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The oldest phase of the Linear Pottery Culture in the Lesser Poland (5600/5500-5300 BC) – Genesis, dating, settlement, economy

Project information


Project title: The oldest phase of the Linear Pottery Culture in the Lesser Poland (5600/5500-5300 BC) - Genesis, dating, settlement, economy

Project No: 2014/15/B/HS3/2460

Project lead: dr Agnieszka Czekaj-Zastawny

Project lead, institutional: Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology of the Polish Academy of Sciences
Project financing:National Science Center, 2014-2016


e-mail: aczekajzastawny@gmail.com
phone (22) 620-28-81 do 86

Project implementation:

Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology of the Polish Academy of Sciences





1. Research project objectives/ Research hypothesis


Beginnings of the Linear Pottery culture (LBK) settlement in the Malopolska region are identical to neolithisation process of this area, ie. the appearance of the first groups with the agricultural economy. This was a very important turning point, not only for the prehistory of that region, but for the whole of Central Europe. Areas of the Upper Vistula River basin played a very important role, because there were within the first stage of LBK expansion. This process still has not been fully elucidated, mainly because of the still insufficient amount of data. The aim of the project is the reconstruction of the oldest settlement phase of LBK in Lesser Poland, ie. examination the positioning of the settlements, construction and functioning of settlements, the economy, artifacts, genetics, structure and state of health of the population, the absolute and relative chronology. In effect this will allow to reconstruct the origins of the influx of the first groups of of the farming population and the nature of the course and the dynamics of this process, showing of settlement development and interregional contacts, and to determine the chronological framework of the oldest phase of LBK, and correlating it with the eastern linear circle. The results will be collected in a monographic study (in typescript). They will also successively presented at conferences and in a series of thematic articles published in journals of Philadelphia and ERIH lists.


2. Research project methodology


The research methodology is related to the individual elements of the project:
I. Field studies
Three seasons of fieldwork is planned. The work will be carried out maintaining high methodological standards (detailed exploration and documentation, three-dimensional location of materials, spatial analysis in GIS, screening explored the whole works, systematic sampling for analysis specialist). Before starting the excavation is planned to execution of geophysical surveys.
II. Interdisciplinary specialized analyzes
In order to achieve the maximum cognitive effect of excavated layers is planned to carry out the following specialist analysis: stylistic-typological and comparative analysis of pottery and flint/stone artifacts, mineralogical-petrographic and granulometric analysis of ceramic, ahemical analysis of food residues, analysis of isotopes and rare elements, anthropological and paleozoological analysis, analysis of animal and human DNA, paleobotany, palynology, radiocarbon dating). To implement the project was established an interdisciplinary research team, consisting of specialists with extensive experience, enabling the development of research results to a broad European comparative perspective.
III. Elaboration and synthesis of results
The work related to the implementation of this part of the project will proceed in stages, as the influx of artifacts and results of specialized analysis. An integral part of the project is a comparative study in the field of ceramic and flint production.


3. Expected impact of the research project on the development of science, civilization and society


Neolithisation process is one of the most intensely debated issues in studies of Younger Stone Age. This applies particularly to areas of Central Europe, where there has been the emergence of the LBK. The oldest stage of cultural development is poorly known. Test trenches made so far in Gwoździec indicate that we are there to deal with the oldest phase of this culture, not disturbed by younger settlements, and radiocarbon dating made so far suggest that this may be one of the oldest sites of this culture in Europe. Systematic examination of the settlement on a large scale will form the basis for the characterization of the oldest chronological phases of LBK not only in the Lesser Poland region, but will also contribute to a significant increase knowledge about this episode of Early Neolithic in Central Europe. The implementation of the objectives established in the project will undoubtedly contribute to a considerable increase of knowledge on issues across the Polish lands of the Stone Age, as well as to explain the problems of origins and development of the Central European Neolithic. The expected results of the project, are in fact a much wider area than the Lesser Poland and will have a crucial impact on the following issues: 1) The genesis of the Linear Pottery culture and dated its beginnings, 2) the Neolithisation process of Central Europe, 3) The process of adaptation of the first farmers to local circumstances, 4) development and architecture settlements, 5) the development of the farming economy, 6) The chronological and stylistic correlation between the oldest phases of LBK and areas of the Eastern linear circle, 7) interregional contacts and relationships with the stem areas.