Travaux et Recherches Archéologiques
sur les Cultures, les Espaces et les Sociétés
UMR 5608 T.R.A.C.E.S

le 29 mai 2018



The Neolithisation of the Western Mediterranean:
New Debates About an Old Issue

Edited by Íñigo García-Martínez de Lagrán,
Esther López-Montalvo, Claire Manen

Quaternary International
Volume 472, Part B, pp. 169-282

From a historical point of view, the Neolithic transition constitutes a fundamental period during which people changed their relationship with the environment, and established – in diverse ways – an economy based on stockbreeding and agriculture. The consequences of this transition have cascaded to the present day, and serve as the foundation of modern rural society. For this reason, the origin and spread of agriculture has long been a topic of significant interest for archaeology and anthropology. In archaeology, the approaches to studying this “Neolithisation” process are extremely varied in order to encompass the vast changes, which occurred within the human-environment system. In Europe, the study of Neolithisation has focused on the vectors of this change (i.e. cultural diffusion via the indigenous hunter-gatherer societies vs. demic diffusion by populations migrating from the Near East, where most of the animals and plant species in question had been domesticated). Equally, the study of Neolithisation in Europe involves examining the rhythms of emergence of novel techno-economic traits, whilst considering the greater or lesser favourability of the natural and cultural environments within which such novelties appeared. In the western Mediterranean, recent multidisciplinary research shows that the Mesolithic-Neolithic transition was a complex phenomenon that linear models cannot explain. Dispersal routes and rhythms of diffusion of the agro-pastoral economy, Mesolithic inheritance, regional interactions between communities and functional adaptations are all variables that must be explored, in order to understand how Mediterranean societies were reshaped during this period. Within this general framework, this volume aims to contribute to the advances in the investigation by gathering a set of eight papers. Combined, these papers provide us with the opportunity to tackle two main topics: traditional theoretical paradigms and the strong diversity of socio-economic contexts involved in the Neolithisation process.

This volume is part of a project with the French National Research Agency (ANR) “Changing societies ‘Emergence and evolution of cultures and cultural phenomena’ (CULT)” – Procome, Continental extension of the Mediterranean Neolithization - ANR-13-CULT-0001-01, and the “NEOSOCWESTMED” project (Nº 628428) of the “Marie Curie Actions” of the 7th FP of the European Commission.





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