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AMS 14C Chronology and Ceramic Sequences of Early Farmers in the Eastern Adriatic

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 July 2016

Sarah B McClure*
Department of Anthropology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania 16802, USA
Emil Podrug
Šibenik City Museum, Šibenik, Croatia
Andrew M T Moore
Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, New York 14623, USA
Brendan J Culleton
Department of Anthropology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania 16802, USA
Douglas J Kennett
Department of Anthropology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania 16802, USA
2. Corresponding author. Email:


The eastern Adriatic is a key area for understanding the mechanisms and effects of the spread of agriculture. This article presents an accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) radiocarbon chronology for the introduction and subsequent development of farming villages on the eastern shore of the Adriatic (∼6000–1700 cal BC) and evaluates this in comparison with the established pottery chronology based on stylistic data from Pokrovnik (Drniš) on the Dalmatian coast of Croatia. Models for the spread of agriculture rely heavily on changing pottery styles to define cultural groups and trace geographic relationships. Based on AMS 14C dates presented here, Impressed Wares first appear in central Dalmatia by 6000 cal BC and persist until 5300 cal BC, well into what is generally termed the Middle Neolithic. Similarly, a typical Middle Neolithic ware, figulina, appeared earlier than anticipated. These findings stand in contrast to cave and rockshelter assemblages in the eastern Adriatic, but mirror assemblages from farming villages on the Italian Adriatic coast. This study argues that the similarities in ceramic assemblage composition and change through time may have less to do with direct contacts between areas, but more with the nature of ceramic production and consumption at village sites in general. These data shed light on the limitations of regional ceramic chronologies in the eastern Adriatic and highlight the necessity for systematic expansion of 14C chronologies to address the social, economic, and ecological relevance of early farming in the Adriatic for the spread of agriculture in Europe and the Mediterranean.

Copyright © 2014 by the Arizona Board of Regents on behalf of the University of Arizona 

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