Chapter

From Mesolithic to Early Neolithic in the western Mediterranean

Jean Guilaine and Claire Manen

in Going Over: The Mesolithic-Neolithic Transition in North-West Europe

Published by British Academy

Published in print November 2007 | ISBN: 9780197264140
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734489 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5871/bacad/9780197264140.003.0003

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy 144

From Mesolithic to Early Neolithic in the western Mediterranean

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This chapter discusses the transition from the Mesolithic to the Early Neolithic in the western Mediterranean. The spread of the production economy in the western Mediterranean occurred in a cultural context extremely different from the zone where Neolithization was born: the Turco–Syrian borders where PPNB, the truly founding culture of the Neolithic, seems to have emerged. In southern France, the earliest Neolithic manifestations are due to small groups of ‘settlers’ of Italic origin. They are distinguished by the installation of small settlements of limited duration but which were clearly vectors of the ‘Neolithic package’: agriculture, animal husbandry, pottery, polished axes, and so on. It thus seems that the trigger in the beginning was a process of maritime colonization of Italic origin. The Cardial must henceforth be considered, in France, as a secondary process. In Spain, where the pioneering Italic culture establishments have not yet been identified, the Cardial, spreading from Provence and Languedoc, seems to have been in its turn the vector of the economic and technical ‘Neolithic package’.

Keywords: production economy; Neolithization; Turco–Syrian borders; PPNB; Cardial; France; Spain

Chapter.  10294 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Prehistoric Archaeology

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