Beyond the Pre-Pottery Neolithic B interaction sphere

Author: Asouti, Eleni

Source: Journal of World Prehistory, Volume 20, Numbers 2-4, December 2006 , pp. 87-126(40)

Publisher: Springer

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This article aims to provide a critical evaluation of the influence of the culture-historical paradigm in the Neolithic archaeology of Western Asia through the re-assessment of currently established theoretical concepts, notably the Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (PPNB) interaction sphere, demic diffusion and acculturation. It is argued that these concepts are too abstractly defined to enable meaningful insights into the dynamics of Early Neolithic societies. A different theoretical framework is needed in order to achieve an historical understanding of the spatial and temporal variability of regional socio-cultural interactions and population displacement. This framework begins with the detailed analysis of local patterns of social organization and exchange. Exchange itself is seen as a socially situated process that was integrally related to the negotiation and reproduction of collective identities during the Neolithic.

Keywords: Culture-history; Diffusion; Exchange; Neolithic; PPNB interaction sphere; Western Asia

Document Type: Research Article


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Publication date: December 1, 2006

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