Chapter

Mobility, specialisation and community diversity in the Linearbandkeramik: isotopic evidence from the skeletons

Alex Bentley

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/9780197264140.003.0007

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy 144

Mobility, specialisation and community diversity in the Linearbandkeramik: isotopic evidence from the skeletons

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This chapter considers the LBK in south-western Germany, which is an ideal study area regarding questions of community diversity, because it was at or near the frontier zone between foragers and farmers for centuries, c. 5500–5200 cal bc. The presence of shell-tempered, La Hoguette pottery in terminal Mesolithic contexts in Alsace indicates that indigenous groups were at least in indirect contact with Neolithic (probably Cardial) communities, even if it is debatable whether La Hoguette predates the earliest LBK in southern Germany. Flint from the Paris Basin and the Maas Valley of the Netherlands, each well within Mesolithic territory during the early LBK, are found in LBK contexts in the Rhine valley, at sites such as Bruchenbrücken, Zimmersheim, Ensisheim, Bischoffsheim, and Spechbach–Le-Bas. At Bruchenbrücken, the earliest LBK blades have faceted striking platforms with a 70° angle between the striking platform and the dorsal ridge, which is common on Mesolithic blades from the Paris Basin, but not in Earliest LBK blades elsewhere, for which 90° was the norm. In addition, a pointed base vessel recently discovered at the LBK site of Rosheim in Alsace may derive from the Ertebølle culture or even possibly the Russian steppes.

Keywords: LBK; south-western Germany; foragers; farmers; Neolithic; Mesolithic

Chapter.  7887 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Prehistoric Archaeology

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