From ceramic production systems to the trajectories and interactions of the first famers: new perspectives on the social dynamics of the European Neolithization

The European Early Neolithic forms a complex group of archaeological entities between which connections and filiations can be observed over nearly 1,500 years. This lecture aims to use pottery production systems as proxies for human trajectories in order to investigate the origins and routes of the first European farmers over a long period of time. As a reservoir of technical, economic and identity-related information, the ceramic technical sub-system indeed reveals technical traditions, modes of transmission, possible borrowings and contact networks (or strong social borders) among the early farming communities. The thorough reconstruction of pottery manufacturing sequences can therefore contribute to the understanding of the historical processes and social dynamics underlying the formation, adaptation and expansion of the main archaeological entities characterizing the transition to farming in Europe. This research conducted from the housing unit to the macro-region, which is strongly rooted in transdisciplinary approaches and which requires a refinement and systematization of analytical protocols, will be illustrated in this lecture by examples in the north-western Mediterranean and central-western Europe.

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