Urban cultures in Mesopotamia and Anatolia flourished, developing the wheel. Copper ornaments became more common, marking the beginning of the Chalcolithic. Animal husbandry spread throughout Eurasia, reaching China.
|The Neolithic |
In North-Eastern Europe a "ceramic Mesolithic" can be distinguished, found peripheral to the sedentary Neolithic cultures. It created a distinctive type of pottery, with point or knob base and flared rims, manufactured by methods not used by the Neolithic farmers. The earliest manifestation of this type of pottery may be in the region around Lake Baikal in Siberia, from as early as 7000 BC, and from there spread via the Dnieper-Donets culture to the Narva culture of the Eastern Baltic. Spreading westward along the coastline it is found in the Ertebølle culture of Denmark and Ellerbek of Northern Germany, and the related Swifterbant culture of the Low Countries.
Prior to the end of the African humid period (3900 BC) and the desiccation of the Green Sahara, Sub-Saharan Africa remains in the Paleolithic. The beginning of the Pastoral Neolithic falls still into the late phase of the Green Sahara, in the 6th or 5th millennium BC. As the grasslands of the Sahara began drying after 3900 BC, herders would spread into the Nile Valley and by the mid 3rd millennium BC into eastern Africa.
In the classification of the archaeological cultures of North America, the Archaic period or "Meso-Indian period" in North America, taken to last from around 8000 to 1000 BC in the sequence of North American pre-Columbian cultural stages, is a period defined by the archaic stage of cultural development.
The Archaic stage is characterized by subsistence economies supported through the exploitation of nuts, seeds, and shellfish. As its ending is defined by the adoption of sedentary farming, this date can vary significantly across the Americas.
The rest of the Americas also have an Archaic Period.Badarian culture
The Badarian culture provides the earliest direct evidence of agriculture in Upper Egypt during the Predynastic Era. It flourished between 4400 and 4000 BCE, and might have already emerged by 5000 BCE. It was first identified in El-Badari, Asyut Governorate.
About forty settlements and six hundred graves have been located. Social stratification has been inferred from the burying of more prosperous members of the community in a different part of the cemetery. The Badarian economy was based mostly on agriculture, fishing and animal husbandry. Tools included end-scrapers, perforators, axes, bifacial sickles and concave-base arrowheads. Remains of cattle, dogs and sheep were found in the cemeteries. Wheat, barley, lentils and tubers were consumed.
The Badari culture is primarily known from cemeteries in the low desert. The deceased were placed on mats and buried in pits with their heads usually laid to the south, looking west. This seems contiguous with the later dynastic traditions regarding the west as the land of the dead. The pottery that was buried with them is the most characteristic element of the Badarian culture. It had been given a distinctive, decorative rippled surface.Byblos
Byblos, known locally as Jbeil (Arabic: جبيل), is the largest city in the Mount Lebanon Governorate of Lebanon. It is believed to have been first occupied between 8800 and 7000 BC and continuously inhabited since 5000 BC, making it one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.Dan (ancient city)
Dan (Hebrew: דן), is a city mentioned in the Hebrew Bible, described as the northernmost city of the Kingdom of Israel, and belonging to the tribe of Dan. The city is identified with a tell located in northern Israel known as Tel Dan (תל דן "Mound of Dan") in Hebrew, or Tell el-Qadi (تل القاضي "Mound of the Judge" in Arabic).Dnieper–Donets culture
The Dnieper–Donets culture (ca. 5th—4th millennium BC) was a Mesolithic culture in the area north of the Black Sea/Sea of Azov between the Dnieper and Donets River, and bordering the European Neolithic area.
There are parallels with the contemporaneous Samara culture. The Dnieper–Donets culture was succeeded by the Yamnaya culture.Gumelnița–Karanovo culture
The Gumelniţa–Karanovo VI culture was a Neolithic culture of the 5th millennium BC, named after the Gumelniţa site on the left (Romanian) bank of the Danube.Khvalynsk culture
The Khvalynsk culture was a Middle Copper Age (for Eastern Europe named "Eneolithic") culture of the first half of the 5th millennium BC, discovered at Khvalynsk on the Volga in Saratov Oblast, Russia. It was preceded by the Early Eneolithic Samara culture, from which it came, and succeeded by the Late Eneolithic, Early Yamna culture, into which it developed.Littorina Sea
Littorina Sea (also Litorina Sea) is a geological brackish water stage of the Baltic Sea, which existed around 7500–4000 BP and followed the Mastogloia Sea, transitional stage of the Ancylus Lake. The Littorina Sea is named after common periwinkle (Littorina littorea), then a prevailing mollusc in the Baltic waters, which indicates salinity of the sea.
The Littorina Sea was a period of transgression and maximum salinity during the warmer Atlantic period of European climatology. At the optimum, approximately 4500 BP, the sea contained twice the volume of water and covered 26.5% more surface area than it does today. At the end of the period modern landforms appeared, including the lagoons, spits and dunes currently visible.
During the period the temperate deciduous forest moved north to cover the shores and surrounding region.Merimde culture
The Merimde culture (also Merimde Beni-Salame or Benisalam) (Arabic: مرمدة بني سلامة) was a Neolithic culture in the West Nile Delta in Lower Egypt, which corresponds in its later phase to the Faiyum A culture and the Badari culture in Predynastic Egypt. It is estimated that the culture evolved between 4800 and 4300 BC. Merimde also refers to the archaeological site of the same name.Metsamor Castle
Metsamor Castle is the remains of an old fortress located to the southwest of the Armenian village of Taronik, in the Armavir Province. It has been populated starting from the 5th millennium BC until the 18th century AD. The excavations of the tombs of Metsamor Castle began in 1965. The site is noted for its observatory and temple complexes consisted of seven sanctuaries. Neolithic stone circles dating back to ca. 5000 BC stand within the historical site, interpreted by enthusiasts of archaeoastronomy as an astronomical "observatory".Monte Viso
Monte Viso or Monviso (Italian pronunciation: [moɱˈviːzo]; Occitan: Vísol; Piedmontese: Brich Monviso or Viso), is the highest mountain of the Cottian Alps. It is located in Italy close to the French border. Monte Viso is well known for its pyramid-like shape and, because it is higher than all its neighbouring peaks by about 500 m, it can be seen from great distance, including from the Piedmontese plateau, the Langhe, the Theodulpass in the Zermatt ski area and the summits of the Mont Blanc massif. On a very clear day it can be seen from the spires of the Milan Cathedral.
It has been suggested that Monte Viso could be one of the mountains which inspired the Paramount logo.
In Italy is also known as Il Re di Pietra (The Stone King) because of his prominence within western Italian Alps landscape. From 29 May 2013, it has become UNESCO's heritage as a cross-border biosphere reserve with France.Naqada
Naqada is a town on the west bank of the Nile in Qena Governorate, Egypt. It was known in Egyptian as nbwt, which became Coptic Ⲉⲙⲃⲱ (ǝmbō), which was borrowed as classical antiquity as Ombos . Its name derives from Egyptian nbw, meaning "gold", on account of the proximity of gold mines in the Eastern Desert.Naqada culture
The Naqada culture is an archaeological culture of Chalcolithic Predynastic Egypt (ca. 4400–3000 BC), named for the town of Naqada, Qena Governorate. A 2013 Oxford University radio carbon dating study of the Predynastic period, however, suggests a much later date beginning sometime between 3,800-3,700 BC.The final phase of the Naqada culture is Naqada III, which is coterminous with the Protodynastic Period (Early Bronze Age, ca. 3200–3000 BCE) in ancient Egypt.Neolithic circular enclosures in Central Europe
Approximately 120–150 Neolithic earthworks enclosures are known in Central Europe.
They are called Kreisgrabenanlagen ("circular ditched enclosures") in German, or alternatively as roundels (or "rondels"; German Rondelle; sometimes also "rondeloid", since many are not even approximately circular). They are mostly confined to the Elbe and Danube basins, in modern-day Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, as well as the adjacent parts of Hungary and Poland, in a stretch of Central European land some 800 km (500 mi) across.
They date to the first half of the 5th millennium BC; they are associated with the late Linear Pottery culture and its local successors, the Stroke-ornamented ware (Middle Danubian) and Lengyel (Moravian Painted Ware) cultures. The best known and oldest of these Circular Enclosures is the Goseck circle, constructed c. 4900 BC.
Only a few examples approximate a circular form; the majority are only very approximately circular or elliptic. One example at Meisternthal is an exact ellipse with identifiable focal points.
The distribution of these structures seems to suggest a spread from the middle Danube (southern Slovakia and western Hungary) towards the west (Lower Austria, Lower Bavaria) along the Danube and to the northwest (Moravia, Bohemia, Saxony-Anhalt) following the Elbe.
They precede the comparable circular earthwork or timber enclosures known from Great Britain and Ireland, constructed much later during c. 3000 to 1000 BC (late Neolithic to Bronze Age).
But, by contrast to the long lifetime of the "Megalithic" culture, the time window during which the
neolithic Roundels were in use is surprisingly narrow, lasting only for about 200–300 years (roughly 49th to 47th centuries BC).The earliest roundel to be described was the one at Krpy (Kropáčova Vrutice), Bohemia, by Woldřich 1886, but it was only with systematic aerial survey in the 1980s and the 1990s that their ubiquity in the region became apparent.
Three types have been distinguished:
two semicircular ditches forming a circle and separated by causeways at opposing entrances.
multiple circuits of ditches interrupted with entrances at cardinal or astronomically-oriented points and also having an internal single or double timber palisade.
a single ring ditch.The structures are mostly interpreted as having served a cultic purpose.
Most of them are aligned and seem to have served the function of a calendar (Kalenderbau), in the context of archaeoastronomy sometimes dubbed "observatory", with openings aligned with the points sunrise and/or sunset at the solstices. This is the case with the "gates" or openings of the roundels of Quenstedt, Goseck and Quedlinburg.
The observational determination of the time of solstice would not have served a practical (agricultural) purpose, but could have been used to maintain a lunisolar calendar (i.e. knowledge of the date of solstice allows an accurate handling of intercalary months).Known Circular Enclosures:
in Slovakia (Ivan Kuzma 2004): about 50 candidate sites from aerial surveys, not all of which are expected to date to the Neolithic. There are 15 known neolithic (Lengyel) sites. The largest of these are (with outer diameters of more than 100 m): Svodín 2 (140 m), Demandice (120 m), Bajtava (175 m), Horné Otrokovce (150 m), Podhorany-Mechenice (120 m), Cífer 127 m, Golianovo (210 m), Žitavce (145 m), Hosťovce (250–300 m), Prašník (175 m). others: Borovce, Bučany, Golianovo, Kľačany, Milanovce, Nitrianský Hrádok, Ružindol-Borová
in Hungary: Aszód, Polgár-Csőszhalom, Sé, Vokány, Szemely-Hegyes
in the Czech Republic (Jaroslav Ridky 2004): 15 known sites, all dated to the late Stroked pottery (Stk IVA). Běhařovice, Borkovany, Bulhary, Krpy, Křepice, Mašovice, Němčičky, Rašovice, Těšetice, Vedrovice
in Austria (Doneus et al. 2004): 47 known sites with diameters between 40 and 180 m. Lower Austria: Asparn an der Zaya, Altruppersdorf, Altruppersdorf, Au am Leithagebirge, Friebritz (2 sites), Gauderndorf, Glaubendorf (2 sites), Gnadendorf, Göllersdorf, Herzogbirbaum, Hornsburg, Immendorf, Kamegg, Karnabrunn, Kleedorf, Kleinrötz, Michelstetten, Moosbierbaum, Mühlbach am Manhartsberg, Oberthern, Perchtoldsdorf, Plank am Kamp, Porrau, Pottenbrunn, Pranhartsberg, Puch, Rosenburg, Schletz, Simonsfeld, Statzendorf, Steinabrunn, Stiefern, Straß im Straßertale, Strögen, Velm, Wetzleinsdorf, Wilhelmsdorf, Winden, Würnitz. Upper Austria: Ölkam.
in Poland: Biskupin (Wielkopolska), Bodzów, Rąpice , Pietrowice Wielkie (Śląsk), Nowe Objezierze (Pomorze)
Saxony Anhalt (Ralf Schwarz 2004): Quenstedt, Goseck, Kötschlitz, Quedlinburg, outer diameters between 72 and 110 m.
Saxony: Dresden-Nickern (3 sites), Eythra (2 sites), Neukyhna (3 sites)
Bavaria: Lower Bavaria: Eching-Viecht, Künzing-Unternberg, Meisternthal, Moosburg an der Isar-Kirchamper, Oberpöring-Gneiding, Osterhofen-Schmiedorf (2 sites), Stephansposching Wallerfing-Ramsdorf, Zeholfing-Kothingeichendorf; Upper Bavaria: Penzberg
Nordrhein-Westfalen: Borchum-Harpen, Warburg-Daseburg
Franconia: Hopferstadt, Ippesheim
Brandenburg: Bochow, Quappendorf
Rheinland-Pfalz: GoloringRudna Glava (archaeological site)
Rudna Glava (Ore Head) is a mining site in present-day eastern Serbia that demonstrates one of the earliest evidences of European copper mining and metallurgy, dating to the 5th millennium BC. Shafts were cut into the hillside, with scaffolding constructed for easy access to the veins of ore. It belongs to the Vinča culture, as is shown by pottery-finds. In 1983, Rudna Glava was added to the Archaeological Sites of Exceptional Importance list, protected by Republic of Serbia.Another early mine is located at Ai Bunar near Stara Zagora in Bulgaria.Samara culture
Samara culture is the archaeological term for an eneolithic culture that blooms around the turn of the 5th millennium BC, located in the Samara bend region of the upper Volga River (modern Russia). The Samara culture is regarded as related to contemporaneous or subsequent prehistoric cultures of the Pontic-Caspian steppe, such as the Khvalynsk, Repin and Yamna (or Yamnya) cultures. The Proto-Indo-European homeland is often linked to one or more of these cultures.Sirmium
Sirmium was a city in the Roman province of Pannonia. First mentioned in the 4th century BC and originally inhabited by Illyrians and Celts, it was conquered by the Romans in the 1st century BC and subsequently became the capital of the Roman province of Pannonia Inferior. In 294 AD, Sirmium was proclaimed one of four capitals of the Roman Empire. It was also the capital of the Praetorian prefecture of Illyricum and of Pannonia Secunda. Sirmium was located on the Sava river, on the site of modern Sremska Mitrovica in northern Serbia. The site is protected as an Archaeological Site of Exceptional Importance. The modern region of Syrmia (Srem) was named after the city.
Sirmium had 100,000 inhabitants and was one of the largest cities of its time. Colin McEvedy, however, put the population at only 7,000, based on the size of the archaeological site. Ammianus Marcellinus called it "the glorious mother of cities".Tenerian culture
The Tenerian culture is a prehistoric industry that existed between the 5th millennium BC and mid-3rd millennium BC in the Sahara Desert. This spans the Neolithic Subpluvial and later desiccation, during the middle Holocene.
Reygasse first used the term Tenerian in 1934 with subsequent scholars producing a clearer definition. The Missions Berliet to the Aïr Mountains (Aïr Massif) in northern Niger produced the clearest definition prior to J. Desmond Clarke's expedition to Adrar Bous in early 1970, the results of which were published in November 2008.
Human remains belonging to the Tenerian culture were first found at Adrar Bous in the Aïr Mountains. Other Tenerian specimens were also discovered at Gobero, located in Niger in the Ténéré desert. This region was lush at the time, and Tenerians were specialized cattle herders who also occasionally fished and hunted.Varna culture
The Varna culture belongs to the later Neolithic of northeastern Bulgaria, dated ca. 4400-4100 BC. It is contemporary and closely related with Gumelnița in southern Rumania, often considered as local variants.
It is characterized by polychrome pottery and rich cemeteries, the most famous of which are Varna Necropolis, the eponymous site, and the Durankulak complex, which comprises the largest prehistoric cemetery in southeastern Europe, with an adjoining coeval Neolithic settlement (published)
and an unpublished and incompletely excavated Chalcolithic settlement.294 graves have been found in the necropolis, many containing sophisticated examples of copper and gold metallurgy, pottery (about 600 pieces, including gold-painted ones), high-quality flint and obsidian blades, beads, and shells. The site was accidentally discovered in October 1972 by excavator operator Raycho Marinov. Research excavation was under the direction of Mihail Lazarov and Ivan Ivanov. About 30% of the estimated necropolis area is still not excavated.
The findings showed that the Varna culture had trade relations with distant lands, possibly including the lower Volga region and the Cyclades, perhaps exporting metal goods and salt from the Provadiya rock salt mine. The copper ore used in the artifacts originated from a Sredna Gora mine near Stara Zagora, and Mediterranean spondylus shells found in the graves may have served as primitive currency.
|CE / AD|
|BCE / BC|