Neolithisation of technology: innovation and tradition in the Starčevo culture osseous industry
The earliest Neolithic cultures in Southeast Europe brought significant changes in many aspects of everyday life, in subsistence, settlement patterns, architecture, and also ritual aspects. Technological changes are also very important – the introduction of completely new technologies, such as clay working, or new techniques in existing industries, e.g., lithic, osseous, etc. The osseous industry is especially informative for questions on innovations and traditions, since it was well developed in both the Mesolithic and Neolithic periods. In Starčevo culture, certain Mesolithic traditions may be observed, such as techniques for antler manufacture; however, numerous innovations are also visible, particularly techno-types of Near Eastern origin such as spatula-spoons, the most characteristic bone techno-type of the Early Neolithic in South-east Europe, as well as diverse decorative items. Furthermore, new raw materials (bones from domestic animals) are introduced, and new techniques for manufacture and new tools. It is also interesting to observe that, although osseous materials remain the dominant raw material for personal ornaments, they are no longer used for artistic expression.
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