The First Farmers of Central Europe: Diversity in LBK Lifeways [Hardback]

Penny Bickle (Editor); Alasdair Whittle (Editor)

ISBN: 9781842175309 | Published by: Oxbow Books | Series: Cardiff Studies in Archaeology | Year of Publication: 2013 | Language: English 608p, H297 x W210 (mm) b/w illustrations

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The First Farmers of Central Europe


From about 5500 cal BC to soon after 5000 cal BC, the lifeways of the first farmers of central Europe, the LBK culture (Linearbandkeramik), are seen in distinctive practices of longhouse use, settlement forms, landscape choice, subsistence, material culture and mortuary rites. Within the five or more centuries of LBK existence a dynamic sequence of changes can be seen in, for instance, the expansion and increasing density of settlement, progressive regionalisation in pottery decoration, and at the end some signs of stress or even localised crisis. Although showing many features in common across its very broad distribution, however, the LBK phenomenon was not everywhere the same, and there is a complicated mixture of uniformity and diversity.

This major study takes a strikingly large regional sample, from northern Hungary westwards along the Danube to Alsace in the upper Rhine valley, and addresses the question of the extent of diversity in the lifeways of developed and late LBK communities, through a wide-ranging study of diet, lifetime mobility, health and physical condition, the presentation of the bodies of the deceased in mortuary ritual. It uses an innovative combination of isotopic (principally carbon, nitrogen and strontium, with some oxygen), osteological and archaeological analysis to address difference and change across the LBK, and to reflect on cultural change in general.

Table of Contents

1. LBK lifeways: a search for difference (Penny Bickle and Alasdair Whittle)
2. Seeking diversity: methodology (Julie Hamilton, R. Alexander Bentley, Penny Bickle, Linda Fibiger, Robert Hedges, Linda Reynard, Carrie Wright, Philippa Cullen, Christopher Dale, Geoff Nowell and Alasdair Whittle)
3. Hungary (Alasdair Whittle, Alexandra Anders, R. Alexander Bentley, Penny Bickle, Lucy Cramp, László Domboróczki, Linda Fibiger, Julie Hamilton, Robert Hedges, Nándor Kalicz, Zsófia Eszter Kovács, Tibor Marton, Krisztián Oross, Ildikó Pap and Pál Raczky)
4. Moravia and western Slovakia (Alasdair Whittle, R. Alexander Bentley, Penny Bickle, Marta Dočkalová, Linda Fibiger, Julie Hamilton, Robert Hedges, Inna Mateiciucová and Juraj Pavúk)
5. Austria (Penny Bickle, R. Alexander Bentley, Christoph Blesl, Linda Fibiger, Julie Hamilton, Robert Hedges, Eva Lenneis, Christine Neugebauer-Maresch, Peter Stadler, Maria Teschler-Nicola, Barbara Tiefenböck and Alasdair Whittle)
6. Southern Bavaria (Daniela Hofmann, Joachim Pechtl, R. Alexander Bentley, Penny Bickle, Linda Fibiger, Gisela Grupe, Julie Hamilton, Robert Hedges, Michael Schultz and Alasdair Whittle)
7. Baden-Württemberg (R. Alexander Bentley, Penny Bickle, Michael Francken, Claudia Gerling, Julie Hamilton, Robert Hedges, Elisabeth Stephan, Joachim Wahl and Alasdair Whittle)
8. Alsace (Penny Bickle, Rose-Marie Arbogast, R. Alexander Bentley, Linda Fibiger, Julie Hamilton, Robert Hedges and Alasdair Whittle)
9. The supra-regional perspective (Robert Hedges, R. Alexander Bentley, Penny Bickle, Philippa Cullen, Christopher Dale, Linda Fibiger, Julie Hamilton, Daniela Hofmann, Geoff Nowell and Alasdair Whittle)
10. Performing LBK Lifeways (Alasdair Whittle and Penny Bickle)

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