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Title: Ceramic assemblages as evidence of social interaction in Neolithic Anatolia, the Aegean, and the Balkans
Author: De Groot, B. G.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7660 2032
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2016
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The dispersal of the Neolithic way of life from Anatolia to the Balkans has captured the attention of archaeologists for over a century. Despite the many efforts to produce a coherent narrative of the spread of ideas, domesticated plants and animals, and people, the 'Neolithisation' of the Balkans still remains a topic of much new research. My research approaches the question of how ideas and practices spread from western Anatolia to southeastern Europe in the period 6700-5500 BCE through exploring the similarity between ceramic assemblages. A database with pottery attributes has been constructed, which allows for analysing the similarity between ceramic assemblages in a quantitative way. Ceramic attributes are used to study the appearance of shared concepts, techniques and skills that contain information about the nature of social and demographic processes during the process of Neolithisation. Furthermore, comparative ceramic petrography has been used to understand the technological development of ceramic production at a sample of sites. The results of this approach suggest that ceramic assemblage similarity is not strongly influenced by distance before 6100 BCE, an observation that may relate to the process of migration, and continuing interaction between Neolithic communities around the Aegean Sea. The changing patterns of similarities have been further investigated through network analysis to describe these processes in greater detail. The second part discusses the result of the petrographic analysis of Neolithic ceramics from Barcın Höyük and Aktopraklık C in Northwest Anatolia, and DžuljunicaSmărdeš in Northeast Bulgaria. These results demonstrate that raw material procurement, the diversity of fabrics, and the technological knowledge of ceramic production at these sites fit within different technological regions that broadly correspond to the pattern of relationships based on stylistic similarities. By comparing the long-term patterns of culture change, studied through the statistical analysis of inter-assemblage similarity on the basis of pottery style, to these petrographic case studies, the possibility of biased transmission and interregional interaction in Anatolia, Greece and the Balkans will be discussed, demonstrating that the dynamic between technological and stylistic similarity can provide an alternative perspective on processes of cultural transmission.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available