The Spread of Agro-Pastoral Economies across Mediterranean Europe: A View from the Far West.
Instituto de Arqueologia, Faculdade de Letras de Lisboa,
1699 Lisboa Codex, Portugal
The transition to food production in Portugal begins with the arrival of cardial pottery and domesticates, an event that can be dated to the time period between 6800 and 6200 Bp. These items are found in sites located in the northern part of Estremadura. Contemporaneous hunter-gatherer adaptations are known to have continued their development up to c. 6000 BP in areas located further south, centered in the inner part of the estuaries of the rivers Tejo, Sado and Mira. This pattern is interpreted as indicating that the onset of agro-pastoral economies is linked to the arrival of small groups of settlers that, through interaction with local hunters, are at the origins of the subsequent expansion (completed about one thousand years later) of those economies to the rest of the Portuguese territory.
The archaeological evidence from southern Spain and southern France commonly invoked by proponents of models of the transition to food production as the result of the domestication of local resources or of the acquisition of novel resources bylocal hunters through long-distance exchange systems is shown to be flawed. Severe disturbances at the MesolithiclNeolithic interface of the stratigraphic sequences upon which such models are based-sometimes not recognized by the excavators, but documented either by subsequent work or by critical evaluation of the site reports–can be shown to have occurred. Such disturbances would account well for the radiocarbon dates between 8000 and 7000 Bp obtained at some of those sites, as well as for the presence of sheep bones in their pre- Neolithic strata.
I’ll admit to not reading this one yet (it’s late). One for Luis.