Millennia in the Middle? Reconsidering the Chalcolithic of Asia Minor

Bleda S. Düring

in The Oxford Handbook of Ancient Anatolia

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780195376142
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Millennia in the Middle? Reconsidering the Chalcolithic of Asia Minor

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  • Archaeology of the Near East


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This article focuses on how people lived in Asia Minor between about 5500 and 3000 BCE. It argues that the idea of a period dominated by small-scale, largely autarchic farming societies does not stand up to scrutiny. Although farming was of significant importance at many Chalcolithic societies in Asia Minor, the idea that wild food resources were no longer important is clearly mistaken. The Chalcolithic people were expanding their economies in multiple and often ingenious ways, and were increasingly partners in large exchange networks. Apart from farming, the exploitation of marine resources such as mollusks and fish has been documented. The rise of seafaring can be recognized through the distribution of Melos obsidian and the emergence of a cultural horizon in the northern Aegean that included western Asia Minor and the Aegean islands.

Keywords: Chalcolithic Asia Minor; food sources; exchange networks; farming; marine resources; seafaring

Article.  6828 words. 

Subjects: Archaeology ; Archaeology of the Near East

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