By Amy Bogaard
Neolithic Farming in important Europe examines the character of the earliest crop cultivation, an issue that illuminates the lives of Neolithic farming households and the daily fact of the transition from looking and accumulating to farming.
Debate surrounding the character of crop husbandry in Neolithic imperative Europe has focussed at the permanence of cultivation, its depth and its seasonality: variables that hold varied implications for Neolithic society.
Amy Bogaard experiences the archaeological proof for 4 significant competing types of Neolithic crop husbandry - moving cultivation, large plough cultivation, floodplain cultivation and extensive backyard cultivation - and evaluates charred crop and weed assemblages.
Her conclusions establish the main acceptable version of cultivation, and spotlight the implications of those agricultural practices for our figuring out of Neolithic societies in relevant Europe.
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Extra info for Neolithic Farming in Central Europe: An Archaeobotanical Study of Crop Husbandry Practices
Furthermore, the loess soils of central Europe are thought to have undergone considerable degradation since the Neolithic and, therefore, would have been even more fertile in the early–middle Neolithic (see also Willerding 1983a; Rösch 2000a). Lüning (2000: 182) notes the possibility that pulses were grown more intensively and on a smaller scale than cereals, with the implication that cereal–pulse rotation was not practised. Willerding (1983b, 1988b) has argued that LBK archaeobotanical data from Lower Saxony, Germany support the model of extensive ard cultivation.
It appears that cows and bulls were used for traction in the Horgen period, whereas osteological data from Corded Ware (and Early Bronze Age) contexts at Lake Zurich suggest increased use of oxen (Hüster-Plogmann and Schibler 1997). Sheep mortality data from Corded Ware contexts at Lake Zurich are consistent with milk production (Hüster-Plogmann and Schibler 1997). Summary • • • The study area consists of two adjacent regions with extensive Neolithic (c. 5500–2200 bc) archaeobotanical datasets: the western–central portions of the loess belt (extending from the Low Countries in the west to Poland, Slovakia and Hungary in the east) and the Alpine Foreland.
The lakeshore settlement at Weier (Pfyn period) has provided the earliest direct evidence of stalling in the study area (Rasmussen 1989; Robinson and Rasmussen 1989; Overgaard Nielsen et al. 2000). Such management practices would have increased the availability of milk for human consumption by encouraging the let down of milk (Halstead 1998). Modelling of the human diet suggests, however, that crops remained the chief food source (Gross et al. 1990; Schibler and Brombacher 1995). Evidence for a ‘crisis’ in food production c.