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Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research

Making First Farmers Younger: The West European Evidence Author(s): Peter Rowley-Conwy Source: Current Anthropology, Vol. 36, No. 2 (Apr., 1995), pp. 346-353 Published by: The University of Chicago Press on behalf of Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research Stable URL: Accessed: 29/11/2010 11:35
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OGY 20:249-62. S. P. LOMOV, M. M. PAKHORANOV, V. A., A. E. DODONOV, A MOV, AND A. A. PENKOV. I987. Kuldara: new Lower
H. M. AND R. W. DENNELL. I985. Dated Lower from northern Pakistan. CURRENT ANartefacts Palaeolithic

operaA technical "Lahuti(Khovaling, Tadjikistan): singular of Asia," in Palaeoecology migration and tivechainin Central pp. man in North Asia and America, 309-IO. Krasnoearly jarsk:Zodiak. RANOV, V. A., AND R. S. DAVIS. I979. Towarda new outline Asian Paleolithic. CURRENT,ANTHROPOLoftheSovietCentral

Palaeolithic site in South Tajikistan (in Russian). Boletin de la Comisi6n de Estudios Cuaternarios 56:65-75.


THROPOLOGY 26:393. ROCHE, H. I980. Premiers outils taill6s d'Afrique. Paris:Societ6


of colonization Europe:An N. i992. The Palaeolithic and perspective. Trabajosde Prearchaeological biogeographic historia 49:69-III. sur villaSAHNOUNI, M. I987. L'industrie galetsdu gisement des de franchien superieur Ain Hanech.Alger:Office PublicationsUniversitaires. Paleolithic of SCHICK, K. D., AND D. ZHUAN. I993. Early Asia. Evolutionary Chinaand Eastern 2:22-35. Anthropology


Did theyalso make stonetools?Journal 23:439-46. ofHumanEvolution from Some quesPakistan? STAPERT, D. I989. Earlyartefacts
MANJUNTAK. i992. STERN, N. I993.

F., A-M.




H. T. SI-

An model.Journal Human Evoluof semblages: experimental tionI6:763-87. fieldinI993. Geomagnetic VALET, J. P., AND L. MEYNADIER.
tensityand reversals duringthe past fourmillion years. Nature ture 35 5:783.
366:234-38. WOOD, B. i992.

CURRENT ANTHROPOLOGY 34:20I-25. SWISHER, C. C., G. H. CURTIS, T. JACOB, A. G. GETTY, A. SUI994. Age of theearliest known PRIJO, AND WIDIASMORO. hominids in Java, Indonesia. Science 263:Iii8-2i. ValTCHERNOV, E. I988. The age of Ubeidiya Formation (Jordan ley, Israel) and the earliest hominids in the Levant. Paleorient I4(2):63-65. asinferences from early stoneartifact TOTH, N. I987. Behavioral

of archaeoThe structure the LowerPleistocene from KoobiForaFormation. the A logicalrecord: case study

tions forthe excavators. CURRENT



Europeseekingto interpret similarevidence: in Europe also thereare claims and counterclaimsabout the date ofthe earliestappearanceofagriculture particular in regions. Anomalouslyearlydates may be claimed in Europe forfourmain reasons. Two of these are the ones that emergefromFritz's report:(i) the use of complex multilayer sites as dens by burrowing animals and (2) a natural desire on the part of all archaeologiststo find earlyexamples of important things,which may sometimes lead to insufficient scepticismwith regard the to contextofparticular items and also to the acceptanceof the earliestof a wide spreadofradiocarbon dates froma layer as the correctdate forthat layer. The othertwo reasons are predominantly Worldones: (3) the fact Old that wild pig and cattle were native to most of Europe and it is oftendifficult distinguish to wild and domestic populations of the same species in the same stratigraphiclayersand (4) the factthatpalynologicalclaims forearly clearance and cultivationare not always supportedby otherlines of evidence and thus remainproblematic.In thefollowing will present I recentworkfrom fourareas ofwesternEuropewherethe issues are under discussion. All radiocarbon ages are in uncalibrated yearsb.c.

and evolution thegenusHomo. Naof Origin

Younger: MakingFirstFarmers The West EuropeanEvidence'

of DepartmentofArchaeology,University Durham, 46 Saddler St., Durham DHI 3NU, U.K. 20 IX 94 Fritz (CA 35:305-9) shows that claimed early agriculturalevidencefromthe Tehuacan Valley and elsewhere in the Americas has produced late AMS radiocarbon dates. This will strike a chord with many workersin

The earliestNeolithic phase in the westernMediterranean (fig.I) is restricted coastal regionsand is characto with designsimpressedinto the surterisedby pottery face using the edge of a cockle shell (Cardium edule)-hence the term"Cardial" or "ImpressedWare" forthis phase. Most of the settlementsare in caves or and rock-shelters, theNeolithiclayersfrequently overlie Mesolithic ones. The major elements of the farmingeconomy must the have spreadfrom easternMediterranean towardsthe west. However,the traditional datingof the earliestdomesticates does not supportthis patternverywell. In Italy the greatcave of Arene Candide was excavated in the I940s by L. BernaboBrea (I946, i956) using painsmethods unusual for that time; taking stratigraphic thereare no C14dates much before5000 b.c.-the earliest being5030 ? I I 5 b.c. (UB-2423)from AreneCandide (Biagi, Maggi, and Nisbet i989). The faunal remains fromthis site contain a majorityof domestic animals fromthe startof the Neolithic (Rowley-Conwy igg2a). In Portugalthe start of farming placed at ca. 4400 is

excavation of the cave of Caldeirao took greatcare to recogniseall animal burrowsand has produceda coherent and reliablesequence. The earliestradiocarbon date is 4380 ? 80 b.c. (OxA-Io35), this being an AMS date on a sheep metapodial(Zilhao i992, I993). Here too the Neolithic containsa substantialproportion domestic of for Foundation Anthropological animals fromthe start(Rowley-Conwy i. ? I995 byThe Wenner-Gren igg2b). I am Research. All rightsreservedOOII-3204/95/3600-ooIo$I.oo. In between,however,both southern Franceand Spain Lars Ericka Engelstad, Lars- have claimed dates forfarming the regionof 5500Bergsvik, to very grateful KnutAndreas in in their assistance supplyand Joao Zilhao for Maggi, son,Roberto in The references. viewsexpressed thispaperare, 6ooo b.c., acceptedby specialist synthesesof the region ingbibliographic was (LewthwaiteI986). This remarkably earlyfarming alone. my however, responsibility

b.c.(Arnaud990, Zilhao I 993).The recent I high-quality

Volume 36, Number 2, April I995

I 347




Gazel Jean Cros00 PORTUGAL'




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to also different that of Liguriaand Portugalin one key also occurred. This can be seen clearly in southern a respect:domesticanimals were said to form verysmall France,the area which has produced most dates. The proportion the fauna.In southernFrance,a fewbones excellent review by Evin (I987) shows that the overof of sheep were foundin TerminalMesolithic contextsat whelmingmajorityof dates clustersafterca. 4850 b.c., older than an Early Neo- with just a few outliersfallingearlier;this patternhas Chateauneuf-les-Martigues, lithic date of 5570 ? 240 b.c. (Kn-i82) (Ducos I977), become clear onlyin the past fewyearsas a greatmany Mesolithiccontextsat Gazel, Jean more dates have been obtained (Evin I987:figs. and 4). and otherscame from Cros,Arques,and Dourgne(Geddes I985). This was well The keysequence at Chateauneuf-les-Martigues prohas the otherdomesticanimals and cereals appeared duced many dates over the years (Courtin,Evin, and before in the region.In southernSpain, domestic pigs, cattle, ThommeretI985). As the pattern has become clearerit have been identified and sheep/goat alongsidewild ani- has become evident that the date of 5570 ? 240 b.c. mals in late Mesolithic or veryearlyNeolithic contexts (KN-i82), formerly regardedas a good Early Neolithic in the caves of Sarsa, Parralejo,and Nerja (Boessneck date,is in factan anomalous outlier(fig.2). and von den Driesch I980). Finally,thereare also problemsin distinguishing wild Doubt has been cast on theseearlyclaims; threeofthe fromdomestic animals. Domestic pigs are claimed in reasons mentionedabove foranomalously earlyclaims Mesolithic and EarlyNeolithic caves in southernSpain appear to have been in operation. First, stratigraphic (Boessneckand von den Driesch I980). The claim rests problemsin some of the caves may have been major. on the factthatthe pigs from and Sarsa Nerja, Parralejo, that therewas dis- in southernand easternSpain are smallerthan the wild Zilhao's (I993) reviewdemonstrates turbance and burrowingat all the four French sites boar from Zambujal in Portugal. The distinctionbewhere Geddes (i985) identifiedsheep in Mesolithic tween wild and domesticpigs at Zambujal is, however, contexts. Renewed excavations at Chateauneuf-les- problematic, and wild boar in the hotterand driercliMartiguesfailedto findany sheep in the Mesolithiclay- mate ofSpain would be expectedto be smallerthantheir ers (Courtin,Evin, and ThommeretI985). Animal bur- Portuguesecounterparts (Rowley-Conwy n.d. a). rows and intrusivehuman burials caused stratigraphic It now appears that (a) farmingdoes not appear in problems at Dehesilla and Nerja. Thus none of these southernFranceor easternSpain beforethe startof the sites are freefromstratigraphic problemsat the crucial CardialNeolithic,and (b) the CardialNeolithic does not point (Zilhao I993). begin until ca. 4850 b.c. Cereal agricultureis docuof Overhopefulinterpretation radiocarbondates has mentedfrom startofthe Cardial at Chateauneuf-lesthe



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(ages from determinations Chateauneuf-les-Martigues from FIG. 2. Radiocarbon Courtin, Evin,and Thommeret the of linesjoin datesfrom samefeature thesame layer. I985:fig. 3). S, date on shell;dotted
Martigues(Courtin, Evin,and Thommereti985:548), so sheep no longerforma separateearliestphase of farming.The domesticstatusofpigs in the Cardial Neolithic is, however,still doubtful(Helmer i987), while those fromArene Candide have been argued to be wild for much of the Neolithic (Rowley-Conwy i992a).

In southern Scandinavia (fig. 3), one of the bestareas ofEurope,radiocarbon researched datinghas demonstrated that the late Mesolithic Erteb0llephase falls beforeca. 32oo b.c. and the TRB (Funnel Beaker)Neolithic afterthis date (Tauber I972). The stratified site of Norsminde,with both Erteb0lleand TRB layers,has produced30 radiocarbondates confirming this (Andersen i989). Workin northern has revealedthat Germany farming establishedtherewell before was 4000 b.c. (e.g., Zvelebil and Rowley-ConwyI986:fig. 5), indicatinga static boundarybetween foragersand farmerslasting in overa millennium.This has led to interest the possibilitythat the Erteb0lleeconomymay have included a

element. Some artifactual farming items were crossing the boundary (Fischeri982), and domesticanimals and/ or crops mightcertainlyhave crossed with them. Evidence of the non-nativecereal crops and sheep has not been foundin Erteb0llecontexts, exceptfora claim from in Loddesborg Sweden; this falls at the veryend of the Erteb0lle,a sample fromnear the base of the sequence yieldinga radiocarbon date of 3260 + 8o b.c. (Lu-i842) (Jennbert I984). The problemis once again that of diswild and domestic members of the same tinguishing species-in this case cattle. Denmark has produced a largenumberof skeletonsofpostglacialwild cattle,not associatedwithhuman activity. Cattle are sexuallyvery and wild females overlapin size with Neodimorphic, lithic domestic males. Erteb0llesites in Denmark and northern Germany have yieldedbones ofwild-malesize and of wild-female/domestic-male but not of dosize size. Consequently,all the Erteb0lleanimestic-female mals are currently as interpreted wild (Degerb0l and Fredskild I970, Rowley-Conwy I985). Other lines of supporthave been put forward Erfor teb0lle agriculture. Spade-shapedwooden artifacts from

Volume 6, Number AprilI99S 349 2, 3 5

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in Thus the first farmers southernSweden,Denmark, and the northernmost part of Germanyappear on present evidence be as young as 32oo b.c. This is perhaps not surprising, giventhe earlypresenceoffarmers farto thesouth,and it maybe thatdefinite evidenceoffarmed productswill yet turn up. I972). The dif- (or exchanged)agricultural I988, Schutrumpf anssonI986, Kolstrup researched cereal fromothergrasspollen are The regionis, however,the most thoroughly ficultiesof separating cereal in Europe; what can be said with certainty that at is however(Edwardsi989), and charred substantial,

Vig Tybrind in Denmarkmake it clear from recentfinds are thatthese artifacts in factpaddles and have nothing (AndersonI987). Pollen claims to do with agriculture polhave also been advanced: a fewgrainsofcereal-type fromthe Erteb0lleperiod(Gorlen have been identified

I973). However, portthe pollen claims. I98i, Steensberg tools(Schwabedissen

as Satruphave been interpreted ploughs or winnowing grainshave yetto be foundin Erteb0llecontextsto sup-




tor dates have, however,since been obtained on some of the actual specimens: two barley grains produced datesof i i io ? 70 b.c. and4I 5 + 6o b.c.,while a sheep/ SWEDEN NORWAY AND NORTHERN goat bone yielded II85 ? 6o b.c., all clearly postdisturbances believed to be are On the southerncoast of Norway the startof the arti- Neolithic. Stratigraphic (Johansen I990). factualNeolithic is conventionallydated to 32oo b.c., responsible This directs attention towards the Swedish site of the same time as in Denmark, although the earliest on phase is limited to an area around Oslo Fjord(Nygaard Bjurselet, the oppositeside of the Scandinavianpenis I989:fig. 6). Farming usually assumed,but the agricul- insula. A pollen core next to the site produceda claim at barley ca. I500 b.c. (Kdnigsson I970). The settletural credentialsof the earlierNeolithic have recently for are middle been questionedbecause settlements unknown and ment dates to the later part of the artifactual no organicevidence has been recovered(Bjercki988). Neolithic and produceda largesample of animal bones, the To the northwest, major site of Kotedalenhas re- almost all fromseal; 64 bones, or i.8% of the mammaA centlyprovidedmuch new information. series of lay- lian total, were, however,of sheep or goat (Lepiksaar ersspans theMesolithicand Neolithicand has produced I975). Some acceptthis as evidenceforanimalhusmany (Baudoui982, Broadbent i984). However, no fewerthan 67 radiocarbondates; phases i-II are bandry Neolithic (A. B. recentitems such as fragments window glass, iron of Mesolithic and i2-i6 are artifactually dates Olseni992). PhaseI4 has io radiocarbon averaged nails, and coins were also foundduringthe excavation, of at 2740 ? 30 b.c. (i992:table I). Thisphasehas yielded and the distribution these matchescloselythatofthe fromthat of the ara few pollen grainsof barley and some grazingindica- domestic animal bones and differs tors; this is regardedas definiteevidence forfarming, chaeologicalmaterialand the seal bones; in the few loalthoughthe date is 500 years earlier than any other cations where sheep bones are found deeply stratified, pollen trace in the region(Hjelle et al. i992). However, theyare alwaysaccompaniedbysuch recentitems,demat disturbance these points (Knutssoni988). the sample of I7,939 identifiedanimal bones from onstrating no Late Neolithic sheep/goat by bones have also been claimed phasesi2-i5 was dominated fishand produced i984), but the two bones in quesdomestic animals at all. Numerous flotationsamples at Kaddis (Broadbent contained no trace of cereal macrofossils.The pollen tion were foundon the surfacesome 30 m away from by therefore related be (i984:5 i) andcannot claim has thus not been substantiated any otherline theexcavation The sheep/goat bones fromBjurselet of evidence (Hjelle et al. i992). At the nearbycave of to the settlement. dating. layers 4-7 are of Stone Age date. Strati- and K'addisare obvious candidatesforaccelerator Skipshelleren, Pollen claims forearlycultivationin northern Scandigraphicallythe oldest domestic animal bones were betweenlayers4 and 5,forwhich navia receivelittle or no archaeologicalsupportdespite foundat the transition attemptsto test them. For example, cereal cultivation a charcoalsample gave 33IO + 8o b.c. (A. B. Olsen i992: in Norrb6lein Sweden However, in an early example of direct dating, was identified a pollen corefrom i67). b.c.; however,the excavation some sheep/goatand cattle bones fromthis unit pro- in the period 2500-2000 b.c., ofseven contemporary settlements withinio km ofthe date radiocarbon of2070-i2o duceda conventional assem"ca. I,ooo yearsyoungerthan one expected" (H. Olsen pollen site produced typical hunter-gatherer blages with elk, beaver,and seal bones but no traces of my translation). I976:23, (Baudou i982). Pollen claims of domestic aniinland the earliestevidence is laterstill. The farming Farther has of rock-shelter Skrivarhelleren yieldeddo- mal grazinggo back even earlier; the sample site of stratified horimestic animals fromlayers5, 6, and 8, which have four B0stadin the LofotenIslands has a claimed grazing and to fromI370 ? 90 b.c. (T-7833) zondated 3560 ? 80 b.c.(T-2224)(Vorren Nilssen dates ranging radiocarbon to i66o + 50 b.c. (T-7686) (Prescott i99i); grains of i982). This is so far north and so early that it seems wheat and barleyhave also been foundin these layers most unlikely that grazinganimals could really have (Soltvedti99i). The adjacent Nyset and Steggjeregions been responsible;at this time the conventionalforager/ and excavations, farmer boundary in Germanysouth of the Erteb0lle lay have been the scene ofintensivesurvey dates. A ma- (see above), i,6oo km to the south of B0stad. The occain resulting no fewerthan i80 radiocarbon jorincreasein site numbersand a changein site location sional bone of sheep/goator cow does turnup in early evidence contexts,such as at Gressbakkenamong a very large at around I750 b.c. is associated with the first and otherwisewild fauna (Renouf i989:table 8). These are Kristoffersen, Prescotti992). foragriculture (Bj0rgo, in The earliestevidenceforfarming this area is thus in usually regardedas later intrusions(Engelstad i985), for late Neolithic. somethingwhich was confirmed the Gressbakken defined the artifactually ArcticCircle,Norwegianpollen claims for specimenby acceleratordating(JohansenI990:6). Nearerthe Pollen thusmakes earlyclaims,while the archaeology 2ooo b.c., while go cerealcultivation back to well before dates. The archaeologicalevidence inthearchaeologicalevidencepointsto thepost-Neolithic. suggestsyounger was excavated to test dicates laterdates to the north,which fitsthe expected of The rock-shelter Stiurhelleren of and pattern a spreadfromthe south. The pollen evidence, the pollen claim and producedbones of sheep/goat cattle as well as barleygrains bracketedbetween con- however,makes its earliest claim far to the north at B0stad, which is hard to reconcile with the expected dates of 2220 + 40 b.c. and 2430 ventionalradiocarbon

majorityof the Erteb0llediet least the overwhelming came fromwild foods.


b.c.(Hultgreen, Johansen, Lie i984). Acceleraand

Volume 36, Number 2, April I995 135I will be that agriculture Some remainconfident pattern. foundin the farnorthas earlyas in the 3d millennium included)are B.C. (Johansen i990), while others(myself may be sceptical and suspect that the earliest farmers younger. substantially

in The studyof early agriculture Britainand Irelandis bedevilled by the lack of excavated settlementswith economic evidence of the crucial age. The discussion remains somewhat vague. In Britainthe contherefore struction of major monuments such as megalithic gravesand causewayedcamps beginsat ca. 3250 b.c. (fig. 4). In both Britainand Ireland,discussion is focusedon whether agriculturecan be demonstratedbefore this date. Pollen claims forearly cereal cultivationhave been made in both areas. The earliest 04-dated claim from which has produceda date Irelandis fromCashelkeelty, dates i98i). Other of3895 ? ioo b.c. (UB-2367) (Lynch frompeat cores with a nearlyas early are interpolated Ballynagilly seriesofC14dates. Forexample,a corefrom

has produceda single cereal pollen grainat an interpolated date of 3800 b.c. (Pilcherand Smith I979:fig. 5). This is of greatinterest, because the core was adjacent to the Ballynagilly Neolithic site,which has produceda series of very early dates (ApSimon I976). Other 4thmillenniumb.c. cereal pollen findsare reviewedby Edwards (i989). The status of such earlycereal pollen remains uncertain.Some accept them (e.g., E. Williams i989), while othersurgecaution in view ofthe difficulty ofdistinguishing cereal fromothergrasspollen (e.g.,Edwards i989). Discussing the otherminorchangesat the crucial point in the Ballynagillydiagram,Pilcher and Smithstate that "these changesdo not of necessityimplyhuman clearance.They are not of such a naturethat theyinitiallydrewour attention before earlyarchaethe ological dates fromthe site were obtained" (I979:358). The settlement Ballynagilly artifactually at is Neolithic but produced neither animal bones nor plant macrofossils. Carrowmore the othersite producing is earlyarchaeologicaldates in Ireland.A seriesofmegalithic graveswas excavated,and grave4 producedthe date of 3800 ? 85 b.c. (Lu-i840). This earlydate has raised the possibility

014 age O Bally- Carrow 0 BC uncal76 nagilly -more o

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Lynch(I98I) (Ireland) and C. Williams (I985) (Britain);otherages are fromZvelebil and Rowley-Conwy (I986:fig.3) and E. Williams (i989:table i). Dotted lines indicate doubtfuldates.

FIG. 4. Radiocarbon determinations from early Neolithic contexts in Ireland and Britain: Ballynagilly (ApSimon I976), Carrowmore (Burenhult I984), Balbridie (Fairweather and Ralston I993). Pollen ages are from




very complex, however,and these is stratigraphically (Kinnesand dateshave come undersubstantialcriticism beforethe startof Thorpe i986). The status of farming horizon at ca. 3250 b.c. the main monument-building withpreremainsin doubtin the absence ofsettlements and domesticanimal bones. servedcereal macrofossils

b.c. (HAR-2282), 3590 ? I40 b.c. (HAR-4092), and 3730 ? 70 b.c. (HAR-4072) (Walker and Otlet i985). The site

that the megaliths were constructedby Mesolithic (Burenhulti984), although the econhunter-gatherers omy remainsunknown. Criticismhas been directedat megaliths(Caulfield the earlydates forthe Carrowmore and i983). Megalithictombsare subjectto modification reuse, somethingwhich certainlyoccurredat Carrowmore. The samples yieldingLu-I698 and Lu-i8o8, as well as the veryearlydate fromLu-i840, are,however, clearlyshown to come fromwithin the stone packing megaliths(Burenhult ofthe respective I984:figs.35 and older than 37). If these dates are, as Caulfieldsuggests, the megaliths,then the charcoal would have to be deinto rived fromsome other location and incorporated Single dates are the stone packingduringconstruction. of and confirmation the date-and always problematic, needed,but Lu-I840 is the economy-are undoubtedly not impossiblyearlygivenUB-305 fromBallynagilly. In Britainthereare also some earlypollen claims of cereal cultivation,the earliest dated example coming fromSoyland Moor (C. Williams i985). At 3870 ? 95 b.c. (Q-2394) it is very close to the Cashelkeeltydate no Ireland.Thereare,however, reliablearchaeologfrom back thatfar.The earliestdates from ical dates reaching fromBriarHill, are 3490 ? IIO monumentsin Britain,

EditedbyJ.M. Coles and A. J.Lawson,pp. 253-80. Oxford: Clarendon. . I989. Norsminde: "k0kkenm0dding" A withlate Mesolithicand early Neolithicoccupation. Journal Danish Arof 8: chaeology I3-40. APSIMON, A. I976. "Ballynagilly and thebeginning end of and theIrishNeolithic," Acculturation continuity Atlanin and in tic Europe. EditedbyS. Laet,pp. 15-3o. Dissertationes Archaeologicae GandensisI6. ARNAUD, et m6solithique le processus J. M. I990. "Le substrat de n6olithisation le sud du Portugal," Rubane et dans in Cardial.EditedbyD. Cahen and M. Otte,pp. 437-46. Etudes et Recherches de de Arch6ologiques l'Universit6 Liege39. BAUDOU, E. I982. "Det forhistoriska jordbruketNorrland: i Bakgrunden detarkeologiska i fyndmaterialet,"Introduksjonen in av Jordbruk i Norden.EditedbyT. Sj0vold, I63-7I. Oslo: pp. Oslo University Press. BERNAB6 BREA, L. 1946 and I956. Gli Scavi nella Caverna de7deAreneCandide. 2 vols. Bordighera: Istituto StudiLidi


L. G. B. I988. Remodelling theNeolithicin southern Norway: Another attackon a traditional problem. Norwegian Archaeological Review2I:2I-52. T., S. KRISTOFFERSEN, AND C. PRESCOTT. i992.

7000 BP," in The Mesolithic Europe. in EditedbyC. pp. 533-40. Edinburgh: John Donald.







All farmers workis makingmanyfirst younger. Current the fourreasons adduced above foranomalously early claims have been seen in operationin various combinaworkis in tions in the fourregionsconsidered.Current as some regionsfailingto findfarming earlyas the pollen claims. Such archaeologicalwork is acting as a de if confactotestofthe palynology; evidenceforfarming tinuesto elude us, thiswill sooneror laterdirectimportant questions at palynologicalmethodology. in development the study The singlemost important in of earlyagriculture recentyearshas been the advent of the radiocarbonaccelerator. Individual bones and stratiplant macrofossilsmay be dated, and therefore associationsneed no longerbe takenon trust.It graphic is also importantthat those analysingthe bones and plant remains are aware of the potentialpitfallsand if possibletake partin the excavationofthematerialsthey are to study. Only if extremescepticism is exercised will anomalouslyearlyclaims be avoided-as Fritzhas shown only too clearly.

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