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Adapting to harsh environment resulting changes in culture that led towards a new perception of the outer world: The birth of the Central European Neolithic

Author(s): Eszter Bánffy

Year: 2017

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Summary

In the 6th millennium BC, first farmers reached the area between south east and central Europe, soon spreading into central Europe. About the character and identity of these first farmers at the boundary area, a series of new research results is available. At the boundary, harsh environmental conditions made their long well-working subsistence system unstable, as the ‘package’ of farming and mainly sheep and shifted to cattle keeping.

Yet, it has hardly been investigated, what reflections of the changing character of nature and landscape caused in their minds. The paper gives two examples for the perception of the previously unknown, northern natural environment, resulting in changes in cognition. The first one is about settlements amidst forested hills. A different perception of social arena evolved, the original clay architecture turned to wooden house structures. The second example focuses on monumental clay figural art: female upper bodies emerging from large podiums are found in domestic contexts. In the northern margins, females turn to horned cattle figures. This shift reflects a growing importance of cattle keeping that permeated in domestic ritual life. The new pattern, different social places created and changes of rituals affected their perception of the natural environment around.


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Adapting to harsh environment resulting changes in culture that led towards a new perception of the outer world: The birth of the Central European Neolithic. Eszter Bánffy. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429866)


Keywords


Spatial Coverage

min long: -11.074; min lat: 37.44 ; max long: 50.098; max lat: 70.845 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15349

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America