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Going Over: The Mesolithic-Neolithic Transition in North-West Europe$
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Alasdair Whittle and Vicki Cummings

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780197264140

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197264140.001.0001

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Mistrust traditions, consider innovations? The Mesolithic-Neolithic transition in southern Scandinavia

Mistrust traditions, consider innovations? The Mesolithic-Neolithic transition in southern Scandinavia

Chapter:
(p.595) Mistrust traditions, consider innovations? The Mesolithic-Neolithic transition in southern Scandinavia
Source:
Going Over: The Mesolithic-Neolithic Transition in North-West Europe
Author(s):

Lars Larsson

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197264140.003.0028

For the individuals participating in the Mesolithic–Neolithic transition, one question must have recurrently emerged as a prime concern: ‘Should I mistrust traditions and consider innovations’? This concern encompassed the introduction of new material culture and new techniques of obtaining food. It also involved new ways of conceiving the world and people's place in it. And it was affected by important – sometimes catastrophic – changes in the physical environment. It must be emphasized that the question of whether to mistrust traditions and consider innovations is not only a matter of concern for prehistoric actors. It is also important for those who are making prehistory today. As is presented in this chapter, the facts presented for south Scandinavia have been variously interpreted as indicating the rapid introduction of a ‘Neolithic’ package with new ways of thinking and acting, as well as reflecting a mixture of traditions and gradually incorporated innovations. Future research into the transition should focus on combining new problem-oriented excavation with fresh ideas about how the transition from the Mesolithic to the Neolithic occurred.

Keywords:   neolithization, Neolithic, Mesolithic, tradition

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