Cereal cultivation at Swifterbant? Neolithic Wetland Farming on the North European Plain

R. T. J. Cappers*, D. C. M. Raemaekers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)
382 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The transition to early agriculture on the North European Plain is a much debated issue in which emphasis is placed on the available pollen evidence. It has been suggested that cereal cultivation was probably practiced in the upland areas and surplus yields were brought to the wetland sites. An alternative model that gives special attention to crop assemblages, flooding, and yields and is illustrated with evidence from the type-location sites of Swifterbant, dated between 4300 and 4000 BC, envisions cereal cultivation in the wetlands themselves. Evidence for early agriculture is found in particular in pollen diagrams, diatom analysis, and large numbers of cereal remains. It appears that small-scale cereal cultivation may have been possible and attractive in addition to hunting and gathering in wetland sites because of their variety of biotopes, including areas suitable for agriculture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)385-402
Number of pages18
JournalCurrent Anthropology
Volume49
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun-2008

Keywords

  • MESOLITHIC AGRICULTURE
  • CENTRAL-EUROPE
  • HUMAN IMPACT
  • NETHERLANDS
  • IDENTIFICATION
  • SITE
  • SUBSISTENCE
  • SOIL

Cite this