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Chapter 16 - The Turn of the 7th Millennium in Greece

A Quiet Transition

from Part III - Aegean and Marmara

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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At the end of the 7th millennium, the Neolithic lifestyle in mainland Greece had already been established for several centuries. The turn from the 7th to 6th millennium roughly corresponds to the Early to Middle Neolithic transition according to the Greek chronology. The now famous “6200 cal BC” climatic event does not appear to have disrupted a continuous development of these farming communities: contrary to the later Middle to Late Neolithic transition, the Early to Middle Neolithic transition is characterized by a marked continuity in most domains, such as subsistence economy, settlement patterns and crafts production. The most visible transformation concerns the production of fine wares: Whereas Early Neolithic wares were mostly monochrome and of similar shape and style all over Greece, Middle Neolithic fine wares display conspicuous decorations and strongly regionalized styles. The stability of the economic base and the emphasis on visual display in pottery suggests that the Early to Middle Neolithic transition in Greece reflects mostly social transformations and different modes of interactions within and between communities. However, there is no indication that these transformations were caused by external factors, whether environmental or human.

6000 BC
Transformation and Change in the Near East and Europe
, pp. 261 - 278
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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