The climate was ripe. During this period, growth occurred due to mixed farmings self initiating economy growth, plus the intelligence of modern human beings. It included agricultural innovations such as buildings and homes; tool and obsidian manufacturing; great pottery, art; commercialization and trade.
During the pre-pottery neolithic B period. From Island hoping, and the Aegean sea. Near east agriculturalists entered the Greek peninsula.
Archaeologists have divided the Neolithic period of Greece into six phases:
Aceramic, or, pre-pottery 6800–6500 BC;
Early neolithic 6500–5800 BC;
Middle neolithic 5800–5300 BC;
Late neolithic I 5300–4800 BC;
Late neolithic II 4800–4500 BC; and
Chalcolithic or final neolithic 4500–3200 BC.
Sites of Neolithic Greece
6800–6500 BC: Aceramic, or pre-ceramic
Characterized by the absense of baked clay pots. Communities such as Franchthi, Dedra (Argolid) and Argissa (Thessaly) had about 50 to 100 people living in partially dug out huts. Einkorn, emmer wheat, barley, lenils and peas were being cultivated. While others raised cattle, pigs, sheep, dogs, goats; and fished and hunted. Flint and obsidian tools were produced and various art was made from clay, seashells, bones, stone and whatever they could find. Settlements continued on.
Around this time, due to its popularity of being on a local hill, Minoan Knossos palace was established, possibly from migrants of Western Anatolia, and from oversea islands and Africa.
As populations begin to increase, the volcanic island of Milos became very popular. Its natural obsidian base was excellent for the manufacture and trade of obsidian for tools, weapons and growth. Though, while they mined, no permanent establishments are known here until the final neolithic. Around 4000bc.
6500–5800 BC: Early neolithic
Homes and clans begin construction of hearths and ovens during the early neolithic. The neolithic Greeks were now able to kiln and bake stoneware for added strength and resistance to puncturability. It is believed this tremendous accomplishment was accompanied by burial customs such as cremation, graves and cemeteries. It was the beginning of a tremendous time for resistance, trade, and the Greek economy.
5800–5300 BC: Middle neolithic
Again living spaces were developed during this period, and it included the development of clay house models. Along with the interior hearth and oven, additional architectural developments begin for use, such as greater stone foundations, timber beams, and thus an ability to create a higher roof; and, porches. On the eastern Attica peninsula, sites such as Nea Mari became known for using the larger timber posts to support stronger and larger walls and ceilings. While in Thessaly, extending the life and strength of the home, using carved and painted designs, log roof beams begin the commonplace. Known as ‘tsangli-type’ homes. These buildings became destiny of a better, more secured living space. And, the massive appearance of house models detonated a deliberate reference to this new technology and societal fact. Discovery of these house models, buried, close to hearths, near roofs, and below the floor offered insight to the challenges and growth. Offerings and supplications for protection of the household. From things like fires, and pests. Greater home design, and clay models presented a new age for Greece and neolithic architecture.
5300-3300 BC: Late or final neolithic stages (3)
Late Neolithic I
Characterized by great variety of pottery styles (such as, Tsangli-larisa, and Arapi), as well as greater tree, scrub; and, wooded area clearing. This great era of Greek neolithic society secured greater arable lands, and again, increased building. In order to create fields for animals and agriculture. The increase in land without trees, allowed farmers to easier cereal crops such as wheat, rye, millet and oat. As well as construct houses.
By this period garment weaving also became common. Animals such as sheep and goats were raised, and home, family and population size thus also increased.
The architecture style itself kept evolving. Beams, buildings and structures became stronger. Consisting of rectangular and megaron-type (Visviki); timber-post framed (Sitagroi, Dikili Tash-Macedonia), and with stone foundations. Most homes and buildings now had hearths inside, and some were surrounded by ditches.
During this period, in Dispilio-Kastoria, one of the most important lakeside settlements in Europe was additionally formed. Distinctive homes were built upon the lake, using timber post and framed structures. Here, a wooden tablet, incised with linear symbols was even found. It used similar symbols to those found in the southern Balkans and Vinca culture. It has been dated to around 5260bc.
4800-4500 BC: Late Neolithic II
Adding to the larger and more advanced buildings of late neolithic I were more exterior stone inclosures, or stone walls. Combined with the ditches, it aided to defend against wild animals, and demarcate, while also aiding to protect limits of the settlement. At this point. They may have needed it. Many communities had reached 100-300 members.
With the advents, came trade of silver and copper beads. During this period, signs of prestige really started to take course. Arts started to increase. The growth of leaf shaped arrow heads from Melian obsidian, Spondylus sea-shell jewelry, and specialized pottery production remained constant. All really aided to this era of knowability. And, that elite knowledge of metallurgy became a real threat at rule while the farmers, tool makers and working class continued on.
The era had also been known as Dimini culture because of the fantastic pottery remains in Dimini at Volos. Painted black on a whitish background, and incised pottery was the cumulation from the neolithic period. Among decorative motifs, spiral and checkerboard patterns predominated. It was amazing. Weaving and basketry motifs from this era must of been invigorating. From this era, the pottery, and clay designed human figurines were also rendered exceptionally schematic. Along with the more advanced pottery and clay designs, jewelry, building, metallurgy, farming and trade. The late neolithic II or Dimini, became a well known commonplace for European success.
4500–3200 BC: Final neolithic
Greece was a cool place. They had the pottery and storage containers, art; farming; architecture, buildings, and tool making; climate and strategic location. So begin the transition from stock-rearing and farming, to the economy of the bronze age. The first localized working of metals (gold, silver, copper) begin in this era. For the metallurgy reason, the final neolithic stage in Greece is also known as Chalcolithic. In Thessaly, it also became known as Rachmai. In southern Greece, and the Cyclades, it was referred to as Attika-kephala culture.
Over hundreds of years, transition occurred gradually. The agricultural; building, and tools; pottery and art populations. As well as, great climate, Greeks were able to import and trade tin, copper and metals. While evolving metallurgy techniques from there contacts in Asia Minor. Because of this technology and trade. During this time, caves, islands, and coastal zones became more inhabited. Certain low land settlements also seemed to acquire important size and significance, as commercial trade grew, so did Greece.
Gold strips, and figurines; silver earings (Alepotrypa-Diros); and copper pins (Sitagroi, Zas cave on Naxos cave in Attica), as well as the leaf shaped spear heads of obsidian were found, all over. Even as far as Macedonia. Trade and metallurgy became symbols of social prestige. Indicating social structures were changing. Though, social classes of the late Neolithic communities became distinguished. Into free men and slaves. In the Peloponnese and Aegean islands, treasure hoarders possessed gold pieces from as far as the Varna cemetery in Bulgaria. All confirm complex changes were taking place, in the final Neolithic age. This change phenomenon, continued until the Minoan, and early Mycenaean period, and so ended the Greek neolithic age.
Bibliography: Milisauskas, Sarunas (2011). “Chapter 7: Early Neolithic, the First Farmers in Europe, 7000–5500/5000 BC”. In Milisauskas, Sarunas (ed.). European Prehistory: A Survey (2nd ed.). New York: Springer Science and Business Media, LLC. pp. 153–222. ISBN978-1-44-196633-9.
French, D.M. (1973). “Migrations and ‘Minyan’ pottery in western Anatolia and the Aegean”. In Crossland, R.A.; Birchall, Ann (eds.). Bronze Age Migrations in the Aegean. Park Ridge, NJ: Noyes Press.
Neolithic Period in Greece: Early Neolithic”. Athens: Foundation of the Hellenic World. 1999–2000.
Pullen, Daniel (2008). “The Early Bronze Age in Greece”. In Shelmerdine, Cynthia W. (ed.). The Cambridge Companion to the Aegean Bronze Age. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press. pp. 19–46. ISBN978-0-521-81444-7.