The Mesolithic Hunter-Gatherers in the Southeastern Mediterranean and Their Contribution in the Neolithisation of the Aegean

Adamantios Sampson


The excavations in the Aegean since the 1990s onwards have revealed a new cultural stage, starting from the beginning of 9th millennium down to the end of 8th. A network of sites extends from the northern to the southern Aegean Sea and from the West to the East, having as reference points the obsidian sources of Melos and Yali, Nissiros. In recent years, we have an increase of Mesolithic sites in the insular Aegean, the mainland Greece as well as in the western Asian coast, Cyprus and Crete. Recent research changes the data and shows that, along with the navigation capability and the specialization in fishing, an early Neolithisation in the Aegean began already in 9th millennium BC. It means that active Mesolithic groups from the early 9th mill. till the end of 8thcould have been able to travel to the East, interact with local populations of the PPNA and PPNB and transfer plants and animals, domesticated or not to the Aegean and the Greek mainland, contributing to the full Neolithisation of the area.

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