Radiocarbon evidence for maritime pioneer colonization at the origins of farming in west Mediterranean Europe

J Zilhao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review


Most radiocarbon dates for the earliest Neolithic cultures of west Mediterranean Europe are on samples of unidentified charcoal. If only results obtained on short lived samples (seeds, shells, and bone) of diagnostic material (domesticates, artifacts, and human remains) are considered, then the dates for the first appearance of the Neolithic package are indistinguishable statistically from central Italy to Portugal and cluster around 5400 calendar B.C. This rapidity of spread, no more than six generations, can be best explained in the framework of a maritime pioneer colonization model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14180-14185
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 20 Nov 2001

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