Lost in Transition: The problem of early/middle to late Neolithic transition in Yugoslav/Serbian archaeology of the second half of the 20th century

  • Jasna Vuković Department of Archaeology Faculty of Philosophy University of Belgrade
Keywords:
Neolithic transition, vertical stratigraphy, pottery, hybrids, technological style

Abstract

Numerous Neolithic sites from the territory of modern Serbia and adjacent areas have traditionally been attributed, on the grounds of the archaeological finds, to two “cultures” – Starčevo and Vinča. Their definition and relativechronological demarcation have been based upon the extreme abundance of pottery finds; unsurprisingly, the issues of transition between “early” and “late” Neolithic have also been treated from the culture-historical point of view, above all according to the qualities of shards. Differing opinions concerning the role of the Central Balkans in the process of transition led to several different solutions to the problem.By the end of 1990s, the issue of the Neolithic transition has been totally neglected, in spite of the fact that extensive field research has been conducted since then and a number of new sites have been identified. On the other hand, the current archaeological approaches treating the variability of archaeological material (pottery) and interpretation based upon the analysis of technological style with the aim to identify social groups, i.e. group identities, would be highly appropriate for the study of transition processes. Pottery is still crucial, but not as a corpus of material with certain typological characteristics, but as a source of information on socially conditioned practices (techniques of production, ways of learning and transferring knowledge), as the consequences of specific traditions. The research into the problem of the Neolithic transition from this angle would offer answers to crucial, but yet unresolved questions.

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Published
2016-02-28
How to Cite
Vuković, J. (2016). Lost in Transition: The problem of early/middle to late Neolithic transition in Yugoslav/Serbian archaeology of the second half of the 20th century. Issues in Ethnology and Anthropology, 10(3), 651-673. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.21301/eap.v10i3.5