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Modelling the Neolithic Transition in the Near East and Europe

  • Joaquim Fort (a1), Toni Pujol (a1) and Marc Vander Linden (a2)

For the Neolithic transition in the Near East and Europe, this paper compares the isochrones predicted by computational models to those obtained by interpolating the archaeological data. This comparison reveals that there is a major inconsistency between the predictions of the models and the archaeological data: according to the models, the Neolithic front would have arrived to Greece in less than half the time interval implied by the data. Our main new results are as follows, (a) This inconsistency can be solved by including only Pre Pottery Neolithic B/C (PPNB/C) sites in the Near East; (b) the model that yields the lowest mean error per site in the arrival time of the Neolithic across the Near East and Europe is obtained by allowing for sea travels up to distances of 150 km; and (c) Mountain barriers have a negligible effect on the spread rate of the Neolithic front at the continental scale.


Para la transición del Neolítico en el Oriente próximo y Europa, este artículo compara las isócronas predichas por modelos computacionales a las obtenidas interpolando los datos arqueológicos. Dicha comparación revela una incoherencia notable entre las predicciones de los modelos y los datos arqueológicos: según los modelos, el Neolítico habría llegado a Grecia en menos de la mitad del tiempo que tardó según los datos. Nuestros principales resultados nuevos son: (i) Esta incoherencia puede resolverse incluyendo sólo yacimientos PPNB/C en el Oriente próximo; (ii) El modelo que arroja el mínimo error medio por yacimiento en el tiempo de llegada del Neolítico en Oriente próximo y Europa se obtiene permitiendo viajes por mar con distancias de hasta 150 km; (iii) Las barreras montañosas tienen un efecto despreciable sobre el ritmo de expansión del Neolítico a escala continental.

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