Wednesday, 20. March 2019, 17:30

First Neolithic Genes, Gestures and Identities in the Balkans

Dušan Borić (Columbia University)

In recent years, aDNA evidence and a suite of other science-based methodologies (isotope studies, AMS dating, ceramic residues) have fundamentally changed the way we evaluate the beginnings of the Neolithic in the Balkans and southeastern Europe. We are now tempted to try squaring this burgeoning field of studies with conclusions reached by means of other, more conventional, archaeological ways of studying material culture traditions. Only such an integration will allow us to draw wider conclusions about the possible causes for a directional spread of farming groups and to characterize the nature of transformations from foraging to farming in this region of Europe. This talk will review some of these recent developments with a particular attention drawn on the evidence from two distinct zones that might have acted as important conduits for the spread of the Neolithic way of life: the Danube Gorges area of the central Balkans and the Eastern Adriatic coastal zone.