Going West?: The Dissemination of Neolithic Innovations between the Bosporus and the Carpathians, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Going West?

The Dissemination of Neolithic Innovations between the Bosporus and the Carpathians, 1st Edition

Edited by Agathe Reingruber, Zoï Tsirtsoni, Petranka Nedelcheva


184 pages

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pub: 2017-05-08
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Going West? uses the latest data to question how the Neolithic way of life was diffused from the Near East to Europe via Anatolia. The transformations of the 7th millennium BC in western Anatolia undoubtedly had a significant impact on the neighboring regions of southeast Europe. Yet the nature, pace and trajectory of this impact needs still to be clarified. Archaeologists searched previously for similarities in prehistoric, especially Early Neolithic, material cultures on both sides of the Sea of Marmara. Recent research shows that although the isthmi of the Dardanelles and the Bosporus connect Asia Minor and the eastern Balkans, they apparently did not serve as passageways for the dissemination of Neolithic innovations. Instead, the first permanent settlements are situated near the Aegean coast of Thrace and Macedonia, often occurring close to the mouths of big rivers in secluded bays. The courses and the valleys of rivers such as the Maritsa, Strymon and Axios, were perfect corridors for contact and exchange.Using previous studies as a basis for fresh research, this volume presents exciting new viewpoints by analyzing recently discovered materials and utilising interdisciplinary investigations with the application of modern research methods.

The seventeen authors of this book have dedicated their research to a renewed evaluation of an old problem: namely, the question of how the complex transformations at the transition from the Mesolithic to the Neolithic can be explained. They have focused their studies on the vast area of the eastern Balkans and the Pontic region between the Bosporus and the rivers Strymon, Danube and Dniestr. Going West? thus offers an overview of the current state of research concerning the Neolithisation of these areas, considering varied viewpoints and also providing useful starting points for future investigations.


"…it is very useful to have this volume on bookshelves to continue the dialogue that was begun in the previous volumes on the topic." Metin I. Eren, Kent State University, USA

Table of Contents


Northwest Anatolia: A Border or a Bridge between Anatolia and the Balkans during the Early Neolithic Period?

Necmi Karul

Anatolia and the Balkans: The Role of the Black Sea between ‘East’ and ‘West’ during the Neolithic Period

Eylem Özdoğan

Whither the Aegean Neolithic?

Burcin Erdoğu

Identifying the Earliest Neolithic Settlements in the Southeastern Balkans: Methodological Considerations based on the Recent Geoarchaeological Investigations at Dikili Tash (Greek Eastern Macedonia)

Laurent Lespez, Zoï Tsirtsoni, Pascal Darcque, Dimitra Malamidou, Haïdo Koukouli-Chryssanthaki and Arthur Glais

Lithic Industries and their Role in Neolithisation Models in Southeast Europe

Ivan Gatsov, Petranka Nedelcheva, Malgorzata Kaczanowska and Janusz K. Kozłowski

Thrace, post-6000 BC

Vassil Nikolov

The First Balkan Neolithic in the Lower Danube Plain and the Making of a Pottery Tradition

Laurens Thissen

The Beginning of the Neolithic Way of Life in the Eastern Lower Danube Area: A View from the North

Agathe Reingruber

The Transition from the Mesolithic to the Neolithic between Western Anatolia and the Lower Danube: Evidence from Burial Customs

Clemens Lichter

Appendix: 14C Database for Southeast Europe and Adjacent Areas (6600–5000 cal BC)

Laurens Thissen and Agathe Reingruber

About the Editors

Agathe Reingruber, researcher at the Freie Universität Berlin, is specialized on topics related to the Neolithic and Chalcolithic of southeast Europe (Greece, Turkey, Romania). She is currently running a project in northeastern Thessaly focusing on population dynamics.

Zoï Tsirtsoni, researcher at the French National Centre of Scientific Research (CNRS, Laboratory Archéologies et Sciences de l’Antiquité, Nanterre), is specialized on the Neolithic, Chalcolithic and Bronze Age periods in the Aegean and southern Balkans. She is co-director of the Greek-French research project at the multilayer (tell) settlement of Dikili Tash in northern Greece.

Petranka Nedelcheva, Assistant Professor at the New Bulgarian University (Sofia), is a lithics specialist for the Neolithic, Chalcolithic and Bronze Age periods in southeast Europe, western Anatolia and the Caucasus. She participates in several projects in Greece, Turkey, Romania and Georgia.

About the Series

Themes in Contemporary Archaeology

The EAA Monograph Series Themes in Contemporary Archaeology provides cutting edge perspectives on key areas of debate in current archaeological enquiry, with a particular emphasis on European archaeology. The series has a broad coverage, encompassing all periods and archaeological approaches, from theoretical debate to archaeological practice. The multi-author volumes are based on selected sessions from the annual conferences of the European Association of Archaeologists. Each volume undergoes strict peer-review, ensuring volumes of high quality that capture current debates in the field.

Series Editors: Kristian Kristiansen, Eszter Bánffy and Cyprian Broodbank.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Archaeology