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Synchronous Environmental and Cultural Change in the Emergence of Agricultural Economies 10,000 Years Ago in the Levant.

Borrell F, Junno A, Barceló JA - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: A major cultural discontinuity is observed in the archaeological record around 10,000 cal BP in synchrony with a Holocene Rapid Climate Change (RCC), a short period of climatic instability recorded in the Northern Hemisphere.This study demonstrates the interconnectedness of the first agricultural economies and the ecosystems they inhabited, and emphasizes the complex nature of human responses to environmental change during the Neolithic period in the Levant.Moreover, it provides a new environmental-cultural scenario that needs to be incorporated in the models reconstructing both the establishment of agricultural economy in southwestern Asia and the impact of environmental changes on human populations.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Centre de recherche français à Jérusalem (CRFJ-CNRS), Jerusalem, Israel.

ABSTRACT
The commonly held belief that the emergence and establishment of farming communities in the Levant was a smooth socio-economic continuum during the Pre-Pottery Neolithic (ca. 12,000-9,000 cal BP) with only rare minor disruptions is challenged by recently obtained evidence from this region. Using a database of archaeological radiocarbon dates and diagnostic material culture records from a series of key sites in the northern Levant we show that the hitherto apparent long-term continuity interpreted as the origins and consolidation of agricultural systems was not linear and uninterrupted. A major cultural discontinuity is observed in the archaeological record around 10,000 cal BP in synchrony with a Holocene Rapid Climate Change (RCC), a short period of climatic instability recorded in the Northern Hemisphere. This study demonstrates the interconnectedness of the first agricultural economies and the ecosystems they inhabited, and emphasizes the complex nature of human responses to environmental change during the Neolithic period in the Levant. Moreover, it provides a new environmental-cultural scenario that needs to be incorporated in the models reconstructing both the establishment of agricultural economy in southwestern Asia and the impact of environmental changes on human populations.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Location of the study region (black square) and some key Neolithic sites.The red line delimits the Fertile Crescent; the green circle delimits the single core region according to some authors [3]; and the yellow circles indicate the different core regions according to others [7]. Note that due to the density of sites in the study region, names have been abbreviated: SH = Shir; KE = Ain el-Kerkh; QA = Qaramel; GR = Gritille; AK = Akarçay; A3 = ‘Abr 3; HL = Halula; DJ = Dja’de; JA = Jerf el Ahmar; MU = Mureybet; AH = Abu Hureyra; BO = Bouqras; NÇ = Nevalı Çori; GÖ = Göbekli; SK = Seker al-Aheimar; and SA = Sabi Abyad.
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pone.0134810.g001: Location of the study region (black square) and some key Neolithic sites.The red line delimits the Fertile Crescent; the green circle delimits the single core region according to some authors [3]; and the yellow circles indicate the different core regions according to others [7]. Note that due to the density of sites in the study region, names have been abbreviated: SH = Shir; KE = Ain el-Kerkh; QA = Qaramel; GR = Gritille; AK = Akarçay; A3 = ‘Abr 3; HL = Halula; DJ = Dja’de; JA = Jerf el Ahmar; MU = Mureybet; AH = Abu Hureyra; BO = Bouqras; NÇ = Nevalı Çori; GÖ = Göbekli; SK = Seker al-Aheimar; and SA = Sabi Abyad.

Mentions: The origins and nature of such processes that developed during two millennia (12,000–10,000 cal BP) became a subject for intense discussions, mostly focused on the identification of the earliest cultivation of the wild progenitors of the founder crops. Some researchers argue for a single regional location for the initiation of cultivation in south-east Turkey and the middle Euphrates valley followed by subsequent dispersions throughout the Near East [2,3,21,22], while others [7,9,14,23–25] assume polycentric developments (Fig 1). It is noteworthy that both paradigms accept the key role of the early Holocene rise in temperature and humidity in the distribution and development of new ecosystems that favoured the appearance of agriculture in the Levant.


Synchronous Environmental and Cultural Change in the Emergence of Agricultural Economies 10,000 Years Ago in the Levant.

Borrell F, Junno A, Barceló JA - PLoS ONE (2015)

Location of the study region (black square) and some key Neolithic sites.The red line delimits the Fertile Crescent; the green circle delimits the single core region according to some authors [3]; and the yellow circles indicate the different core regions according to others [7]. Note that due to the density of sites in the study region, names have been abbreviated: SH = Shir; KE = Ain el-Kerkh; QA = Qaramel; GR = Gritille; AK = Akarçay; A3 = ‘Abr 3; HL = Halula; DJ = Dja’de; JA = Jerf el Ahmar; MU = Mureybet; AH = Abu Hureyra; BO = Bouqras; NÇ = Nevalı Çori; GÖ = Göbekli; SK = Seker al-Aheimar; and SA = Sabi Abyad.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4524639&req=5

pone.0134810.g001: Location of the study region (black square) and some key Neolithic sites.The red line delimits the Fertile Crescent; the green circle delimits the single core region according to some authors [3]; and the yellow circles indicate the different core regions according to others [7]. Note that due to the density of sites in the study region, names have been abbreviated: SH = Shir; KE = Ain el-Kerkh; QA = Qaramel; GR = Gritille; AK = Akarçay; A3 = ‘Abr 3; HL = Halula; DJ = Dja’de; JA = Jerf el Ahmar; MU = Mureybet; AH = Abu Hureyra; BO = Bouqras; NÇ = Nevalı Çori; GÖ = Göbekli; SK = Seker al-Aheimar; and SA = Sabi Abyad.
Mentions: The origins and nature of such processes that developed during two millennia (12,000–10,000 cal BP) became a subject for intense discussions, mostly focused on the identification of the earliest cultivation of the wild progenitors of the founder crops. Some researchers argue for a single regional location for the initiation of cultivation in south-east Turkey and the middle Euphrates valley followed by subsequent dispersions throughout the Near East [2,3,21,22], while others [7,9,14,23–25] assume polycentric developments (Fig 1). It is noteworthy that both paradigms accept the key role of the early Holocene rise in temperature and humidity in the distribution and development of new ecosystems that favoured the appearance of agriculture in the Levant.

Bottom Line: A major cultural discontinuity is observed in the archaeological record around 10,000 cal BP in synchrony with a Holocene Rapid Climate Change (RCC), a short period of climatic instability recorded in the Northern Hemisphere.This study demonstrates the interconnectedness of the first agricultural economies and the ecosystems they inhabited, and emphasizes the complex nature of human responses to environmental change during the Neolithic period in the Levant.Moreover, it provides a new environmental-cultural scenario that needs to be incorporated in the models reconstructing both the establishment of agricultural economy in southwestern Asia and the impact of environmental changes on human populations.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Centre de recherche français à Jérusalem (CRFJ-CNRS), Jerusalem, Israel.

ABSTRACT
The commonly held belief that the emergence and establishment of farming communities in the Levant was a smooth socio-economic continuum during the Pre-Pottery Neolithic (ca. 12,000-9,000 cal BP) with only rare minor disruptions is challenged by recently obtained evidence from this region. Using a database of archaeological radiocarbon dates and diagnostic material culture records from a series of key sites in the northern Levant we show that the hitherto apparent long-term continuity interpreted as the origins and consolidation of agricultural systems was not linear and uninterrupted. A major cultural discontinuity is observed in the archaeological record around 10,000 cal BP in synchrony with a Holocene Rapid Climate Change (RCC), a short period of climatic instability recorded in the Northern Hemisphere. This study demonstrates the interconnectedness of the first agricultural economies and the ecosystems they inhabited, and emphasizes the complex nature of human responses to environmental change during the Neolithic period in the Levant. Moreover, it provides a new environmental-cultural scenario that needs to be incorporated in the models reconstructing both the establishment of agricultural economy in southwestern Asia and the impact of environmental changes on human populations.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus