University of Leicester
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Farmers in Transition: The archaeobotanical analysis of the Carpathian Basin from the Late Neolithic to the Late Bronze Age (5000-900 BC)

posted on 2013-09-02, 09:15 authored by Kelly Ann Reed
This thesis examines the development of agriculture within the Carpathian Basin from the Late Neolithic to the Late Bronze Age. Information on prehistoric crop practices within Croatia have been absent from current debates on the spread and development of agriculture in Southeast Europe. The aim of the study is to examine new archaeobotanical data and provide information on subsistence practices within Croatia and integrate these results with those available from the wider region of the Carpathian Basin. The re-examination of archaeobotanical material from Late Bronze Age Feudvar has also allowed the identification of crop husbandry regimes at the site level. The results indicate continuous crop cultivation, as well as the collection of wild resources, within Croatia from the Late Neolithic to the Late Bronze. At Feudvar, crop processing analysis indicated that a number of socio-economic factors dictated whether a crop was fully cleaned after the harvest, sieved at a later stage or left full of impurities. Further investigation into ecological characteristics of weed species within three groups of samples (unsieved spikelets, products and fine sieving byproducts) identified the practice of two distinct crop husbandry regimes at Feudvar. The first represents small-scale intensive cultivation associated with the wheat crops (einkorn and emmer) and the second, a more large-scale extensive husbandry regime associated with barley. Integrating these results within the wider geographical area showed regional and temporal variations in the crops cultivated that are likely linked to personal choice and socio-economic influences rather than environmental constraints. This study advances our knowledge on farming practices within the Carpathian Basin and demonstrates the importance of archaeobotanical data to debates on socio-economic and technological change in prehistory.



Van der Veen, Marijke; Barton, Huw

Date of award


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University of Leicester

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

Qualification name

  • PhD



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