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Transition to Farming in Europe, A Cultural Approach

Tuesday, December 8, 2015, 12:30 p.m.

December 8, 12:30 PM

CIRHUS lunchtime seminar

4 Washington Square North
New York, NY 10003

Solange Rigaud will present the results of her research on the complex cultural mechanisms underlying the transition to farming in Europe.

This analysis is based on the first extensive study of beads recovered from well-­‐preserved archaeological sites, assigned to distinct cultures spanning the three millennia from the Early Mesolithic to the Early Neolithic (8000-­‐5000 BP). By combining several spatial and multivariate analyses, she identifies discontinuities in space and time in the diffusion of Early Neolithic cultures across Europe.

The analysis of a georeferenced bead-­‐type database reveals consistent diachronic and geographical trends in the use of personal ornaments during the process of ‘Neolithisation’ (Rigaud et al. 2015 PlosOne). The introduction of novel ornament-­‐types combined with the selective appropriation of indigenous elements by incoming farmers is found in Southern and Central Europe, while cultural resistance characterized by the almost exclusive maintenance of indigenous personal ornaments is observed in Northern Europe. At a regional scale, the comparison of two material productions in the Mediterranean area -­‐ pottery and personal ornaments -­‐ underlines distinct cultural trajectories and arrhythmias in the diffusion of the so-­‐ called Neolithic “package”.