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by Archaeology Newsroom

Aspects and Interpretations of the Neolithic Era: The Case of the Aegean Sea

The Neolithic era was incorporated in the main body of the Aegean prehistory, when Christos Tsountas published the results of his research into the two Neolithic acropoleis of Dimini and Sesklo (1908). Throughout the years that followed, however, the way that scholars have perceived the Neolithic era has not been either uniform or common. The reason is that the understanding of each cultural unity and the relevant questions that follow derive from the broader scientific problematic of the period to which each scholar belongs; therefore, the cultural physiognomy of the Neolithic assumed quite many aspects through time, depending on the very nature of the interpretation procedure. The different interpretations of the Neolithic era that have been occasionally attempted have followed to the letter the broader developments in the field and theory of Archaeology, defining each time new thematic topics and new methods for their research. Given the relation between the broader thinking systems and the historical context in which they are developed (Skouteri-Didaskalou 1979, Kalpaxis 1993), we can support the parallel course of theoretic trends and their time on the one hand; and the common route of specific perceptions of the Neolithic and the research topics of its thematic on the other.

In the framework of this brief note on the Neolithic era in the Aegean we will present the history of the Neolithic through the story of our knowledge about it, outlining the main turning-points of the archaeological thought, with reference both to the thematic topics that developed from time to time and to the circumstances of their appearance.