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Chapter 19 - A Hybrid Cultural World

The Turn of the 7th to the 6th Millennium BC in the Central Balkans

from Part IV - Southeast Europe

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  30 April 2022

Peter F. Biehl
University of California, Santa Cruz
Eva Rosenstock
Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
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In the Danube Gorges region of the Balkans, one finds a forager stronghold with continuous evidence of occupation throughout the Mesolithic (at least since 9500 cal BC). Based on the cultural characteristics and repertoire of documented practices, it seems that these foragers were in one way or the other communicating with or being aware of communities inhabiting regions hundreds and even thousands of kilometers away. In the course of the regional Late Mesolithic (ca. 7400–6200 cal BC), there are some indications that the Danube Gorges communities might have emulated/shared certain cultural practices that are characteristic of Neolithic communities in western Anatolia and farther to the east. One could perhaps go so far as to see this region as part of the same “culture area” with other regions of the eastern Mediterranean. Yet, in many other elements of daily life and ideology, these communities remained firmly rooted in older traditions characteristic of Mesolithic communities in the rest of Europe. There is now ample evidence that the foragers of the Danube Gorges came into contact with increasingly mobile Neolithic groups in the last centuries of the 7th millennium BC, which triggered a substantial culture change. This chapter examines the consequences of these contacts and exchanges, and the subsequent, relatively brief, flourishing of a hybrid cultural world.

6000 BC
Transformation and Change in the Near East and Europe
, pp. 319 - 342
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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