Postponed! – Of Sickles and Crops

New data on cereal harvesting practices at the dawn of Mediterranean Neolithic

Niccolò Mazzucco (Archaeology of Social Dynamics research group, Milá y Fontanals Institution (IMF, Barcelona)

Harvesting techniques are a fundamental part of the Neolithic farming package and the so-called sickle blades one of the most characteristic elements of Neolithic lithic assemblages. Crop harvesting is a delicate and crucial phase of the agricultural production and well-designed tools are required for carrying out the task efficiently. Numerous studies have elucidated the origins of harvesting tools in the near eastern Neolithic. However, how and which harvesting technologies were spread into the rest of the Mediterranean? How farming package was adapted to environments characterized by different social, environmental, and climatic conditions? To address these questions, I will present an ongoing research project focusing on the harvesting toolkit, their diffusion and evolution between the seventh and the fifth millennium cal BC, from the Aegean Sea to the westernmost coasts of the Iberian Peninsula. Both archaeological and experimental data will be presented, integrating technological, use-wear and residue analysis