Documenta Praehistorica 2021-02-10T21:58:27+01:00 Prof. Dr. Mihael Budja Open Journal Systems <p>DOCUMENTA PRAEHISTORICA&nbsp;is a yearly journal of archaeological interdisciplinary scientific research. It is one of the main world-wide international journals of interpretations of modern archaeological research data related to the processes and to the events in the World prehistory.</p> Dynamic adaptations of the Mesolithic pioneers of Gotland in the Baltic Sea 2021-02-02T13:33:11+01:00 Jan Apel Jan Storå <p>Mesolithic pioneers reached Gotland around 9200 cal BP and adopted seal-hunting. The subsistence economy was flexible, and the importance of freshwater fish is reflected in the location of settlements and available stable isotope data. Overgrowing lakes provided an important subsistence base, and marine resources were mainly related to raw material needs. The narrower breadth of resources is reflected in the osseous production, where implements were made from seal bones. The lithic technology exhibits local adaptations over time – in the form of a simplification of the technology – that we relate to sedentism and increases in risk management and external networks.</p> 2020-11-30T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Jan Apel, Jan Storå Kobuleti site 2021-02-02T13:33:10+01:00 Guram Chkhatarashvili Valery Manko <p>In the 1970–1980s the fieldwork in the Kobuleti Village revealed more than 30.000 artefacts associated with the Early Neolithic period. However, recent fieldwork in Kobuleti, carried out by the authors, demonstrated that the cultural layers of the site belong to the Early Holocene period. The stone industry of the site has indicated the use of blank removal. The conic and bullet shaped cores were used in order to get bladelets and microblades. The complex of flint and obsidian tools consists of numerous retouched blades, bladelets and microblades, burins, and chisels. There are series of bladelets and microblades with abrupt retouch. Generally speaking, the typology of the complex indicates that the site was used as a temporary hunting camp.</p> 2020-12-01T08:49:26+01:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Guram Chkhatarashvili, Valery Manko From the Epipalaeolithic into the earliest Neolithic (PPNA) in the South Levant 2021-02-02T13:33:09+01:00 Anna Belfer-Cohen Nigel Goring-Morris <p>This paper examines the nature of initial neolithisation indications during the terminal Pleistocene and earliest Holocene in the Southern Levant. This interval corresponds to a period of significant and geographically variable environmental changes in the region. Various lines of evidence are provided to demonstrate the long durée (c. 15 000 years) character of interactions during the Early, Middle and Late Epipalaeolithic that were instrumental to the emergence of the fullyfledged agricultural life ways in the later phases of the Early Neolithic (PPNB).</p> 2020-12-01T10:27:33+01:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Anna Belfer-Cohen, Nigel Goring-Morris Beyond the Jordan 2021-02-02T13:33:09+01:00 Bill Finlayson Cheryl A. Makarewicz <p>Recent excavations in Jordan have demonstrated a long sequence of development from the late Pleistocene Epipalaeolithic through the early Holocene Pre-Pottery Neolithic. Superficially, the growing body of social and subsistence evidence suggests Neolithic communities emerged from traditions rooted in the early Epipalaeolithic. However, while developments such as the construction of shelters, population aggregation, and subsistence intensification may be essential for the emergence of a Southwest Asian Neolithic, they are typical of contemporary hunter-gatherer societies and not inherently Neolithic. Notably, the Neolithic in Southwest Asia was not a homogenous entity, but instead supported diverse expressions of subsistence, symbolic behaviours, and cultural trajectories across the region. To understand the emergence and development of the Neolithic, we need to examine this richly diverse history and its many constituent pathways.</p> 2020-12-01T10:55:54+01:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Bill Finlayson, Cheryl A. Makarewicz The Beginning of the Neolithic in Southeast Anatolia 2021-02-02T13:33:08+01:00 Necmi Karul <p>New research in southeastern Anatolia at Early Neolithic sites has brought a fresh perspective on the emergence of the Neolithic way of life in southwest Asia. In addition to providing more details on the transition to settled life, food production, and technological innovations, this more recent work has increased our understanding of both the time span and geography of the last hunter-gatherers and the earliest farmers in the wider region. Now the picture of the beginning of the Neolithic is more complex and fragmented. This complexity necessitates a multifaceted approach to the questions of the emergence of the Neolithic. In this regard, the data coming from Pre-Pottery Neolithic A sites in southeastern Anatolia, particularly in the Upper Tigris Basin, is remarkable. In this paper the transitional stage to the Neolithic in the region and new data from Gusir Höyük is discussed according to the architectural data.</p> 2020-12-01T11:09:23+01:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Necmi Karul Ulucak Höyük 2021-02-02T13:33:07+01:00 Özlem Çevik Osman Vuruşkan <p>It has been increasingly clear that pottery was adopted as a continuous technology during the first quarter of the 7th millennium BC in a wide region, from Upper Mesopotamia through Central Anatolia and the Lakes District region. However, the absence of pottery in the basal level at Ulucak Höyük shows the presence of a pre-ceramic sequence in western Anatolia, before c. 6600/6500 cal BC. This article discusses the earliest pottery assemblage from Ulucak (6600/6500–6200 cal BC) and compares it with the later ceramic sequences at the site. Ultimately, the functional and typological developmental sequence of Neolithic pottery at Ulucak Höyük and its temporo-spatial relations with other Neolithic sites in Anatolia will be assessed.</p> 2020-12-01T11:29:31+01:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Özlem Çevik, Osman Vuruşkan Understanding Diversity in Early Neolithic Pottery Production 2021-02-02T13:33:06+01:00 Tanya Dzhanfezova Chris Doherty Małgorzata Grębska-Kulow <p>By recovering and interpreting the hidden technological variability in the first pottery at Ilindentsi-Massovets, this paper reveals the innovative adaptations to local conditions that the adoption of pottery production, as a new technology, must have involved. Seventy-one samples were analysed using low-resolution binocular microscopy and high-resolution petrographic and scanning electron microscopy. The variety established within each of the major components in pottery production at the site is interpreted in the context of the local raw materials (availability) and technological approaches (decision making), thus reaching beyond the traditional interpretative models that suggest large-scale uniformity in Early Neolithic pottery production across extensive European regions.</p> 2020-12-01T11:59:04+01:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Tanya Dzhanfezova, Chris Doherty, Małgorzata Grębska-Kulow The oldest pottery of the Para-Neolithic Zedmar culture at the site Szczepanki, Masuria, NE-Poland 2021-02-02T13:33:06+01:00 Witold Gumiński <p>The article presents the earliest ceramics of the site Szczepanki, north-eastern Poland, belonging to the Para-Neolithic Zedmar culture, which existed in the south-east Baltic region. The presented pottery come from the Late Atlantic layers, dated 5600–5100 conv BP. The pottery is discussed regarding the technology, morphological details, vessel forms and ornamentation. Each of the elements shows multidirectional influences or similarities with the Western and the Eastern Para-Neolithic, as well as the Danubian cultures and the TRB. However, a specific characteristic of the early Zedmar pottery relies on mixing features of various origins or traditions, creating a new and peculiar technology and style.</p> 2020-12-01T12:36:30+01:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Witold Gumiński The Starčevo Culture Horizon at the Site of Kneževi Vinogradi (Eastern Croatia) 2021-02-02T13:33:05+01:00 Dragana Rajković Selena Vitezović <p>The region of Slavonia in eastern Croatia represents the westernmost area inhabited by the communities of the Starčevo culture, part of the Starčevo-Körös-Criş cultural complex. This region was intensively inhabited during the period between 6200 and 5500 cal BC, and numerous sites were excavated. Some of the aspects of the lives of these communities, however, are still insufficiently explored, in particular the economy and craft production. In this paper we will focus on lithic and osseous tool assemblages from the site of Kneževi Vinogradi-Osnovna škola. The Starčevo cultural horizon has only yielded small assemblages of lithic and osseous tools, but they show some interesting technological and typological traits.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> 2020-12-01T12:52:19+01:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Dragana Rajković, Selena Vitezović Global Processes, Regional Dynamics? 2021-02-02T13:33:04+01:00 Héctor Martínez-Grau Reto Jagher F. Xavier Oms Joan Anton Barceló Salvador Pardo-Gordó Ferran Antolín <p>The goal of this paper is to discuss the validity of radiocarbon dates as a source of knowledge for explaining social dynamics over a large region and a long period of time. We have carefully selected c. 1000 14C dates for the time interval 8000–4000 cal BC within the northwestern Mediterranean area (NE Iberian Peninsula, SE France, N Italy) and Switzerland. Using statistical analysis, we have modelled the summed probability distribution of those dates for each of the analysed ecoregion and discussed the rhythms of neolithisation in these regions and the probability of social contact between previous Mesolithic and new Neolithic populations.</p> 2020-12-01T13:24:05+01:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Héctor Martínez-Grau, Reto Jagher, F. Xavier Oms, Joan Anton Barceló, Salvador Pardo-Gordó, Ferran Antolín Early Neolithic Settlement of the Po Plain (Northern Italy) 2021-02-02T13:33:03+01:00 Paolo Biagi Elisabetta Starnini Dušan Borić Niccolò Mazzucco <p>Around the mid-19th century, several groups of archaeologists active in northern Italy discovered a few sites characterized by the presence of ‘hut-floors’ or ‘pit-dwellings’ <em>(fondi di capanna)</em>, which they attributed to a well-defined period of their Stone Age sequence. Research in the central Po Plain of Lombardy was resumed in the 1970s, allowing one to attribute some of the older discoveries to the Early Neolithic Vhò cultural aspect. The scope of the excavations, which started on one of the Vhò di Piadena sites in 1974, was to interpret the function of the previously discovered features, establish their radiocarbon chronology, and compare the finds with those of the Fiorano culture distributed across the eastern regions of the Po Plain. The main goal of this paper is to provide an international audience with novel information about one of the still poorly known Early Neolithic cultural aspects of northern Italy, namely that of the Vhò.</p> 2020-12-01T13:45:47+01:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Paolo Biagi, Elisabetta Starnini, Dušan Borić, Niccolò Mazzucco The Neolithic evolution and cultural transformations in the Povolzhye region (Eastern Europe) 2021-02-02T13:33:01+01:00 Aleksandr Vybornov Konstantin Andreev Anatoly Somov Marianna Kulkova <p>The article is devoted to the analysis of Neolithic cultures in the Povolzhye region. Several synchronic archaeological complexes were compared. New data about the development and cultural changes of Neolithic communities were obtained. The processes of transition in the development of Neolithic cultures of the Povolzhye region were considered.</p> 2020-12-01T13:59:06+01:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Aleksandr Vybornov, Konstantin Andreev, Anatoly Somov, Marianna Kulkova The Concept of the ‘Stage of Reduction and Concentration of Settlements’ in Neolithic Studies 2021-02-08T21:14:38+01:00 Sławomir Kadrow <p>The paper analyses the meaning of the ‘stage of reduction and concentration of settlements’ and its place in the evolving structure of a Neolithic settlement system. It considers whether this stage of the development of the settlement system was a specific event, limited only to the evolution of a Funnel Beaker Culture settlement in south-eastern Poland, or whether it was a structural element in other areas too. Analysis of the collected cases, representing various geographical zones, cultural traditions and time horizons, allows us to formulate a thesis that describes the transformation of large settlements (from central places to the stage of reduction and concentration) were caused by internal social conflicts, rather than by climate or economic changes.</p> 2020-12-01T14:09:19+01:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Sławomir Kadrow A Large Copper Artefacts Assemblage of Fazael, Jordan Valley 2021-02-08T21:14:12+01:00 Danny Rosenberg Eli Buchman Sariel Shalev Shay Bar <p>Late Chalcolithic metallurgy developed in the southern Levant simultaneously with other crafts and new social institutions, reflecting advances in social organization, cults and technology. Until recently, copper items were mostly found in the Negev and Judean Desert, while other areas, specifically the Jordan Valley, were considered poor, with limited copper finds. Recent excavations at Late Chalcolithic Fazael in the Jordan Valley yielded dozens of copper items that allow for the first time a comprehensive study of copper items from this area. The assemblage is one of the largest of any site in the Late Chalcolithic period and includes most of the known components of the Late Chalcolithic copper industry. The current paper presents the new metallurgical discoveries from the Fazael Basin and discusses their significance to our understanding of the Late Chalcolithic copper industry.</p> 2020-12-01T14:22:59+01:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Danny Rosenberg, Eli Buchman, Sariel Shalev, Shay Bar Settlement mound Tepecik and the Karaz culture in Eastern Anatolia 2021-02-08T21:13:46+01:00 Hatice Gönül Yalçin <p>The longevity of the Kura-Araxes culture is an archaeological phenomenon in the Caucasus and Near East. Over the course of a millennium, this culture spread from its origins in Eastern Anatolia, the Transcaucasia and northwest Iran to Southeastern Anatolia, northern Syria, Palestine and Israel. Named after the settlement mound Karaz near Erzurum, the Karaz culture is a widely established Turkish term for the Kura-Araxes culture. In Palestine and Israel, this culture is called Khirbet-Kerak. Apart from the striking small finds and special architectural features, it has a special pottery with characteristics that remained almost uniform in its area of distribution. Situated in the Altınova plain in Eastern Anatolia, Tepecik was also home for this significant culture. Today, this settlement mound lies under the waters of the Keban Dam in Elazığ. Yet its strategic location on a tributary of the Euphrates enabled the emergence and development of various cultures. At this settlement, archaeologists documented the Karaz culture that occurred in an almost unbroken cultural sequence from the Late Chalcolithic up to the beginnings of the Middle Bronze Age. Thus, Tepecik is one of the most significant prehistoric settlements within the distribution area of the Kura-Araxes/Karaz/Khirbet Kerak culture in the Near East. This paper presents the Karaz pottery from Tepecik as well as the possible development of the Karaz culture in the course of the Early Bronze Age at this settlement.</p> <p>.</p> 2020-12-01T14:49:15+01:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Hatice Gönül Yalçin Daily Practices and Special Events 2021-02-08T21:13:21+01:00 Danai Chondrou <p>The article offers a detailed analysis of the grinding tool assemblage from the two neighbouring, partially contemporary and almost entirely excavated Late/Final Neolithic settlements of Kleitos, northwestern Greece. The data shed light on various choices regarding the organisation of the production and management of these implements. According to the evidence, grinding tools were not only used as part of the daily routine, but were also often used in special events. The limited rates of exhausted implements, the extreme fragmentation, and special patterns of deposition indicate the complex manipulation of grinding implements beyond their primary functions.</p> 2020-12-02T10:55:49+01:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Danai Chondrou Between the Hearth and the Store 2021-02-08T21:12:55+01:00 Juan Jesús Padilla Fernández Eva Alarcón García Alejandra García García Luis Arboledas Martínez Auxilio Moreno Onorato Francisco Contreras Cortés Linda Chapon <p>Research into the Bronze Age on the south-eastern Iberian Peninsula has always occupied a pre-eminent position in the archaeological discipline. Although we can state that there is a certain degree of scientific unity regarding the main cultural features of that period, few studies have focused on the social and technological process involved in the manufacture of pottery vessels. This paper aims to remedy that situation. To do this, we provide the results obtained from the technical analysis of the pottery vessels used in two activities essential to human survival – food storage and processing – in the Bronze Age settlement of Peñalosa (2086–1450 cal BC). At the same time, the macroscopic identification of the technological patterns developed in the tasks of manufacturing earthenware jars and pots allows us to reflect on the significance of the concept of specialization in the Argar Culture.</p> 2020-12-02T11:19:03+01:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Juan Jesús Padilla Fernández, Eva Alarcón García, Alejandra García García, Luis Arboledas Martínez, Auxilio Moreno Onorato, Francisco Contreras Cortés, Linda Chapon The Argaric Pottery from Burial at Peñalosa (Jaén, Spain) 2021-02-08T21:12:29+01:00 Laura Vico Triguero Jesús Gámiz Caro Francisco Martín Peinado Alejandra García García Eva Alarcón García Francisco Contreras Cortés María Auxiliadora Moreno Onorato <p>The interpretation of the manufacture and function of Argaric burial potteries has not been subject to a global and systematic study. As such, this paper has reconstructed the sequence of ceramic production of burial potteries of Peñalosa using analytical techniques (stereomicroscopy, X-ray diffraction and optical petrography). Ceramic ware technological features, as well as other indicators of use and repair, indicate that the pottery was used prior to the burial either in domestic contexts or during funerary rituals. This finding contrasts with data obtained at other Argaric sites, where technological and formal features point to pottery production specifically intended for burials.</p> 2020-12-02T11:43:00+01:00 Copyright (c) Why Keep the Old Dead Around? 2021-02-08T21:12:04+01:00 Alexandra Ion <p>The aim of this article is to focus on the ways in which communities imagined their relationship with the dead throughout the Balkan area during the Neolithic and Eneolithic (6200–3800 cal BC). My claim is that we should go beyond seeing the human remains discovered in settlements as unusual/atypical/non-funerary discoveries. Instead, they can be read as traces of complex funerary practices, which contributed to the creation and manipulation of collective identities. The dead became part of a place-making strategy, they fixed time and become central to certain kinds of assemblages, which in turn were meant to create more powerful ancestors who could intervene in the present.</p> 2020-12-02T12:02:29+01:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Alexandra Ion Bell Beaker Cultural Package in the East European Periphery of the Phenomenon 2021-02-08T21:11:38+01:00 Dariusz Manasterski Katarzyna Januszek Adam Wawrusiewicz Aleksandra Klecha <p>The Bell Beaker (BB) cultural package is one of the concepts explaining the extensive diffusion of this phenomenon in Europe. Artefacts associated with the package, discovered mainly in the graves of men, form groups defining the status of the deceased. The BB package is a dynamic turn of events, changing depending on the region, but preserving certain characteristic traits. The complete set of its initial ingredients was not copied in any location, and new local elements were added in various areas of its diffusion. The ritual features unearthed in north-eastern Poland, which contained elements of the BB package, are the assemblages located the furthest in the East European periphery of the phenomenon. The eco- and artefacts from these assemblages are difficult to interpret conclusively within the framework of the classic BB package, as well as in terms of its changes associated with its diffusion. This is connected with the fact that they include elements unknown among the local cultural entities, which reflect the broad circle of contacts their owners maintained.</p> 2020-12-02T12:45:09+01:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Dariusz Manasterski, Katarzyna Januszek, Adam Wawrusiewicz, Aleksandra Klecha The Megalithic Builders 2021-02-08T21:11:13+01:00 Ana Maria Silva <p>Between the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries, António dos Santos Rocha excavated several prehistoric megalithic monuments in the region of Figueira da Foz (Portugal). Some of them revealed human bones, albeit very disturbed and fragmented, which ended up forgotten in the Municipal Museum of Santos Rocha (Figueira da Foz), as did the individuals to which they belonged. Here, I revisit the human bone collection preserved from Megalitho do Facho to access demographic and morphological data; physiological stress indicators; pathologies and injuries that these individuals suffered, thus revealing insights on the lives of those who were deposited in this dolmen. The majority of this collection is composed of unburned bones and a small subsample of burned ones. Both were radiocarbon dated to the Chalcolithic period (first half of the 3rd millennium BC). The analysis confirmed that non-adult and adult individuals of both sexes were deposited in this dolmen. These individuals were affected by biomechanical stress since early in life and display mild signs of physiological stress associated with remodelled lesions, suggestive of a relatively good health status. These data are discussed in the context of other coeval sites.</p> 2020-12-02T12:58:54+01:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Ana Maria Silva Revisiting Prebuilding Dodona 2021-02-08T21:10:48+01:00 Eleni Vasileiou <p>The aim of this paper is to put together the currently dispersed information about the occurrence of architectural remains at the archaeological site of Dodona during the so-called prebuilding phase, mainly at the end of the Late Bronze Age-Beginning of Early Iron Age through the reports and diaries of the site’s excavators. Moreover, the combination of the architectural remains with the portable finds will lead to suggestions about the site’s character during late prehistory. Was it a humble village inhabited by stockbreeders, or a hypaethral sanctuary?</p> 2020-12-02T13:15:32+01:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Eleni Vasileiou The Sarmatian ‘Horseback-riding’ Burial Tradition 2021-02-08T21:10:24+01:00 Muzaffer Gursoy Seryk Akylbek Kopjasar Jetibaev <p>The West Kazakhstan region, with its strategic location linking Asia to Europe, has many pasture areas and rivers. These natural factors provided an appropriate environment for human life and contributed to the development of animal husbandry. Throughout history, a great number of horse-mounted nomadic tribes lived in this region. One of these tribes, the Sarmatians, lived in the Iron Age. The Sarmatians were nomadic horsemen and like other steppe tribes were a part of the Kurgan culture. Kurgans have an important place with regard to demonstrating the burial traditions of the Sarmatians. In Kurgan excavations in west Kazakhstan a large number of horseback-riding burials – in which the deceased is positioned as if riding a horse –were found and these are the main subject of our study. Although archaeologists have attributed horseback-riding burials to the Sarmatians, they have not yet made a comment on the meaning of these burials in their belief system. In this study the meaning of these burials will be discussed and related to the belief system by comparing the horseback-riding burials in west Kazakhstan to burials which actually include horses in the Altai region.</p> 2020-12-02T13:36:26+01:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Muzaffer Gursoy, Seryk Akylbek, Kopjasar Jetibaev Maharski prekop, Stare gmajne and Blatna Brezovica settlements and the vegetation of Ljubljansko barje (Slovenia) in the 4th millennium cal BC 2021-02-08T21:09:58+01:00 Maja Andrič <p>In the 4th millennium cal BC the hinterlands of Ljubljansko barje basin were covered by beech-fir <em>(Abies-Fagus)</em> and mixed oak <em>(Quercus)</em> forests. People of several Eneolithic cultural groups were cutting/burning forests to open the landscape for fields and pastures. This paper focuses on high-resolution palynological analyses of pile-dwelling settlements Maharski prekop, Stare gmajne and Blatna Brezovica to investigate human impact on the vegetation, and to compare past economy and vegetation history in various parts of Ljubljansko barje. The results revealed that there were no major changes of vegetation throughout the 4th millennium cal. BC, neither were there any major differences between vegetation of the selected study sites. Cultural layers from archaeological sites (in larger quantities than off-site cores) contain pollen of plants that were brought to the settlement by people: cereals and other cultivars <em>(</em>Cereal t.<em>, Linum)</em>, weeds <em>(Centaurea)</em>, grazing indicators <em>(Plantago lanceolata, Campanula, Ranunculaceae)</em>, ruderal taxa <em>(Chenopodiaceae, Artemisia)</em>, (gathered) shrubs <em>(Corylus)</em> and herbs. Traces of anthropogenic impacts from older settlements were detected in sediments below archaeological cultural layers at all study sites.</p> 2020-12-02T15:01:05+01:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Maja Andrič Late Holocene Climatic Events, the Main Factor of the Cultural Decline in North Central Iran During the Bronze Age 2021-02-08T21:09:33+01:00 Babak Shaikh Baikloo Islam Ahmad Chaychi Amirkhiz Kamal Al-Din Niknami <p>During the Bronze Age, the cultural region of North Central Iran (NCI) suffered a longterm cultural decline, probably due to severe droughts. According to paleoclimate research, during the overall period c. 5.4–3.5 ka BP, four widely observable climatic events occurred at c. 5.3–5.0, 4.9–4.7, 4.2–3.9, and 3.8–3.5 ka BP, and these appear to have caused widespread environmental damage in the Near East. Archaeological evidence of the NCI-region reveals political events that can be associated with the observed climatic variability. Paleoclimate research and archaeological studies can attribute, in combination, the cultural decline of NCI during the Bronze Age to the Late Holocene climate change.</p> 2020-12-02T15:21:20+01:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Babak Shaikh Baikloo Islam, Ahmad Chaychi Amirkhiz, Kamal Al-Din Niknami How do we avoid imposing the present on the past when modelling spatial interactions? 2021-02-08T21:09:08+01:00 Ray J. Rivers Tim S. Evans <p>Theoretical archaeological modelling for describing spatial interactions often adopts contemporary socioeconomic ideas whose 20th-century language gets translated into historical behaviour with the simplest of lexicons. This can lead to the impression that the past is like the present. Our intention in this paper is that, when this happens, we strip out as much of the contemporary context as we can, to bring modelling back to basic epistemic propositions. We suggest that although the underlying ontology may be specific to contemporary society the epistemology has much greater generality, leading to essentially the same conclusions without the carapace of intricate economics.</p> 2020-12-02T15:32:37+01:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Ray J. Rivers, Tim S. Evans Fables of the Past 2021-02-08T21:08:42+01:00 Michael Kempf <p>Prehistoric landscape reconstructions are still considered an unsolved methodological issue in archaeological research, and this includes the perception and transformation of an individual landscape in relation to situational and local ecosystem performances. Which parts of the landscape offered the potential for land-use and which areas were rather unsuitable due to a variety of environmental preconditions? The modern perception of the archaeological record that is distributed in the modern landscape does not necessarily represent a realistic dispersal of past human activity, but rather reflects the current state of archaeological research and modern land-use strategies. This contribution provides a critical assessment of spatial analyses of large and unstructured archaeological datasets and the non-reconstructibility of past, individually perceived palaeolandscapes.</p> 2020-12-02T15:42:36+01:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Michael Kempf Habitat Selection and the Evolutionary Aesthetics of Landscape Preference 2021-02-08T21:08:17+01:00 Marko Škorić Aleksej Kišjuhas <p>This paper analyses the processes of habitat selection and human landscape preferences from an evolutionary perspective, with the aim of demonstrating how humans aesthetically choose, assess and aspire to live in an environment in which our species and our ancestors evolved in during the pre-Neolithic period. We present the basics of evolutionary aesthetics, then analyse the process of habitat selection and the most influential evolutionary theories of landscape preference. Finally, we refer to applied empirical research and point out that a comprehensive evolutionary theory must also take into account the psychological and cultural elements that affect human well-being.</p> 2020-12-03T09:19:15+01:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Marko Škorić, Aleksej Kišjuhas Are We Creating Our Past? 2021-02-08T21:07:52+01:00 Chiara G. M. Girotto <p>Urnfield Culture hilltop settlements are often associated with a predominant function in the settlement pattern. This study challenged the idea of centrality by means of density estimates and spatial inhomogeneous explanatory statistics. Reflecting on the differences in spatial trends and material culture, no conclusive evidence for a consolidation of power, economic, or cultic dominance was observed. The dataset strongly points towards the inapplicability of commonly used parametric and/or homogenous spatial algorithms in archaeology. Tracer variables as well as the methodological and theoretical limitations are critically reviewed and a methodological framework to increase the reproducibility and reusability of archaeological research is proposed.</p> 2020-12-03T09:30:04+01:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Chiara G. M. Girotto Approaching the Unification and Diversity of Pottery Assemblages 2021-02-08T21:07:27+01:00 Aleksandr Diachenko Iwona Sobkowiak-Tabaka Sergej Ryzhov <p>This paper questions the cycling nature of the unification and diversity of pottery forms through a case study of ceramics of the Western Tripolye culture in the Southern Bug and Dnieper interfluve in modern Ukraine. We identified the cultural cycle representing the transition from more unified ceramic assemblages to more diverse ones, and then back to more unified assemblages. This cultural cycle is disturbed by the increase in the diversity of pottery sets at three of ten subsequent time periods we have analysed. The obtained results are discussed in frames of deterministic explanations and the dynamic behaviour of complex systems.</p> 2020-12-03T10:37:05+01:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Aleksandr Diachenko, Iwona Sobkowiak-Tabaka, Sergej Ryzhov Bayesian 14C-rationality, Heisenberg Uncertainty, and Fourier Transform 2021-02-08T21:07:03+01:00 Bernhard Weninger Kevan Edinborough <p>Following some 30 years of radiocarbon research during which the mathematical principles of 14C-calibration have been on loan to Bayesian statistics, here they are returned to quantum physics. The return is based on recognition that 14C-calibration can be described as a Fourier transform. Following its introduction as such, there is need to reconceptualize the probabilistic 14C-analysis. The main change will be to replace the traditional (one-dimensional) concept of 14C-dating probability by a two-dimensional probability. This is entirely analogous to the definition of probability in quantum physics, where the squared amplitude of a wave function defined in Hilbert space provides a measurable probability of finding the corresponding particle at a certain point in time/space, the so-called Born rule. When adapted to the characteristics of 14C-calibration, as it turns out, the Fourier transform immediately accounts for practically all known so-called quantization properties of archaeological 14C-ages, such as clustering, age-shifting, and amplitude-distortion. This also applies to the frequently observed chronological lock-in properties of larger data sets, when analysed by Gaussian wiggle matching (on the 14C-scale) just as by Bayesian sequencing (on the calendar time-scale). Such domain-switching effects are typical for a Fourier transform. They can now be understood, and taken into account, by the application of concepts and interpretations that are central to quantum physics (e.g. wave diffraction, wave-particle duality, Heisenberg uncertainty, and the correspondence principle). What may sound complicated, at first glance, simplifies the construction of 14C-based chronologies. The new Fourier-based 14C-analysis supports chronological studies on previously unachievable geographic (continental) and temporal (Glacial-Holocene) scales; for example, by temporal sequencing of hundreds of archaeological sites, simultaneously, with minimal need for development of archaeological prior hypotheses, other than those based on the geo-archaeological law of stratigraphic superposition. As demonstrated in a variety of archaeological case studies, just one number, defined as a gauge-probability on a scale 0–100%, can be used to replace a stacked set of subjective Bayesian priors.</p> 2020-12-03T10:58:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Bernhard Weninger, Kevan Edinborough On the Term ‘Jōmon’ and the Contribution of Russian Scholars to Jōmon Studies 2021-02-08T21:06:38+01:00 Andrey V. Tabarev Irina S. Zhushchikhovskaya Darya A. Ivanova <p>The article is devoted to the introduction of the term ‘Jōmon’ into Russian archaeological literature, its understanding, and the contribution of Russian scholars to Jōmon studies starting from the late 20th century. The recognition of the term and its use had some peculiarities which were caused not only by the language barrier and political events in the far eastern region, but mostly by the specifics of the archaeological investigations in the Russian Far East and the priority of research focused first on the Ainu origin, and then on the Palaeolithic rather on the nature of the Neolithic. The rise of the interest in Jōmon grew in the late 1960s and early 1970s with the discoveries of initial pottery with Final Pleistocene dates in Japan and Russia (Lower and Middle Amur Region). During the 1980s and 1990s this trend was realized in a series of publications, international conferences, and the first joint Russian-Japanese archaeological projects. The current stage is illustrated by the institualization of several research centres of Jōmon studies in Russia (Novosibirsk, Vladivostok), by a high level of international cooperation, and by a wide range of research topics, including chronological, technological, ritual and other aspects of the Jōmon period.</p> 2020-12-03T11:28:37+01:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Andrey V. Tabarev, Irina S. Zhushchikhovskaya, Darya A. Ivanova Book Review 2021-02-10T21:58:27+01:00 Andreja Žibrat Gašparič <p>Chris Doherty’s study focuses on the role of clay in the development of Çatalhöyük, the famous and largest Neolithic settlement in the Konya Plain in central Anatolia. The author offers a holistic approach to understand the interrelationship between all clay materials used at the site and the landscape. Çatalhöyük lies on the clay-rich bed of the former Pleistocene Lake Konya, which lacked local sources of stone, and this makes its position interesting as clay plays a dual role here, i.e. as the main landscape component and a raw material for different types of material culture at the site. The book is divided into 10 chapters and is supported with many illustrative figures and tables.</p> 2020-12-03T11:45:13+01:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Andreja Žibrat Gašparič