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Cultural and economic negotiation: a new perspective on the Neolithic Transition of Southern Scandinavia

  • Kurt J. Gron (a1) and Lasse Sørensen (a2)

The diversity of archaeological evidence for the adoption of farming in Northern Europe has led to competing hypotheses about this critical shift in subsistence strategy. Through a review of the archaeological material alongside ethnographic evidence, we reconsider the Neolithic Transition in Southern Scandinavia, and argue for both continuity and change during the early Funnel Beaker Culture (c. 4000–3500 cal BC). A new model is proposed for understanding the processes of regional transition—one which allows for compromise between the dominant explanatory frameworks. We conclude that the first centuries of the Scandinavian Neolithic saw cultural and economic negotiation between the last foragers and the first farmers. This has major implications for the understanding of agricultural origins in Northern Europe.

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