Transmission of Lithic and Ceramic Technical Know-how in the Early Neolithic of Central-Western Europe: Shedding Light on the Social Mechanisms Underlying Cultural Transition

Main Article Content

Solène Denis
https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7986-217X
Louise Gomart
https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0793-2292
Laurence Burnez-Lanotte
Pierre Allard
https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8775-1656

Abstract




Research on European neolithisation agrees that a process of colonisation throughout the sixth millennium BCE underlies the spread of agricultural ways of life on the continent. From Central to Central-Western Europe, this colonisation path is characterised by one single cultural entity, the so-called Linear Pottery Culture (LBK). At the transition between the sixth and fifth millennia BCE, the LBK breaks apart into a mosaic of “post-LBK” cultural groups through mechanisms that are not entirely understood. To contribute to a better understanding of the social processes underlying this transition, we conduct an integrated analysis of the lithic and ceramic technical subsystems attributed to the LBK and the post-LBK in Middle Belgium, a region with unrivalled material evidence. We use the technical actions carried out by the early farmers to produce their lithic tool blanks and ceramics as proxies to shed light on (i) the modalities of technical know-how in intergenerational transmission, (ii) the possible exogenous influences within the technical system, and (iii) the trajectories of the social groups involved in the LBK-Blicquy/Villeneuve-Saint-Germain (BQY/VSG) transition. Our results reveal that several overlapping mechanisms were at work during this cultural transition. While lithic and ceramic general technical trends are clearly transmitted from one period to another attesting to a clear filiation between the LBK and the post-LBK, both the lithic and ceramic detailed sequences of technical actions tend to hybridise after the transition. This reveals close and prolonged interactions between groups of producers from different learning networks, most likely stemming from population mobility during the cultural transition.




Article Details

How to Cite
Denis et al. 2024: S. Denis/L. Gomart/L. Burnez-Lanotte/P. Allard, Transmission of Lithic and Ceramic Technical Know-how in the Early Neolithic of Central-Western Europe: Shedding Light on the Social Mechanisms Underlying Cultural Transition. JNA 26, 2024, 31–63. DOI: https://doi.org/10.12766/jna.2024.2.