Before Farming

Climate, floods and river gods

environmental change and the Meso–Neolithic transition in southeast Europe

Before Farming (2002), 2002, (3-4), 1–15.

Abstract

A conspicuous gap in the radiocarbon record of the Iron Gates Mesolithic suggests that many riverbank sites were abandoned between c 8250 and 7900 cal BP.1 This period of site abandonment is linked to increased flooding along the Danube, which can be correlated with a distinct global climatic oscillation. The implications of these environmental changes for the interpretation of Lepenski Vir and the timing of the Meso–Neolithic transition in the northern Balkans are examined. There is growing evidence of climatic instability during the Holocene and its effects on river systems. We suggest that climate-related flooding had a significant impact on human settlement and use of riverine environments in southeast Europe during the middle Holocene, and may even have been an important stimulus of culture change.

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Author details

Bonsall, Clive

Macklin, Mark

Payton, Robert

Boroneanţ, Adina

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