• get familiar with the topic of the beginning of farming and the start of the Neolithic in the Near East and the adjacent areas such as Anatolia, Near East and Cyprus
• understand the multifaceted processes of transition involved such as the end of foraging way of life and the beginning of agriculture
• study 'changes' using the material evidence from specific case-studies which are available in these areas
• follow the history of the theories and ideas proposed for explaining 'transition' in the past decades, and be able to discuss critically the most recent explanations put forward by using the vast bibliography on the subject available
Course Content (Syllabus)
The subject refers to the last hunter-gatherers of the end of the Pleistocene and the first farmers of the beginning of the Holocene (12η -9η mill. BC) in southeastern Mediterranean (Near East, Cyprus, Anatolia). In other words, it deals with the topic of the beginning of farming and the start of the Neolithic in the Near East and the adjacent areas and aims to the understanding of the multifaceted processes of transition involved such as the end of foraging way of life and the beginning of agriculture. Moreover, it includes the study of the 'change' through the evidence which derive from specific case-studies which are available in the area. The course includes the historiography of the different theories and ideas proposed and discussed over many decades and used to explain this transition, and a critical discussion regarding the most recent explanations put forward by using the vast bibliography on the subject
Near East, Anatolia, Cyprus, foraging, farming, transition
Additional bibliography for study
• Asouti, E and D.Q. Fuller 2012. From foraging to farming in the southern Levant: the
development of Epipalaeolithic and Pre-pottery Neolithic plant management strategies, Vegetation History Archaeobotany 21, 149-162.
• Bar-Yosef, O 1989. The PPNA in the Levant – An overview, Paléorient 15,
• Bar-Yosef, O 1995. Earliest food producers – Pre Pottery Neolithic (8000-5500). In T. Levy (ed) The archaeology of society in the Holy Land, 190-201 Leicester University Press: London.
• Bar-Yosef, O and R. Meadow 1995. The origins of agriculture in the Near East. In T. Douglas Price and A. Gebauer (eds) Last hunters, first farmers: New perspectives on the prehistoric transition to agriculture, 39-94. School of American Research Press: Sante Fe.
• Cauvin, J 2004. Γέννηση των Θεοτήτων – Γέννηση της Γεωργίας. Η επανάσταση των συμβόλων στη Νεολιθική εποχή. Πανεπιστημιακές εκδόσεις Κρήτης.
• Kuijt, I 2002. Life in Neolithic farming communities. Kluwer Academic Publishers. New York.
• Zeder, A.M 2008. Domestication and early agriculture in the Mediterranean Basin: Origins, diffusion, and impact, PNAS 105, 33, 11597-11604.
• Zeder, A.M 2012c. The origins of agriculture in the Near East. Current Anthropology 52, 221-235.