Conference FlyerThe conference will focus on the long-term development and diffusion of Prehistoric technology in the late Pleistocene and early Holocene. Two major fields will be tackled:

1. The relevance of Hunter/Gatherer-networks in the Palaeolithic and Mesolithic for the adaption and diffusion of key technologies enabling the Neolithic way of life.

2. The Impact the Neolithic Revolution had on long-distance networks, and whether these changed significantly or continued to exist.

The Neolithic Revolution has been seen as one of the most important shifts in the development of human technical systems. Yet, our understanding of this process is blurred by a lack of data concerning the extent and persistence of communication networks and their relevance for the conjuncture of key technologies. The conference brings together specialists researching the Late Palaeolithic, Epipalaeolithic, Mesolithic and Early Neolithic periods to discuss the role of networks for the transfer of prehistoric techniques. We want to focus on the long-term development and functioning of communication networks (gift-giving, raw-material procurement, marriage alliances etc.) in Late Palaeolithic and Neolithic societies. And building thereon, the impact of such networks on the tradition and diffusion of technical know how as a precondition for the shift we call Neolithic Revolution. While we might model localised autochthonous Neolithisation processes, the diffusion of the Neolithic stimulus is difficult to dismiss. On the contrary, we want to suggest a change of perspective and focus on the communication networks and question their relevance for the conjuncture of key technologies which might have triggered the Neolithic Revolution. Fernand Braudel’s concept of the longue durée will be applied systematically to the evolution of Late Pleistocene and Early Holocene societies, thereby focussing on the long-term development and functioning of communication networks and their impact on social, political and economical structures. Specifically we are interested in the following key questions:

• Which social mechanisms enabled societies to conserve and trade the knowledge of techniques necessary for the Neolithic way of life?

• What was the role of networks for the diffusion of Neolithic technology? Is it possible to trace these networks back into the Mesolithic and Palaeolithic?

• We would like to discuss the potential of Palaeolithic innovations. Is it possible to pinpoint the origin of the innovations enabling the Neolithic? Can we trace back trajectories that began long before the Neolithic?

• Which networks were able to bridge climatic and environmental boundaries? Is it possible to interpret the exchange of goods and ideas within networks as being set up intentionally or are these an unintended bi-product of the networks?

• How did networks change when more and more societies took over the Neolithic way of life? Were new technologies incorporated into existing networks or responsible for major changes in the long-distance communication?


Hala Alarashi (Lyon): Pre-Pottery Neolithic Personal Adornments in the Northern Levant: Between Innovations and Inherited Traditions

Eleni Asouti (Liverpool): Woodland management before the Neolithic Revolution

Michael Baales (Olpe/Bochum): Palaeolithic networks and their importance for the Diffusion of Technical Know-how

Anna Belfer-Cohen / Nigel Goring-Morris (Jerusalem): The role of Networks for the Transfer of Technical Innovations in the Levantine Epi-Palaeolithic

Marion Benz (Freiburg) / Nicole Reifarth (Tübingen) / Elisabeth Völling (Würzburg): On the threshold – conflicting innovations and traditions during the early Holocene in northern Mesopotamia

Çiler Çilingiroğlu (İzmir): The Neolithic Package re-thought in the context of prehistoric networks

Sophie De Beaune (Lyon): A Technical Perspective on the Development of Palaeolithic Art

Güneş Duru (Istanbul): Social Innovations and their impact on Networks: The Emergence of Public and Private Spaces

Bill Finlayson (London/Amman) / Cheryl Makarewicz (Kiel): Communal, public and ritual: the built environment and the Neolithic transition

Birgit Gehlen (Köln): Grand scale Networks of the Mesolithic. The trapezoid blade industry

Fokke A. Gerritsen (Istanbul): The Initial Neolithisation of Northwest Anatolia

Nigel Goring-Morris / Anna Belfer-Cohen (Jerusalem): The Neolithisation in the Southern Levant

Gerd Graßhoff (Speaker of the Excellence Cluster TOPOI): Greetings and Introduction

Miriam Haidle (Frankfurt/Tübingen): Capacity building in the Palaeolithic, Performance in the Neolithic

Svend Hansen (Berlin): Neolithic figurines in the Near East

Harald Hauptmann (Heidelberg): The Sculpture from Nevali Çori and its wider Context

Barbara Helwing (Lyon): Metal objects in the PPN

Necmi Karul (Istanbul): Early Neolithic Settlements in the Tigris Region

Florian Klimscha (Berlin): Why should Societies become Neolithic?

Dietmar Kurapkat (Berlin): Early Neolithic Special Buildings and Networks of Architectural Knowledge in Southwest Asia

Johannes Krause (Jena): Cooperation models of Neolithic Societies according to Archaeo-genetic Research

Ryszard F. Mazurowski (Warsaw): Tell Qaramel within the Networks of the PPN

Ianir Milevski / Hamudi Khalaily (Jerusalem): The Plastered Skulls Cult and the Levantine Neolithic Social Fabric

Yutaka Miyake (Tsukuba): Innovative Techniques in the Early Neolithic site of Hasankeyf Hoyuk, Upper Tigris

Bernd Müller-Neuhof (Berlin): Conflicts as Constituents of the Neolithization

Mihriban Özbaşaran (Istanbul): Aşıklı Hüyük and its role in PPN-Networks

Mehmet Özdogan (Istanbul): Early Neolithic Monuments: Göbekli Tepe and Beyond

Joris Peters (München): The Domestication of Animals as a long-term process

Henny Piezonka (Berlin): Late Palaeolithic Hunter-Gatherer Networks in Eurasia

Jürgen Renn (Berlin): The Neolithisation as a longue durée-Niche Construction Process

Danny Rosenberg (Haifa): Paved with stones: The evolution of ground stone tools in the late Epi-Palaeolithic and Early Neolithic of south-western Asia

Daniel Schyle (Köln): Tradition and Innovation in the Chipped Stone Industries of the Late and Epipaleolithic in Western Asia

Shinya Shoda (Nara / York): Different Narratives on Innovation Processes: the innovation of Early Pottery by Late Pleistocene and Early Holocene Societies in East Asia

Thomas Terberger (Hannover): Major and Minor Palaeolithic Innovations and their Impact on Hunter/Gatherer-societies

Trevor Watkins (Edinburgh): Was the Neolithic New? Extensive Networks of sharing and exchange from the African MSA to Neolithic southwest Asia