Middle and Late Holocene hunter-gatherers in East Central Europe: changing paradigms of the ‘non-Neolithic’ way of life

  • Marek Nowak Institute of Archaeology, Jagiellonian University, Kraków
Keywords: East Central Europe, late hunter-gatherers, Late/Final Mesolithic, para-Neolithic

Abstract

According to traditional views, the main reason for ‘demesolithisation’ in East Central Europe was the spread of the Neolithic oecumene, particularly from c. 4000 BC. Simultaneously, the disintegrated Late Mesolithic world gradually underwent typological unification, and finally reached the stage that is sometimes described as pre-Neolithic. However, we definitely have to bear in mind that as a matter of fact we deal only with the ‘history’ of archaeological artefacts that are treated as typical attributes of hunter-gatherers. The analyses of chronological, technological, settlement, economic, and social data referring to foragers of East Central Europe demonstrate that the quantitative decrease and changes of their archaeological attributes in the fifth, fourth, and third millennia were not connected with a profound reorientation of their spatial and ideological existence. It was rather a continuation of previous patterns, even though territories settled by farming societies were steadily growing in size. The final disappearance of Central European hunter-gatherers – but only in a strictly typological dimension – took place in the Late Neolithic and Early Bronze Age.

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Published
2007-12-31
How to Cite
Nowak, M. (2007). Middle and Late Holocene hunter-gatherers in East Central Europe: changing paradigms of the ‘non-Neolithic’ way of life. Documenta Praehistorica, 34, 89-103. https://doi.org/10.4312/dp.34.7
Section
Articles