Methods of dating ancient pottery
Methods of dating ancient pottery - milfdatingnow com
After the term “Stone Age” was coined in the late 19th century CE, scholars proposed to divide the Stone Age into different periods: Palaeolithic, Mesolithic, and Neolithic.The term Neolithic refers to the last stage of the Stone Age.
The term Neolithic or New Stone Age is most frequently used in connection with agriculture, which is the time when cereal cultivation and animal domestication was introduced.
Because agriculture developed at different times in different regions of the world, there is no single date for the beginning of the Neolithic.
In the Near East, agriculture was developed around 9,000 BCE, in Southeast Europe around 7,000 BCE, and later in other regions.
Even within a specific region, agriculture developed during different times.
For example, agriculture first developed in Southeast Europe about 7,000 BCE, in Central Europe about 5,500 BCE, and Northern Europe about 4,000 BCE.
It should be remembered that the origin of the term lies in a late 19th century CE classification system (detailed above) and we must keep in mind its limitations.
In order to reflect the deep impact that agriculture had over the human population, an Australian archaeologist named Gordon Childe popularized the term “Neolithic Revolution” in the 1940s CE.
However, today, it is believed that the impact of agricultural innovation was exaggerated in the past: the development of Neolithic culture appears to have been a gradual rather than a sudden change.
In East Asia, the Neolithic goes from 6000 to 2000 BCE.
Pottery is another element that makes the dating of the Neolithic problematic.
In some regions, the appearance of pottery is considered a symbol of the Neolithic, but this notion makes the term Neolithic even more ambiguous, since the use of pottery does not always occur after agriculture: in Japan, pottery appears before agriculture, while in the Near East agriculture pre-dates pottery production.
All these factors make the starting point of the Neolithic somewhat fuzzy.