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Early FarmersThe View from Archaeology and Science$
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Alasdair Whittle and Penny Bickle

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780197265758

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197265758.001.0001

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Integrated and Multi-scalar Approaches to Early Farmers in Europe

(p.1) 1 Introduction
Early Farmers

Penny Bickle

Alasdair Whittle

British Academy

The Neolithic period worldwide can readily be identified as one of the great transformations in human history—in Europe, there were no farmers at c.7000 cal BC, but very few hunter-gatherers after c.4000 cal BC—with long-term consequences still felt today. However, it remains difficult to capture both the detail of everyday lives during the Neolithic, and the flow of long-term transformations. This introduction asks how we are to combine all our expanding data, and at what scales we should interpret them. The challenges facing integrated and multi-scalar approaches are illustrated by a recent project on Linearbandkeramik (LBK) lifeways in central Europe, which united isotopic, osteological and archaeological analyses in an investigation of cultural diversity. The other chapters that follow are introduced. The chapter ends by looking to how we better integrate archaeological science, through a shared focus on debating what questions we should ask.

Keywords:   Neolithic, Europe, multi-scalar approaches, Linearbandkeramik, isotopes, cultural diversity, archaeological science

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