On foot, by boat: Distribution methods of raw materials suitable for lithics in Central Europe in c. 4900-3400 BCE

František Trampota (Author)

Institute of Archaeology of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague & Regional Museum in Mikulov http://orcid.org/0000-0001-8437-9246

Antonín Přichystal (Author)

Department of Geological Sciences, Masaryk University http://orcid.org/0000-0001-6653-0416

Keywords:
raw materials; lithics; Neolithic; central Europe; distribution

Abstract


Thanks to long-term efforts to identify the stone raw materials of Neolithic lithics, a dataset of the proportional raw material composition at Neolithic settlements for the eastern part of Bohemia and the Morava River Basin in Central Europe has been created, which can be analysed in the period c. 4900-3400 BCE The focus of this study is on four issues: (1) the chronological evolution of the mode of distribution of the raw materials of lithics and its relation to settlement dynamics; (2) the relationship between the rate of imported raw materials and settlement density; (3) the importance of navigable rivers for the long-distance transport of raw materials; and (4) a comparison of the spatial distribution of stone raw materials and ‘archaeological cultures’. In terms of chronological variations in distributional structures, it is clear that population size was an important factor affecting extra-regional distribution, particularly when compared with settlement numbers and radiocarbon density. In contrast, settlement density was not a determinant of the occurrence of imported raw materials. Navigable rivers are an important factor in the transport of goods, which is represented in the archaeological record by stone raw materials. The most evident relationship between imported raw materials and navigable rivers is in c. 4800-4500 BCE. At the end of the period under study, the construction of fortified hillforts is a significant social phenomenon, which, despite the problematic find circumstances of lithics, suggests a change in the distribution pattern. The presence of archaeological cultures (ceramic style) cannot be an explanatory factor for the changes in the distribution of stone raw materials, as the changes in internal and extra-regional distribution are not related to its changes.

Author Biographies

František Trampota, Institute of Archaeology of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague & Regional Museum in Mikulov

Institute of Archaeology of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague
Letenská 4
118 01 Prague
Czech Republic

Regional Museum in Mikulov
Zámek 1/4
692 01 Mikulov
Czech Republic

Antonín Přichystal, Department of Geological Sciences, Masaryk University

Department of Geological Sciences
Faculty of Science
Masaryk University
Kotlářská 267/2
611 37 Brno
Czech Republic

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Published
21-Apr-2024
How to Cite
Trampota, F., & Přichystal, A. (2024). On foot, by boat: Distribution methods of raw materials suitable for lithics in Central Europe in c. 4900-3400 BCE. Journal of Lithic Studies, 11(1), 23 p. https://doi.org/10.2218/jls.7971