Session: #302

Theme & Session Format

1. Artefacts, Buildings & Ecofacts
Session format:
Regular session

Title & Content

Dynamics of Early Agriculture in Europe and beyond
First evidence for food production in continental Europe dates to the late 7th (Southeast Europe) and the 6th mil. BC (Central and Western Europe). This early agriculture in Europe is regionally very diverse and the spectra of cultivated crops and of domestic animals vary substantially. We can explain this variability by cultural choices and varying environmental conditions (amongst others) but also, for example, by the different ways that the innovation ‘agriculture’ spread (e.g., in respect to the involvement of local hunter-gatherer groups). Early farming practices, however, were not static and underwent considerable changes and developments in all the regions in the centuries and millennia following its beginning or arrival. Regionally varying – non-linear-evolutionary – processes of standardisation and diversification can be observed.
The session aims at bringing together experts who investigate the dynamics of early agriculture, i.e. the diversity and transformations in food production in the centuries and millennia after its beginning/arrival with a focus on diachronic comparative or synchronic comparative approaches on local, regional or supra-regional levels. We ask about the causes for these dynamics, which can be externally triggered, but can also be caused by internal change. Methodologically, the questions can be explored using archaeological and/or environmental proxies preferentially through quantitative approaches to explore the entanglement of agriculture, environment and lifestyle in early farming societies. Our starting point is the Neolithic period in Europe, but since these questions are not restricted to Neolithic Europe, but concern early agricultural systems on a global scale, we also welcome contributions on other geographic regions
early agriculture, Europe, global, transformation, diversification, standardisation
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Main organiser:
Silviane Scharl (Germany) 1
Ferran Antolin (Germany) 2
Claudia Gerling (Switzerland) 3
1. Institute of Prehistoric Archaeology, University of Cologne
2. German Archaeological Institute, Berlin
3. Integrative Prehistory and Archeological Science (IPAS), Basel University