A long slow goodbye – Re-examining the Mesolithic – Neolithic transition (5500 – 2500 BCE) in the Dutch delta

Abstract

Neolithic societies in the Dutch wetlands are characterised as “extended broad-spectrum hunter-gatherers”. They adopted agricultural elements only gradually and wild resources continue to play an important role in subsistence. However, the exact duration of the process of neolithisation in the Dutch wetlands is debated. We analyse the taxonomic diversity of faunal assemblages from the late Mesolithic and Neolithic in the Netherlands. We demonstrate that the diversity of exploited faunal resources remains remarkably constant throughout the Neolithic. We interpret this to show that the reliance on an extended broad-spectrum economy was not a transitional phase, but was a viable economic system in its own right.NWOVidi 276-60-004Human Origin

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