FeNCE – A Frontier Model for the Neolithic Expansion in Anatolia and Southeast Europe


Up to two thousand years separated the onset of settled farming in Central Anatolia from its uptake in the Aegean Basin. This project, conducted under the auspices of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, OREA – Institute for Oriental and European Archaeology, seeks to map out the first major halt in the westward spread of the Neolithic pattern of existence from Southwest Asia into Europe, through a combination of radiocarbon age modelling, re-evaluation of Neolithic, pre-Neolithic and transitional assemblages, and discussion against the background of an existing theory: Marek Zvelebil’s “frontier expansion model”. The centrepiece of the research will be the organisation of an international workshop at OREA, bringing together specialists working on either side of the fault-line and researchers working on similar lags in other parts of Europe, such as the Danube region.

14C Backbone distribution of 848 calibrated radiocarbon intervals, at 2 standard deviations (95.4% probability), from 59 Neolithic and Early Chalcolithic sites in Central Anatolia (red), Western Anatolia (blue), Greece (orange) and Thrace (green) during the interval 9000–5500 BC cal.