This project is aimed to clarify the technology of the last foragers and the first farmers in the Balkan Peninsula. The mechanisms of (a) postglacial adaptations to a particular environmental setting along the eastern Adriatic coast (Istria and central Dalmatia) and along the River Danube from the Epipalaeolithic (c. 13,000-10,000 BC) throughout Early-Late Mesolithic (c. 10,000-6300 cal. BC); and (b) consequences of contact between two different technological traditions in these regions due to the interactions between foragers and farmers in the period after around 6200/6000 cal. BC will be investigated. The selected geographic areas are the hot spots for studying the spread of agriculture in Europe that have recently either yielded archaeological evidence from new sites or seen improvements in the quality of the existing datasets through the application of archaeometric approaches. The research objectives will be achieved through analyses of technological and functional features that relate to the production and use of osseous and knapped stone tools as well as ornaments. These classes of artefacts have been understudied in the research on postglacial adaptations as well as Mesolithic-Neolithic interactions for the regions. Furthermore they have been considered separately although their use could be part of the same techno-functional adaptive process. The methodology of the research will be based on the integration of analytical and theoretical approaches to the study of material culture which involves analyses of: i) technological and use-wear traces, ii) interpretation of archaeological residues, iii) experimental activity, iv) construction of a theoretical framework based on social anthropological theory and v) a wider perspective on Mesolithic adaptations and Mesolithic-Neolithic transformations in Europe. This work should set a standard for future studies of osseous and knapped stone industries in the region.
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