Journal of World Prehistory

http://link.springer.com/journal/10963

List of Papers (Total 31)

From Iberia to the Southern Levant: The Movement of Silver Across the Mediterranean in the Early Iron Age

The origins of the silver trade across the Mediterranean, and the role of the Phoenicians in this phenomenon, remain contentious. This is partly because of difficulties encountered when trying to assign archaeological silver to its geological sources. Here we present a reanalysis of Iron Age silver hoards in the southern Levant, which demonstrates not only that recycling of...

Being Ritual in Mesolithic Britain and Ireland: Identifying Ritual Behaviour Within an Ephemeral Material Record

Acceptance of ritual as a valid interpretation of Mesolithic behaviour has slowly emerged over the past decade; the ‘silly season’ heralded by Mellars (Antiquity 83:502–517, 2009) has not materialised, though in Ireland and Britain difficulties persist in defining what might constitute ‘ritual’ away from the graveside. New discoveries from both the development-led and academic...

Living Mesolithic Time: Narratives, Chronologies and Organic Material Culture

British and Irish Mesolithic studies have long been characterized by a reliance on broad-scale lithic typologies, both to provide chronologies, and in discussion of ‘cultural’ groups. More recently, traditional narrative structures—period definitions of ‘Early’ and ‘Late’, or culture typologies—have been complemented by a host of other evidence. This has included new studies of...

Approaches to Interpreting Mesolithic Mobility and Settlement in Britain and Ireland

The Mesolithic communities of northwest Europe have generally been considered inherently mobile, and all the material evidence associated with them has been interpreted accordingly. This has resulted in entrenched, theoretically polemical and largely hypothetical mobility models, focusing on seasonal rounds and extraction activities. However, recent reanalyses of the ethnographic...

Humans in the Environment: Plants, Animals and Landscapes in Mesolithic Britain and Ireland

Environmental archaeology has historically been central to Mesolithic studies in Britain and Ireland. Whilst processual archaeology was concerned with the economic significance of the environment, post-processual archaeology later rejected economically driven narratives, resulting in a turn away from plant and animal remains. Post-processual narratives focused instead on...

The Danube Corridor Hypothesis and the Carpathian Basin: Geological, Environmental and Archaeological Approaches to Characterizing Aurignacian Dynamics

Early Upper Paleolithic sites in the Danube catchment have been put forward as evidence that the river was an important conduit for modern humans during their initial settlement of Europe. Central to this model is the Carpathian Basin, a region covering most of the Middle Danube. As the archaeological record of this region is still poorly understood, this paper aims to provide a...

Assembling the Dead, Gathering the Living: Radiocarbon Dating and Bayesian Modelling for Copper Age Valencina de la Concepción (Seville, Spain)

The great site of Valencina de la Concepción, near Seville in the lower Guadalquivir valley of southwest Spain, is presented in the context of debate about the nature of Copper Age society in southern Iberia as a whole. Many aspects of the layout, use, character and development of Valencina remain unclear, just as there are major unresolved questions about the kind of society...

Early North African Cattle Domestication and Its Ecological Setting: A Reassessment

Nearly four decades have passed since an independent North African centre for cattle domestication was first proposed in 1980, based on the Combined Prehistoric Expedition’s work in the Nabta Playa—Bir Kiseiba region of southern Egypt, and the initial rigorous debates between Andrew B. Smith and Fred Wendorf, Romuald Schild and Achilles Gautier. More recently, geneticists have...

Disease: A Hitherto Unexplored Constraint on the Spread of Dogs (Canis lupus familiaris) in Pre-Columbian South America

Although debate continues, there is agreement that dogs (Canis lupus familiaris) were first domesticated in Eurasia, spreading from there to other parts of the world. However, while that expansion already extended as far as Europe, China, and North America by the early Holocene, dogs spread into (and south of) the tropics only much later. In South America, for example, the...

Mass Migration and the Polynesian Settlement of New Zealand

This paper reintroduces the concept of mass migration into debates concerning the timing and nature of New Zealand’s settlement by Polynesians. Upward revisions of New Zealand’s chronology show that the appearance of humans on the landscape occurred extremely rapidly, and that within decades settlements had been established across the full range of climatic zones. We show that...

Alternatives to Urbanism? Reconsidering Oppida and the Urban Question in Late Iron Age Europe

The mega-sites of Late Iron Age Europe (traditionally known as oppida) provide an important dataset for exploring how complex social systems can articulate power in novel ways. The question of whether these can be described as ‘urban’ has overshadowed a deeper understanding of the development and role of such sites, with many studies examining this issue almost wholly against...

The Complexity and Fragility of Early Iron Age Urbanism in West-Central Temperate Europe

The development of large agglomerations is one of the most important phenomena in later Eurasian prehistory. In west-central temperate Europe, the origins of urbanism have long been associated with the oppida of the second to first centuries BC. However, large-scale excavations and surveys carried out over the last two decades have fundamentally modified the traditional picture...

The Standard Model, the Maximalists and the Minimalists: New Interpretations of Trypillia Mega-Sites

The currently prevailing view of the Trypillia mega-sites of the fourth millennium BC has been the dominant model for over 40 years: they were extra-large settlement examples of the Childean ‘Neolithic package’ of permanent settlement, domesticated plants and animals, and artifact assemblages containing polished stone tools and pottery. Trypillia mega-sites have therefore been...

‘Multi-cropping’, Intercropping and Adaptation to Variable Environments in Indus South Asia

Past human populations are known to have managed crops in a range of ways. Various methods can be used, singly or in conjunction, to reconstruct these strategies, a process which lends itself to the exploration of socio-economic and political themes. This paper endeavours to unpack the concept of ‘multi-cropping’ by considering diversity and variation in the cropping practices of...

Re-thinking the Migration of Cariban-Speakers from the Middle Orinoco River to North-Central Venezuela (AD 800)

Moving back in time from the early colonial to the late pre-colonial period we evaluate the hypothesis asserting the migratory movement of Cariban-speaking groups from the Middle Orinoco River area towards north-central Venezuela. The explanation in vogue maintains that the migration followed fluvial routes and occurred between 1350 and 1150 BP (AD 600–800). We examine...

Between the Vinča and Linearbandkeramik Worlds: The Diversity of Practices and Identities in the 54th–53rd Centuries cal BC in Southwest Hungary and Beyond

Perhaps nowhere in European prehistory does the idea of clearly-defined cultural boundaries remain more current than in the initial Neolithic, where the southeast–northwest trend of the spread of farming crosses what is perceived as a sharp divide between the Balkans and central Europe. This corresponds to a distinction between the Vinča culture package, named for a classic site...

The Changing Face of Neolithic and Bronze Age Ireland: A Big Data Approach to the Settlement and Burial Records

This paper synthesizes and discusses the spatial and temporal patterns of archaeological sites in Ireland, spanning the Neolithic period and the Bronze Age transition (4300–1900 cal BC), in order to explore the timing and implications of the main changes that occurred in the archaeological record of that period. Large amounts of new data are sourced from unpublished developer-led...

Re-evaluating the Neolithic: The Impact and the Consolidation of Farming Practices in the Cantabrian Region (Northern Spain)

Research projects undertaken in the Cantabrian region since 1980 have produced new, high-quality information about the neolithisation process(es) in this area. It is now necessary to review this archaeological information and test the main hypotheses put forward to explain it. This paper presents an update on the archaeological evidence (sites, chronological dates...

The Aegean in the Early 7th Millennium BC: Maritime Networks and Colonization

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...

Interactions and Pastoralism Along the Southern and Southeastern Frontiers of the Meroitic State, Sudan

The Nilotic Meroitic state, in what is now the Sudan, existed from the late fourth century BC until the mid fourth century AD. It has come to be regarded in recent years as an African segmentary state with a prestige-goods economy, less centralised than, for example, Egypt, with direct control by the ruling family diminished outside the Shendi Reach (central Sudan). Outbound...

Investigating Neolithization of Cultural Landscapes in East Asia: The NEOMAP Project

The Neolithic is regarded as one of the most important developments in prehistory, a major cultural threshold marked by combined shifts in economy, technology, ideology, settlement and social organisation. Many foundational ideas about the Neolithic emerged within the context of European archaeology, and substantial work has now been directed at understanding how this ‘package...

Contextualizing Early Urbanization: Settlement Cores, Early States and Agro-pastoral Strategies in the Fertile Crescent During the Fourth and Third Millennia BC

This paper employs data from selected sample survey areas in the northern Fertile Crescent to demonstrate how initial urbanization developed along several pathways. The first, during the Late Chalcolithic period, was within a dense pattern of rural settlement. There followed a profound shift in settlement pattern that resulted in the formation of large walled or ramparted sites...