Neolithic Age (6.800 – 3.200 BC) • People started making clay and metal pottery to store grain, food, etc. • They started leading a community life, living in larger groups. • They domesticated goats, sheep, donkeys, and similar animals for their benefit. • They invented the wheel and they used it to fetch water from wells, to make pottery, etc. • They created some family tombs. • They started making earrings, necklaces, ring idol figurine - pendants of silver and gold.
Greece in the Neolithic age • 1899-1906: the first archaeological investigations of the Neolithic Period in Greece, by Chr. Tsountas in Thessaly • Most important archaeological points: • Sesklo & Dimini (Thessaly) • Paradimi (Thrace) • Sitagroi & Dispilio (Macedonia) • Knosos (Crete)
Greece in the Neolithic age • Stabilization of climatic conditions • Permanent group settlements • Economy based on systematic farming, stock-rearing, exchange of raw materials and products and pottery production • Transition from the hunting, food-gathering and fishing stage to the productive stage
Greece in the Neolithic age • Characteristics: • Usually open settlements in coastal or inland areas, lowlands or hilly, close to water sources (lakes, rivers, etc.) • "magoula“ or "toumba“ (< "tymvos”): a form of artificial low hill (2-4 m. high, with a diameter of 100-200 m.), created by successive habitation layers on the same spot
Greece in the Neolithic age • Characteristics: • Pile-dwellings (Dispilio) or huts with walls made of posts and later houses with stone foundations and walls from mud-bricks • One-room houses or with an additional open or closed porch ("megaron-type"). • Settlements often surrounded by ditches or stone enclosures, for defense or to demarcate the limits of the settlement
Greece in the Neolithic age • Characteristics: • Communities of 50-100 individuals at the beginning, who later increased to 100-300, organized with the clan or extended family as the basic unit • No economic differentiation among the members of the community or social stratification (at least until the very late Neolithic Age) • Signs of community and equality: ditches & stone enclosures – shared production - hearths and ovens in open spaces for common use – no private property
Greece in the Neolithic age • Characteristics: • Some form of authority, exercised by the oldest or ablest members, in exchange networks of products with many communities as partners • Some kind of social prestige in the late Neolithic Age through distinctive objects, owned only by a few members of the community (leaf-shaped arrow heads of Melian obsidian, jewels of gold or silver or even of sea-shell and copper tools) • Defined roles of both sexes, although the role of the woman in Neolithic society seems to have been stressed, at least at a symbolical level (numerous female figurines)
Greece in the Neolithic age • Characteristics: • Hunting and fishing in a secondary role • Domestication of specific plants - Cultivation of cereals, pulses and flax ( with wool, the basic raw materials for weaving) • Domestication and rearing of animals (sheep and goats, cattle, pigs and dogs) • Leather working, weaving, basketry and pottery (as a part of the household)
Greece in the Neolithic age • Characteristics: • Tools of stone and bone • Figurines of stone or marble (forerunners of the Cycladic figurines) with a wide socio-ideological content, expressing different aspects of life, or used in symbolic acts (e.g. offering for the house's foundation).
Greece in the Neolithic age • Pottery for the preparation, consumption and storage of food, also produced by its users (at first) in a surprising variety of colors and decorative styles and themes • Seals, probably used for the adornment of the body (tattoo)
Greece in the Neolithic age • Characteristics: • Import of obsidian from Melos, used in making sharp tools & arrows • Practice of metallurgy in the Aegean for the manufacture of gold and silver jewels • Growth of exchange networks in the Aegean & the Balkans • Specialization in production – Specialized workshops for pottery & jewels of metal or sea-shell
Greece in the Neolithic age • Jewels & seals human need for decoration & social promotion • Belief in life after death (burial gifts) • A likely early form of written speech wooden tablet with incised linear symbols, from the lakeside settlement of Dispilio (5260 BC)