi 1992a, 231). Pig keeping would have been an ideal way to exploit the marshy floodplain; pigs need a lot of water, and the rhizomes found in reed beds are among the most favoured staple for wild pigs (Farago 2002, 368). Specialised aurochs hunting seems to have become characteristic of the middle and late Neolithic in Hungary. Settlements offer evidence not only of aurochs hunting (Fig. 6.2) but also of bones from what Bokonyi (1974, 26) interpreted as crosses between domestic and wild cattle, Red deer lagged behind in terms of the number of identifiable specimens (NISP), in spite of the inclusion of antler fragments with deer bone in early publications. The high contributions of cattle and pig in the early Tripolye culture are comparable to those of the Tisza and Herpaly cultures in Hungary. It was Hancar (1956, 67)

52

Laszlo Bartosiewicz

Figure 6.1 (left) Arthrotic deformation of the distal end of a sheep metapodium (Ecsegfalva 23). Figure 6.2 (right) Aurochs atlas from Polgar-Csdszhalom with a stone projectile point embedded in the ventral arch (after Bokonyi 1975). Size unknown.

Species

Early (21 sites) Observed Expected 12215:814858.3 3292.0 748.2 3759.5 2584.0 4436.2

Middle (20 sites) Observed 3501 1795 902 61 422 144 207 7032 Expected 2050.4 2494.0 552.6 125.6 631.0 433.7 744.6

Late (12 sites) Observed 13142 5801 5945 1085 6860 4651 7318 44802 Expected 13063.7 15889.7 3520.5 800.2 4020.5 2763.3 4744.2

Total

cattle sheep/goat pig dog aurochs wild pig red deer Total

10687 25646 518 528 1129 986 2400 41894

27330 33242 7365 1674 8411 5781 9925 93728

Table 6.1. The observed and expected N1SP values of various animal taxa in the assemblages of 53 sites pooled by Neolithic periods.

who first considered Tripolye culture hunting a superior form with its concentration on the mighty aurochs. Many of these observations have become topoi that are worth re-evaluating in light of the evidence of Neolithic animal exploitation in the Carpathian Basin and at a few sites of key importance in adjacent areas. In the area discussed here, the aforementioned trends may be clearly seen in the chronological distribution of Neolithic animal remains. Data from 53 sites published in the literature have been pooled by gross periods in Table 6.1 (Bartosiewicz 1984a; 1994; Bartosiewicz et al. 1995; Bokonyi 1959; 1964; 1969; 1974; 1981; 1984a; 1984b; 1985; 1987; 1988; 1992a; 1992b; Bokonyi and Bartosiewicz 1998; Clason 1980; Schwartz 1994; Voros 1980; 1994; 1996; 1997). Bold face numbers in this table mark categories of outstandingly high values. As is seen in this table, the preponderance of sheep/

goat remains is indeed most characteristic in the early Neolithic, when the remains of pig and large game occur in numbers far smaller than expected. During the middle Neolithic cattle and pig gain in importance and hunting remains rather insignificant. By the late Neolithic, however, a dramatic change takes place: the relative contribution of sheep and goat is far less than expected and large game hunting becomes extremely important. These trends are significant informal statistical terms (X2=29,184.9, df=20, P:::;O.OOO). This change during the Neolithic has been known for long, but considering that it took place within the largely identical natural environment of the Carpathian Basin, relatively little attention has been paid to its socio-cultural background by archaeozoologists. The gross evaluation of pooled sites also disregards subtle relationships between animal species.

Plain Talk: animals, environment

and culture in the Neolithic of the Carpathian Basin

53

Species

Factor 1 Hunting

Factor 2 Animal keeping 0.183 0.232 0.289 0.336 0.427 -0.283 -0.049 0.381 0.646 0.866 0.837 0.685 0.532 3.314 25.5

red deer (Cervus elaphus L. 1758) wild pig (Sus scrofa L. 1758) dog (Canis familiaris L. 1758) aurochs (Bos primigenius Bojanus 1827) roe deer (Capreolus capreolus L. 1758) beaver (Castor fiber L. 1758) brown bear (Ursus arctos L. 1758) domestic pig (Sus domesticus Erxl. 1777) domestic cattle (Bos taurus L. 1758) sheep/goat (Caprinae Gray 1852) brown hare (Lepus europaeus Pallas 1778) wild ass (Asinus hydruntinus Regalia 1907) small carnivores (Carnivora) Latent root Variance explained, %

0.903 0.880 0.850 0.774 0.773 0.594 0.581 0.493 0.513 0.113 0.311 0.192 0.488 5.091 39.2

Table 6.2. Factor loadings showing the relationship between animal species at 53 Neolithic settlements.

Relationships between animal species


Interspecific relationships between domesticates in. developing countries have shown the complementary roles played by various animals in meat production (Bartosiewicz 1984c, 200). A previous analysis of Neolithic archaeozoological assemblages across Europe has revealed a similar dichotomy between ancient economies based on sheep/goat and pig keeping respectively (Bartosiewicz 1990, 291, table 3). That study, however, did not reckon with the complementary role of wild animals in Neolithic meat provisioning. The Number of Identified Specimens (NISP) for mammals in the 53 individual archaeozoological assemblages under discussion here have been subjected to a factor analysis in order to outline interspecific relationships and their impact on major types of Neolithic animal exploitation. Decimal logarithms of the data were used in order to reduce the heteroscedasticity of data resulting from broadly varying assemblage sizes. Factor loadings (homogenized using Varimax rotation) are summarised in Table 6.2. The two factors with latent roots greater than 1.0 represent 'hunting' and 'animal keeping'. They encompass 64.7% of total variance; i.e. these combinations of animal species rather reliably reflect the overall picture of Neolithic animal exploitation at the 53 settlements. While there remains unanswered the question of whether

the sharp wild/domestic dichotomy was of decisive importance in Neolithic thinking, these patterns certainly define our modern interpretations of prehistoric subsistence on the basis of animal remains. According to the mathematical interpretation, factors represent independent dimensions of the same phenomenon (i.e. hunting and animal keeping are, in principle, non-correlated). Although the inclusion of antler in NISP in earlier publications may result in the overrepresentation of Cervids, remains of large game form an evident complex owing to their co-occurrence at many sites. The presence of wild pig and beaver, especially, are indicative of forested floodplain habitats. The only domestic animal strongly associated with this factor is dog which has had a special status among domesticates. At Mesolithic sites such as Lepenski Vir and Vlasac in the Iron Gates (Bokonyi 1969; 1975), domestic dog, the only domesticate, complemented diets procured by hunting and fishing. This role, however, seems to have persisted in prehistoric hunting communities long after the occurrence of other, meatpurpose domesticates. For example, in the late Neolithic Fatyanovo culture of the Volga/Oka region (Central Russia, third-mid-second millennium cal. BC), hunting played a significant role and dog bones were the most frequent among domestic animal remains (Bader 1937, 23). The relative contribution of disarticulated dog bones was also important in the Horgen and Luscherz culture


54 Laszlo Bartosiewicz The distribution of animal species in the plane defined by the two factors is shown in Figure 6.3. Aside from the wild/domestic dichotomy, natural environment as a background variable may also be recognised in this graph. Hunting must have been associated with forested habitats, while open, dry grassland was better suited for the keeping of domestic ruminants. components at the settlement of St. Blaise Bains des Dames in Western Switzerland (Bartosiewicz 1994, 63, figure 1). One interpretation may be that dog remained an important supplement to the diet in economies dependent on precarious hunters' luck. The complex cognitive role of dogs was illustrated by Whittle (2003, 79) quoting ethnographic parallels. In the Hungarian late Neolithic the burial of 'mask-like' dog viscerocrania at the Lengyel culture site of Moragy- Ttizkodomb (Bartosiewicz 1994, 65, figure 2) supports the diversity of roles dogs must have played there. While it seems likely that dogs served as hunting companions, their role in herding is more difficult to appraise. The scarcity of dog bones at Koros culture, sites only shows that dog meat did not consistently form part of the diet. In Table 6.2, factor loadings of cattle connect the two extreme forms of animal exploitation. Beet seems to have been a staple in both basic types of economy. Pig is also generally present, but as such has little diagnostic value in characterising types of animal exploitation. Of the wild animals, ubiquitous small carnivores may have been exploited for pelt or persecuted as vermin regardless of the type of animal exploitation. The high factor loading for sheep/goat defines the second factor, animal keeping. This shows the impact of early Neolithic Koros and middle Neolithic Zseliz assemblages in the data set. Most remarkably, sheep and goat are followed by brown hare and wild ass, associated with open grassland habitats. This may be indicative of the environmental factor in sheep herding in different ways: chronological (the early Neolithic climatic optimum favoured these game species and they were easily exploited even by opportunistic hunting); and cultural (sheep and goat herders occupied drier, grassland habitats on levees and banks in a mosaic-like environment that these wild animals also preferred).

Chronological interpretations
Large game of the forest and domestic ruminants form two characteristic groups whose alternative exploitation may be used in characterising Neolithic economies. Sheep/goat keeping reached south-eastern Europe from south-west Asia, home to the wild ancestors of sheep and goat, in the seventh millennium cal. Be. In Thessaly, domesticates introduced from south-west Asia thrived in dry habitats closely resembling their native regions. Neolithic assemblages from both areas tend to be characterised by the overwhelming dominance of sheep/ goat remains (Bokonyi 1993, 7). Wild animal remains occur in small numbers. The earliest Koros culture sites have recently been dated to c.6200-6000 cal. Be in the area under discussion here (Whittle et al. 2002, 107117). One of the archaeological questions is, to what extent did the spread of this culture result from colonisation or indigeneous acculturation (Whittle et al. 2002, 93). Attitudes to animals may be of help in at least partially answering this question. When factor scores representing individual sites calculated from the factor loadings of Table 6.2 are plotted against each other, a clear pattern emerges (Fig. 6.4). Koros culture assemblages fall into the upper section of the graph (grassland animals), while their late Neolithic counterparts form a near-horizontal cluster with some middle Neolithic sites in the lower portion (floodplain

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Figure 6.3. Relationships

between animal species as expressed by factor loadings.

Plain Talk: animals, environment

and culture in the Neolithic of the Carpathian Basin


-~-~-------

55

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Figure 6.4. The distribution of Neolithic settlements in the plane defined by the two factors. The main division between early and latesites is indicated by a dashed line.

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of ric ae

forest). Outliers on the far right of the graph represent early Neolithic settlements with considerable amounts of wild animal remains. On the basis of only 202 (!) identifiable mammalian bones from the settlement of Maroslele-Pana, Bokonyi (1964, 88) made an early attempt to outline animal exploitation in the Karas culture. His hypothesis was that Karas culture animal husbandry had been a variant of Thessalian animal keeping under different geographic conditions (Bokonyi 19'74,56), ill-adapted to the marshy habitats of the Great Hungarian Plain. Maroslele-Pana, however, turns out to have been a small and relatively atypical site, located in the lower left cluster of data points in Figure 6.4. The 1963-1965 excavations at RoszkeLudvar were the first to have yielded a rich Karas culture archaeozoological assemblage (Bokonyi 1974, 396). Partially excavated sites of the corresponding Cris culture (Necrasov 1961, 265-72; 1964, 167-81; Necrasov and Haimovici 1959, 563) were also studied in Romania. Large assemblages from the settlements of Gyalaret (Bokonyi 1974, 364) and ultimately from Endrod 119 (Bokonyi 1992a, 273) reconfirmed Bokonyi' s hypotheses and also verified Necrasov's (1964, 167) observations. Characteristic Karas culture assemblages (Endrod 119, LUdas-Budzsak, Nosza-Gyongypart and Ecsegfalva 23) are clearly visible in the upper, 'grassland' section of Figure 6.4. Two early Neolithic assemblages of the related Starcevo culture, Padina and Lepenski Vir, occur in the lower right half of the graph, indicative of the forested alluvial environment of the Iron Gates Gorge, in which hunting was of great importance. Meanwhile, a single late Neolithic data point in the top section of Figure 6.4 represents late Neolithic layers at Karanovo (Bulgaria; Bokanyi and Bartosiewicz 1998), fitting within the same pattern as typical Karas culture sites in Hungary; that

environment was ideal for the keeping of sheep and goat and represents the regional continuity of this tradition in our study. The remains of relatively small domestic cattle occur in early Neolithic Koros culture assemblages in the Carpathian Basin dated to the sixth millennium cal. BC (Bokonyi 1974, 26) as well as in Bandkeramik assemblages in Germany by the fifth millennium cal. BC (Muller 1963, 1). Large Karas culture assemblages in Hungary are also similar to that of an early Neolithic Hamangia culture settlement in Romania. At the site of Techirghiol on the Black Sea Coast 89.5 % of the remains originated from domesticates, cattle and sheep/goat made up almost 95% of the domestic animal remains, the contribution of pig bones was negligible (Necrasov and Haimovici 1962, 177). The fact that wild ass was the most commonly exploited game at that site is indicative of a dry grassland environment. At Karas culture settlements on the edge of the marshland in the Great Hungarian Plain, the remains of wild animals with a preference for less humid habitats, such as aurochs and wild ass, were also somewhat better represented. Bokonyi (1974, 21) even considered the bones of the latter to be the index fossil in the presumably Karas culture contamination, at the middle Neolithic Tisza culture settlement of Lebo as well (Bokonyi 1958, 61). The combination of wild ass, brown hare and sheep and goat suggests that even limited Karas culture hunting concentrated on grassland species. It may be presumed, however, that the natural fauna of the Great Hungarian Plain was more or less the same in the early and later Neolithic. The extinction of wild ass seems to be one of the few tangible differences between the beginning and the end of the Neolithic. This species does not occur at any of the later sites. Milking was already known during the Karas culture

56

Laszlo Bartosiewicz Neolithic, when sheep/goat 'conquered' eastern-central Europe, cattle were by far the best represented domestic animals in both of these cultures. In the Tisza culture, pigs were next, followed by sheep/goat and dogs. At Zseliz group settlements, however, sheep and goat always preceded pigs and dogs in terms of NISP. Tisza culture animal keeping thus seems better adjusted to the environmental conditions of the Great Hungarian Plain, as based on domesticates whose wild forms (aurochs, wild pig as well as wolf) lived locally and were thus readily available to early herders. While the upgrading of domestic cattle stock using aurochs bulls cannot be reconstructed, possible crossings with wild pig may have been sought on purpose to produce more vital offspring. Even today, wild pigs are attracted by crops in cultivated zones separating settlements and woodland where they may interbreed with domestic sows (Dorner 1925, 30). Similar to the early Neolithic Koros culture, the high relative frequency of sheep/goat bones at sites of the Zseliz group may be interpreted as a somewhat exotic feature. However, these sites were not located in the marshland of the Great Hungarian Plain but in drier areas of northcentral Hungary (e.g. Bekasmegyer-Voros Csillag Tsz, Neszmely- Tekeres patak, Pilismar6t-Szobi rev). Whereas during the Tisza culture period hunting increased in significance (with a ratio close to 1: 1 between domesticates to wild animals), the situation was remarkably different at settlements of the Zseliz group, dominated by the remains of domesticates (c. 9:1). This difference between sites may be recognised in Figure 6.4, as the two types of middle Neolithic sites fall on either

as is shown by Bovid milk remains on sherds from the site of Ecsegfalva 23 in Hungary (Craig et al. in prep). Unfortunately, at this stage of research species identification is not yet available. It may be hypothesised, however, that goats were probably more approachable for this purpose than cattle. Iconographic evidence from the temple of Nin-Hursag in Tell el-Obed, Iraq (after 2400 BC: Bokonyi 1974, 27; 1994, 22, Abb. 1) and Knossos (ca. 1500 BC: Bokonyi 1974, 119, fig. 13) shows that cows were being milked from the rear, as is usual with caprines. From these pictures one may infer that cow milking was modelled after that of small ruminants (i.e. early Neolithic traces of milk may be associated with greater probability with sheep or goat). With the exception of deer antler, correlations between the taxonomic composition of bones from the food refuse and worked specimens are low (Choyke 1984): bone tool manufacturing tends to utilise selected raw materials, and the aspects of selection are characteristic for each culture. The dominance of sheep/goat bones in early Neolithic assemblages is also reflected in the artefact inventory. Aside from many ad hoc tools, there is a special Koros type of point with a distinctive looking flat handle, made on the distal end of the sheep/goat metapodium, using the so-called groove and split technique. Of the middle Neolithic groups defined by ceramic styles, two have provided suitably large assemblages: the Zseliz group of the Linear Pottery culture and the Tisza culture in the early-mid fifth millennium cal. BC (Kalicz and Raczky 1987, 28). In contrast with the early

4.-------------------------------------------------------------~
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<=1

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Figure 6.5. The distribution of wild and domestic animal remains at the two sections of the Polgdr-Csdszhalom settlement (after Schwartz 2002, 854).

Plain Talk: animals, environment al ic 'e, \t


)IS

and culture in the Neolithic of the Carpathian Basin

57

re
le n,
,S,

1S

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)e re

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~y

~h iz e. of
11-

side of the dashed line marking the overall division between the early and late Neolithic types of animal exploitation. Zseliz group sites tend to cluster with the Karos culture, while Tisza culture settlements form a trend with late Neolithic sites below the line in Figure 6.4. The compositions of assemblages from the Zseliz group in Hungary are also similar to those of the Linear Pottery culture in central Germany (Muller 1964, 61). Notably, horse remains are absent from both middle Neolithic groups in Hungary. While Bokonyi (1974, 27) raised the possibility of using draught cattle in tillage during the middle Neolithic, primary osteological evidence in the form of deformed foot bones (Bartosiewicz et al. 1997) and hips of overworked animals is rare and inconsistent, even in later prehistoric periods in comparison with the Roman period or the Middle Ages which are characterised by intensive agricultural production (Bartosiewicz in press
a).

z, 19

m
1S

p, is 4, er

It may be hypothesised that by the late Neolithic, especially in the Herpaly culture, animal keeping was better established in absolute terms than it had been in the preceding Tisza culture. Recent excavations at Polgar -Csoszhalom offered a unique opportunity to compare animal bones from the tell and from the adjacent, horizontal rural settlement (Schwartz 2002, 853, table 2). Over half of the animal remains in the tell originated from wild animals, while domestic animal bones dominated in the horizontal settlement (Fig. 6.5). This shows that animal husbandry played an important role in everyday meat provisioning. However, the relative

contribution of domestic animal remains decreased in comparison to those of large game. Polgar-Csoszhalom and Berettyoujfalu-Herpaly represent extreme forms of this trend along the right hand edge of Figure 6.4, together with the two aforementioned early Neolithic sites from the Iron Gates gorge. Between c. 5500-4000 cal. BC (Hertelendi et al. 1995, 242, table 1; 1998) a late Neolithic domestication fever seems to have swept across the largely coeval tell settlements in the Great Hungarian Plain (Bokonyi 1962). This hypothesis was based on an unusually high incidence of aurochs remains at four of these complex, largely contemporary sites, which are located within an area measuring about 150km across (Fig. 6.6). On the basis of medium size bovine bones it has been hypothesised that such specimens were the evidence of local domestication. Subsequent studies, however, showed that regional size differences in populations identified a priori as aurochs in south-eastern Europe (Bokonyi and Bartosiewicz 1987, 164) were blurred by great variability among animals identified as domestic cattle. Sexual dimorphism evidently complicates the picture (Bartosiewicz 1984c; 1987) and may provide partial explanation for the size overlap originally interpreted as crosses between the wild and domestic forms. Once human interference (domestication and possibly castration) enters the picture, clear-cut sexual dimorphism in size (e.g. Bartosiewicz 1986) turns into yet another formidable puzzle. The immense cultural importance of wild animals at late Neolithic settlements is supported by the evidence of

5500

5250

5000

cal Be

4750

4500

4250

4000

Figure 6.6. Probability distribution plots of the overall radiocarbon dates measured at four tell settlements Great Hungarian Plain. The chronological overlap is marked by shading.

in the

58

Laszlo Bartosiewicz

food remains and trophies, such as boar tusks placed in burials. The zoological study of bone jewellery from Polgar-Csoszhalom revealed that, in addition to real red deer canines, bone copies of the same tooth have been strung in great numbers on necklaces. Such imitations were found mostly in women's graves (Fig. 6.7), while an elderly woman of high status was ornamented with real deer canines, usually worn by men (Choyke 2001, 254). Imitation not only shows that real deer canines were valued trophies, but also that not everyone had equal access to them. Combinations of real and imitation deer canine beads are also known from the middle Neolithic cemetery of Trebur, Germany (Spatz 1999, 422). In general, at the tel}, settlements of the Herpaly culture, cattle took the lead with pigs second and sheep/ goat and dogs lagging far behind. This type of animal keeping is strongly reminiscent of that Of the Tisza culture and had apparently originated from it, a hypothesis also supported by archaeological data (Bognar-Kutzian 1963, 510). The late Neolithic Tiszapolgar and Lengyel cultures already represent a transition to the first period of the Copper Age. Animal keeping and hunting in the Lengyel culture survived from the late Neolithic and was strongly late Neolithic in its character, reminiscent of the previous Tisza and Herpaly cultures. Domestic animals slightly

dominate. Cattle remains were by far the most frequent, followed by the bones of pigs. Remains of sheep/goat and dogs were found in only small numbers. The remains of aurochs and red deer occurred in comparable numbers. The contribution of aurochs was still high, as was the case in the Tisza culture. Five Lengyel culture assemblages form a small, distinct cluster among the late Neolithic sites in the right side half of the graph in Figure 6.4. According to Bokonyi (1974, 50), specialised aurochs hunting during the Hungarian Neolithic gave rise to the local domestication of cattle in the Linear Pottery as well as Tripolye, Tisza, Herpaly, Lengyel cultures. Ambros (1961, 92) considered aurochs hunting a characteristic feature of the late Neolithic in Slovakia, and this large game maintained its significance at Lengyel culture sites there as well.

Assemblage size and sampling bias


On the basis of his early studies, Bokonyi posited that animal keeping and hunting were of similar importance in Koros culture economies. His observation was that at some settlements animal keeping had dominated while at others hunting had. Koros culture assemblages in the latter group, however, tend to be small. This means that wild animals would be over-represented in relative terms even by only a few bones. Mammalian bones from 17 Koros culture sites show a high and statistically significant (R=0.620; P:S:0.032) Spearman rank correlation between NISP and the percentage contribution of domesticates (Bartosiewicz in press b). The importance of hunting is represented by rather small assemblages, while convincingly large samples all show the overwhelming dominance of sheep/goat remains. By contrast, the evidence for hunting is much more convincing in the case of middle and especially late Neolithic settlements. The number of animal species identifiable in an assemblage is also a function of NISP. The average number of identifiable specimens was 2097 in early (21 sites), 671 in middle (20 sites) and 2760 in late Neolithic (12 sites) assemblages. The average number of species was 12 in the early materials and 11 each in the middle and late Neolithic periods. Of these, five originated from domesticates (cattle, sheep, goat, pig and dog) that were present at almost all sites. The remaining species are all wild animals, possibly represented by only a few fragments, best seen in unusually large assemblages. The number of animal species identified at any site depends on assemblage size (Grayson 1984, 137). Increasing the number of bones identified, however, is followed by the discovery of new taxa in a degressive manner. When decimal logarithms of the number of species identified are plotted against the number of identifiable specimens in all assemblages (Fig. 6.8), the largely linear trend may be expressed by the regression equations shown in Table 6.3.

Figure 6.7. Imitation red deer canine necklace from a woman's grave in Polgar-Csdszhalom (after Choyke 2001).

Plain Talk: animals, environment

and culture in the Neolithic of the Carpathian Basin

59

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TIS

Coefficients of correlation show a moderate but substantial relationship between the two variables in the early and middle Neolithic samples. A very high linear correlation was found in the case of the small, late Neolithic sample . These 0.092-0.149 coefficients of regression are smaller than those observed at rural settlements of Roman Period Sarmatian (b=0.199) and of early Medieval Hungarian ones (b=0.217) (Bartosiewicz 2003, 115, table 6), not to mention of urban settlements in both Roman period Pannonia (b=0.257, Bartosiewicz 1990-1991, 109) and Medieval (1l-16th C) towns (b=0.335, Bartosiewicz 1995, 21), where even small, but concentrated assemblages contained a rich variety of species. In the Neolithic settlements analysed in this study, the great variety of species results from the contribution of large assemblages in the early and late Neolithic periods. The high, statistically significant correlation (r=0.903) obtained for late Neolithic sites shows that increasing assemblage size is more consistently related to taxonomic richness than in the other two Neolithic periods. The practical significance of these calculations may be best appraised in the case of Koros culture animal

remains from Transylvania and western Moldova (Romania; Necrasov 1961,268). Domesticates dominated in five small assemblages (i.e. 49-300 bones). The contribution of wild animals sometimes reached 50%. Results of the Spearman rank correlation between assemblage sizes and the percentage contribution of domesticates show that these sites do not represent animal keeping and hunting as reliably as would have been suggested thirty years ago by the interpretation of Bokonyi (1974, 56). Moreover, the observation that the presence of wild animal remains (mostly red deer and wild pig), was not as varied as at contemporary settlements in Hungary should also be treated carefully in light of the linear regression analyses summarised in Table 6.3. While Bokonyi (1974, 56) attributed this difference to the geographic milieu, it is also clearly biased by the small size of these samples.

Concluding remarks
When the percentage of bones from locally domestic able animals (i.e. cattle and pig) are combined and compared to those of sheep/goat, an almost complete inversion in

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Figure 6.S. The relationship between taxonomic richness and sample size.

Period

Number of sites

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is ve of of he on

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Table 6.3. Parameters of the linear regression equations showing the relationship between the decimal logarithms of assemblage size and taxonomic richness.

60

Laszlo Bartosiewicz

100%
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Figure 6.9. The contribution of sheep/goat,

'local' domesticates and large game by periods.

proportions may be observed through time (Fig. 6.9). The heterogeneous middle Neolithic, also represented by relatively small assemblages appears to be transitional between these two extremes. It is worth pointing out, however, that extremes shown in this simple graph were present within a largely identical natural environment. It is also questionable, whether any climatic change would have been dramatic enough to justify such a major shift in animal exploitation. The rich natural fauna reflected in late Neolithic assemblages was certainly available to people of the Karas culture, whose small communities inhabited a much less densely populated plain. Even the size of aurochs horns did not decline between the Mesolithic and late Neolithic in the region (Bartosiewicz 1999, 104, table 1). It has been widely hypothesised that environment had a major impact on the life of Karas culture settlements, as manifested in the exploitation of wild animals (Bokonyi 1974, 21; 1989, 15). Fowling (Janossy 1985) and fishing were evidently important (Takacs 1992). Evidence for gathering mussels, snails and eggs is similarly available at these sites. These remains clearly illustrate the diversity of animal resources exploited by people of the Karas culture, though they are difficult to compare to the subsistence practices of later Neolithic periods. Owing to their smaller sizes, middle Neolithic assemblages are less likely to reflect the same taxonomic richness in bird and fish remains. These latter vertebrate classes are also underrepresented in the material from better known late Neolithic settlements. Late Neolithic bird bones have not been studied as consistently as in the Karas culture, and fish remains at most sites have been recovered by hand. The lack of sieved assemblages from most sites makes the in-depth study of aquatic animal resources near-illusory.

In light of the relative intensity of late Neolithic hunting, one may wonder why aurochs and (especially) red deer are so underrepresented in large early Neolithic assemblages. A critical evaluation of Karas culture animal remains in terms of sample size has shown that the proportion of wild animal remains tends to be overstated in small assemblages. In the face of mounting difficulties of sheep herding in a marshy environment, Karas culture shepherds stuck to what seems to be their own, traditional form of animal keeping in the Carpathian Basin. The fact that not even shed antler working seems to be part of the Karas culture tradition in Hungary (Alice Choyke pers. comm.) shows that these people were specialised in sheep and goat, with apparently little interest or skill in exploiting alternative animal resources in the Carpathian Basin. The heavy emphasis on the exploitation of sheep and the relative disregard for the local wild fauna (limited to complementary, possibly opportunistic hunting) may show that sheep and goat, in fact, arrived with pastoral communities to the Carpathian Basin who tried to stick to their traditional stock as long as possible, in the face of an environment that was less than ideal for sheep and goat keeping. Meanwhile large game, abundant in the broader environment, was evidently of secondary interest to Koros culture herders who stuck to their pastoral tradition. Contrary to the Marxist interpretation that would lay emphasis on domestic animals as a means of production, superior to game, the intensive exploitation of wild animals is associated with multi-layer settlements of late Neolithic. Settlement structure reflects a comnlex social organisation. Meanwhile, far less early Neolithic Koros culture settlements were in forefront of almost mono cultural sheep/goat keepllllg,< These looked like small, mobile communities

Plain Talk: animals, environment

and culture in the Neolithic of the Carpathian Basin

61

possibly preferred drier grassland habitats within the marshy environment. Their insistence of sheep keeping, complemented by other domesticates and small-scale hunting gives the impression that these people were new arrivals themselves. To them, the otherwise rich, mosaiclike ecotone at the edge of the Great Hungarian Plain was a 'marginal zone' in a cognitive sense, where their traditional pastoral way of life came under pressure. The spectacular increase in the exploitation of large game during the late Neolithic seems to have overshadowed the importance of animal keeping in the archaeozoological record. In late Neolithic economies, animal keeping may be called firmly established as a provider of resources for the population (Voros 1987, 28). In and of itself, the deterioration of climate cannot explain a sudden interest in hunting. These two extremes reflect two culturally different attitudes to animals and the wild in general. Newly arrived Koros culture settlers were probably eager to protect their original domestic stock (in what they must have perceived as a hostile, new environment), while late Neolithic communities must have perceived the environment as a special challenge that had to be tackled every day.

Acknowledgements
The English text was revised by Alice M. Choyke. The author is supported by Grant OYKA T047228.

See the discussion on the role of Argissa in setting the agenda for Greek Neolithic studies in Kotsakis (this volume).

Ambros, C. 1961. Zvierace kosti neolitickych objektov z Luzianok a Mlinariec okr. Nitra (Neolithic animal bones from Luzianky and Mlynarce, ditrict Nitra). Musaica 12, 81-93. Bader, O. N. 1937. Lichavevski mogil'nik. Sovietskaya Arkheologiya 2, 19-38. L. 1984a. Csabdi- Telizoldes: taphonomy in the western section of the Neolithic site. Alba Regia 21, 235-40. L. 1984b. Az allatallomany faji osszetetelenek osszefiiggese a lakossag etrendjenek energiatartalmaval nehany fejlodd orszagban. AZZattenyesztes tis Takarmanyozas 33, 193-203. L. 1984c. Sexual dimorphism of long bone growth in cattle. Acta Veterinaria Hungarica 32, 135-46. L. 1986. Metacarpal measurements and carcass weight of moose in central Sweden. Journal of Wildlife Management 51, 356-7. L. 1987. Cattle metapodials revisited: a brief review. Archaeozoologia 1, 47-51. L. 1990. Species interferences and the interpretation of Neolithic animal exploitation. Acta

Archaeologica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae 42, 287-92. Bartosiewicz, L. 1990-1991. Animal bones as indicators of continuity at Roman provincial sites. Antaeus 19-20, 103342. Bartosiewicz, L. 1994. Late Neolithic dog exploitation: chronology and function. Acta Archaeologica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae 46, 59-71. Bartosiewicz, L. 1995. Animals in the urban landscape in the wake of the Middle Ages. A case study from Vac, Hungary. Oxford: British Archaeological Reports. Bartosiewicz, L. 1999. Aurochs (Bos primigenius BOJANUS, 1827) in the Holocene of Hungary. In G. C. Weniger (ed.), Archiiologie und Biologie des Auerochsen, 103-17. Mettmann: Neanderthal Museum, Wissenschaftliche Schriften. Bartosiewicz, L. 2001. Archaeozoology or zooarchaeology?: a problem from the last century. Archaeologia Polona 39, 75-86. Bartosiewicz, L. 2003. A millennium of migrations: protohistoric mobile pastoralism in Hungary. In F. Wayne King and C. M. Porter (eds), Zooarchaeology: papers to honor Elizabeth S. Wing, 101-30. Gainesville, Fla.: Florida Museum of Natural History. Bartosiewicz, L. in press a. Currus bovem trahit praepostere Mettre Ie chariot devant le boeuf. Causalite et les anomalies osteologiques attribues la traction bovin. Paper presented at the International Round Table entitled 'De l'Araire au Chariot', Les Frasnois, Jura, France, June 12-15, 2002. Bartosiewicz, L. in press b. Making a living on the Plain: animals, people and place in the Hungarian Early Neolithic. In A. Whittle (ed.), The Early Neolithic on the Great Hungarian Plain: investigations of the Karas culture site of Ecsegfalva 23, Co. Bekes . Budapest: Institute of Archaeology. Bartosiewicz, L., Bonsall, C., Boronean], V. and Stallibrass, S. 1995. Schela Cladovei: a preliminary review of the prehistoric fauna. Mesolithic Miscellany 1612, 2-19. Bartosiewicz, L., Van Neer, W. and Lentacker, A. 1997. Draught cattle: their osteological identification and history. Terveren: Koninklijk Museum voor Midden-Afrika, Annalen, Zoologische Wetenschappen. Boessneck, J. 1956. Zu den Tierknochen aus neolitischen Siedlungen Thessaliens. Berichte der RomischGermanisches Kommission 36, 1-51. Boessneck, J. 1962. Die Tierreste aus Argissa Magula vom prakeramischen Neolithikum bis zum mittleren Bronzezeit. Die deutschen Ausgrabungen auf der Argissa Magula in Thessalien 1, 27-99. Bogriar-Kutzian, 1. 1963. The Copper Age cemetery of Tiszapolgar-Basatanya. Budapest: Archaeologia Hungariae. Bokonyi, S. 1958. Az 1956-os Ieboi asatasok gerinces faunaja, Mora Ferenc Muzeum Evkimyve 1957, 61-78. Bokonyi, S. 1959. Die fruhalluviale Wirbeltierfauna Ungarns. Acta ArchaeologicaAcademiae Scientiarum Hungaricae 11, 39-102. Bokonyi, S. 1962. Zur Naturgeschichte des Ures in Ungarn und das Problem der Domestikation des Hausrindes. Acta Archaeologica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae 14, 175-214. Bokonyi, S. 1964. A maroslele-panai neolithikus telep gerinces faunaja, Archeologiai Ertesito 91, 87-93.

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Bokonyi, S. 1969. A Lepenski Vir-i oskori telep gerinces faunaja. Archeol6giai Ertes[to 96, 157-160. Bokonyi, S. 1974. History of domestic animals in central and eastern Europe. Budapest: Akademiai Kiado. Bokonyi, S. 1975. Vlasac: an early site of dog domestication. In A. T. Clason (ed.), Archaeozoological studies, 167-78. Amsterdam: Elsevier. Bokonyi, S. 1981. Early Neolithic vertebrate fauna from Lanycsok-Egettmalorn. Acta Archaeologica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae 33, 21-34. Bokonyi, S. 1984a. Die friihneolithische Wirbeltierfauna von Nosa. Acta Archaeologica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae 36, 29-4l. Bokonyi, S. 1984b. Die neolithische Wirbeltierfauna von Battonya-Godrosok. In .G. Goldmann (ed.), BattonyaGodrosok, eine neolithische Siedlung in Sudost-Ungarn, 119-69. Bekescsaba: Munkacsy Mihaly Muzeum. Bokonyi, S. 1985. The late Neolithic vertebrate fauna of OcsodKovashalorn: a preliminary report. Mitteilungen. des Archaologischen Instituts der Ungarischen Akademie der Wissenschaften 14, 270-74. Bokonyi S. 1987. Szarvas-l. Lelohely, egy kcso-ujkokori telepreszlet allatmaradvanyainak archaeoz.oologiai vizsgalata. Magyar Mezogazdasagi Muzeum Kozlemenyei 1986-87, 89-103. Bokonyi, S. 1988. The Neolithic fauna of Divostin. In A. Mel-herron and D. Srejovic (eds), Divostin and the Neolithic of Central Serbia, 419-445. Pittsburgh: Department of Anthropology, University of Pittsburgh. Bokonyi, S. 1989. Animal husbandry of the Koros-Starcevo complex: its origin and development. In S. Bokonyi (ed.), Neolithic of southeastern Europe and its near eastern connections. International Conference 1987 SzolnokSieged, l3-16. Budapest: Varia Archaeologica Hungariae. Bokonyi, S. 1992a. The early Neolithic vertebrate fauna of Endrod 119. In S. Bokonyi (ed.), Cultural and landscape changes in south-east Hungary, 195-299. Budapest: Archaeolingua. Bokonyi, S. 1992b. Animal remains of Mihajlovac-Knjepiste, an early Neolithic settlement of the Iron Gate Gorge. Balcanica 23, 77-87. Bokonyi, S. 1993. Domestication models: the AnatolianMesopotamian and the others in southwest Asia. In H. Buitenhuis and A. T. Clason (eds), Archaeozoology of the Near East. Proceedings of the first international symposium on the archaeoroology of southwestern Asia and adjacent areas, 4-9. Leiden: Backhuys. Bokonyi, S. 1994. Uber die Entwicklung der Sekundarnutzung. In M. Kokabi and I. Wahl (eds), Beitriige zur Archiiozoologie und Prahistorischen Anthropoiogie, 2128. Stuttgart: Landesdenkmalamt Baden- Wurttcmberg, Konrad Theiss Verlag. Bokonyi S. and Bartosiewicz, L. 1987. Domestication and variation. Archaeozoologia 1, 161-70. Bokonyi, S. and Bartosiewicz, L. 1998. Tierknochenfunde. In S. Hiller and V. Nikolov (eds), Karanovo. Die Ausgrabungen im Siidsektor 1984-1992, 385-424. Wien: Verlag Ferdinand Berger and Sohne Ges. Childe, V. G. 1936. Man makes himself London: Watts. Choyke, A. M. 1984. Faunal information offered by worked bone assemblages. Acta Arch.aeologica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae 36, 54-58.

Choyke, A. M. 200l. Late Neolithic red deer canine beads and their imitations. In A. M. Choyke and L. Bartosiewicz (eds), Crafting bone - skeletal technologies through time and space, 251-66. Oxford: British Archaeological Reports. Clason, A. T. 1980. Padina and Starcevo: game, fish and cattle. Palaeohistoria 22, 141-73. Clutton-Brock, J. (ed.) 1989. The walking larder. Patterns of domestication, pastoralism and predation. London: Unwin Hyman. Craig, 0., Chapman, J., Heron, C., Whittle, A., Bonsall, C. J. and Collins, M. in prep. Did Europe's first farmers produce dairy products? Antiquity. Dorner, B. 1925. A sertes tenyesztese es hizlalasa. Budapest: Athenaeum. Farago, S. 2002. vaddsrati dllattan, Budapest: Mez6gazda Kiado. Gal, E. in press. Bird remains from the Koros culture site Ecsegfalva 23. In A. Whittle (ed.), The Early Neolithic on the Great Hungarian Plain: investigations of the Koros culture site of Ecsegjalva 23, Co. Bekes. Budapest: Institute of Archaeology. Grayson, D. K. 1984. Quantitative zooarchaeology. New York: Academic Press. Hanear, F. 1956. Das Pferd in prehistorischer und [riiher historischer Zeit. Wien-Miinchen: Wiener Beitrage zur Kulturgeschichte und Linguistik. Hertelendi, E., Kalicz, N., Raczky, P., Horvath, F., Veres, M., Svingor, E., Futo, I. and Bartosiewicz, L. 1995. Reevaluation of the Neolithic in eastern Hungary based on calibrated radiocarbon dates. Radiocarbon 37, 239-44. Hertelendi, E., Svingor, E., Raczky, P., Horvath, F., Futo, I. and Bartosiewicz, L. 1998. Duration of tell settlements at four prehistoric sites in Hungary. Radiocarbon 40,659-67. Hodder, I. 1990. The domestication of Europe. Oxford: Blackwell. Janossy , D. 1985. Wildvoge1reste aus archaologischen Grabungen in Ungarn (Neolithic urn bis Mittelalter). Fragmenta Mineralogica et Palaeontologica 12, 67-103. Kalicz, N. and Raczky, P. 1987. The late Neolithic of the Tisza Region. In P. Raczky (ed.), The late Neolithic of the Tisza region. A survey of recent excavations and their findings, 11-30. Szolnok: Szolnok County Museums. Muller, H. H. 1963. Hornlose Rinder aus der Saa1miinder Hohensiedlung von Halle Motzlich. Jahresschrifte der Mitteldeutsche Vorgeschichte 47, 149-55. Miiller, H. H. 1964. Die Haustiere der mitteldeutschen Bandkeramiker. Berlin: Naturwissenschaftliche Beitrage zur Vor- und Friihgeschichte. Necrasov, O. 1961. K izucheniyu domasnikh i dikikh zhivotnikh ranne-neoliticheskoy kulturi Kris. Analele Stiintifice ale Universitatii 62 i AI. 1. Cuza' din Ia§i 7,265-72. Necrasov, O. 1964. Sur les restes des faunes subfossiles datant de la culture Starcevo-Cris et le probleme de la domestication. Analele Stiintifice ale Universitatii'Al. 1. Cuza' din Iasi 10,167-81. Necrasov, O. and Haimovici, S. 1959. Etude de la faune de la station neolithique de Tangiru. Dacia N. S. 3, 560-70. Necrasov, O. and Haimovici, S. 1962. Studiul resturilor de fauna neo1itica (cultura Hamangia) descoperite in consul sapaturilor de la Techirghiol (Etude de la faune decouverte dans la station neolithique de Techighiol). Materiale §i Cercetari Arheologice 8, 175-85.

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is. :attle.

apest:

Schwartz, C. A. 1998. Animal bones from Polgar-Csoszhalom, eastern Hungary. In P. Anreiter, L. Bartosiewicz, E. Jerem and W. Meid (eds), Man and the animal world. Studies in memoriam Sandor Bokonyi, 511-14. Budapest: Archaeolingua Kiad6. Schwartz, C. A. 2002. Part V. In R. Asian, S. Blum, G. Kastl, F. Schweizer, and D. Thurn (eds), Mauerschau: Festschrift [iir Manfred Korfmann. Band 2, 853-59. Greiner: Remshalden-Grunbach. Spatz, H. 1999. Das mittelneolitische Griiberfeld von Trebur, Kreis Groj3-Gerau I. Wiesbaden: Selbstverlag des Landesamtes fur Denkmalpflege Hessen. Takacs, I. 1992. Fish remains from the early Neolithic site of Endrod 119. In S. Bokonyi (ed.), Cultural and landscape changes in south-east Hungary I, 301-11. Budapest: Archaeolingua. Voros, I. 1980. Zoological and palaeoeconomical investigations on the archaeozoological material of the early Neolithic Karas Culture. Folia Archaeologica 31, 35-61.

Voros, I. 1987. A bow as a weapon of hunting in the Late Neolithic. Communicationes Archaeologicae Hungariae 40, 25-30. Voros, I. 1994. Animal husbandry and hunting in the middle Neolithic settlement at Tiszavasvari-Deakhalmi duld (Upper Tisza Region). J6sa Andras Mureum Evkonyve 36, 167-84. Voros, I. 1996. A balacai neolitikus telep allatcsontmaradvanyai. Communicationes Archaeologicae Hungariae 1996, 45-51. Voros, I. 1997. Devavanya-Barcei kishalom kora neolitikus allatcsontleletei. Communicationes Archaeologicae Hungariae 1997, 31-7. Whittle, A. 2003. The archaeology of people. Dimensions of Neolithic life. London: Routledge. Whittle, A., Bartosiewicz, L., Boric, D., Pettit, P. and Richards, M. 2002. In the beginning: new radiocarbon dates for the early Neolithic in northern Serbia and south-east Hungary. Antaeus 25, 63-117.

York:

s,M., . Re-

.ford: schen liter). -103.

(un)settling the Neolithic


Edited by Douglass Bailey, Alasdair Whittle and Vicki Cummings

Oxbow Books

Published by Oxbow Books, Park End Place, Oxford OX1 1HN

© Oxbow Books and the individual authors, 2005

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7. Lived experience in the Early Neolithic of the Great Hungarian Plain


Alasdair Whittle

Introduction
In this paper I seek to develop agency and dwelling perspectives, in order more fully to explore the experience of daily living. I want to engender a sense of layers of experience, from close focus on the immediate and local to active attention to things past, future and more distant, and I want to take account of the values and motivations that underpin the ceremonial performance of social life. My case study is the Early Neolithic, or Karas culture, of the Great Hungarian Plain, dated approximately to 60005500 cal. Be. If one can see here a willed creation of a distinctive form of social existence (rather than merely the inexorable spread of the Neolithic way of life into yet another region), then there are important implications for wider narratives of Early Neolithic development and issues of settling down in south-east and central Europe.

From agency and dwelling to conviviality and choreography


Both agency and dwelling are important, if not now inescapable, starting points for prehistoric archaeologists in their enterprise of trying to understand past social lives. It is hard to disagree at a general level with John Barrett, as prominent exponent of an agency perspective, when he declares (Barrett 2001, 141), 'Agency is the means by which things are achieved human agency operates knowledgeably and reflexively Agents do not appear upon the historical stage as a given, rather they make themselves within and through their own specific social and cultural conditions'. The bleak and theoretically pointless alternative is to proceed 'as if the extinct social totality could be conceived of as a series of rooms which existed whether or not they were inhabited' (Barrett 2001, 147). This agency perspective, which further emphasises that 'practice draws upon memory, past experience, expectations and desires, and a communicative engage-

ment with other co-inhabitants (Barrett 2001, 152), is based fundamentally on the theories of Bourdieu and Giddens. It can be usefully united with the dwelling perspective, developed out of the phenomenology of Husserl, Heidegger and Merleau-Ponty. As expressed by Tim Ingold (2000, 200), ' .. .in dwelling in the world, we do not act upon it, or do things to it, rather we move along with it. Our actions do not transform the world, they are part and parcel of the world's transforming itself. And that is just another way of saying that they belong to time'. The temporality of the landscape embraces a totality of rhythmic phenomena (Ingold 2000, 200). As I have argued elsewhere (Whittle 2003), these important approaches are nonetheless still lacking. They both fail adequately to develop any detailed or worked sense of what makes people want to go on, what motivates or guides them in terms of shared ideas and values, and both largely fail to explore the form or style within which social existence is carried out or which social existence creates. In this interpretive situation, I have found two other approaches, grounded in current social anthropology, which provide a rewarding way of thinking further about the creation and practice of social values in a daily social existence that extends beyond the immediate present. These are the overlapping ideas of conviviality or the art of living well together (Overing and Passes 2000b) and of a choreography, or ceremonial form, of social existence (James 2003). In a discussion relating specifically to the proprieties of humour and laughter, Joanna Overing has stated that:
There is a climate growing within anthropology to return to Dilthey's formulation of the subject matter of the human sciences, namely, to consider first and foremost lived experience, which of course includes thought, but thought charged with volition and emotion, with value-judgements, and specific aesthetics of being in this world. (Overing 2000, 79)

In wider consideration of Amazonian social existence and sense of community, Overing and Passes have drawn

Lived experience in the Early Neolithic of the Great Hungarian Plain

65

attention to an aesthetics of action, 'styles of everyday relating that are morally - and therefore aesthetically not only proper but beautiful and pleasing' (Overing and Passes 2000a, xii). They use the term conviviality to connote living together and sharing the same life, grounded in:
peacefulness, high morale and high affectivity, a metaphysics of human and non-human interconnectedness, a stress on kinship, good gifting-sharing, work relations and dialogue, a propensity for the informal and performative as against the formal and institutional, and intense ethical and aesthetic valuing of sociable sociality (Overing and Passes 2000a, xiii-xiv).

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While there is much emphasis .on harmony and love, the intensity of attachment to such an aesthetic of living also explains the converse: dispute, anger, and the fragility of affective community (Overing and Passes 2000b, 20-23; and see also Ales 2000; Gow 2000; Riviere 2000). To quote at this length from reflections on the recent and current ethnographies of a different continent is not to produce a new checklist for investigation of a different time and place. Clearly the Great Hungarian Plain in the early sixth millennium cal. BC was not the Amazonia that has been encountered by anthropologists. But the value of a comparative approach remains. Pointing up the difference of approach explicit and implicit in other models (see below) helps to formulate a general theory of how people experienced livingtogether; social existence, 'convivial intimacy' (Overing and Passes 2000b, 7), is foregrounded, and has multiple dimensions. The 'emotive impact of community, the capacity for empathy and affinity' has been recognised in other, more sociological studies (e.g. Amit 2002). Amit (2002, 18) has stressed that 'people care because they associate the idea of community with people they know, with whom they have shared experiences, activities, places and/or histories', and emphasises 'the essential contingency of community, its participants' sense that it is fragile, changing, partial and only one of a number of competing attachments or alternative possibilities for affiliation'. This, it can be noted, goes far beyond, though it is not incompatible with, the more limited notion of co-presence, an intimate gathering of different agencies (Barrett and Fewster 2000, 30-31; cf. McFadyen 2000). Evoking Mauss, Wendy James has drawn renewed attention to the idea of the morphology of social events, and more generally to the choreography of social existence, social form in movement, and its deeply ceremonial character (James 2003, 4-5). This serves radically to break down any supposed distinctions between the mundane and the special, or between the profane and the sacred. James' examples range through religious occasions and public ceremonies and to the patterning of daily work and family meals; the flow of traffic in the city is one example of patterned but fluid choreography (James 2003, 91). She quotes Alfred Gell

on the Maori meeting house as movement of thought, movement of memory and movement of aspiration (Gell 1998, 257; James 2003, 99). This idea is potentially powerful. It builds on the temporality of the landscape and gives form to the notion of attentive engagement in the taskscape. It evokes, through the metaphor of choreography and dance, a dynamic collectivity of action, individual agencies in context and in relation to others. What I am trying to evoke, therefore, is a sense, first, not only of people acting in the world, with which they are fully engaged - the agency and dwelling perspectives - but of the motivations and values which keep smallscale societies turning over, and indeed bring them into existence, and secondly, of the flow or pattern of the affective sociality which constitutes their daily existence. Difference between small-scale societies may rest not only in the nature of their socialities, their conviviality, but also in the form of their interactions, its choreography.

The Early Neolithic on the Great Hungarian Plain


The Early Neolithic on the southern part of the Great Hungarian Plain in the first part of the sixth millennium cal. BC, or the Karas culture, has long been recognised as interestingly different.' There are thin occupations in strongly waterside settlement, and an apparently wide range of resources, domestic and wild; there are contacts with the north seen in the movement southwards of obsidian, across the limit to Karas settlement roughly in the middle of the Plain; there are obvious connections with a wider Neolithic material tradition in the northern part of the Balkans, marked by the often repeated concept of a Starcevo-Cris-Koros complex or culture, and yet the Karas pottery styles within that broader phenomenon are in many ways muted. At the same time, there has been a reluctance to take the Karas culture on its own terms. In various ways, the Karas culture does not quite fit generalised models applied to the region as a whole: from wave-of-advance (Ammerman and Cavalli-Sforza 1973) to gradual economic adaptation (Halstead 1989). It often seems to be of more interest less in its own right then as a precondition for other developments, most recently as the source area for the appearance of the LBK (Otte and Noiret 2001); such a view both assumes considerable build-up of population within the Karas culture and ignores conditions west of the Danube (Banffy 2000; 2004; Kalicz et at. 1998). Since 1998 I have been conducting a research project with Hungarian and other colleagues to address basic questions of environment, settlement and subsistence in the Karas culture. Our focus has been on one site, Ecsegfalva 23, within a specific setting, that of a relict meander of the river Beretty6, tributary of the Karas river system. These specific and limited investigations have wider significance, however, from the position of Ecsegfalva 23 on the northern limits of the Karas culture.

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What was going on there may not have been quite the same as on the edges of the larger alluvial terraces a little to the south at Devavanya (Sherratt 1983) or further south on the edge of the Karas valley itself, as at Endrdd 119 (Makkay 1992). I want to use the new data produced by investigations at Ecsegfalva (which will be published in detail elsewhere: Whittle in preparation; and see Whittle 2004) to generate a model of lived experience in the Karas culture, informed in turn by the interpretive questions raised in the first part of this paper. Acknowledged below are colleagues in the project without whose work this paper would not have been possible; they are not implicated in the views put forward here.

Perspectives from investigations at Ecsegfalva 23


The occupation at Ecsegfalva 23 was beside the Kirit6, a meander or oxbow lake formed in the former course of the Hortobagy-Berettyo river. By 6000 cal. BC this was still, shallow water, perhaps only periodically inundated (Pal Siimegi and Kathy Willis pas. camm.). The wider landscape is very flat, with relief principally in the form of levees and terraces, of varying Pleistocene and Holocene origin. For wider comparison, a .little to the south near Devavanya, Karas culture occupations are to be found mainly on the terrace edges of the late Pleistocene alluvial delta (Sherratt 1983), and further to the south-west, in the Gyomaendrod area, on a variety of Pleistocene terrace edges, isolated ridges, and the edge of the Holocene Karas river itself (Makkay 1992). As demonstrable by GIS analysis, such a landscape would have filled with water very easily. A rise of 1m would have connected much of the immediate surroundings of the Kirit6 with the already low-lying region to the north of Ecsegfalva (Mark Gillings pers. comm.), and at such putative flood times the levee at Ecsegfalva 23 would have become one of a small series of islands at the known northern limits of the Karas culture. This was potentially therefore a dynamic environment, but it has already been stressed elsewhere that people chose to occupy such settings and that modern concepts of risk and danger are probably not helpful in our understanding of how people at that time perceived their environment (Gillings 1998; cf. Harris 2000). Judging from pollen analysis (achieved in detail for the first time for this part of the Plain), plant remains and animal bones (Kathy Willis, Amy Bogaard and Laszlo Bartosiewicz pers. camm.), the vegetational setting was a mosaic, with open woodland predominant. There is little sign of any major clearance impact (cf. Willis 1997). While people probably ranged widely through their taskscapes (as seen in the collection of shellfish from still- and flowing-water situations (Pal Siimegi pers. comm.), the perhaps opportunistic hunting of a very wide range of bird species (Erika Gal pers. camm.), and the hunting of game of various sizes (Laszlo Bartosiewicz pers. comm.ii, the emerging picture is a concentration on the herding of sheep (Laszlo Bartosiewicz pers. comm.

and Bartosiewicz this volume), and the maintenance of small plots for the cultivation of cereals (Amy Bogaard pers. camm.). The presence of people at the site at varying points through the year appears to be indicated by these kinds of evidence. The weed flora suggests the possibility of autumn sowing, and garden cultivation implies prolonged, regular investment of labour (Amy Bogaard pers. camm.). Over 40 species of bird include many spring and summer visitors (Erika Gal pers. camm.), and freshwater shellfish appear to have been collected particularly in early and late summer (Pal Siimegi pers. camm.); there are also many bones of juvenile animals, compatible with summer occupation, and most fish, especially pike and carp, appear to be small, and young, perhaps caught after floodings (Laszlo Bartosiewicz pers. camm.). At the same time, study of growth lines in the teeth of a sample of sheep jaws has suggested a pattern of predominantly autumn or winter kill-off, which raises the intriguing possibility of movement elsewhere in the taskscape by both people and animals in the summer months (Anne Pike-Tay pers. camm.). Ecsegfalva 23 can be considered as a dwelled-in place. It lies on a subtle elevation beside the meander, presumably deliberately or at least consciously chosen for repeated return visits or prolonged use after initial choice, since nearby alternatives were completely ignored. It became the locus for what I believe, on the stratigraphic evidence, may have been a cycle of occupation, started by the digging of large pits and the construction of flimsy reed- and clay-covered structures (Angela Carneiro and Inna Mateiciucova pers. camm.), and punctuated by the burning, deliberate or accidental, of these structures (Angela Carneiro and Inna Mateiciucova pers. camm.), and the incorporation of their remains into the surface and pit fills of the occupation. Along with pots, animal bones and other residues including shellfish, this would have created a very distinctive texture (Evans 2003, chapter 3). It will take further excavations to see whether the cultural deposit is a regularly accumulating layer or a series of more individual accretions based around particular structures. It is not possible to tell from the limited extent of the excavations so far whether occupation was continuous, though periodic abandonment is possible. The radiocarbon dates so far suggest occupation for a century or so, c.5800-5700 cal. BC (Chris Bronk Ramsey and Tom Higham pers. camm.). Within the broader context of the Karas culture, this is likely to represent a date later than first beginnings (Whittle et al. 2002), so the situation at Ecsegfalva 23 at least can be seen as a willed creation or replication, the outcome of a collective agency, rather than somehow just the outcome of general processes of adaptation. As indicated by surface finds and geophysical survey, the site consists of a series of smaller clusters of occupation within an area not less than 100 by 40m, but it is likely that the area of occupation

Lived experience e of lard .ints s of r of rroers. and ater r in iere 'lith and fter

in the Early Neolithic of the Great Hungarian Plain

67

in use at anyone time was quite small. This was a smallscale, face-to-face situation. Given what appears to be a comparatively short span of occupation overall, it remains to be seen how many of the scattered neighbouring sites (Ecsedy et al. 1982) were contemporary; the closest known site is some 700-800m away, and others are over a kilometre distant. As already hinted, other situations to the south on the alluvial terraces and in the Karas valley itself may have seen both larger and more numerous concentrations of people.

Lived experience: content and form


These new results, which will be refined and discussed in detail by colleagues in the final site publication (Whittle in preparation), are all individually highly significant, and in one sense relate to important, ongoing technical debates. What I want to do here is to use them to discuss a general model of lived experience in the Early Neolithic on the Great Hungarian Plain. In introducing this, I must stress how challenging this task is. James (2003, 7, 100) has emphasised how much can be missed even by ethnographers, and how often words fail to capture what is really significant. It can be doubted whether getting inside the experience of others is fundamentally possible at all (e.g. Nagel 1979). But I am convinced that we should at least try, using what Nagel (1979, 169) called 'some combination of additions, subtractions and modifications' from our own experience and knowledge

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of analogies. An inspiration for this endeavour is the example of Janos Banner (1937), who offered a vivid ethnology of the Karas culture on the basis of the results of the first excavations in the south of the Plain, including striking attention to sociality, tasks and major life experiences. My model is presented pictorially in Figure 7.l. From this two-dimensional, rather inadequate representation, I want to try to capture something of the layers or dimensions of existence and experience (Whittle 2003). Almost all of the elements of the model could have been differently arranged in the diagram; though 'place' has here been deliberately put at the centre of things, the existence of other places and corresponding models for them could argue for different positioning, and one could substitute 'personhood' or 'agency' at the centre, as well as suggest differing emphases for people of differing gender and age. In the diagram, the concepts in normal font are suggested perhaps more directly by the site-specific and recently excavated or investigated evidence, while those in italics draw on wider evidence; both sets, however, are equally the outcome of interpretation. The incorporated oval is designed loosely to evoke some sense of social form and flow, as discussed above. But of course, to repeat, I could have put the diagram together in many other ways. Whatever its obvious limitations, I want to use it to discuss what was distinctive about life on the Great Hungarian Plain, in the context of the wider developments with which this volume as a whole is concerned.

Emotion, mood and construction of community Memory and collective past Cycles of occupation

Little altered mosaic Closely herded sheep Place Floods

Fish and 'wild' animals Tended gardens

Movements in taskscape Isolation and aggregation Worlds of 'otherness'


Figure 7.1 Preliminary model for selected elements of lived experience in the Early Neolithic of the Great Hungarian Plain.

Contingency of history

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Whittle

I am interested in a series of contrasts and connections. From the investigations at Ecsegfalva, a picture is emerging of a small settlement or occupation of more rather than less settled people, who concentrated on the herding of sheep and the cultivation of cereals, while also being aware of other resources in their taskscapes. This was a small-scale and face-to-face situation, with much of life lived very close to a small number of others and to animals, especially sheep, and away from the frequent company of others. This intimate proximity and isolation may have been a feature particularly of the wet and dark months of winter. The use of this place may also have been marked by periodic aggregations (and marked changes of mood). The sheer abundance of pottery might suggest greater quantities or higher breakage rates than could be expected in a small settlement; a comparatively low incidence of lipid residues (Carl Heron and Oliver Craig pers. comm.) might be compatible with short vessel use-lives. The large-scale periodic provision of food and drink to others could be one important dimension of the conviviality of this situation. Speculatively, both autumn and winter, as suggested by sheep kill-off patterns from the teeth evidence, and spring arid early summer, when flood times have been concentrated historically, could be suggested as moments for this possible aggregation. Our recurrent concern with characterisation of settlement as sedentary or mobile (see Bailey and Whittle this volume; Halstead this volume; Milner this volume) does not adequately embrace such a choreography of movement. That flow extends to a series of connections to elsewhere (see Whittle 2004), seen both in the shared elements of ceramic style within the KOfOS culture and within the wider Starcevo-Cris- Koros complex, and in the movement of obsidian and limnoquartzite from the hills to the north of the Plain, and of other lithic materials from the west and east (Inna Mateiciucova and Elisabetta Starnini pers. comm.; Starnini and Szakmany 1998). Elements oflithic production and style may also be shared with Mesolithic traditions to the north (Inna Mateiciucova pers. comm.; Mateiciucova 2001), though that has been disputed (Starnini 2000). A further dimension to think about is the gendering of tasks and roles, though that remains difficult to approach with the available evidence (as well as difficult theoretically: Moore 1999). A simple, if not simplistic, distinction might be mooted between longer-range movement by men and boys for herding, hunting and acquisition of lithic raw materials, and shorter-range trips by women and girls, as well as older members of any gender, for foraging, combined with their on-the-spot and continuous tending of gardens. It may be that these people saw themselves as working with and within their environment, rather than conceiving themselves as separate from or dominant over it (Ingold 2000; Whittle 2004). Successful existence required attention to the rivers and waters beyond the

perhaps safe setting of the Kirito, but as already emphasised, occupation of these river systems and their surroundings was a matter of choice, with a perception of opportunities and advantages, some of it perhaps long held in indigenous histories of the region. Successful existence was carried forward by investment of labour and attention in gardens or plots (Bogaard 2002) as well as by time spent herding animals in open woodland, moving them seasonally, and from time to time perhaps folding them close to occupations and gardens. This does not need to be seen as an intrusive or aggressive form of agriculture, but as an accommodation of new ways of doing things to some at least of the existing possibilities. The aesthetics of living well may thus have rested in many dimensions, from daily occupation of the immediate locality, to periodic intense gregariousness and sociability, to wide-ranging forays and trips, with successful sociality in all these spheres as much a skill of dwelling (Ingold 2000) as was the carrying out of technical tasks. Living well was not perhaps rooted only in the present; while simultaneously being bound closely to the rhythms and character of their immediate setting, people were tied to wider regions by memory of their past. I have suggested elsewhere (Whittle 2004) that these connections can be seen in the acquisition of lithics from the north, in the sharing of some elements of ceramic style with the south, and in the preference for sheep among the domesticated animals. If sheep were thought of in part as creatures from another time, people lived daily with the sound of their past (Whittle 2003), and periodically tasted it as well. My suggestion at present is that the population of the Koros culture was a fusion of indigenous people and incomers from the south (Whittle et al. 2002). It can be suggested that they were comfortable with alternative ways of living; there is no accentuation of material culture, for example, on or near the northern limits of the Koros culture distribution. The 'worlds of otherness' (Neustupny 1998) in Figure 7.1 refer to movement through more distant communities and social settings, though these may not have been unfamiliar.

Further implications
This is a speculative model based in the first place on the study of one small microregion but, without seeking to impose any sense of uniformity, it may be applicable to many other settings within the distribution of the Koros culture, including Devavanya and Gyomaendrod, Many, perhaps all, of the same elements in Figure 7.1 could be suggested for those settings as well as for Ecsegfalva, though their combination, the choreography, may have been different. This perspective allows, I hope, a sense of diversity as well as potential insights into the matters that held people together. Figure 7.1 refers to the contingency of history. This is important. So often, the 'spread of the Neolithic' is treated

Lived

experience

in the Early

Neolithic

of the Great Hungarian

Plain

69

the inexorable transmission of various things: settled life, language, genes. Maps of modern trends, in both male and female lines, for example, that past identity can somehow be read by )mlbmaW)nSof genetic descent. A sense oflocal agency, this perspective, is a matter for later histories. By Barrett and Fewster (2000, 30) have written 'agency makes a time for itself, it finds a place at the ;nt,'r~,~ctllon of memory and anticipation'. The aesthetics of living on the Great Hungarian Plain in the early sixth millennium BC were based on a series of choices and availabilities. The way of living included gardening and herding, since these were among choices brought closer by histories elsewhere. But how they were brought into local practice and how they were placed in the choreography of local sociality, were a subject, the subject, for negotiation and experiment among what may have been initially a very mixed population, In many senses (though not all), that past mixture was not significant; what mattered were the resulting agencies. Things could have been different (and later on, after a few centuries, they were). Far less use of wild resources could have been made; cattle could have been preferred to sheep; larger structures could have been built; and people could have continued to carry this way of life right to the northern limits of the Plain. From an anthropological perspective, the emphasis here on conviviality and choreography, on an aesthetics of living and a sense of dynamic social form, might seem a throwback to the now disregarded idea of the personality of culture (Kuper 1999). But there are good reasons for retaining a sense of what made one way of living different from another. It is important, in the wider perspective with which this volume is concerned, not to confine the Koros culture to a reservation or ghetto of the exotic. There were different histories and aesthetics of living to both south and north. There is considerable variation among Balkan early Neolithic communities to the south (Bailey 2000; Whittle et al. 2002), and the subsequent emergence of a sociality based around longhouse settlements in the LBK to the north is another variation. What we~t on in the Koros culture on the Great Hungarian ~lalll was not directly connected with that northern story, III my view, which can be better related to developments west of the Danube (Banffy 2004). Our narratives of what was involved in 'settling down' have to become much more complicated.

Acknowledgements
I must first warmly thank all those involved in the writing of the report on the Ecsegfalva project: Laszlo Bartosiewicz, Joanna Bending, Amy Bogaard, Daniel Bradley, Chris Bronk Ramsey, Angela Carneiro, Alice Choyke, Oliver Craig, John Crowther, Ceiridwen Edwards, Erika Gal, Mark Gillings, Sandor Gulyas, Glynis Jones, Michael Hamilton, Robert Hedges, Carl Heron, Tom Higham, Daniela Hofmann, Imola Juhasz, Jolanta Kukawska, Richard Macphail, Marco Madella, Ingrid Mainland, Inna Mateiciucova, Sandor Molnar, Krisztian Oross, Ildik6 Pap, Jessica Pearson, Anne PikeTay, Mike Richards, Rick Schulting, Elisabetta Starnini, Pal Sumegi, Anike T6th, Kathy Willis, Laura Willis, Pia Windland, Nur Yusof and Istvan Zalai-Gaal. Fieldwork at Ecsegfalva was supported by The British Academy, The Humanities Research Board, The Arts and Humanities Research Board, The Society of Antiquaries of London, The Prehistoric Society, and Cardiff University. Grateful thanks are due to the Institute of Archaeology, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, and the Munkacsy Mihaly Museum, Bekescsaba, Co. Bekes, for cooperation; the support of Professor Csanad Balint, Dr Eszter Banffy and Dr Imre Szatmari has been invaluable. Final thanks to Doug Bailey, Vicki Cummings, John Evans, Dani Hofmann and Ollie Harris for critical comments on this paper.

Bibliography
Ales, C. 2000. Anger as a marker of love: the ethic of conviviality among the Yanomami. In I. Overing and A. Passes (eds), The anthropology of love and anger: the aesthetics of conviviality in Native Amazonia, 133-51. London: Routledge. Ammerman, A.I. and Cavalli-Sforza, L.L. 1973. A population model for the diffusion of early farming in Europe. In C. Renfrew (ed.), The explanation of culture change, 343-57. London: Duckworth. Amit, V. 2002. Reconceptualizing community. In V. Amit (ed.), Realizing community: concepts, social relationships and sentiments, 1-"20. London: Routledge. Bailey, D.W. 2000. Balkan prehistory: exclusion, incorporation and identity. London: Routledge. Banffy, E. 2000. Starcevo und/oder LBK ? Die ersten Ergebnisse der westungarischen Ausgrabungen aus der Entstehungsphase der Bandkeramik. Varia Neolithica 1 47-60. ' Banffy, E. 2004. The 6th millennium Be boundary in western Transdanubia and its role in the central European Neolithic transition. Budapest: Institute of Archaeology, Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Banner, I. 1937. Die Ethnologie der Karas Kultur. Dolgozatok Szeged 13, 32-49. Barrett, I.C. 2001. Agency, the duality of structure, and the problem of the archaeological record. In 1. Hodder (ed.), Archaeological theory today, 141-64. Oxford: Blackwell.

Note
In referring many times to 'the Koros culture', I do not mean to imply either a tightly bounded or closed entity in relation to what lay beyond the southern part of the Great Hungarian Plain in the first half of the sixth millennium cal. BC, or any necessary sort of uniformity within the distribution of this archaeological grouping, though I do make use of a notion of a shared way of doing things.

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Barrett, J.C. and Fewster, K.J. 2000. Intimacy and structural transformation: Giddens and archaeology. In C. Holtorf and H. Karlsson (eds), Philosophy and archaeological practice: perspectives for the 21st century, 25-33. Goteborg: Bricoleur Press. Bogaard, A. 2002. The permanence, intensity and seasonality of early crop cultivation in western-central Europe. Unpublished PhD thesis, Sheffield University. Ecsedy, 1., Kovacs, L., Maraz, B. and Torma, 1. 1982. Magyarorszag Regeszeti Topogrdfiaja: a Szeghalmi jaras 1Vl1. Budapest: Akaderniai Kiad6. Evans, J.G. 2003. Environmental archaeology and the social order. London: Routledge. Gell, A. 1998. Art and agency: an anthropological theory. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Gillings, M. 1998. Embracing uncertainty and challenging dualism in the GIS-based study of a palaeo flood-plain. European Journal of Archaeology 1, 117-44. Gow, P. 2000. Helpless - the affective preconditions of Piro social life .. In J. Overing and A. Passes (eds), The anthropology of love and anger: the aesthetics of conviviality in Native Amazonia, 46-63. London: Routledge. Halstead, P. 1989. Like rising damp? An ecological approach to the spread of farming in southeast and central Europe. In A. Milles, D. Williams and N. Gardner (eds), The beginnings of agriculture, 23-53. Oxford: British Archaeological Reports. Harris, M. 2000. Life on the Amazon: the anthropology of a Brazilian peasant village. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Ingold, T. 2000. The perception of the environment: essays in livelihood, dwelling and skill. London: Routledge. James, W. 2003. The ceremonial animal: a new portrait of anthropology. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Kalicz, N., Virag, Z.M. and Bir6, K.T. 1998. The northern periphery of the Early Neolithic Starcevo culture in southwestern Hungary: a case study of an excavation at Lake Balaton. Documenta Praehistorica 25, 151-88. Kuper, A. 1999. Culture: the anthropologists' account. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. Makkay, J. 1992. Excavations at the Koros culture settlement of Bndrod-Orgeszolog 119 in 1986-1989. In S. Bokonyi (ed.), Cultural and landscape changes in south-east Hungary. 1. Reports on the Gyomaendrod Project, 121-93. Budapest: Institute of Archaeology, Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Mateiciucova, I. 2001. Silexindustrie in der altesten Linearbandkeramik-Kultur in Mahren und Niederostcrrcich auf der Basis der Silexindustrie des Lokalmesolithikums. In R. Kertesz and J. Makkay (eds), From the Mesolithic to the Neolithic, 283-99. Budapest: Archaeolingua. McFadyen, L. 2000. Comment: the trouble with the 'real' thing. In C. Holtorf and H. Karlsson (eds), Philosophy and archaeological practice: perspectives for the 21st century, 34-7. Goteborg: Bricoleur Press. Moore, H. 1999. Whatever happened to women and men? Gender and other crises in anthropology. In H. Moore (ed.), Anthropological theory today, 151-71. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Nagel, T. 1979. What is it like to be a bat? In T. Nagel, Mortal questions, 165-80. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Neustupny, E. 1998. Structures and events: the theoretical basis of spatial archaeology. In E. Neustupny (ed.), Space in prehistoric Bohemia, 9-44. Praha: Institute of Archaeology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic. Otte, M. and Noiret, P. 2001. Le Mesolithique du Bassin Pannonien et la formation du Rubane, L 'Anthropologie 105, 409-19. Overing, J. 2000. The efficacy of laughter: the ludic side of magic within Amazonian sociality. In J. Overing and A. Passes (eds), The anthropology of love and anger: the aesthetics of conviviality in Native Amazonia, 64-81. London: Routledge. Overing, J. and Passes, A. 2000a. Preface. In J. Overing and A. Passes (eds), The anthropology of love and anger: the aesthetics of conviviality in Native Amazonia, xi-xiv. London: Routledge. Overing, J. and Passes. A. 2000b. Introduction: conviviality and the opening up of Amazonian anthropology. In J. Overing and A. Passes (eds), The anthropology of love and anger: the aesthetics of conviviality in Native Amazonia, 1-30. London: Routledge. Riviere, P. 2000. 'The more we are together. . .' In J. Overing and A. Passes (eds), The anthropology of love and anger: the aesthetics of conviviality in Native Amazonia, 252-67. London: Routledge. Sherratt, A.G. 1983. The development of Neolithic and Copper Age settlement in the Great Hungarian Plain. Part II: site survey and settlement dynamics. Oxford Journal of Archaeology 2, 13-41. Starnini, E. 2000. Stone industries of the Early Neolithic cultures in Hungary and their relationships with the Mesolithic background. Societa Preistoria Protostoria Friuli- Venezia Giulia, Trieste 8, 207-19. Starnini, E. and Szakmany, G. 1998. The lithic industry of the Neolithic sites of Szarvas and Endr6d (south-eastern Hungary): techno-typological and archaeometrical aspects. Acta Archaeologica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae 50, 279-342. Whittle, A. 2003. The archaeology of people: dimensions of Neolithic life. London: Routledge. Whittle, A. 2004. Connections in the Koros culture world: exchange as an organising principle. Antaeus 27, 17-26. Whittle, A. (ed.) in preparation. The Early Neolithic on the Great Hungarian Plain: investigations of the Karas culture site of Ecsegfalva 23, Co. Bekes. Budapest: Institute of Archaeology. Whittle, A., Bartosiewicz, L., Boric, D., Pettitt, P. and Richards, M. 2002. In the beginning: new radiocarbon dates for the Early Neolithic in northern Serbia and south-east Hungary. Antaeus 25, 63-117. Willis, KJ. 1997. The impact of early agriculture upon the Hungarian landscape. In J. Chapman and P. Dolukhanov (eds), Landscapes in flux: central and eastern Europe in antiquity, 193-207. Oxford: Oxbow.

(un)settling the Neolithic


Edited by Douglass Bailey, Alasdair Whittle and Vicki Cummings

Oxbow Books

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8. The role of pottery in agropastoralist communities in early Neolithic southern Romania


Laurens Thissen

1.
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. In this paper, I consider possible causes for the adoption of pottery by early Neolithic communities in the lower Danube Plain, Romania. Assessment of cooking pots used for stone boiling may fit in with pre-Neolithic food processing patterns, and may blur traditional MesolithicNeolithic boundaries. Simultaneously, the adoption of new tools reflecting changing life-styles and subsistence patterns affords glimpses into the choices, tensions and decisions assumed to have existed in a society in flux. Dniestr examples (cf. Rowley-Conwy and Zvelebil1989, 52). As summarised in Zvelebil (1998, 8), the defining elements of complex hunter-gatherers (such as 'specialised use of resources, storage, investment in complex technology, ownership of resources, increased sedentism, higher population densities, greater social ranking and erosion of egalitarian ideology') have still to be demonstrated for our study area. However, if we fit the ensuing early Neolithic period within a longer historical trajectory, then we must link back its achievements now becoming visible to that Mesolithic time-frame. Put another way, if we accept the Mesolithic-early Neolithic within or perhaps better, as, a single historical trajectory, then the developments in the early Neolithic must be incipient in the Mesolithic (as well as implicit). Proof of continuity is suggested by the fact that at several of the Iron Gates sites early Neolithic levels are deposited above Mesolithic ones." Although separated in time, such deposits may well represent repeated visits and stays at a known locale, testifying to the preservation of memory to that place (cf. Boric 1999 on deep time vis-a-vis the Iron Gates; see Boric this volume). Recovery bias also affects our knowledge of the early Neolithic. The early Neolithic site of Teleor 003 in the village of Magura in the Teleorman Valley in southern Romania is covered by an alluvial deposit of about l m and was only found during irrigation and cable trenching." Despite these limiting factors, the available evidence in the lower Danube Plain, for the Romanian part alone, amounts to over 40 sites datable to the early Neolithic; this distribution is not up-to-date, nor have many systematic surveys been carried out. Recent work indicates the presence of many more early Neolithic sites in the Olt, Jiu and Desnatui river valleys (Nica and Radoiescu 2002, 9); comparable density patterns will eventually emerge in the areas eastwards of the OIt valley, which are even less well surveyed. Ultimately, the overall distribution of early Neolithic locations in the lower Danube area will more closely resemble the picture from

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).

Premises and assumptions


I write this paper with the premise that the lower Danube Plain in southern Romania was actively lived-in during the time immediately preceding the adoption of new subsistence techniques somewhere in the sixth millennium cal BC.1 It follows that I regard this adoption as largely a local process. I share Chapman's assertion that it is mainly due to recovery bias that sites from this period, conventionally labelled as Mesolithic, have not yet been found (Chapman 1989, 504). Mesolithic presence is firmly proved, however, by settlements to the west, in the Iron Gates, and more particularly by the floodplain site of Schela Cladovei just outside of the Iron Gates proper (Bonsall et al. 2002, 4). Floodplain Mesolithic sites exist also in the east (e.g. Soroki on the Dniestr and Pechera on the Bug Rivers; Chapman 1989, 504). Even though there is as yet no evidence for Mesolithic sites in the southeastern Romanian Plain," the sites from the Gorges, the Bug and the Dniestr suggest that the lower Danube and its many north-south flowing tributaries in southern Romania must have provided abundant resources (notably, migratory fish) which were potentially attractive to hunter-gatherers (Rowley-Conwy and Zvelebil 1989, 51; Zvelebil 1986), We may infer from these local factors that people moving in and around this area were 'delayed return, or complex, huntergatherers' (ZvelebiI1998, 8f.), an inference supported (if We may extrapolate that evidence) by the Iron Gates and

72

Laurens Thissen

Moldavia (Lazarovici 1984, 89, 104; Ursulescu 1993 mentions 146 Starcevo-Cris sites for that region). The emerging density of early Neolithic settlements in the lower Danube and in Moldavia probably masks the real distribution; most of these settlements were small, shortlived sites that may have relocated up- or downstream over time. There may have been a multiplicity of sites used for different purposes at varying times of the year. This links up with the underlying assumption of this paper and the underlying current concepts of the early Neolithic Balkan society especially the Starcevo-Cris: mobility (see Bailey 2000, 57, 75; Whittle 1997). While noting restrictions over site location that followed the adoption of agriculture and noting the hypothesised increase in sedentism, it might be better to characterise the early Neolithic commitment to land in terms of semisedentism. This implies that the sites that have been found represent only one part of the total settlement system. It also means that we must be careful in our interpretations of what we find. Thus, the near absence of hunting and fishing evidence in the faunal record of Teleor 003 (Adrian Balasescu pers. comm.i, may indicate that these activities were carried on off-site, or even off-area and, furthermore, that these might well relate to different seasons. Tentatively, we might define what we now label as Starcevo-Cris society as complex hunter-gatherers, possibly practicing small-scale horticulture (Amy Bogaard pers. comm.) and animal husbandry (though animal exploitation appears specialised as the dominant species in the fauna is Bas taurus (Adrian Balasescu pers.camm.)), and who were willing to adopt innovations (Thomas 1988, 64) such as farming and pottery. The numerous pits encountered on Starcevo-Cris sites which are commonly interpreted as dwellings (see discussion below), might alternatively be regarded as storage facilities (cf. Rowley-Conwy and Zvelebil 1989, 53, contemplating such a use in the Bug-Dniestr culture).' People were moving about in the rolling country set between the southern Carpathian Mountains (the Transylvanian Alps) to the north, and the Balkan range (Stara Planina) to the south. The lower Danube Plain is characterised by the north-south flowing tributaries that originate in the southern Carpathian Mountains and empty into the Danube. Often highly meandering, these rivers are edged by low terraces (Bailey et al. 2002) and were favoured locations for settlement during the early and middle Neolithic periods (Starcevo-Cris and Dudesti/ Vadastra) (Bailey 2000, 60). It is likely that the pattern of parallel, north-south rivers had a large impact on people's conceptions of the landscape, and determined senses and patterns of direction and movement. The modern landscape around Teleor 003 offers an intricate play of subtle differences in elevation and colour settings, creating constantly changing perspectives, now hiding and then showing features within it. At first appearing unexciting to the casual observer walking through, it

turns into a magisterial and ever-changing landscape: wide skies, water birds, and far-reaching sounds strangely enchanting (see Mills this volume on sound in the landscape) .

Sherds and pots


The early Neolithic pottery in southern Romanian Starcevo-Cris society was not invented there, but is present from the first cutting into a Cris site; it is there in enormous quantity. Seen in terms of the absence of Mesolithic traces, the pottery seems unequivocally linked to the earliest built environments as does evidence for plant and animal domesticates, regardless of the role these played in local subsistence. The newness of pottery to this society was not expressed in scarcity; there seems to have been no surprise or wonder; vessel shapes are confident. As laid on my table in the lab in the Alexandria Museum, the Starcevo-Cris sherds from Teleor 003 represent complete vessels made and used by people living in the early Neolithic in a river valley in south Romania. They are straightforward during analysis and through the assessment of fabrics, manufacture, firing methods, morphology, and typology. The Starcevo-Cris material does not have the complexity of form, decoration and fabric that I know from the Dudesti, Vadastra and Boian ceramics which I have also been studying from the same area. The early Neolithic Starcevo-Cris pottery looks homogeneous in morphology and technology (it is easy!); this may be misleading as it is not easy when I need to finding meaning in it. Colours, feel, and the sound that the sherds make when I empty a unit bag on to my table are familiar to me; I have dealt with pottery from other early sites both in the Balkans and in north-west Turkey and the Starcevo-Cris sherds are more familiar than the later Boian-period ceramics.' The feel of the sherds is familiar: smooth, burnished surfaces matching smoothly curving profiles; the presence of fibre temper influencing the weight, sound and smell of the sherds on my work table; the bonfiring of the original pots assuring a subdued ring while handling. With sherds in hand, questions arise: about function, quantities, shifts over time in form, style and techniques; who made them, when, and why? What was their role in society? Possibly, these sherds/vesse1s represent a successful adoption of an innovative technology, successful in view of the enormous quantities in which we find them and in my contemplation of their perfection of form and finish; successful in their homogeneous diversity and variance. Each form is part of a consistent category, and each sherd I am able to assign to a form seems to represent a perfect example of that category, approaching a prototype (Miller 1985,44; cf. Shanks 1993). Despite differences in surface treatment and in shape, the material is interlinked through fabric, firing and manufacture, as well as through recurrent technological themes, such as the use of a diluted clay slip on the plain-burnished vessels, and occurring on the

The role of pottery in agropastoralist

communities

in southern Romania

73

insides of surface-roughened pots. All the sherds/vessels are accomplished and sophisticated within themselves. The manufacture of them was left to accomplished people. Interestingly, there is ambiguity where decoration is concerned. Where present, decoration is mostly painted and when mistakes were made they would have been corrected (cf. Shanks 1993). This is different from the later (Dudesti, Vadastra and Boian) periods with their burnished, incised, impressed, white-filled treatments. In the few instances when there is incision or grooving it looks careless or, more accurately, unaccomplished. Working 'into' the pot for decoration was obviously not part of the normal procedures for decoration; possibly it did not belong to the expertise -of the early potters. However, painting was perfect (lines are taut) and occasionally sophisticated, (i.e. when using spirals). There were no second chances for the fanciful plissedecoration (channelling, ripples, cannelures) of the subsequent Dudesti and Vadastra periods. Indeed, Cris potters did not use such techniques, except for a clumsy zigzag grooving that is occasionally encountered. The successful application of plisse decoration required extreme skill, forethought and planning; these aspects are challenged and played out to the full during the Vadastra period when they were attempted in grand designs on large jars. The various categories suggest different uses; I start thinking about these differences. Obviously, there are preset rules linked to various categories with mutually exclusive attributes; specific forms and surface treatment appear to be linked to a large degree and they enable categorisation on the basis of the most salient characteristics. A red-firing ochre slip is used for large pedestaled dishes, for smaller-sized pedestaled cups, and for open bowls which are decorated with black and/or white paint. Red slip is hardly ever used for other forms, but it occurs on a large basin with wavy rim where the inside is red slipped and burnished, while the outside has surface roughening. Surface roughening (a term that encompasses impresso, barbotine and/or slashed exterior surface treatments) is associated with medium- and larger-sized pots with thick disk bases, where the interiors are mostly covered with a diluted clay slip and carefully burnished. Such exterior surface treatment occurs also on two large sloping-sided basins, with undulating rims; it is not yet attested on other forms. Plain-burnished forms in dark colours (dark-brown, grey-black, never redslipped) represent various types of bowls: mostly elegantly S-shaped and occasionally carinated ones. They have small and low disk bases (which are slightly concave underneath) or delicate ring bases. The insides of such vessels are also burnished. Sporadically, such plainburnished bowls have zigzag-grooved decorations on the shoulders. At present, I do not have full control of all the shapes; the heavy fragmentation of the pottery recovered prevents this. The description above might be too simple. For

instance, possibly there is a discrete association of size and specific variants of surface-roughened pots. Thick, cable-like applique decoration on the outsides of body sherds seems to co-occur with surface-roughened vessels of large size; this is suggested by the large diameters of those body sherds.? Vertically-pierced knob handles, always plain-burnished, never surface-roughened or redslipped, turn up occasionally, and they suggest a plainburnished basic-level category not yet recovered. Summarising, the assemblage appears to consist of the following basic-level categories: a) plain-burnished small- and medium-sized bowls, well made and carefully finished, of dark colours; b) surface-roughened mediumto large-sized pots with thick disk bases, in buff to brown colours; c) red-ochre all-over-slipped dishes on high pedestal bases that might be lobed (originally such vessels shined with burnishing); and d) small-sized cups on small pedestal bases, and larger everted and carinated bowls (no associated bases yet known) that are both red-slipped and decorated with various linear and curvilinear motifs in a black manganese and/or a white non-calcareous paint.

Pits in context
In addition to the restrictions caused by the nature of the sample and its size, the meaning of the assemblage eludes me for two other factors. First, the sense of ephemerality caused by the Starcevo-Cris pit features from Teleor 003 (the only structural features recovered until now from the site so far), and our inability to comprehend these features in terms of function (were they dwellings, storage, refusefills?). Second, the archaeological context of the sherds. They occur in considerable quantities within and outside these pits, but preliminary analysis of deposition (taking into account sizing, breakage, degree of erosion, presence/ absence of joins, and the counting and weighing of sherds) does not indicate clear-cut association with features (e.g. in terms of joins, size and degree of abrasion). At best, the material is secondarily deposited. Interpretation of the material thus has to come from the sherds themselves. Even so, I attempt to put the ceramics within a social context, conceiving of them as tools/ objects within the life of Starcevo-Cris society. Each vessel was handmade, and as such was a statement of expertise, experience, and of a successful operational chain. The sherds on my table link up to original, new objects playing their role within society. Due to their individual hand manufacture, the original brilliance when first used (literally for the slipped and/or burnished vessels), their subsequent attrition and ultimate breakage may represent carefully monitored stages in the use-life of the vessel. There is nothing fortuitous here. In saying this I want to avoid allowing the ceramics to be 'subsumed beneath something other than themselves' (Shanks 1993). I am not interested here in chronology (which phase of Starcevo-Cris), or in style (is the painting

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Laurens Thissen mobility of Starcevo-Cris society in the lower Danube Plain influences my interpretation of vessel use.

subsumed beneath the 'Linear A', or the 'Girlandoid B'), or even in issues of identifying pottery workshops (though this latter is not applicable here because I assume domestic production). Pits, and pits conceived as habitations are a classic feature of Starcevo-Cris sites, and critical assessments of cultural development, chronology and contact have been made on the basis of pit (conceived as house) contexts (e.g. Starcevo, Donja Branjevina, Carcea), Given their irregular size, irregular ground surface, the absence of primary contexts within them, and other practical objections, their function as habitations, even short-term ones, is difficult to accept (see Lichter 1993, 24 for a succinct dismissal of the dwelling option; cf. also the experiment carried out by Monah, as described by Chapman 2000, 86). In fact, although many StarcevoCris sites are defined only by pits, there are many surfacelevel houses excavated in Romania, enough to discard the idea that the many pits in early Neolithic sites served as habitations unless they were very temporary ones." Rectangular structures excavated at Glavanestii Vechi are reduced to many burnt fragments of daub covering a rectangular area,? that the excavator reconstructed as a 'building resting on a platform of rather thin branches joined by wattlework and plastered with a coat of loam' (Comsa 1978, 12; Mantu 1991). There were no postholes. The description suggests structures that we might reconstruct with quite low standing walls and that have a lean-to, overhanging gable roof. Roof coverage might have been with the reeds (still collected today by farmers) and which may have been isolated and strengthened with a coating of mud. The platform might have rested on wood blocks in this stone-poor region. The frequent presence of surface-level habitations leaves room for assuming that such structures also were built on sites where only pits have been found (e.g. Carcea-La Hanuri, Gura Baciului, Donja Branjevina, Starcevo). When not burnt, the nature of construction contributes to archaeological invisibility, certainly so where excavation methods are of low resolution, and/or excavation areas small, or laid out as narrow trenches (cf. Peric 1998 for a similar critique concerning the early Neolithic in Serbia). Even if one accepts that the surface-level structure was the normal dwelling type for Starcevo-Cris society, the aspect of ephemerality remains. The archaeological invisibility of these structures when not burnt, with their living floors resting on wood-blocks and hovering over the earth rather than anchored to it, creates the image of houses floating on the Danube Plain. This landscape should probably also be filled in with the untraceable campsites related to hunting, fishing and herding cattle, up- or downstream of the rivers, or south to the banks of the Danube. This complex image of frequent site relocations and short (seasonal) stays combines to structure my thoughts towards mobility, semi-sedentism, or residential mobility (Whittle 1997, 15). Residential

Stones, baked-clay objects and cooking


The increased sedentism of the Starcevo-Cris period, as implied by settlements with structural features, by evidence of crop cultivation, and perhaps also by the abundant presence of ceramics, fits within a longer trajectory that starts at least in the Mesolithic. Though we do not have solid information on the Mesolithic in the lower Danube, we can profitably reconsider the use of material culture as well as people's dealings with animals and plants in the Starcevo-Cris stage and then link that back to the practices of a previous time. Because they are deliberate incorporations within existing frameworks of technology and method, all accepted (hence, successful) innovations link back to previous times as well. For example, the attested predominance of cattle in favour of sheep/goat in the archaeozoological record of StarcevoCris (as well as in the later Dudesti) sites should be considered within existing pre-Neolithic practices, ideally to be explored along Mesolithic dealings with bovids.'? Another potential link to pre-ceramic times (and proof of unchanging ritual practice) is the use of red ochre in Starcevo-Cris society. As pointed out by Gatil, red ochre has been used in ritual contexts in the lower Danube region from Epi-Palaeolithic times to the Bronze Age (Gata and Mateescu 1999-2001; and Bailey 2000, 111 for the use of red ochre in the Iron Gates area). In addition, red ochre was used as background for the blackor white-painted decoration, and exclusively for all-over slipping of the large (up to 30-35cm in diameter) pedestaled dishes. Moreover, all the red ochre, both from burials" and that used for slipping Cris pottery was of local origin and derived from loams, clays and terra rossa from Oltenia, Muntenia, Northern Bulgaria, the Iron Gates region and Northern Serbia (Gata and Mateescu 1999-2001). We may at least assume that the shiningly burnished, red Cris pedestaled dishes had a special significance, and maybe they represent a transference of red ochre use from non-ceramic containers in a nonceramic Mesolithic context on to more permanent media; the slipping, burnishing and firing processes that were involved served to immortalise the raw material as well as its associated connotations. In addition, the continued use of red ochre suggests the preservation of local knowledge, and the maintenance of tradition on the part of Starcevo-Cris society: a proof of insertion and of belonging to an earlier time. The use of pottery can be explored fruitfully within a framework of continuity and incorporation, and it can be set off against, but more significantly perhaps treated as an addition to, possibly existing patterns in non-ceramic containers in the Mesolithic period. My interpretation of a specific vessel category of the early Neolithic, a medium-sized hole-mouth pot with roughened (impresso

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and/or barbotine) exterior surfaces may represent a clue to specific previous practices in the process of being transformed and adapted. If true, this interpretation might simultaneously reveal the tensions of dealing with innovation. 12 I propose that the surface-roughened pots in StarcevoCri~ society in the lower Danube area were used for cooking by means of stone boiling, or 'indirect moist heating' (Sassaman 1995). All vessels belonging to this group have their exterior surfaces roughened in one way or other, which may be slashed, impressed/pinched by nail, grooved, or barbotined. Average wall thicknesses are 9-lOmm, though they vary from 8-17mm. Diameters range from 12-30cm, but seem to. concentrate between 12-20cm (though the sample is not big enough to be more precise). All such pots were fitted out with thick, solid disk bases, which always have traces of (use-wear underneath. General exterior colours are buff, brown, occasionally dark brown or orangey, with the lighter shades dominating. Interior colours may have similar shades as the exteriors, but many are a shade darker, or even dark brown to blackish and real black. All interiors were originally covered with a diluted clay-slip, and carefully burnished all-over; this contrasts with the surface-roughened exteriors. There are few clear traces of smudging or smoke blackening, either on base fragments or on the insides of shoulder pieces. Some of the base fragments, burnished on the inside, have traces of use-abraded interiors, with a slightly duller burnishing cover. This is the case for the centre of base interiors which are lighter coloured than are the bordering interior zones which, in turn, appear smudged. Some of the base fragments have bleached interiors, possibly as a result of frequent water heating and cooking. These pots were capacious, had heavy, stable bases, thick walls and fibre temper; the widening and shrinking of the pores in the heating/cooling process would have made them heatproof. The slipping and burnishing of interiors must have had a purpose which might. have varied from .liquid or food storage to heating and cooking (see Schiffer 1990; Schiffer etal. 1994). The almost complete absence of smudging and soot traces on bases suggests that these pots were not heated directly on an open fire. Their shape and technology make them suited for indirect moist heating with cooking stones. Indirect moist heating was common practice in American Indian contexts and was associated with thickwalled fibre-tempered vessels (Braun 1983;Brown 1989; Crown and Willis 1995; Sassaman 1995). Pre-heated stones were used to boil the vessels' contents; baked-clay Objects, which conduct heat and resist thermal shock When tempered with plant fibres, might have been successfully used for the same purpose, as has been demonstrated by Jones in ethnoarchaeological experiments (Jones 1998).13 Jones additionally proved that baked-clay objects are able to bring water to a boil in non-ceramic containers. In the American south-east,

perforated soapstone cooking stones which were first interpreted as net sinkers are now understood as heating elements; perforations enabled the use of sticks or antlers for easy manipulation to transport them from fire to pot (Sassaman 1995, 229 and figure 18.4, mentioning ethnographical examples). Given this proven capability to boil water with preheated cooking stones and bakedclay objects, it is worth reconsidering the baked-clay objects found within Starcevo-Cris contexts: the net sinkers, loom weights and crudely shaped balls that have been found at several Starcevo-Cris sites in Romania (e.g. several sites in the Banat (Lazarovici 1969, figure 2; 1979, 28f., plate 4: H». Similar baked-clay objects (often perforated) turn up in Karas assemblages as well: Tiszajeno (Raczky 1976, figure 3,13-15) and MaroslelePana (Trogmayer 1964, figure 10.7). Where neither the characterisation of net sinkers nor of loom weights can be established conclusively (i.e. where baked-clay net sinkers are impractical), the potential use of these objects for indirect moist heating takes on a greater potential. Along with my assumption of the local development from the Mesolithic into the early Neolithic, we might consider the use of cooking stones and ceramic pots as reflecting cooking methods in non-ceramic containers during the Mesolithic. Obviously, the adoption of pottery within Starcevo-Cris society was full-hearted; however, I suggest that its use was no more than an addition to existing ways of life. It is not so much that the' ... existing technology became unsuitable or unsatisfactory' , as Rice put it (1999, 40), as it is that pottery was found suitable to fulfil needs that could be met while people were resident. Ceramics could have had various practical advantages over non-ceramic materials (see Arnold's list 1985, 128-42); an important one is that pots are not worn out so rapidly by new tasks (Crown and Willis 1995, 244). Being semi-sedentary, people were rapidly enabled to perceive qualities of pottery (e.g. stability, taste, durability in terms of attrition) that outweighed any potential disadvantage (e.g. reduced portability, friability, heaviness) when compared to baskets, wooden or leather containers.

Conclusions
The adoption of pottery, at a fully developed level, suggests that there existed mechanisms that enabled craftpersons to successfully insert ceramics into society. Such people must have had knowledge of local clay-sources, slips, pigments (red ochre, manganese, white paint), fibre tempers, fuels, and so on. Furthermore, the adoption of pottery presupposes the society's willingness and readiness to embrace the innovation. In the hypothetical case of cooking pots, as discussed above, the innovation existed alongside existing practices of heating foodstuffs/ liquids in non-ceramic containers. Within a semisedentary society such as the Starcevo-Cris communities, possibly both techniques of cooking continued to be used

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simultaneously. People may have used the old ways of cooking (in non-ceramic containers) while groups were mobile and used the new method of cooking (in pottery vessels) only while resident. Such a network possibly covered the lower Danube catchment at least from the Iron Gates in the west to eastern Romania. Within such a network may have featured sites in northern Bulgaria (e.g. Kremikovci, Gradeshnitsa-Malo Pole and Devetaki Cave), as well as the fully agricultural sites of Bulgarian Thrace. Specific technological traits of pot manufacture in the lower Danube area resemble those known at Karanovo: coil-manufacture and firing methods for preserving the red ochre slips (Nikolov 1997, 106); and t!Ie covering of the insides of surface-roughened pots with diluted clay-slips (Nikolov 1997, 110).14A key mover towards the adoption of farming and pottery in the lower Danube area may have been more stable, typically agricultural communities in the Sofia Basin and over the Balkan range in Bulgarian Thrace, where the Maritsa Plain was settled 5800-5700 cal BC. Pottery in Starcevo-Cris society was probably introduced or adopted concurrently with the new subsistence techniques, and although there is no direct causal relationship between these two phenomena (Rice 1999, 10), initial pottery-use in the early Neolithic lower Danube area can be linked practically to the preparation and boiling of (potentially new) vegetable foods with meat being prepared according to existing practice (e.g. roasting, grilling, pit-cooking). If we want to explain the emergence of pottery in the lower Danube, then we must also explain the emergence of farming. The origins for subsistence change in the Danube region may rest on increased seasonal floodings that transformed 'riverine ... regions, providing more varied and abundant disturbed habitats for pioneer plant colonisation' (Rice 1999, 24). Expanding on Bonsall et al.'s argument that due to the increase of seasonal floodings people 'abandoned their existing settlements and moved them to higher locations' (Bonsall et al. 2002, 4), we can hypothesise that in the first half of the sixth millennium cal BC, people began looking for alternative subsistence methods in order to counteract growing instability of the riparian resources.

10

Notes
Since 2001 I have participated in the Southern Romanian Archaeological Project (Bailey et al. 1999; 2001; 2002) as a ceramics analyst. The Neolithic pottery from the site Teleor 003, currently being excavated within SRAP, provides the basis for the thoughts ventured here. Funding for SRAP comes from the British Academy, Cardiff University and the Teleorman County Council (Romania). But a scatter of flint, without associated sherds, on the Vedea River terrace near the modern town of Alexandria might be of Mesolithic date (Pavel Mirea pers. comm.). At locations that provided some time depth, Mesolithic

11

12

13

sites are usually directly covered by Neolithic layers that produced pottery datable to Starcevo II-III (Milojcics periodisation). This is the case at the sites of Schela Cladovei (Boronean] 1990; Bonsall et al. 1997; 2000), Ostrovul Corbului , Ostrovul Banului, Dubova-Cuina Turcului and Icoana (Boroneant 1970, 25; Nica 1977, 13). It is of course also the case at Lepenski Vir, Padina, and Vlasac, among others (Radovanovic 1996). Also see Chapman (1989, 513) for the early Neolithic Danube floodplain site of Basarabi, which was hidden by 2m of alluvial deposit - see also Nica 1971, 547f. The same authors refer also to large pits on Upper Palaeolithic sites in Central Russia which have been interpreted as facilities for storing meat (Rowley-Conwy and Zvelebil 1989, 55). Despite dealing with quite prosaic material, I am acting as 'the archaeologist as connoisseur' (Shanks 1993). My assessment of the pottery conforms to connoisseurship based on intuition, long-term handling and reading around the material (Shanks 1993). I am directed to this idea by a possible parallel in the Karanovo I-II assemblages from the type site, where large 'storage vessels' as they are labelled, seem to be (exclusively?) linked with finger-impressed applique ridges either running around the body of the vessels or applied randomly (Nikolov 1997, plates. 41: 16,51: 1,58: 7,6062, among many others). Surface-level houses are, for instance, excavated at Glavanestii Vechi (Comsa 1978), Poienesti (Mantu 1991), Bals (Popusoi 1980), Verbita, Trestiana (Popusoi 1983), Ocna Sibiului (Paul 1995), Sensa (Ciuta 2000), and many more (see Ursulescu 1988 for an overview). The discrete distribution of burnt daub might indicate that houses were set on fire intentionally, possibly at the end of their use-lifes (see Tringham this volume). Dependence on cattle in favour of sheep/goat is also attested for early Neolithic Romanian Banat sites (see El Susi 1996, 218); similar conclusions were reached for the sites of Glavanestii Vechi (Comsa 1978, 13) and Verbita (Comsa 1959, 176). A domination of cattle was noted also in the Moldavian Republic (Dergachev et al. 1991). Bolomey (1976) notes a high ratio of cattle breeding in Carcea-La Hanuri, and frequent killings of young animals under two years. This is in contrast with early Neolithic evidence from Schela Cladovei, where there is preponderance of sheep/goat and fishing (Bartosiewicz et al. 1995, 12), although, even here, cattle rank second among domestic animal remains. A big lump of red ochre (diameter 15cm) was found with a burial at the Starcevo-Cris site of Suceava-Parcul Cetiitii (Ursulescu 1978). During the Dudesti period, which follows Starcevo-Ctisvessels that might be regarded as cooking pots lacked any fibre tempering, were thinner walled, had simple flat bases and lacked an interior clay slip. 'After filling a gourd with roughly four liters of water, I retrieved a red-hot BCO [BCO = baked clay object; ed.] from the fire; I hesitantly dropped it into the gourd, half expecting to hear the muffled 'whump ' of a BCO disintegrating from thermal shock. To my amazement, it simply hissed and sizzled as though it were a stone. So in went another, then another ... Five clay balls brought the

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gourd to a low boil; and resulted in no observable damage to the clay' (Jones 1998). 14 Starcevo-Cri~ society in the lower Danube area as described here is roughly contemporaneous to Karanovo I-II in Bulgarian Thrace (i.e. about 5700 cal BC), but predating the parallel phenomena of Karanovo III and Dudesti.

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