The Maritime Neolithic: An Evaluation of Marine Adaptation in Eastern Mediterranean Prehistory
Mediterranean Resilience - Collapse and Adaptation in Antique Maritime Societies - Assaf Yasur-Landau
Chelsea Wiseman [+]
Flinders University and the University of Haifa
In Eastern Mediterranean prehistory, the earliest exploitation of marine resources dates to the Paleolithic, while the emergence of distinct maritime adaptation and intensified use of marine resources corresponds with the development of sedentary lifeways and agricultural economies in the Neolithic. However, the extent of maritime adaptation and its role throughout the Neolithic requires further investigation. This paper presents a synthesis of archaeological site information to analyze variation in prehistoric marine adaptation from across the Eastern Mediterranean, including the Southern Levant, Northern Levant, Cyprus, and Anatolia. This allows us to conceptualize the ‘Maritime Neolithic’ on a regional scale. Through analysis of the material cultural indicators of maritime adaptation identified in prehistoric contexts, it is possible to move towards the characterization of the use of marine resources and to evaluate the potential for maritime interactions in the Mediterranean Neolithic.