Reassessing the Mesolithic\Neolithic ‘gap’ in Southeast European cave sequences

  • Dimitrij Mlekuž Department of archaeology, Faculty of Arts Ljubljana University
  • Mihael Budja Department of archaeology, Faculty of Arts Ljubljana University
  • Robert Payton School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development, University of Newcastle, Newcastle upon Tyne
  • Clive Bonsall School of Arts, Culture and Environment, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh
  • Andreja Žibrat Gašparič Department of archaeology, Faculty of Arts Ljubljana University
Keywords: Mesolithic, Neolithic, cave sequences, radiocarbon dating, Mala Triglavca

Abstract

Radiocarbon sequences from some northern Mediterranean cave sites show a temporal gap between Mesolithic and Neolithic occupations. Some authors regard this as a regional phenomenon and have sought to explain it in terms of a general population decline in the late Mesolithic, which facilitated the replacement of indigenous foragers by immigrant farmers. New evidence from the rockshelter site of Mala Triglavca, in Slovenia, leads us to question this view. The results of AMS radiocarbon dating of samples recovered in excavations in the 1980s and associated soil/sediment analyses reveal evidence of substantial postdepositional disturbance of the cave sediments by human agency and geomorphological processes, which have created ‘temporal gaps’ and ‘inversions’ in the radiocarbon sequence and secondary deposits with residual finds.

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Published
2008-12-31
How to Cite
Mlekuž, D., Budja, M., Payton, R., Bonsall, C., & Žibrat Gašparič, A. (2008). Reassessing the Mesolithic\Neolithic ‘gap’ in Southeast European cave sequences. Documenta Praehistorica, 35, 237-251. https://doi.org/10.4312/dp.35.18
Section
Articles