Pages 165-194



A Case Study


archaeological and ethnographic evidence forwarfare in us to reconsider the traditional picture of theGreek farming societies invites Neolithic (ca. 7000-3400 B.C.) as a period of peaceful coexistence among Cross-cultural

Neolithic Greece. The well-known Neolithic
dence for warfare in defensive structures,

subsistence farmers.Archaeological correlates of intercommunal conflict in the prehistoricAmerican Southwest and thewidespread evidence for warfare inNeolithic Europe suggest thatwarfare is also likely to have taken place in record for Thessaly reveals evi
and settlement patterns. weapons,

Competition for resources such as arable land, grazing rights, and water may have contributed to the causes ofGreek Neolithic warfare. Did warfare exist inNeolithic Greece?1 The question is difficult to answer because earlywarfare, apart from Bronze Age warfare, has received rela tively little attention fromAegean prehistorians.2 It is unlikely, however,

increasing number of case studies have created a consensus that prehistoric in the Old World warfare was widespread in general, and specifically in Neolithic Europe.4 Indeed, if warfare could be shown not to be present in Greek Neolithic society, in light of current research on Neolithic warfare inEurope, Greece would

thatwarfare began abruptlywith the Bronze Age, and we believe that it is reasonable to trace the roots ofwarfare back to theNeolithic period. Until was was recently, it thought thatwarfare negligible in prehistoric times, but new research on prehistoric warfare, along with warfare among contempo and farmers around theworld, challenges this view.3An ever rary foragers

represent an anomalous

exception. On

the basis

1. We would like to thank Priscilla Murray and Eliza McClennen for their
and maps, and also the anon drawings reviewers who ymous Hesperia helped us to refine our arguments. 2. See, e.g., Renfrew 1972; Drews 1993. 3. There is a large and growing School lit

erature on


Keeley 1996; Carman andHarding 1999; LeBlanc 1999,2006; Kelly 2000; LeBlanc and Register 2003; Christen
sen 2004. 4. For case

the World, seeVend 1984;Gat Old 1999,2006; Young 2005; Guilaine and Zammit 2005; Golitko and Keeley 2007; and Parkinson andDuffy 2007,
con the pp. 114-115, where growing sensus among European prehistorians for Neolithic is summarized. warfare

1975;Villa et al. 1986; Keeley and Cahen 1989; Christensen 2004. For
Studies at Athens


see, e.g., Roper




of Classical







of the emerging understanding of prehistoric warfare, and in agreement with Parkinson and Duffy, who argue for a continental-scale, cross-cultural study of this topic,we believe an evaluation of the existence ofwarfare in is both desirable and timely.5 what do we mean by prehistoric warfare? A number of begin, definitions ofwarfare have been formulated that apply to societies at levels To of socioeconomic theGreek Neolithic

organization below that of states,which in theAegean emerge only after theNeolithic. In keeping with our objective of dealing with the less complex, village-based Neolithic agriculturalists, we follow Christensen in defining warfare as "the use of organized lethal force by one group against another independent group."6 This definition ismore at leastwhen it is succinct than others, and, applied to early agricultural ists, avoids the usual, but not useful, anthropological distinction between "primitive" and "civilized" warfare.7 This definition ofwarfare recognizes

intragroup conflict, vendetta, and murder. This definition does not confine warfare to the use of physical force in conflict, but embraces the patterned

that force is sanctioned by society and that it is this sanctioning of force that distinguishes warfare from other categories of human conflict such as

also addresses the hierarchical social structure that permits the specializa tion of individuals aswarriors, and the consequences of conflict, such as the destruction of settlements or the displacement of populations. We believe

and recurring events connected with the preparation forwar in personnel training, themanufacture ofweapons, and the building of fortifications. It

that the perceived threat of warfare is as important as actual combat for a may result perceived threat interpreting the archaeological record, because in the same material correlates?such as fortificationwalls orweapons?as those resulting fromwarfare. Research on prehistoric warfare is hindered by the inherent difficul ties involved in identifying the specific characteristics of the prehistoric

can be connected with conflict. Our approach archaeological record that s case in theAmeri was study of prehistoric warfare inspired by LeBlanc can Southwest,8 where environmental and cultural conditions are similar to those in Neolithic Greece. LeBlanc identified a number of specific features that serve as material correlates or proxy evidence archaeological for the existence ofwarfare. These include, but are not limited to,particular classes of artifacts, skeletal pathologies, sex ratios inmortuary data, specific

can be identified in other regions of the United Many of these features States, such as the northwest coast and the eastern United States,9 but it is the quality of the preservation of archaeological sites in theAmerican Southwest thatmakes this region ideal for this sort of study. 5. Parkinson andDuffy 2007. Our
10: "armed combat between political other definitions are dis 1999.

site locations, internal site structures, fortifications, differential histories of sites within clusters, and regional settlement patterns, particularly those or exhibiting clusters of sites separated by open territories, "no-mans-lands."

a toward contribution study is regional seems to be a an of what understanding in Europe. general social phenomenon 6. Christensen 7. See, 2004, pp. 129-130. 2004, e.g., Otterbein pp. 9

communities"; 8. LeBlanc

cussed byLeBlanc and Register (2003).

Milner 1999. 1997;

and Reedy-Maschner






For this studywe applied the archaeological correlates forwarfare derived from the study of theAmerican Southwest to theNeolithic in easternThes

with populations probably under 500 individuals; villages with architectural forms consisting of rectangular domestic structures of adobe brick or stone; economies based on agricultural production using digging sticks; a technol ogy based on flaked- and ground-stone implements; and the production

saly (Fig. 1). The comparison is relevant because of themany similarities between Neolithic Thessaly and theAmerican Southwest: levels of social on small villages, typically smaller than 4 hectares (ha), complexity based


and use of handmade pottery.The environmental settings are also similar. American Southwest are arid regionswhere human settle Thessaly and the is dependent on perennial rivers or other hydrographically favored localities to supplywater for agricultural production. Another

reason for looking at Thessaly is the long history of archaeo research there.10 After more than a century of research, there are logical many known sites,more than 400 in eastern Thessaly alone.11These sites are low flat mounds or high tells (locally called magoules) widely inter as the remains of preted permanently settled villages of 1-4 ha in size (Fig.2).12 The history of research reveals that the consensus on the archaeological

existence ofNeolithic warfare has swung back and forth, largely in concert with the popularity of theoretical models of cultural processes. A review of this research will help place our study in its sociological context. At the beginning of the 20th century, the consensus was that Neo lithicThessaly was a peaceful place. As the result of their surveys and test and Thompson concluded that early in the Neolithic excavations,Wace "as far as can yet be known, the first inhabitants ofNorth-Eastern Greece lived an uneventful life free from foreign invasion and more or less at peace Wace and Thompson acknowledged that among themselves."13 during the transition from, in their terminology,Neolithic A toNeolithic B, the early [the period] ends in a great upheaval, many sites are abandoned, new styles of pottery suddenly make their appearance, and Northern Greece no longer possesses a uniform culture extending from end to end.... The at once arises isDhimini ware a question rapid [a] general indigenous growth or the result of an inroad [?]... resemblance to other painted wares inThrace points to invasion [and thewalls ofDhimini are] themark of an invading race,who
came and meant to stay.14

period of peaceful coexistence ended. They write:

10. See, 1912. 11. See, pp. 33-110;


and Thompson 1973,


los 1996, pp. 49-68; Halstead 1999b; Perles 2001, pp. 121-151. 12.Gallis 1992. 13. Wace andThompson 1912,
p. 242.

1974; Papathanassopou

14. Wace

pp. 242-243. 15. Tsountas

andThompson 1912,

developed by Tsountas.15 Tsountas

and Thompson Neolithic culture was es static and that change was induced sentially by exogenous forces in the form of migrations or invasions of new peoples. This view of cultural was change widespread among European prehistorians, but in Thessaly it can be traced in part to the use Wace and Thompson of the chronology by divided theThessalian Neolithic into

It is evident that for Wace

\ \ V Aegean Sea ?/l / J Thessaly ( / \\ \ 1 \ X j i^ A V.\ . RUNNELS ET AL.y t^jf ^"^^V/^ Nikomed^a \ ^ o ^ O i ^7 / / </y^^^ S ^ Thessaly^ ^ .f* ^ iflBBv \ )-^_ i^ppp^ V i* \ \V (/ J AchiNeionT^) / Sesklo# x-r~v |KHL\ 'S'^BVoldi Petromagoula Pefkakia^ Jh ^SiLl" 1 j ^/_? +K_i__\ EMcC2008\ i) ^ 1 \ \ Macedonia \ \*^--pso Sitagroi o _/ <CL^C3 I 0^ ' J eMakriyalos ^V r^--\V<^^' Servian / <1 / . <f^^_J^f~^ fj r*^~\n K Argolid _v S7Keos> a? ^3 . E. > ?_^Magoula< V^. McClennen . OtzakU /?\ Plateia c Magoula j Zarkoutn^^-Ty-' i Larisa f IV \ Ma9oula ?ft ."r1*F"v' \ J>\ ? .l68 CURTIS N.. f 0 !=F^-'80 Km 0 80Miles S\ ^ ^tSL I a I Melos S & ^ (\ *s / MEDITERRANEAN SEA-^^-^ _EMcC2008 Figure 1. Maps showing the prin Greek sites and locations cipal mentioned in the text. /\Hatzimissiotiki\* 2) * Magoula \ /-^ \.

pp. the abrupt changes in Our review of the literature suggests that archaeologists in the 20th cen tury continued to regard Neolithic Thessaly as uncomplicated and peace 16. any evidence for ful. View of the easternThessa lianplain.16 This initial two-part scheme were concerned. Thus. and was especially popular in southeast Europe... at least as far as internal affairs warfare such as weapons. 114-115) remindus that of invasion popular European among remained and migration central and eastern for much of the inNeolithic Thessaly reflect the incomplete nature Wace. Weinberg 1970. This broad chronology with to two very different cultural phases seemed to Wace and Thompson only a Neolithic A toNeolithic B. without antecedent forms. favor elsewhere. an result from complete cultural break from abrupt transition that suggested the succession of unrelated archaeological cultures. Later generations of archaeologists found the limited scope of early excavations inadequate for identifying the numerous small and discontinuous stratigraphic layers that often charac terize deeply stratified tells.17 invasions and migrations are indeed sources of cultural Although material culture evident toTsountas.N. '>'^aMiWIMililBBBUI Figure 2. Photo C. Runnels contributed to the widespread assumption that invasion and migration were necessary to explain cultural change. prehistorians suddenly.^.WARFARE IN NEOLITHIC THESSALY 169 j^^^-^^^v.. Neolithic A (nowMiddle Neolithic) and Neolithic B (now Late Neolithic). fortifications. and by apparently abrupt changes in the archaeological record?persisted throughout the 20th century. change at times. models pp. 572-575. and Thompson of the archaeological record and the paucity of research. Gaps in the ar were taken to indicate abrupt and rapid cultural change chaeological record because new forms of decorated ceramics or domestic architecture appeared evenwhen theyfellout of 20th century. or burned settlements that turned up in the course of excavation could be attributed to invaders or immigrants.The problem of interpreting cultural change . The tendency to explain cultural change through invasions and migrations? which was certainly justified by historical events such as the folkmigrations of theHuns or Visigoths in antiquity. Parkinson andDuffy (2007. ' . a scenario thatwas later amended to include a Pre Sesklo culture corresponding to the Early Neolithic and a Post-Dimini culture corresponding to theFinal Neolithic. two undated phases. 17.

289-328) summarizes Archaeology. also Andreou.. 263-266. In methodological terms..22 a only after the 1960s that the two-stage model of peaceful the invasiveDimini culture changed as Sesklo culture being supplanted by the result ofmethodological. Redman (1971) expression 27. 26. are indications both of the arrival of new peoples from east and north and of the beginning of a new way of life. which had never fortified Thessaly. theoretical.23 Site surveys and excavations throughout Greece. were used in the 1970s to construct a new system based on four phases ofNeolithic culture: the Early Neolithic (EN). as isolated. and 23. 25. Thessaly.. 600. from inThessaly to Lerna and Franchthi Cave Argissa.18 Invasion and migration. were burned. andMarxian thought. 608.Trigger (1989. Watson. continued to be the preferred expla some time."20 and argued that "the varieties of cultures present in different parts ofGreece in the latter half of the fourth millennium B. themselves. and in her influential textbook she explained changes coinciding with the transition fromNeolithic A to Neolithic B thus: As Dimeni [sic]mound. 21. p.27 change. ."theChildean view ofNeolithic societies. Vermeule continued to subscribe to the invasion/ on Bronze Age Greece migration model..26 was abandoned ways unfortunate. amovement that combined evolutionary models.. as noted above. was puts it. this four-part scheme is now widely used. positiv the interpretation of cultural ism. p. possibly on the part of newcomers who felt it some of the established villages. bringing finer stratigraphic control and more detailed chronologies. self-sufficient entities. and Kotsakis 2001. See the goals of the New see LeBlanc.25 In theoretical terms. Fotiadis. pp.C. RUNNELS ET AL. and many were overlaid by a characteristi cally alien though connected culture. p. After the long promising develop ments seen at Sesklo. Vermeule influenced to abandon invasion/migration models by the rise of the New Archaeology."19 Weinberg voicing this standard view when he noted that "the existence of fortifications in a few places inThessaly probably indicates some apprehension. 14. 20.. 24."21 was standard view.297. . Weinberg 1970. and chronological developments. Weinberg 1970. 39. with the end of World War II and theGreek civilwar. and 1964. Middle Neo further refinements have been suggested. because the invasion/migration model without due consideration.1974. p. new people invaded the eastern valleys of necessary to consolidate their position.Tomkins 2004. pp. which had prevented research in late as the 1960s. and that favored as the result of the often gradual action of indigenous cultural change The embrace of this new theoretical orientation was in some processes. 19. It to challenge the invasion/migration model until the 1950s. 22. lacking social stratification and craft specialization and preoccupied with the production of their own subsistence . Gallis 1979. Weinberg 1970.hugely influenced the a number of new excavations began. however.Theocharis 1973. Otzaki. the expansion of archaeological World War II and theGreek civilwar contributed research inGreece after It was new evidence. it remains a plausible explanation for cultural one that requires further examination. . for a contemporary of this movement.24 Although 18. scholars in theUnited States and United Kingdom were lithic(MN). and Pefkakia in theArgolid.170 CURTIS N. Late Neolithic (LN). represents a disruptive event inNeolithic history. andFinalNeolithic (FN). neighbor of Sesklo. Demoule and Pedes 1993. See Gallis 1979.As Tomkins nations for Neolithic cultural change in Thessaly for a was not possible complicated by the lack of reliable chronology.

enabled cooperation among communities through sharing. Thessaly.. 28. and Kotsakis 2001. for instance. 71. but it of course does not rule out the of violence inNeolithic possibility society. Kotsakis 1999. trade. and this in turnmay have led to communal interaction and bad-year economic strategies of subsistence and recovery performed through peaceful contacts such as intermarriage. Theocharis 1973. p. 73. pp. 29. and social partnership.268. Pedes 2001. Theocharis was able to stress cultural continuity in theThessalian Neolithic.but were reinterpreted as symbolic features intended to serve ritual purposes. See. p. Now therewas adequate time in the course of the to long Neolithic period for the working out of local cultural processes we observe in thematerial record. 265-266. a regionwhere fluctuations in agricultural success due tomicroclimatic variation make conflict danger ous and unnecessary. In eastern Thessaly. elevation. 65. 98-120. These features had been interpreted as fortifications for half a century. Fotiadis. 1999a. with its variations in topography.32 It can be argued that peaceful relations were in fact required by the instability of a climate that created unequal agricultural yields in . and Dimini. Halstead 1999a. in linewith the concept favored was no need to invoke abrupt cultural by theNew Archaeology that there breaks between phases. and alliances. Demoule and 31. 30. that encircle Neolithic sites likeArgissa.28 to distinguish long-term patterns of development in architecture. Sesklo.WARFARE IN NEOLITHIC THESSALY IJ1 was sup Finally. fictile art. p. pp. often in con society centric bands. Theocharis 1974. 34. Halstead 1999a. and microclimates. of communal interaction is useful for explaining some of the archaeological record and leads to aspects interesting conclusions.C. for conflict: although he continued to acknowledge evidence A certain amount of cultural differentiation during the second half of the period indicates an atmosphere of disquiet and disturbance. Halstead 33.Andreou. p.31 Archaeologists contin ued to elaborate a model of peaceful local change by assuming that social conditions predominant inNeolithic Thessaly. p. social reciprocity. 89 90.As a consequence produce the changes of these developments.Gallis 1996.Halstead 1999a. which was eventually to erupt intomore violent manifestations [with site destructions and abandonments] . delayed-return obligations.C. and mortuary customs. radiocarbon dating has now shown that theNeolithic This expanded chronology made it inThessaly began close to 7000 B.34The structuring of domestic spaces suggests that familial areas were partitioned to separate them from communal spaces.g. negotiation. 79. ported by While Tsountas had difficulty pushing the beginning of the Neolithic as farback as 3000 B. Halstead notes the tendency of Neolithic social structure to become segmented and isolated over time in terms of physical space.33 This model and as markers of space and animal enclosures. pp.. e. 90.30 One ity Perles 1993. the division of theNeolithic into four cultural phases the expansion of Neolithic chronology by radiocarbon dating. and after the 1970s theNeolithic was landscape widely understood to be characterized by cultural continu and the peaceful coexistence of politically egalitarian societies. Such conditions may have rewarded societies that pursued the sharing of resources and themitigation of conflict. possible pottery. 32. The new model of endogenous cultural processes did not require in tercommunal violence as an explanation.29 new model on the example of the effect of the interpretation ofNeolithic can be seen in the treatment of thewalls and ditches.294 295.

As noted in the introduction. Keeley.Nevertheless. and can only agree with Parkinson and Duffy that "themain interpretive conclusion to be drawn from the last 20 years of ar on enclosures and fortifications is that there isnone. wall are often described as defensive in projections. 43-91. 40. Keeley and Cahen 1989.41 military It ishard to imagine that some villages were building defensive ditches and walls while their contemporaries were using these same constructions for completely different purposes. we are persuaded by Parkinson and Duffy. Keeley andCahen 1989. who argue that there are reasons for connecting the appearance of commu 35. but we cannot exclude entirely the possibility of symbolic roles for these same features. and indeed is now widely accepted by European prehistorians.Fontana. many archaeologists.We acknowl nature.39 We are indeed fortifica argue here thatwalls and ditches in Thessaly tions. Parkinson andDuffy 2007. the presence ofweapons. the assessment of Neolithic cultural change due to violence in the form of invasions and migrations was ultimately abandoned and was replaced with a model that stressed cultural change as the result of endogenous social processes. Parkinson andDuffy 2007. 100-105. andQuick 2007. although are many alternative social and symbolic explanations for edge that there some of these features. Parkinson andDuffy 2007. Saville 2002. RUNNELS ET AL. Such features this explanation is not universally accepted. and Gates a at as having military function have been identified interpreted These features include perimeter walls of many European Neolithic sites. NEOLITHIC We WARFARE IN THESSALY Strong material correlates in the archaeological record for the presence of warfare include walls and ditches. anthropologists. we are guided by previous research into warfare in the prehistoric American Southwest. with the result that village areas were subdivided by ditches or walls. ditches. 41. Keeley. .37 stone ormud brick. p. territories. largely move peaceful in nature. Features Ditches. a he associates with the contemporary segmentation of decorative motifs on pottery. pp. 112-113. and towers. 38. historians strongly associate themwith military defense. 114-116. 1999a. 80. Tinevez 2002. pp."35 In short. Parkinson andDuffy 2007. Fontana. flanking buttresses.172 CURTIS N. pp. LeBlanc across the entire continent of Europe. and we must ask how we know that fromGreece walls and ditches inNeolithic Europe with nally constructed features like the emergence of segmentary social units such as descent groups. particularly thosewith gates suitable for a site. baffle gates. andQuick 2007.These symbolic moves were calculated to signal the "less inclusive nature of Late Neolithic hospitality. believe that the time has come to revisit the question of violence in Greek Neolithic culture. palisades.36 Walls. warfare as an explanation is still a strong possibility. and the separation of groups of sites by unoccupied or no-man's-lands. pp."38 chaeological research a is not possible. 39. and their attendant institutions inNeolithic societies?a pattern that they extend 37. Halstead 36. skeletal remains with indications controlling passage into and within of violence.40 Although Neolithic walls and ditches may have servedmany functions. 1999. or single explanation for any of these features Although indeed necessary. frommundane domes tic tasks such as controlling themovement of animals to symbolic uses as and representations of boundaries.

337.M. 113 48.51Although the causes of death of theMakriyalos dead have not been ascertained.48 In addition. and Kotsakis site ofNea Nikomedeia. 3). 45. where they are interpreted as particularly convincing evidence forwarfare.Neolithic ditches at P. Fotiadis. Both ditches have V-shaped sections. Keeley. and Quick 2007. p.3. Murray. p. pp.5 m inwidth and is 3. Pappa and Besios 1999.. or screens. Fotiadis. and it also used for the disposal of the dead. 334-335.46The LN site ofMakriyalos our area has two ditches that appear to be defensive in na study edge of The inner ditch (Alpha) averages 4. and SoufliMagoula. 115. Andreou. Golitko and dogleg shapes designed note that the LBK ditches or Keeley Y-shaped sections typically have Vas more that "are impractical for any domestic purpose. Pyke andYiouni 1996. 7. and the outer ditch (Beta) is somewhat narrower but is equally deep (Fig."44 In Thessaly. are certain to be of or military significancewhen theyhave complex gate opening arrangements such as offsets. 338. 3. fig.52 47. similar accumulations of human bone in ditches are widely attested inLBK Europe. palisades. 115. that the process of cre they emphasize ating these ditches could have been as the finished significant product. may have involved competition between social units in the community. 116. 130. represent an ideal form for purposes of defence against human attack. ditch Alpha was strengthened by adobe and stone walls. and 54% of these enclosures averaging 2. for example. The published plan shows a number of openings in the two ditches offset in away that can be as interpreted serving defensive purposes.5-4. . pp. Pappa and Besios 1999. walls. in fact intended for defense. Alpha was created over a number was of years as a series of deep pits thatwere eventually connected. which 44. . but the limited excavated area prevents detailed on the northern analysis of their function. Fontana. pp.6 (inset) deep. all ofwhich are identified by military historians and archaeologists alike as "classic defensive features at numerous sites stretching across thousands of years of history.5 m ture. 39 53."50The fragmentary human skeletons in the ditch are represented by scattered disarticulated bones from at least 50-60 individuals?males and females? of all ages. pp. at Servia. 232 and. left there without any special treatment.Golitko andKeeley 2007.8 have baffle gates. Golitko andKeeley 2007.47 42. in Macedonia. pp.Triantaphyllou 1999. whether ditches. 50. Hodder (1992.WARFARE IN NEOLITHIC THESSALY 173 ditches and walls were Neolithic s. at least partially. after Pappa yalos. p. Nea Nikomedeia.49 Corpses were thrown "carelessly into the ditch and . 43. 46. 113. 129 pp. for instance.Andreou. 294-295) discuss the epi sodic natureof thedigging at the site. p. as (2001. ditches. Kokkini dou andNikolaidou 1999. or some combination of these. fig. 7.. Drawing and Besios 1999. For broad swaths of 100 \0 argued convincingly. . but. Pyke andYiouni 1996. 337. p. have concentric ditches on the outer edges of the settlements similar to and Makriyalos those found elsewhere inGreece.Argissa.45 Two concentric ditches encircle the EN J Makri Figure 3. or a combination of the two encircle many sites. they erode quickly the military functions of ditches and walls have been X than any other form and aremore difficult to dig. doglegs. and Kotsakis 2001. Arapi Magoula. 52. p. walls. and Otzaki. Pappa and Besios 1999.4. that is."43Enclosures.42 In addition. 4 Europe. 51. 49. theyspeculateon the symbolic and social functions of such activities. in the same general area. fig. are enclosed with ditches m in width and 1. At least 70% of the Early Neolithic Linearbandkera mik (LBK) sites in central Europe. following 233).Golitko andKeeley 2007.6 m in depth. on the northern bank of the Peneios River. openings with defensive arrangements such as to prevent easy access. Golitko and Keeley 2007.

Theocharis 1973. fig. Plan of theNeolithic defensivewalls at Sesklo in the A M. steep-sided ravine to the east. who excavated the Sesklo acropolis more than a century ago. 5-7. themost are the baffle gate in the earlier noteworthy features of these walls phase on the landward and the heavier wall slope (i. p. but he was nevertheless convinced that the walls served a defensive purpose. the part of the acropolis that faced the lower town to the south.177. 6). afterTheocharis 1973. figs. k \J\ 0 _10 \ _? Figure 4. 4). provides few details about the construction of The best-known and most controversial fortifications inThessaly may be the stonewalls at Sesklo and Dimini.5 m thick and equally high. and Kotsakis 2001. Notable is a baffle gate on the side of the were site not protected by the deep. It is perhaps also significant that the site 53. 54. 65-68. Murray. fig. RUNNELS ET AL. although the site ismuch disturbed by later Neolithic construction (Fig. which were means of narrow negotiated by to small openings that gave access into a stone-lined walkways leading to the east). which served to separate the structures on the highest part of the site from the lower town. These concentric ring walls are pierced by narrow entrances or gateways. ?..174 CURTIS N.Tsountas.e. 263. The walls was remodeled augmented in the Late Neolithic when the acropolis and a large central megaron was constructed (Fig. 177 pears to be enclosed bywalls.Theocharis 1973. At MN Sesklo the acropolis ap thesewalls orwhether he found any evidence for substantial superstructures in the form of adobe or pise. and passim. Middle Neolithic. pp. . the acropolis is ringedwith walls that encircle a small domestic compound (Fig. andAndreou. Fotiadis. 5). The walls are up to 1. rather than the steep-sided ravine shows signs of extensive burning. DrawingP.54 At LN Dimini.53 Based on the available plans.

He also placed his findings in the context of a soci Marxian theory. 265. 58. For details. in addition. the defensive reexcavated the site in the 1970s. further discussion and see also Andreou.55 These openings could have been intended for defense. 57. see Theocharis 1973. see also 55.56 Particularly notable are the baffle gates that protect the openings in thewalls at the northern and southern ends. See especially 185. 56. Hourmouziadis 1979. p. the English summary inAndreou. Theocharis1973. not rule out the removal of such evidence by erosion although he could and Tsountas's excavations. reinvestigation of Dimini. with scholars either embracing a defensive military function in seeing them as partitions used for them. fig. these small entrances could have been easily defended.M. and two on thewest (perhaps with remains of a fifth in the south east quadrant). arguing that fortifications would imply stratified ety in theNeolithic. andKotsakis 2001. Fotiadis. after W maze of domestic compounds and intramural spaces.34. theywould have confused outsiders and provided inhabitants with multiple exits. p. andKotsakis 2001. Hourmouziadis rejected Theocharis 1973. but who this view was seriously challenged by the work of Hourmouziadis. the debate about the function of thewalls has continued. Fotiadis. 266. If attacked. Tsountas proposed a defensive function for thewalls at Dimini. Drawing P. Plan of the ?^ at Sesklo in theLate "x ?^ walls defensive Neolithic. For plans.58 have no hope of settling . a finding he rejected because he believed that social stratificationwas not part of the "Neolithic mode of production.75 //jny ' Neolithic * \^ x^ Figure 5.57In the years since Hourmouziadis published the results of his on the basis of his archaeological findings: he could find explanation partly no evidence that thewalls had been capped by superstructures of any kind. or following Hourmouziadis to organize space within We the community. Murray." as he called it. n. 176-188. figs.WARFARE IN NEOLITHIC THESSALY J. n. 186 I_? fig. 37.

for summary and references. 60.11 1996.6) include discussion of fortifications in and enclosures European prehistory. 101. . Even where there are no known fortifications. which is at heart one of theoretical perspective. Murray. a Plateia Magoula still-unstudied aspect of site location inThessaly is the choice of strategic defensible settings for sites such as Pefkakia. V m ^ 0_20 N Neolithic Figure6. Dimini in their p. which is situated on the rocky a slope of promontory overlooking theGulf of Volos. fig. 56. almost a matter of faith.fig.59 sites have walls with stone foundations and adobe Other Thessalian or pise superstructures arranged in complex concentric patterns. and Papathanassopoulos 1973. 59. and baffle gates noting thatParkinson andDuffy (2007.274 275. P. for example. uses Bearing inmind thatwalls and ditches undoubtedly had many that changed through time. Drawing ^ p. and mound of Ayia Sophia has mudbrick walls forming a gateway east of a a In addition large central building and ditch surrounding the magoula. It isworth Kotsakis 2001. defensivewalls atDimini. such as an undated stonewall surrounding Zarkou.60 to features noted in publications. Petroma the low goula. '''' ' ?' .271. pp.we conclude that the preponderance of evidence for their sizes. and Fotiadis. 4. RUNNELS ET AL. afterTheocharis 185. arrangements. See Andreou. _-1 this issue here. See n. monumental constructions with both military and symbolic functions that have been linked to the emergence of complex segmentary societies and their emergent institutions. has houses surrounded by circuit walls. we have observed unpublished walls or ditches at otherThessalian sites. but only urge the necessity of viewing Dimini and its walls within thewider European context of fortifications and enclosures.M.Plan ofthe ?fig.176 CURTIS N. 265-266. above. some of them symbolic.

however.63 Our theThessalian efforts to apply these findings to the assessment of mortality in Neolithic were unsuccessful because the burial practices. 1981. Golitko and Keeley 2007. in the absence of part further research. to suggest that a larger skeletal would yield interesting evidence for violence. 8. and hard-to-detect extra mural cemeteries. Perhaps it is safest to conclude. 66. secondary burials. and the otherwas laid on his chestwith one leg flexed toward his head. and we include the sample following discussion only as an illustration of the line that future research might take to test the hypothesis ofNeolithic warfare. p.Angel 1977. did not produce enough data for analysis. since cross-cultural studies have shown that is not uncommon inmany traditional societies for a quarter of adult males to die inwar. 64.67 is consistent with the hypothesis that were victims of violence. 94. soldiers in the American West showed that fewer than a third of deaths from arrowwounds left recognizable skeletal evidence. Two male crania from the FN site of Kephala on Keos have wounds. 63.66 One of the individuals was positioned with his legs bent beneath his body. Cullen 61. This may have been the case in theNeolithic. which Fowler estimates occurred within 12 hours of death. a careful study of deaths in battles between Native Americans and U. LeBlanc andRegister 2003. In a There later study of this site. p.1982.S. and the other with a penetration wound. Although no pathologies are visible on these remains.g. where in the LBK culture of central Europe the percentage of individuals who suffered traumatic injuries or show signs be very useful for assessing Neolithic warfare. . violent deaths leave traces in the skeletal remains in only a minority of cases.. 62. is circumstantial evidence. Fowler describes the unique burial circumstances of two other adult males. that to build a wall or to dig a ditch is at the very least a statement about the abilities and level of preparedness of the community to defend itself. 94. Fowler 2004.Gallis 1979. The second skull had healed cuts around the wound "as if to remove a projectile point. one with a shallow depression in the rear area of the skull vault. 136.Milner 2005. which pp. p.WARFARE IN NEOLITHIC THESSALY IJJ indicates that theNeolithic walls and ditches in Thessaly served at least in formilitary defense. and is also an expression of the level of trust they had in their neighbors. Remains data would with Indications of Violence Skeletal Mortuary Unfortunately. Fowler 2004. both ofwhom appear to have been dropped into grave pits soon after death. par cases where there are ticularly in high rates of trauma evident among the dead. 88-96. pp. Jacobsenand 65. as much were used toward off actual they physical confrontation. For example."65 Angel explained the wounds as the result of "hostile action" rather than accidental injury. unhealed head wounds from blunt trauma) reaches staggeringly high proportions of 20%. the haphazard burial of the individuals.64 Primary interments are too scarce to permit the study of the causes of mortality. The walls and ditches were perhaps intended by theirvery as existence to discourage attacks from happening in the firstplace. 67. and even more than 30% when the traumaswere not confined to young men of fightingage but included adults and children who had suffered violent deaths.62Milner argues that this is probably typical for battle deaths in general. and that the number ofwarfare deaths from all causes was much greater than the proportion that produces skeletal evidence. p. 335-336.61 of violent death (e. they included cremations.

where evidence for skeletal trauma.). 35-36.74 43. 69. fig..The appearance that blows had been dealt inmuch the same way suggests sex or age. and Norr note that "all fractures are small. and are found in adult males and females and sub-adults. For hunting. It is easy to imagine the same implement serving both military and nonmilitary functions during alsoAllen.71 Overall. 1981. one would expect to find weapons record. quotidian implements and military weapons and function. Europe in this period. . 90. For Papathanasiou. and Birkby 1985 and Turner and Turner 1999. Larsen. a percentage not out of linewith what is known for the rest of skeletal material from LN-FN Alepotrypa Cave in southern also exhibits levels of trauma thatmight be related towarfare. mostly containing cranial The match the fractures. possibly the cause of death. Unfortunately. is present. hunting. 72. Unfortu and is now missing nately. 218. sling and stone. 2000. see can and do overlap in size. mosdy nonlethal. Cullen 1995. this skull cannot be verified this observation 71. more regardless of the victim's though the evidence for trauma is seem to us to prevalent among males. butchery. all ofwhich are considered below. circular. though low. An edged blade of copper with evidence of hafting could be or the head for a thrusting spear used inwarfare. fig. The size and shape of sling bullets of thewounds bones. Greece one ossuary in the cave. As a consequence. fig. 83-91. including flaked-stone projectile points. comm."69 Some individuals showmultiple fractures. we felt it inwarfare. p. 68. See. RUNNELS ET AL. and copper axes and clay knives. Fowler (A.68The examination of 69 individuals from burial deposits. unhealed head wound. 2004. 220. or butchery.72 The cases cited here are not dissimilar to prehistoric assemblages from are correlated with comparable times and places where levels of violence resources and population stress that suggest warfare?for competition for in theAmerican Southwest. what Neolithic Thessalians ask a simple question: if engaged are numerous weapons would they have used? There possible Neolithic bullets of military weapons. Papathanasiou. further complicating the identification of military form. but could equally dagger have been used for display. Larsen. stonemace heads. example. Larsen. Papathanasiou.73 Weapons Ifwarfare existed inNeolithic the archaeological times. and well-healed at the time of death. Many and described Theocharis poulos 1996.178 CURTIS N. LeBlanc 1999. Papathanasiou. and agricultural functions was useful to evaluation of the hypothesis of prehistoric warfare. Jacobsen and Cullen 73. a equipment. Papathanasiou 2001. 12. 12. the forms and raw materials in of its active use life. 74. p. polished stone axes. the astonishing range of variability in even the small available mortuary sample from Greece makes any interpretation very difficult. pp. 75. also pp. 70.g. 90. are illustrated examples in in the catalogues 1973 and Papathanasso and Norr and Norr 2000. pp. 58-59.Merbs.70 Also fromAlepotrypa is a burial where the victim appears to have suffered from a large. e. table 7. p. revealed that 13% of the individuals exhibited healed depressed cranial fractures. pers. p. and so could have been responsible for this pattern of trauma. Papathanasiou 2001.6. archaeologists tend to avoid interpret Neolithic artifacts as weapons when alternative explanations such as ing are our ready to hand.

6 Figure 7. projectile points are found embedded in human bones. suggests that spears Neolithic projectile points of flint. 81. Diamant 1977. by the low representation ofwild species among the faunal remains at that site. wild game. 7. during theNeolithic.6. hunting was or Mesolithic. 374.126. 75. 77. figs. 182. from tranchets in the earlier phases to patterning tanged. quartz. Projectile Points large size of some projectile points. 84-85. 7. 79.we assume that the bow and arrow was known. soundings made inmost Thessalian archaeological record of all regions ofGreece suggests thatNeolithic arrowheads were less common in the earliest Neolithic. obsidian. Tor Neolithic and later.when hafted.75There is chronological to these types. and in any sample sizes are small because of the small sites. The The shouldered. fig. 7). or javelins were also used. In a similar fashion. as the distribution and association of projectile case the points have only rarely been published.11. pp.80 Likewise. the size and variability of projectile points increased across Greece. 340.183.6. See above.Golitko andKeeley 2007.78 At the same time. or knife blades. see also pp. Demoule and Perles 1993. The apparent continuity in the use of arrowheads at Bronze Age Lerna in theArgolid prompted Runnels to ask why thiswould be so ifhunting was of limited economic common pp. pp.10. 75. red deer. 78. and they appear in patterns and frequen cies thatmake it likely that thewounds were the result ofwarfare. 29. e. 382-383. and triangular forms in later phases.WARFARE IN NEOLITHIC THESSALY 179 Drawing P. p. pp. 111. suggesting a less favorable habitat for 80. to the end of the Bronze Age.81 .Neolithic stone projectile pointsfrom Franchthi Cave. decreased at the end of theNeolithic. while at Pefkakia. similarly fitted for hafting.M. 124-157. 76. 8. Although the smaller typeswould have been used as points for arrows. p.5. with some modifi production cations in form.Halstead 1999a. and other materials are found in awide some variety of types (Fig. figs. large projectile points are associated with LBK a western assemblages in Europe. in Neolithic France. as spearheads Were any of these points used for warfare in Neolithic Thessaly? Con text is a poor guide here.. examples cited in n. the size of the largest available prey. p.77InThessaly.79 and we conclude that these artifactswere not specialized for hunting. larger examples such as the triangular points illustrated here could well have served. where hunting also shows steady decline and the frequency of burial trauma and fortification is highest.5.1. To judge from the large number of small stone projectile points with notches and tangs for hafting known fromGreek Neolithic sites. See. 125.g.4. pp. but became more in theMiddle as indicated importance. 1985. with unhealed traumas as a result. 393-394.76 It is interesting that the of stone arrowheads inGreece continued. 381. Runnels table 5. 11. n.3. Demoule and Perles 1993. with certainly of less importance than in the Palaeolithic rence 1991.Guilaine and Zammit 2005. after Pedes 2004. Murray. bones fromwild animals typically forming less than 8% of the total faunal assemblage. 94.

two formulas. a range of mass of a The typical Greek Neolithic sling bullet fallswithin ca. The estimationof mass assumed that mass Volume volume/1.Neolithic sling bullets from Sesklo.M. pp. . typically lengthandwidth (i. 70-73.htm (accessed 2008). were based on data i. terracotta. 39-42. 158 at Rakhmani. pp. Figure 8. 1996. Wace and Thompson 1912. the formula used was on the num depending ber of dimensions that were given. p.l8o CURTIS N. Sesklo. Murray. p. utilitarian Also significant is the shape of the typicalNeolithic sling bullet.83 shape.g. Pritchett1975. clay and stone. 86. The relative of the raw materials used for 1912. 228-232.simetric. while theirNeolithic forerunners were or stone. basing her argument on the chiefly fragility of sun-baked clay.82 sical times are designed for precision throwing. RUNNELS ET AL. and thickness[th])were provided.co. pp.88 the typically made of sun-dried clay. p. and like the biconical bullets of Clas weapons. e. Zangemeister 1885. charis 1973. For illustrations slingbullets at of Theocharis 1973.which she believes is impracti use as a weapon inwarfare. 85. and Pedes 2001.89 This argument can be countered cal for by Korfmanns suggestion that the accuracy of sling bullets in combat was 82. and passim. p. of Neo their manufacture.274.125. fig.84This range is similar to that observed by Zangemeister in his survey of Classical sling bullets found at sites in Sicily and Italy. 89. fig. 20-45 was the possible Neolithic weapon sling. Despite similarity of theNeolithic sling bullets to Classical weapons. weight.uk/si_materials. 8).87 The preferred rawmate rial forClassical sling bullets was lead.86 purposes rather than forwarfare. 43.85The finding of caches of sling bullets on Neolithic sites (e. available from width width) were provided.e. pp. width [w]. 88. Pritchett1975. it has been were used for suggested that the Neolithic versions peaceful. 39. see 83.g. 274 afterTheo Sling Another Bullets Neolithic g. See. with one of latedforbiconical bullets = x density [V] was calcu Classical slingbullets by thedata for collectedbyFoss (1974): the thickness was found to be typically of thebullets 60% of the width. supported lithicslingbullets on thebasis of their dimensions.We see Korfmann estimated the mass 1973. This function is evident from inscribed specimens that say "Your heart or "Take this!" or even for Cerberus!" "Ouch!".. This substitution www.. 43. and and we know that Classical sling bullets were used inwarfare.Childe 1951. Papathanassopoulos When only twodimensions (lengthand v=n(k^pth) 87.. and 130 atTsangli) further supports the likelihood that slings were used as sling bullets resemble Classical examples in size. Perles argues that clay sling bullets were used as missiles by shepherds to control their flock. 141. 43. such as Tsountas Thompson densities as given in publications and 1908.000. Biconical sling bullets of both stone and clay are common on Greek Neolithic sites (Fig.0. 110 at Sesklo.Tsountas 1908.e. Foss 1974. where themass of a bullet varies from 24 to 47 g. 84. Wace When three dimensions (length [1]. 327-329.. Neo lithic bullets are biconical or ovoid. diameter). Drawing P. Perles 2001.6 of the was substituted for "thickness" is in the formula. Pritchett1975.

suggesting that slings continued to be used into post-Neolithic times. pp. Vutiropulos 1991. 96. Korfmann 1986. following Vutiropulos. He proposed thatNeolithic were sun-baked without temper or chaff in order tomaximize clay bullets their density and hardness. atNeolithic Knossos) that suggest a special Neolithic 95. are as sling bullet assemblages at some Greek sites.90 Korfmann use of sun-baked argued that the clay aided in the standardization of the bullets' weight and shape. the function of the caches seems similar. pp. 98. Sesklo. clay rounded containers sunk into the floor. Korfmann 93. 63. Chapman 1999. 38-39. where over "along the court wall opposite the entrance a thousand slingmissiles of unbaked were found. in particularly blows the LBK. Korfmann also held that the preference for biconical shape defensive walls man also argues for the defensive function of on stockpiles of sling bullets Neolithic Balkan sites. hafting. such as those atUmm Dabaghiyah93 and large atTel Sabi Abyad. ifhafted.g.when we compare the size and shape ofGreek Neolithic clay sling bullets with later examples. allow ing the slinger to keep his throw consistent. 97. While the numbers of sling bullets inNear Eastern caches are greater than those found in Neolithic Thessaly. it seems likely that theywere in fact used primarily. 43. 92. 94. p. Axes and Mace Heads 90.91 In the Neolithic Near East. Korfmann 91. It is undeniable that celts. Golitko andKeeley 2007. but they occur widely. distance.95 in preparation for their use against military attack. and velocity. where more than a dozen of them have been fromDimini. Pritchett1975.92 Sling bullets military are often found in caches.96 We assume. because there are numerous examples made from exotic and colorful stones (e. 99. 282. as firedclaywould crack upon impactwith hard a was objects. and consider the relatively large caches inwhich they occur. to the skull. 39.99 It is difficult to know how many mace heads occur in because of the incomplete deposits publication of excavations. Other potential Neolithic weapons that await detailed analysis are ground and polished stone axes (celts) and perforated mace heads. and use wear. Kirkbride 1982. 229-231.98 The other potential ground and polished stoneweapon is the perforated stone sphere sometimes identified as a mace head (Fig. that was the ideal form the form of theNeolithic sling bullet endured because it to deliver a destructive effect. One cannot easily suggest an alternative use for these objects (although a digging-stick weight is one possibility).WARFARE IN NEOLITHIC THESSALY l8l in fact improved by the choice of sun-baked clay. but there is circumstantial evidence for the use of stone axes as weapons inNeolithic Europe. deduced from the large numbers of unhealed traumas.97In sum. Evans 1964. as weapons ofwar. p.Vutiropulos 1991. sociated with destruction horizons including Korphi t'Aroniou and Panermos on Naxos. 1973. sling bullet assemblages are sufficiently common in contexts of destruction and sieges that archaeologists point to as evidence for the use of these assemblages slings. fig."94 suggesting their storage near In the subsequent Early Bronze Age. as a rawmaterial. all stored in narrow. would have been effective as battle-axes (Fig. 282. ifnot exclusively. Akkermans 1973. 10).. 52. 9:a). p. reported . p. from to Alepotrypa Cave in theMani Thessaly. p. 339. It is hard to demonstrate the use of celts as weapons in the absence of detailed studies of context. value and purpose. rather than terracotta or stone.Chap intended to improve accuracy. 1993. p.

9:b.and (b)copper (weight g). RUNNELS ET AL. . 267.100The known maces their use as symbols of power or rank. after Papa Cave. Papathanassopoulos). Moundrea-Agrafioti Z. 100. >' ' V ^ V - xj . pp. and (a) 184 1996.226. 290. fl \ b Vi/ _ V V J . V. \ :i . 240.pp. . 308 for Bronze Age examples. (b)Papathanassopoulos /^^^^ I ^. Malakassioti).240. See Renfrew 1972. | Figure Neolithic(a)ground ax 714 I ax. P. pp. . but Zachos and p. no. (G.fig.Neolithic ground stone mace heads from (left to right) Dimini. Murray.The vast numbers of stone objects that have been found by chance in recent years on theNeolithic mounds inThessaly and turned into theArchaeological Museum have yet to be examined. nassopoulos 1996.p. Drawings M. pp. 65:a-c and (A. 322 in Papatha lists 17 examples. See Tsountas and catalogue entries we also note the occurrence on Thessalian sites of axes and Finally. 40. including specimens from 101. 226-221\ no.. ll). y/ 4 I I | Figure 10. Alepotrypa Drawing P. 1996.and Sesklo.l82 CURTIS N.M. and the use of attractive stones for theirmanufacture does not rule out andMarmariani. I after Theocharis1973. both from Sesklo. figs.101 Neolithic copper daggers are not numerous. 332../ / : I stone 9.y \. Murray. Copper Knives or Daggers 323. fig. . 40 1908. and we predict thatmany more mace heads will be identified once these collections are studied.. daggers of cast copper with forms similar to typical Bronze Age weapons from axes and throughout theworld (Figs. thanassopoulos average about 6-7 cm in diameter.

ithas been investigated. figs.5. empty zdnes. 141. Murray. we assume that each individual Neolithic a magoula represents single village of closely related individuals. nos. Neolithic of blades copper Figure after 1996. particularly well attested in theAmerican South has been found to correlate with endemic warfare in all cases where west. Papathanassopoulos 44 p. 228. Zachos developed from aNeolithic predecessor in an unbroken sequence.where kinship tieswere likely to sites inThessaly shows that voids?areas of landscape that are empty due to unexplained causes?are present in the settlement pattern. Alepotrypa Drawing / /\ / I k \ 'J v^. from Cave. 492-493. p.40.water. pattern. 103..would become weaker as the distances be tween sites increased. while they encouraged cooperation among villages that were physically close together. 69-73. voids.We also assume that the social relations that We expected. pp. 2006. pp. Marcus and Flannery 1996. Milner 1999. 49. Heider 1979. ^??-$0. p. I P. or buffer zones. may have existed between individual Neolithic villages. fig. Other examples of prehistoric no-mans-lands. (K. M. why are they there? We must begin with a number of assumptions.9. 106.g. Zachos 1996. See van Andel and Runnels these different examples. entries in Papatha 104. In the study of prehistoric warfare in the American Southwest. Adams andDuff 2004. L. 290. LeBlanc 1999. are known from the and the eastern United Maori. fig.or no-man's-lands. fig.WARFARE IN NEOLITHIC THESSALY 183 11. p. especially relations based on kinship.e.Dye 2006.104 No-man's-lands the community for combat to take place. \ c> J | Pefkakia and Sesklo were melted down. 105. They also provided places outside 1996. theNew Guinea highlands. Mesoamerica. States. and grazing rightswould not be as strong among villages within a group of settlements that are in close proximity. one of themost persuasive indicators of sustained violence was the separation of groups of sites by empty territory.106 Ifwarfare is not the explanation for these voids.10.105This The buffer zones provided some protection because they exposed anyone crossing themwithout authorization to detection and provided the defend ers an opportunity to prepare for attack. pp. see also catalogue 102. . 182-184 nassopoulos with illustrations. Zachos). We further assume that competition for land. and Perles 1999. therefore.2. see.that groups of sites in NeoUthic Thessaly would be separated by no-mans-lands if the threat ofwarfare was a factor influ encing settlement patterns.102 It is probable thatmany others suggests that theAegean Bronze Age daggers Settlement No-Man's-Lands were necessary buffer zones separating groups of settlements that were more or less continuous experiencing high levels of raiding and warfare. an argu ment based on the difference in shape between theGreek specimens and those known from neighboring regions. An inspection of previously published maps of the distribution of Neolithic 1995.Zachos 1996.103 Patterns and in our study area. For Allen 2006. 441-449. For instance.

and the best landswere the lowlands around the Peneios River. See van Andel. 87. but that conflict over resources would be occur between groups of sites likely to separated by open land. In Thessaly. In Halstead's view. 121 .g.113 most characteristic is that often not one but several closely spaced. 1994. Perles 1999. which have been the sider previous work age and found numerous Palaeolithic sites but no trace ofmajor Mesolithic habitation. more be direct and reasonably strong. Secondarily. vanAndel and Runnels 1995. and 2001. Gallis.The indigenous 2006. Perles 1999. and exhibited on the digging springs. 1979. springs or other point sources ofwater were few.111 They argued further that the earliest farmers Neolithic were free to establish their settlements on the most productive lands for access towater in the form of a preference for agriculture. thediffusionist rissi-Apostolika model: vanAndel andRunnels 1995.. which could be relied upon to receive floodwaters from late winter into the summer. 113. as an To subject of study since the time ofTsountas. vanAndel and Runnels 1995.This interpretation of the landscape voids. Halstead 108. She carried out a nearest from one phase within neighbor analysis of the distribution of magoules she found that the magoules are While the EN (Proto-Sesklo. 1999a. See. pp. has recently been studied in detail in connection with the were in question of whether the earliest Neolithic farmers inThessaly who developed into farmers.184 CURTIS N. lakes. that cultivated fields and hunting and grazing areas could also have served as effective buffer zones. derived from the study of theAmerican Southwest. Toufexis 151. its fluctuatingwater level.2001. with on a more or less annual basis and attracted settlers. InThessaly.108 It is certainly possible. 38-63. but he explicitly rejects warfare explanation for these open areas. RUNNELS ET AL. on the area's settlement patterns. the competitors?at earliest settlers selected locations close to perennial water sources for their settlements. could have served to reinforce kinship bonds and con reciprocal social relationships among villages having direct kinship nections. These assumptions permit us to conclude that theThessalian empty areas were in reality buffer zones. p.1992. p.Halstead 1999a.Halstead makes in the landscape between groups or clusters ofNeolithic villages were filled as cultivation and evidence of deforestation with signs of habitation?such and herding?that anyone entering these open areas would encounter. and social cooperation gave way to conflict. below). Gallis 111. the shorelines of Lake Karla. 2001. for instance. "what is nearest neighbours are located at roughly the same distance from a site. he argues. model: Kypa 110. is not universally ac case that the voids a good cepted. or no-mans-lands. the results of a survey of the region that targeted sites of pre supported by evaluate the different possible explanations for the open areas of we must con landscape inNeolithic Thessaly (see Figs. e. Halstead 1999a. Perles arrived at a somewhat different conclusion. 12-14. and the results to confirm that therewas a preference for floodplain settings. 107. or were immigrants from digenous foragers farmers outside Greece.107 These signs.This surveyis reportedin Runnels 1988. and riversbecause their technology depended With few stick for cultivation of relatively small fieldswith mixed crops. for example. or EN 2).109 The EN settlement pattern. designed to separate groups of settlements where the ties of kinship were weakest. Perles 109. 89. pp.110 Van Andel and Runnels concluded that the first who a conclusion settled in Thessaly found the region largely uninhabited. the unoccupied land between site clusters also served to reinforce territorial limits. 112. exposed fertile land The hypothesis of river floodplain use was tested by augering below EN sites to determine the nature of the underlying sediments. least initially?for access to the best soils near water.112 appeared In her analysis of EN settlement data from eastern Thessaly. though.

Sahlinsl974. 46. 2. pattern that can be seen also on themaps provided by van Andel and Runnels in their earlier study. magoules being kinship and social coopera tion are attractants that bind settlements together in mutually supportive groups. for example. increased through time. the empha p.117 were settled Empty spaces only gradually in later phases of theNeolithic. pp. within the areas of EN 2 settlement.2.3 km in all directions around and between these areas. are neither randomly distributed distribution maps for the EN 2 show clearly the tendency for groups of the a to be separated magoules by large empty areas." or open areas. her statisti cal tests suggest that EN 2 sites.120How large are these empty areas or voids? If the average spacing of magoules is ca. 200-218. 117. with the average area of separation between ca. show many local distributions of sites the river valleys along that drain the plateau. 119. As we shall see. 114. social. considered the effects ofwarfare on the distribution of sites. Perles 1999. 116.However. It is still possible. LeBlanc sis is in the original. between groups of settlements in her was in any case intended to test the association of analysis (which magoules with certain types of soil or other geographic features such as floodplains). Perles 1999.115 It is important to note. 1999. but a spread according to regular of c. too. pp. the lackof precision in the coordinates pressed to sites in close proximity being sorted into short linear strings by the software the linear align program. Perles 1999. even where the internal distribution is rather uniform. the spacing visible in our Figure 12 or in Perless maps. cultural. 115. 118.WARFARE IN NEOLITHIC THESSALY 185 strongly clustered. it is useful to begin with a reconsideration of Sahlins's pithy dictum that "maximum dispersion is the settlement pattern of the state of nature. the groups of sites. In the Sahlins model. however." Previous studies ofThessalian Neolithic settlement patterns have not some areas."114 While noting that the small distances between sites indicate a pattern of dense settlement. Early Neolithic 2 settlements avoided nor in a reticulated. we can assume that an open space between settlements greater than this would constitute an unoccupied area. p. In our attempts to create a GIS model of site distribution we used in the Neolithic. through time site coordi nates providedbyGallis inhisAtlas (1992). and presumably population.6. 46. 492 figs. for reasons as yet unexplained. a large. as site numbers. She concluded from her analysis that therewas a regularity in the distribu tional pattern within the settled areas. in theory. if at all. Based on the available data (e.119 Turning toThessaly. a comparison of the distribution of sites plotted inFigures 12-14 shows that open areas between zones of dense settlement are evident from the beginning of settlement in the Early Neolithic.3 km. exaggerating ment. are separated by empty areas or unoccupied no-man's-lands that served both as territo rialmarkers (in the sense used and as defensive buffer zones byHalstead) between clusters of sites thatwere in a state of hostility. 121-151. and these groups of sites are as interpreted resulting from the effect of kinship and cooperation. pp. multidirectional pattern. some of the voids remained unsettled throughout theNeolithic for "reasons as yet unexplained.10.warfare could reinforce this tendency. and Runnels 1995. 2."118 This suggests that. 49-50. we propose that spaces of 4 km or more without settlements represent areas thatwere unoccupied or void. but despite widespread archaeological survey it seems that "fundamentally. 2. and some remain unoccupied throughout theNeolithic period. p. as long as therewere no physiographic. or economic barriers to "maximum dispersion." Indeed. 120. pp. however. figs. this is exactlywhat Perles appears to have found through ."116Perles's grid van Andel 493.To do so. 9. Perles 1999. empty throughout are not ex (they to the minute and second) led her nearest-neighbor analysis. But here. 2001. to see areas were devoid of that considerable sites and remained the period. p. that she did not include the "voids. plain like the east ernThessalian basin should have a more or less evenly distributed pattern of settlements.3 km. 51. cited above).. 97. at least.5. 2. In theory. Archaeological site distributions in the American Southwest on the Colorado plateau. relatively uniform.g.

but are real. or are sites not detectable in these places by These are possibilities. these episodes were not large in extent and are on the Wetlands unconvincing as explanations for the empty areas. Zangger. particularly in the southwestern portion of the are located in the level plain. 1992. See van Andel. we must con sider alternative explanations for the existence of unoccupied areas. but it is equally clear that other voids plain. pp. The environmental factor is difficult to evaluate in the absence of detailed reconstructions.Approximate distribution ofEarly Neolithic sites in eastern Thessaly. pedestrian survey? but Galliss review of the history of exploration and his detailed catalogue of finds by survey and chance suggest that these empty areas are not due to a lack of research. RUNNELS ET AL. Based Gallis 1992 on coordinates given in do coincide with low hills. Is the Figure 12.Gallis 1979.121Is the explanation environmental? The relief shown inFigures 12-14 makes it clear that some of the empty areas Before we can attribute these empty areas towarfare.122 .l86 CURTIS N. 13-22. and times thatmight have served to remove ormask sites. absence of sites the result of a lack of research in these areas. Demitrack 122. and while palaeoenvironmental evidence for soil erosion during and afterNeolithic there is documented 121. 1990.

The Peneios River. and sites on either bank would be about 2. but this argument can also be used to support the hypothesis that theywere buffer zones. Poor soil. The riverwould . but their past locations are known.Gallis 1992. and again they are unlikely to be the only explanation for the empty zones. Environmental factors certainly must have played a role in the cre of empty zones. scrubby a or grazing land. Based Gallis 1992 on coordinates given in southeastern edge of the plain such as Lake Karla (see Fig. zone. might have served conflict as both a resource of water and food. The Peneios bisects the plain from the southwest to the northeast. some zones could have been unattractive toNeolithic farmers who relied upon a relatively simple agricultural technology of digging sticks and hoes. or theymay have lacked water. or perhaps had poor soil.Approximate distribution Middle Neolithic sites in eastern of Thessaly.WARFARE IN NEOLITHIC THESSALY 187 Figure 13.123 Of course. as well as being a useful buffer 123. 23-32. 1) have been drained systematically in recent years. wetlands exploited for fish and game could have caused ation or maintenance area to be chosen as a buffer zone between communities when particular was a factor. pp.5 km apart. for instance.

a hostile act Figure 14. RUNNELS ET AL. and that larger. itwould be reasonable to expect other indicators of warfare to emerge once more information from extensive stratified excavations of mounds within the individual site clusters becomes available. LeBlanc's American Southwest model predicts that smaller. 124. allowing the inhabitants of different settlements to be specific about the limits of their territories. and is an easily defined feature. densely occupied villages would be located closer to the centers of clusters. given inGallis 1992 on coordinates If the voids. LeBlanc 1999. 69-73. were barriers separating different groups of settlements in circumstances of chronic conflict. fortified sites are likely to be located near the more edges of no-mans-lands. . pp. nevertheless have served as an effective environmental barrier. we do not have enough data to test this hypothesis inThessaly. ensuring that anyone encountered on the "wrong" side of the riverwould be considered as making and therefore subject to attack. a river cannot be "occupied" by settlement. or no-mans-lands.124 At present.Approximate distribution ofLate and Final Neolithic sites in eastern Based Thessaly. By its na ture.l88 CURTIS N.

493. maps published earlier by van Andel and Runnels show that these no-man's-lands are also a salient feature of the Early Bronze Age settlement pattern inThessaly. and the knives. or common simply been grazing lands. peaceful explana tions for these features of the Neolithic in Thessaly. pp. But when viewed as awhole.10. figs.125 CONCLUSIONS We have based our assessment of Neolithic warfare on a combination of features seen in the archaeological record.LeBlanc 1999. LeBlanc has that under conditions of chronic warfare argued one would expect that outlying sites nearest to the no-man's-land would be abandoned and the remaining populations would move away from the borders of enemy territory to settle in larger. 87-88. sling bullets. One area for furtherresearchwould be to investigate the individual site clusters. stone axes. ifnot purely symbolic ones. and the occurrence on many sites of potential weapons such as copper no knives. and opinion we cannot dismiss lightly the possibility of alternative. the combined evidence from these different classes of data points to violent conflict. which he thinkswas done to achieve monumentality as the result of the We competition among households within the settlement. Halstead 1999a. fig. The number of sites has increased. 14). and thus allowing the no-mans-land to be filled in? Finally. including the no-man's-lands separating groups of settlements. where smaller siteswere seemingly abandoned and the remaining siteswere In grouped more tightly.WARFARE IN NEOLITHIC THESSALY 189 partially filled. the common occurrence of stone walls with baffle gates. building up of tells tomake them taller.126 This may be what we see . the ditches and walls could have servedmany peaceful purposes. Although we have not produced amap to show the Bronze Age distribution. See vanAndel and Runnels 1995. the patterns are somewhat different (Fig. Scholarly on these matters will remain divided for some time to come. in the Late and Final Neolithic (Fig. however. Is itpossible that competition for territory increased along with population growth. and mace heads. and at least one of the voids appears to have been have continued after theNeolithic period.10. sling bullets. ditches with V-shaped sections. In theMiddle Neolithic. and mace heads could have been tools used in craftwork. If correctly identified. 127. items of status and or display.more readily defensible vil lages protected by extensive no-mans-lands. in the Early Bronze Age inThessaly. 12). evidence for fortifica tions. While one class of artifact or feature can be used to determine the individually spaces could have resulted from the avoidance of poor-quality farmland. and some of the no-mans-lands appear to have grown This trendmay larger. the sum of evidence a provides strong circumstantial case for the ofwarfare.9. 13). p.128 believe that It is perhaps too early to speculate about causes ofNeolithic warfare in Greece. the voids can be seen to fall between four or five areas of settlement in the Early Neolithic (Fig. 126. We readily acknowledge. hunting weapons. existence of prehistoric warfare. 492-493. arrowheads. 54-74. arrowheads. pp. See van Andel and Runnels pp. the number of sites decreases.127 the Halstead documents the Neolithic. 1995. that each class of data is also subject to alternative explanations: the empty 125. leading to the merging of two of the groups in the region. and at the very least the possibility ofwarfare cannot presence be dismissed without further investigations. axes. 128.

RUNNELS ET AL. water. 8. LeBlanc and Register 2003.and in tracommunal violence.129 thinks that the use of these tells as Although Halstead meant to evoke awe. LeBlanc and Register 2003. pp.or grudging respect grand communal expressions Bronze Age. 1999a.190 CURTIS N. sult of competition for arable land and water triggered by the 8200 cal climatic event that caused rapid emigration fromAnatolia.131 walls as symbolic moves calculated to signal the "less inclusive nature of LN was the emergence of hospitality. LeBlanc 130. Halstead p. 1999a.A significant of the causes ofwarfare in the problem connected with the understanding to the social control of violence past is that ethnographic research points inmany contexts where social and cultural norms dictate what resources are considered worth fighting over. serving "footprints" occupied land to sym bolize corporate rights to defined territories. 2006. Halstead 132. p. and that warfare or the threat of intercommunal violence may have characterized much ifnot all of human prehistory. 133. An mass emigration fromAnatolia episode of could 129. etal. Clearly. Weninger . although Keeley s and LeBlanc and Register sglobal surveys of ethnographic and archaeological evidence have thrown doubt on this comfortable assumption. for about 200 years. Another area for research is the study of human remains. this interesting hypothesis could be explored further. 1999. the evaluation of the role ofwarfare in this process is essential. p. and grazing rights often led towarfare among prehistoric foragers and farmers. is a period ofmuch colder and arid conditions lasting and his colleagues to have forced farmers tomove Weninger thought by westward from southeastern and central Turkey to seek favorable condi tions for agriculture.Keeley 1996. 55-76. pp. LeBlanc and 2003. domestic structures in were Thessaly suggest that familial spaces partitioned off from communal He interprets the subdivision of the village area by ditches or spaces.135 If it is agreed that subsistence and economic values are at least partly culturally construed. with the more visible tells as on higher.134 It is evident that competition for territory.133 The data needed to test such a hypothesis forNeolithic Greece are simply nonexistent were able to control social conflict and prevent outbreaks of inter. 72-73.We b. what were its causes? Archae once assumed that early foragers and village-based agriculturalists ologists today.136 This event. promising LeBlanc and Register note in theirworld survey of earlywarfare that one could expect high mortality rates among young men where warfare is pres ent. 1999a."132The culmination of this trend the more socially stratified and territorially divisive cultures of the Early siteswithin a site cluster. 136. Register 135. p.130 we are not also argues for the ready to rule out that possibility. 88.as the possibility of such social competition could have been a catalyst forwarfare. to the recognition ofNeolithic war inThessaly is Equally significant the likelihood thatwarfare appears to have been present from the very be re was can perhaps the speculate thatwarfare ginning of the period. 79. we can avoid de Ifwarfare existed inNeolithic Greece. 80. Halstead for Neolithic social structure over time to become segmented and tendency isolated in terms of physical space within villages. terminism as an explanation forwarfare or its absence.This building up of higher tells would certainly lend itself to the creation of intervisibility among among ones neighbors is an unlikely motivation for their construction. a feature associated with warfare in theAmeri can Southwest. 134. Halstead 131. fear.p.with the figure approaching 20%-25% where warfare was endemic.

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RUNNELS ET AL. in cal yr b. Joris. of K. G. E." Papathanassopoulos 143.194 CURTIS N. at Neolithic Sites in the Eastern Med Research 66. A. Weninger.edu cambridge.harvard." EphEp6y pp. ed. L. Event "ClimateForcingDue to the 8200 Early Quaternary pp. O. LeBlanc Harvard peabody and ii University museum ethnology street massachusetts 02138 of archaeology boston.edu whitech@bu. cepayne@bu. boston. pp. Observed 2006. C. K.. Wolff Boston department 675 commonwealth massachusetts University of archaeology avenue o2215 boston. Zachos. Latine Plumbae Inscriptae.p. E. Kubatzki. boston. To dorova. Clare. The iterranean. leblanc@fas. Civilization." 1996.edu Noam V. 2005. B. 1996. Bauer..Rifkind Boston department 675 commonwealth massachusetts University of archaeology avenue 02215 Steven A.edu . H. "Glandes Zangemeister. Danzeglocke. U. divinity nrifkind@bu. van Andel. "Metallurgy. Rollefson. P. and T. 401-420. 140 Archaeology War: Human since the of Conflict Dawn Boston. Runnels Boston department 675 commonwealth massachusetts University of archaeology avenue 02215 Chantel White Boston department 675 commonwealth massachusetts University of archaeology avenue o2215 boston. Curtis N. runnels@bu. L. 1-143. Alram-Stern.edu Claire Payne Boston department 675 commonwealth massachusetts University of archaeology avenue 02215 Nicholas P.edu nwolff@bu. 1885. Young.

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