Interaction and Socio-Cultural Boundaries During the Late Neolithic on the Great Hungarian Plain
thesisposted on 2016-10-18, 00:00 authored by Danielle J. Riebe
Boundaries exist because people interact. These interactions become imbedded in the material culture, and from the material’s creation until its discard the material is used to create, reinforce, and challenge socio-cultural boundaries. This dissertation seeks to transform how socio-cultural boundaries are defined by reconstructing interactions from a multi-scalar perspective and through the study several types materials (ceramics and lithics) with various analytical techniques (stylistic, typological, compositional). The Late Neolithic period of the Great Hungarian Plain (ca. 5,000-4,500 BC) offers an unparalleled opportunity to investigate this matter. Extensive and intensive archaeological projects in the region have produced a significant amount of material and scholarly publications regarding prehistoric archaeological cultures, yet for a most part, conclusions about social trajectories in the region are grounded in a cultural-historical approach. Through the reconstruction of interactions, the past inhabitants of the Plain can be perceived as more active participants in the creation and alteration of socio-cultural boundaries. Based on the analyses conducted on material culture from 12 Late Neolithic sites across the Great Hungarian Plain, an actively enforced socio-cultural boundary can be modeled for the period. This project has far reaching implications for how archaeologists and anthropologists can use interactions as a way to measure, reconstruct, and model socio-cultural boundaries regardless of time and region.