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(2007) Toward an evolutionary model of gradual development of social complexity among the Neolithic pottery communities in ....

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(2007) Toward an evolutionary model of gradual development of social complexity among the Neolithic pottery communities in ....
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    – 89LOLITA NIKOLOVA* Toward an EvoluTionarY ModEl of Gradual dEvElopMEnT ofSocial coMplExiTY aMonG ThE nEoliThic poTTErYcoMMuniTiES in ThE BalkanS (culTural-chronoloGical and culTural-anThropoloGical proBlEMS) SuMMarY - Toward an evolutionary model of gradual development of social complexity among the Neolithic pottery communities inthe Balkans (cultural-chronological and cultural-anthropological problems) . Based on the recent data on the earlier Neolithic materialculture, we distinguish five general stages of development in social complexity during the Neolithic in the Balkans, from the emergenceof sedentary pottery-making communities to the culmination of the Neolithic cultures’ development in the latest Neolithic, includingthe introduction of metallurgy. In this approach we will discuss cultural-chronological and cultural-anthropological problems mainlyof the first stage of Neolithic development in the Balkans, using in some cases a prospective analysis, from the later chronological periods. Of primary importance for the chronological conclusions are the radiocarbon dates, while the social models are based on thegeneral theories in cultural and social anthropology, sociology and especially the anthropology of everydayness. This approach has also proposed that our understanding of the problems of the earliest pottery-making complex societies in the Balkans would benefit fromfurther intensification of micro-regional interdisciplinary investigations from the point of view of the anthropology of everydayness, by constructing micro- and medium-social models of social reproduction. riaSSunTo -  Per un modello di sviluppo graduale della complessità sociale delle comunità neolitiche ceramiche dei Balcani(problemi cronologico-culturali e antropologico-culturali) . Grazie ai dati disponibili riguardanti i reperti della cultura materiale del Neolitico più antico, possiamo attualmente distinguere cinque fasi di sviluppo della complessità sociale del Neolitico dei Balcani, a partire dalle prime comunità sedentarie di popolazioni produttrici di ceramica, alla fine del Neolitico quando venne introdotto il metallo.In questo lavoro vengono discussi i problemi cronologico-culturali e antropologico-culturali riguardanti principalmente l’inizio del Neolitico, utilizzando, in alcuni casi, un’analisi prospettica. Le datazioni radiocarboniche sono di importanza fondamentale, per quantoriguarda le conclusioni cronologiche, mentre i modelli sociali sono basati su teorie generali prese dall’antropologia sociale e culturalee, in particolar modo, dall’antropologia di tutti i giorni. Questo approccio metodologico mostra come la comprensione dei problemirelativi alle prime comunità produttrici di ceramica dei Balcani potrebbe migliorare notevolmente qualora vi fosse un incremento deglistudi microregionali nell’antropologia di tutti i giorni, grazie alla costruzione di modelli riproduttivi micro e medio sociali. inTroducTion: GEnEral rESEarch fraMEwork  Graduate models of Neolithisation of the Balkans have become the most popular in contemporary archae-ology. Although the data included may have a variety of interpretations followed even by alternative conclu-sions ( P arzinger  , 1993; W hittle , 1996: 39; B udja , 1998; V ajsoV , 1998;   B oyadzhieV , 2000;    n ikoloVa , 2000; t hissen , 2000; B iagi   et al  ., 2005), the models themselves are theoretically valuable contributions to this fieldof research.We would point to two fundamental aspects: demographic growth (increasing population density in the Bal-kans), and social change (the gradual increase in social complexity). The latter is the subject of our approach.Based on the recent data on the earlier Neolithic material culture, we are able to distinguish five generalstages of development in social complexity during the Neolithic in the Balkans, from the emergence of sedentary pottery-making communities to the culmination of the Neolithic cultures’ development in the latest Neolithic,including the introduction of metallurgy (Topolnitsa, unpublished). We would briefly describe the evolutionarysocial scheme as follows: M ichela s Pataro and P aolo   B iagi (edited by)  A Short Walk through the Balkans: the First Farmers of the Carpathian Basin and Adjacent Regions Società Preistoria Protostoria Friuli-V.G., Trieste, Quaderno 12, 2007: 89-102 ——————————  * University of Utah and International Institute of Anthropology, Salt Lake City, USA  90    – 1. An initial development of the earliest pottery-making communities (in the later 7 th millennium cal BC), andthe emergence of archaic white-painted pottery communities (in the latest 7 th millennium cal BC), whichis still documented in only some parts of the Balkans (the so-called monochrome phase and the phase of Kovachevo Ia/b and related sites). With further research and additional data, we believe that in future itwill become clear whether we can differentiate two sub-stages or even two independent stages in the later 7 th millennium cal BC.2. The classical white painted pottery-making communities covering a broader region of the Balkans (early Karanovo I, early Starčevo horizon), characterised by a demographic boom in the Balkans at the beginning of the 6 th millennium cal BC.3. Late white painted and polychrome pottery-making communities with a variety of regional models, and thedevelopment of a network of dense micro-regional settlement systems with multi-scale and multi-variation interaction systems (later Karanovo I, Karanovo II, later Starčevo horizon) during the second quarter of  the 6 th millennium cal BC. 4. Late polychrome and dark burnished pottery communities (late Starčevo, Karanovo III and related cultures), c. the third quarter of the 6 th millennium cal BC. According to the recent evidence, it is also believed thatHamangia is the first Neolithic culture in the northeast part of the Balkans, whose beginning was possiblycontemporaneous with later Karanovo III Culture. 5. Encrusted, pricked and dark burnished pottery-making communities (early Vinča, Topolnitsa, Karanovo IV, early Boian, Hamangia and related cultures), c. the fourth quarter of the 6 th millennium cal BC.During the first two stages, the most parts of the Balkans between the Drina River and the Black Sea, andthe Carpathians and the Aegean, were gradually occupied by pottery-making communities; during the nextthree stages the Neolithic complexity was reproduced, developed and expanded, representing, on the whole,a typical evolutionary model of development of complexity in prehistory, indicating possibly the existenceof powerful systems of economic and political multi-scale social strategies and networks that kept the socialsystems stable.In this approach we will discuss cultural-chronological and cultural-anthropological problems mainly of the first stage of Neolithic development in the Balkans, using in some cases a prospective analysis (from thelater chronological periods). Of primary importance for the chronological conclusions are the radiocarbondates, while the social models are based on general theories in cultural and social anthropology, sociology andespecially the anthropology of everydayness ( F eatherstone , 1992; c haney , 2002). culTural-chronoloGical proBlEMS To study the problem archaeologically, of special importance are the new results of the Kovachevo ex-cavations ( l ichardus -i tten   et al  ., 2000; 2006) and the radiocarbon dates from this site, the newly publisheddata from the Struma Valley ( c hokhadzhieV , 2001), the publication of Donja Branjevina ( k  arManski , 2005)and Koprivets ( P oPoV , 1996) and other sites in the lower Danube ( e lenski , 2005; e lenski   and l eshtakoV ,  2006), and the theoretical contribution of N.N. T asić (2003) to the white-painted pottery settlements of  Starčevo Culture. It is worth considering the thematic studies of the Iron Gates data ( B onsall   et al  ., 2000; 2002; 2004),the new data from Lepenski Vir ( B orić , pers. comm. 2006), and a Macedonian survey project ( W ilkie and s aVina , 1997).The new archaeological compilation of sites from Bulgaria should be also   added, despite thechronological problems of some sites and theoretical controversy of the model discussed ( e lenski , 2005; e lenski   and l esktakoV , 2006; W eninger    et al  ., in press).Our basic chronological framework of Balkan Neolithic sequences was argued in  n ikoloVa (1998). It seemslike the new evidence confirmed that for the time being, there are no archaeological arguments to divide themonochrome horizon as an independent stage of the development of the Early Neolithic in the Balkans whilethe publications after 1998 allow us to update the scheme, including especially Kovachevo. ThE EarliEST poTTErY SETTlEMEnTS in ThE BalkanS We propose the following two typological and cultural-chronological horizons for the earliest Neolithic(c. 6300-c. 6000 cal BC) between the Danube and the Aegean:    – 91 1. Hoca Çeşme 4-3, Krajnitsi 1, Divostin 1, Koprivets 1, Dzhulyunitsa, Smurdesh 1. This horizon is known as the monochrome pottery with an incipient painted pottery horizon (c. ?6300-6200/6100 cal BC). The period between c. 6300 and 6000 cal BC coincides with the so-called 8.2 ka event.2. Kovachevo 1a/b, Vaksevo-Studena Voda 1-2, Nevestino 1, Anzabegovo Ia, Donja Branjevina II and relatedsites (earliest white-painted pottery horizon (c. 6200/6100-6000 cal BC).We cannot precisely date the beginning and the end of the two horizons because there are no radiocarbondates available from most of the settlements investigated and the records come from different distant regions. Inother words, horizon 1 could have overlapped with horizon 2, on the one hand. On the other hand, the radiocarbondates from earlier Karanovo I Culture (c. 6000 cal BC and later) suggest that the first pottery-making settlementsin Thrace (e.g., Kovachevo Ia/b, Rakitovo) could be before the beginning of 6 th millennium cal BC.Then, we have three basic problems:1. What are the cultural and chronological interrelations between Horizon 1 and Horizon 2 formulatedabove?2. What is the relationship of the beginning of Karanovo I Culture to these Horizons?3. How were both horizons influenced by the 8.2 ka event (c. 6300-6000 cal BC), since the most probably probable chronological span of Horizon 1 and Horizon 2 completely overlaps with this interruption in theearly Holocene climate? T he   firsT N eoliThic   Typological   aNd   culTural - chroNological   horizoN The identification of the monochrome pottery stage as the earliest Neolithic chronological horizon in theBalkans was initially formulated by s rejović   (1988: 85-86) on the basis of data from Eastern Serbia. Later theconcept became popular since other archaeologists believed that they had documented monochrome potterysites: in southwest Bulgaria (Krajnitsi I), northeast Bulgaria (for instance Polyanitsa-Platoto and Koprivets I), Romania (Gura Baciului Ia), the Vojvodina (Donja Branjevina III), European Turkey (Hoca Ceşme IV) andother sites. The stage is also called proto-Starčevo and was documented for instance, in Makresani-Ornice.In light of the recent data, the site of Hoca Çeşme is of special value. Most researchers share theopinion that Hoca Çeşme preceded Karanovo I ( P arzinger  and Ö zdoğan , 1996;  n ikoloVa , 1998). l i - chardus and i lieV ( 2000:81) suggested a different interpretation. They did not accept the analogieswith Hacilar and with Karanovo I proposed in the preliminary publication of  P arzinger  and Ö zdoğan  (1996) and they believed that the earliest analogies with Thrace can be found in the Karanovo II cul-ture. But the radiocarbon dates (c. 6300-6200 cal BC) strengthen the hypothesis that the earliest level of Hoca Çeşme (IV) belongs to the Balkan earliest pottery chronological horizon (  n ikoloVa , 1998). According to the excavators of Hoca Çeşme, painted pottery was documented even in the earliest phase of this site. At the same time, some monochrome pottery sites from the Central Balkans and from theLower Danube do not have radiocarbon dates. We also need to keep in mind the typology of the pot-tery of the first Balkan cultural-chronological ceramic horizon is not well elaborated, only small areasof the monochrome pottery sites have been excavated, and even during the classical Early Neolithicit is possible that painted pottery has simply been missed. The conclusion seems to be supported bythe new excavations at Dzhulyunitsa-Smurdesh (central northern Bulgaria, Veliko Turnovo District),where according to the preliminary excavation reports ( e lenski , 2005; e lenski and l eshtakoV , 2006)  pottery was discovered with analogies at Hoca Çeşme III-IV. A peculiarity is “ a painting with a dark color/slip, like the vessel was washed with a slip ” ( e lenski , 2005: 22). The author dates the layer from pre-white painted stage of Early Neolithic in the Balkans. The site of Okhoden in northwest Bulgaria was proposed as a monochrome settlement (the final phase of Proto-Starčevo [ g anetsoVski , 2005: 23]), but the preliminary information about a radiocarbon date from this site (5710±40 cal BC: g anetsoVski ,2005: 30) points to later phase ( W eninger    et al  ., in press).For the time being, let us assume that there are undiscovered monochrome pottery villages in the Upper Thracian valley that theoretically allow us to presume the stage overlapped with the white-painted stage.In this sense it is possible to question the real existence of the monochrome pottery stage ( t hissen , 2000:196-197).In light of the recent evidence, it is a problem not only the synchronization of the earlier painted potterysites from Upper Thrace with the monochromic sites, but also with the earliest painted pottery sites from the basin of the Struma. At Kovachevo, analogies with Upper Thrace can be found only during the third phase of Early Neolithic settlement, which may indicate a stage of independent development of the two painted styles.  92    – Alternatively, we have to accept for the time being, that the pottery discovered in Upper Thrace is later thanthe earliest painted pottery in the basin of the Struma River.As we stressed above, according to M. Ö zdoğan (1998), painted pottery fragments occurred in the earliest level of the village of Hoca Çeşme IV. If these sherds were found in their srcinal stratigraphic context, they may indicate that the earliest stage of the    Neolithic in the Balkans could not be absolutely monochromic, or that Hoca Çeşme IV is not contemporaneous with the earliest known monochrome pottery sites or that there werecontacts with the painted pottery communities, so Hoca Çeşme IV represents a transition from the monochrome to the painted pottery in the Balkans.Having in mind some typological similarities between the monochrome pottery and early white-painted pottery, in the chronological scheme the former can be defined as the earliest phase in the first stage of thegradual Neolithisation of the Balkans in the sense of foundation of pottery-using settlements. It dates from thelater third quarter of the 7 th millennium cal BC, since the calibrated dates from Hoca Çeşme IV and Polyanitsa- Platoto date from 6200-5800 cal BC, a span that overlaps with the dates of the earliest painted pottery in theBalkans (  n ikoloVa , 1998: diagram 1). The chronology of Hoca Çeşme III is important to define the chronology of Hoca Çeşme IV. According to Ö zdoğan (1998), Hoca Çeşme III preceded Karanovo I. Most of the radiocarbon dates date the third level to after the beginning of the 6 th millennium cal BC, but computer modelling (  n ikoloVa , 1998: diagram 3) means the beginning of Hoca Çeşme III can be dated to the very end of the 7 th millennium cal BC, and Hoca Çeşme IV to before 6100 cal BC.Since there are no radiocarbon dates from Krajnitsi, Divostin and Koprivets, they may have actually pre- ceded even Hoca Çeşme IV, and we may have to date the beginning of the monochrome pottery horizon to  before 6300 cal BC. New radiocarbon dates would help precisely to determine the horizon. T he   secoNd N eoliThic   Typological   aNd   culTural - chroNological   horizoN The earliest data about white-painted pottery from Kovachevo were a base for proposing a culturalgroup ( l ichardus -i tten   et al  ., 2000: 35) that includes the most southwest Bulgaria and the north regionsof Nea Nikomedea and Giannitsa. It is believed this group was the ancestor of the Karanovo I Culture.Important elements are the documented southern elements in the ceramic style, an influence from Ses-klo (Achilleion, Tsani), which according to the recent data occurred in the phase Ib/c at Kovachevo( l ichardus -i tten   et al  ., 2000: 34, note 44).The similarity includes chess motifs (dark brown on light brown), although the technology was different( l ichardus -i tten   et al  ., 2000: 34; for Nea Nikomedea and Anzabegovo see t hissen , 2000: 194-195). The set-tlements analysed by N.N. T asić (2003) with the earliest painted pottery in the western-central Balkans includessites within a relatively wide chronological diapason (c. 6100 cal BC and the beginning of the 6 th millenniumcal BC) and would only partly cover our second horizon.In southwest Bulgaria, impressive typological similarities with Kovachevo Ia/b in white-painted ornamen-tation are found at the sites of Nevestino 1 and Vaksevo-Studena Voda 1-2 (fig. 1). All these assemblages mayrelate to the earliest white-painted pottery at   Donja Branjevina in the Vojvodina (Serbia) (fig. 2). The commonelements may indicate interactions or common srcins while the differences point to local peculiarities and/or some chronological differences.Most of the published radiocarbon dates from Kovachevo ( r  eingruBer  and t hissen , 2005) come fromthe earliest phase. They verify our hypothesis that Kovachevo Ia-b could be dated to the last century of the 7 th  millennium cal BC.A specific problem is the relationship of the earliest pottery Neolithic settlements to the Lepenski Vir Cul-ture. Recently, new radiocarbon data were interpreted in terms of the 8.2 ka event and according to B onsall  ( et al  ., 2000; 2002; 2004) with co-authors, there were changes in the settlement pattern in the Iron Gates areaduring the later 7 th millennium cal BC, whereas at Lepenski Vir itself there was continuity.The radiocarbon data favour possible co-existence of the hunter-gatherer communities and the earli-est sedentary pottery communities in the Balkans in the earlier 6 th millennium cal BC. However, we needmore recently excavated evidence for deeper structural analysis. Possible DNA samples from Divostin,the Iron Gates and Dzhulyunitsa-Smurdyak would also help to construct models of interrelations betweenthe Balkan non-pottery hunter-gatherers and the earliest pottery-using communities, whose economy was based on sedentary farming, semi-sedentary farming and/or stockbreeding, depending on the micro-re-gional environment.    – 93 Fig 1 - Similarity in the ornamentation in sites from the second typological and cultural-chronological horizon ( after different authors ).
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