The social dynamics behind the transition to farming in the Low Countries (5th millennium BC). From pottery technology to farmer-forager interactions

Begin - Einde 
2022 - 2025 (lopend)
Vakgroep Archeologie



The Low Countries have an international reputation as an interesting case study area for the spread of agriculture among foraging populations. Over the course of the 5th millennium BC, foragers in northern Belgium and The Netherlands adopted three major technologies through contact with early farming populations: pottery production, followed by animal husbandry and crop cultivation. To date, however, the question remains which farming populations were responsible for these technical transfers, and when exactly this happened. This project aims at reconstructing early farmer-forager interactions in the Low Countries, through a multidisciplinary and comparative analysis of their pottery technology, the first technology that was transferred from farmer to forager. The start of pottery production by local foragers will be accurately dated using a progressive dating method: direct AMS 14C dating of plant temper preserved in the pottery. Their pottery technology will be compared to that of contemporaneous farming populations in NW Europe, using the chaîne opératoire approach, to identify technical transfers and social relations between both socio-economic groups. Finally, petrographic and geochemical (LA-ICP-MS) analysis will provide information on farmer/forager mobility within the study area. The results of this project will improve our understanding of the social dynamics underlying the transition to farming in NW Europe.


Postdoctorale medewerker(s)