Early Neolithic period, 6500 BC

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From the beginning of the Neolithic period people started living in permanent houses, using pottery vessels and keeping domesticated sheep, cattle and pigs and cultivating cereals. The houses to the east and south of the Balkans were substantial rectangular timber buildings. In northern Greece these had stone foundations , and to the west houses were simple  elliptical pit huts with lighter rectangular wattle and daub. Across Bulgaria and Macedonia the same sites were used for many centuries and millennia leading to the "tell" raised area.

Typical symbols of the Neolithic period are: sun represented as circle and spirals, fire as volutes (wave patterns), meanders and anthropomorphic figures.

Burials were only frequent in the Danube Gorge area with other areas having some burials within villages and inside buildings.

The earliest Balkan Neolithic cultures can be broadly divided three groups:

Balkan group

Covering the areas of Romania, Bulgaria, Macedonia and Greece, known as Gura Baciului, Karanovo I, Porodin (Velušina), proto-Sesklo cultures, in the settlement friendly areas of Thessaly, Pelagonia, S Albania (Vlush), middle Struma, and central areas. Characterised by light monochrome pottery and white painted pottery

Central Balkan group

Covering the area of Sebia and south Panonnia into Banat
Known as  Starčevo I, Körös, Criş cultures
Characterised with coarse pottery and Barbotine decoration

Mediterranean group

Along the coast of Iberia, Italy, and north Africa with pottery decorated by finger nail and shell impressions, known as "impresso" technique.


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© Eliznik2005, First issue 2002, Last updated Dec-05