Neolithic Farming in Central Europe: An Archaeobotanical by Amy Bogaard

By Amy Bogaard

Neolithic Farming in imperative Europe examines the character of the earliest crop cultivation, a subject matter that illuminates the lives of Neolithic farming households and the day by day truth of the transition from searching and amassing to farming.

Debate surrounding the character of crop husbandry in Neolithic principal Europe has focussed at the permanence of cultivation, its depth and its seasonality: variables that hold assorted implications for Neolithic society.

Amy Bogaard reports the archaeological facts for 4 significant competing versions of Neolithic crop husbandry - transferring cultivation, wide plough cultivation, floodplain cultivation and extensive backyard cultivation - and evaluates charred crop and weed assemblages.

Her conclusions determine the main applicable version of cultivation, and spotlight the results of those agricultural practices for our knowing of Neolithic societies in significant Europe.

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15 STUDY AREA AND ITS ARCHAEOLOGICAL BACKGROUND The later Neolithic (c. 4400–2200 bc) The transition from the middle to the later Neolithic represents the end of the Bandkeramik tradition of longhouses in central Europe. 1) – and continued a trend towards increasing regionalization of material culture. Later Neolithic sites vary considerably in location (on and off loess; lakeshores and interfluves as well as valley margins), size (from large settlements surrounded by palisades and ditches to dispersed farmsteads) and duration (from long-lived settlements lasting several centuries to dendrochronologically dated lakeshore villages of less than twenty years’ occupation).

In a later publication, Kruk (1988) suggested that cereals were grown in drier forested areas and ‘garden plants’ (presumably pulses and root/leaf-crops) on the moist valley bottom soils, while, in yet another paper, the suggestion of cereal cultivation in valley bottoms ‘during periods of low water table’ is renewed (Milisauskas and Kruk 1989a: 410). Kruk (1988) has also introduced the idea of forest-fallow as a response to eventual weed-infestation and soil degradation in the cultivation plots, emphasizing the lack of manuring and weeding in his cultivation model.

Furthermore, as Bakels (1991b) makes clear, initial woodland clearance would be necessary under any cultivation regime. Shifting cultivation in the later Neolithic It has recently been claimed that shifting cultivation formed the principal crop husbandry regime of later Neolithic lakeshore communities in the Alpine Foreland (Bocquet et al. 1987; Rösch 1987, 1989, 1990a, 1990b, 1996, 2000a; Pétrequin 1996; Bailly et al. 1997; Pétrequin et al. 1998; Rösch et al. 2002; see also Schlichtherle 1989, 1992, 1995, 1997a; Whittle 1996a: 216–22), though the actual weed assemblages accompanying charred crop stores from 27 MODELS OF CROP HUSBANDRY lakeshore sites have been interpreted as evidence of fixed-plot cultivation ( Jacomet et al.

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