Horejs, B., Milic, B., Ostmann, F., Thanheiser, U., Weninger, B. and Galik, A. (2015). The Aegean in the Early 7th Millennium BC: Maritime Networks and Colonization. J. World Prehist., 28 (4). S. 289 - 331. NEW YORK: SPRINGER. ISSN 1573-7802

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The process of Near Eastern neolithization and its westward expansion from the core zone in the Levant and upper Mesopotamia has been broadly discussed in recent decades, and many models have been developed to describe the spread of early farming in terms of its timing, structure, geography and sociocultural impact. Until now, based on recent intensive investigations in northwestern and western Anatolia, the discussion has mainly centred on the importance of Anatolian inland routes for the westward spread of neolithization. This contribution focuses on the potential impact of east Mediterranean and Aegean maritime networks on the spread of the Neolithic lifestyle to the western edge of the Anatolian subcontinent in the earliest phases of sedentism. Employing the longue dur,e model and the concept of 'social memory', we will discuss the arrival of new groups via established maritime routes. The existence of maritime networks prior to the spread of farming is already indicated by the high mobility of Epipalaeolithic/Mesolithic groups exploring the Aegean and east Mediterranean seas, and reaching, for example, the Cyclades and Cyprus. Successful navigation by these early mobile groups across the open sea is attested by the distribution of Melian obsidian. The potential existence of an additional Pre-Pottery Neolithic (PPN) obsidian network that operated between Cappadocia/Cilicia and Cyprus further hints at the importance of maritime coastal trade. Since both the coastal and the high seas networks were apparently already well established in this early period, we may further assume appropriate knowledge of geographic routes, navigational technology and other aspects of successful seafaring. This Mesolithic/PPN maritime know-how package appears to have been used by later groups, in the early 7th millennium calBC, exploring the centre of the Anatolian Aegean coast, and in time establishing some of the first permanent settlements in that region. In the present paper, we link this background of newcomers to the western edge of Anatolia with new excavation results from Cukuri double dagger i Hoyuk, which we have analysed in terms of subsistence strategies, materiality, technology and symbolism. Additionally, further detailed studies of nutrition and obsidian procurement shed light on the distinct maritime affinity of the early settlers in our case study, something that, in our view, can hardly be attributed to inland farming societies. We propose a maritime colonization in the 7th millennium via routes from the eastern Mediterranean to the eastern Aegean, based on previously developed sea networks. The pronounced maritime affinity of these farming and herding societies allows us to identify traces of earlier PPN concepts still embedded in the social-cultural memories of the newcomers and incorporated in a new local and regional Neolithic identity.

Item Type: Journal Article
CreatorsEmailORCIDORCID Put Code
URN: urn:nbn:de:hbz:38-386221
DOI: 10.1007/s10963-015-9090-8
Journal or Publication Title: J. World Prehist.
Volume: 28
Number: 4
Page Range: S. 289 - 331
Date: 2015
Publisher: SPRINGER
Place of Publication: NEW YORK
ISSN: 1573-7802
Language: English
Faculty: Unspecified
Divisions: Unspecified
Subjects: no entry
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Anthropology; ArchaeologyMultiple languages
URI: http://kups.ub.uni-koeln.de/id/eprint/38622


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