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The origins of Europe’s first farmers: The role of Hacılar and Western Anatolia, fifty years on

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • V.M Heyd
  • Brami M.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165 - 206
Number of pages41
JournalPraehistorische Zeitschrift
Issue number2
DatePublished - Nov 2011


Recent discoveries in Western Anatolia have shed new light on the origins of Europe’s first farmers. Fifty years ago, James Mellaart suggested that Early Neolithic communities in Greece and the Balkans shared a common ancestry in Western Anatolia at the site of Hacılar. Current excavations conducted along the Aegean coast of Turkey and in the broader Mar- mara region, halfway between Hacılar and Europe, confirm this link and provide a more complex and accurate picture of the spread of farming to Southeast Europe. The re-evaluation of the absolute and relative chronologies proposed in this paper identifies three chrono-geographical horizons (two definite, one tentative), each characterised by a different Neo- lithic ‘package’. Repeated migrations from the Central Anatolian plateau, and further on from the Levant, probably spread farming to Europe in the second half of the 7th millennium BC. The evidence for earlier Neolithic dispersals remains ambiguous.

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Publisher: De Gruyter

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