The introduction of Corded Ware Culture at a local level: An exploratory study of cultural change during the Late Neolithic of the Dutch West Coast through ceramic technology

E.J. Kroon, D.J. Huisman, Q. P.J. Bourgeois, D. J.G. Braekmans, H. Fokkens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

The introduction of the Corded Ware Culture (3000–2500 BCE) is considered a formative event in Europe's past. Ancient DNA analyses demonstrate that migrations played a crucial role in this event. However, these analyses approach the issue at a supra-regional scale, leaving questions about the regional and local impact of this event unresolved. This study pilots an approach to ceramics that brings this small-scale impact into focus by using the transmission of ceramic technology as a proxy for social change. It draws on ethno-archaeological studies of the effects of social changes on the transmission of ceramic production techniques to hypothesise the impact of three idealised scenarios that archaeologists have proposed for the introduction of Corded Ware Culture: migration, diffusion, and network interactions. Subsequently, it verifies these hypotheses by integrating geochemical (WDXRF), mineralogical (petrography), and macromorphological analysis of ceramics with network analysis. This method is applied to 30 Late Neolithic ceramic vessels from three sites in the western coastal area of the Netherlands (Hazerswoude-Rijndijk N11, Zandwerven, and Voorschoten-De Donk). This study concludes that the introduction of Corded Ware material culture is a process that varies from site to site in the western coastal area of the Netherlands. Moreover, the introduction of the Corded Ware Culture is characterised by continuity in technological traditions throughout the study area, indicating a degree of social continuity despite typological changes in ceramics.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101873
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science: Reports
Volume26
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Keywords

  • Ceramic technology
  • Corded Ware Culture
  • Cultural transition
  • Transmission of technology
  • Vlaardingen Culture

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