A prelude to the Neolithic in the Balaton region - new results to an old problem.
Eszter Bánffy, Imola Juhász, and Pál Sümegi
Archaeological Institute, Budapest
Until recently, one had to face two major problems concerning Transdanubian neolithisation: 1. the absence of Mesolithic sites or any certain data; 2. a lack of information about the earliest LBK archaeological assemblages. Given the importance of this area and period in the neolithisation of Central Europe, both archaeological and palaeoenvironmental investigations have been carried out. Although the program is still ongoing, the first results are worth summarizing. It becomes more and more clear that the lack of late Mesolithic evidence was only due to a lack of research. Mesolithic information from the Sárrét and the Balaton Upland is based on both archaeological assemblages as well as geological cores and pollen sample evaluations. Meanwhile, our knowledge about the Starcevo culture north of Lake Balaton and its impact in the earliest, transitional sites has grown: the coexistence and interaction between late Starcevo immigrants and local foragers can be bolstered with new data. The result is a new entity: the development of the LBK. In the first phase, the subsistence economy did not basically change, although parts of the Neolithic package were involved. The ‘Neolithic revolution', to a society completely dependent on food production, happened after this initial period.
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