Established during the neolithic period. One of the largest archaeological sites on Crete, is Knossos. What some say is also called Europe’s oldest city.

A ancient Greek capital of the legendary king Minos. Is Knossos, it was the principal center of the Minoan culture. Established during the neolithic age. Is one of the earliest ancient neolithic civilizations of Greece. Its site stands on a knoll. Between two streams, and is located about 5 miles (8 km) below Crete’s northern coast.

Like many of the other Greek islands. Early neolithic settlers came over from mostly Anatolia in the 7th and 8th millennium BC. They firmly established an agricultural society based on wheat and livestock raising. In a span of just 6000 years, Knossos became a Greek administrative center, and the capital of Cretes regions within its jurisdiction.

Neolithic period
Neolithic remains at Crete are prolific. They are found in caves, rock shelters, old houses, and settlements. Because of the thickness of layers below Knossoses main site. It is believed they probably started building in the area more than 9000 years ago. Earliest settlers attest to cloth-making, tool making, farming, fishing, hunting and more. Archaeologists have found fine ground axe and mace heads of colored stone: greenstone, serpentine, diorite even jadeite (jade). As well as local obsidian knives and arrowheads. Like other Greek establishments. Art was significant. Among the other small items were a large number of animal and human figurines, including nude sitting or standing women. Attributing to the neolithic mother goddess and figurines in general to religion.

Lion Goddess
Among the items found in Knossos is a depiction of a goddess flanked by two lions. It appears in many other images, and artistry around the site.

Early neolithic: families and homes
From scientific studies, we have take on 9000–8000 years ago. A hamlet of 25–50 persons begin at the location of the central court. They lived in wattle and daub huts, kept animals, and grew crops. Most of the huts, consisting of several families. They begin to practice exogamy (custom of marrying outside a community, tribe or clan). Lived in close quarters, and worked hard, with a high degree of intimacy. It was somewhat no-madic. They hiked around, hunted, fished, mined and traded when others. That may have became trapped on, or were traveling to or around the island. And, again building and techniques evolved. Towards the end of this period. They were in one or two room square houses of mud brick walls. Using the recycled, or nearby stone, clay and mud. The inner walls had early log and stone engineering with neolithic drywall. Many of the roofs were flat, composed of mud over branches. And, the residents dug hearths at various locations.

7000-6000 years ago: The settlement of the middle Neolithic
As families and populations increased. So begin what was presumably more family private homes. Around this period population reached 500-1000 people. Building remained constant, ever improving. Windows and doors were timbered, hearth designed improved, and there were even proper cabinets and beds. Under the palace the Knossos neolithic built a great house. A 1100 sq foot stone building with 5 rooms. Because of its thick 1 meter (3.28 feet) stone walls most believe a 2nd story was present. The presence of its age and size suggest it was not likely a private residence. But one for public or community use and sharing.

4500 years ago begins the late neolithic and/or early Minoan period
Implying greater wealth and social concentration of authority, politics and faith. It is believed that the first Cretan palaces were built soon after 2000 BC. Other than Knossos, neolithic palace sites included Malia, Phaestos and Zakro. It was a sharp break from the traditional neolithic village system. Professors have suggested the new period followed eastern models. Like those at Ugarit on the Syrian coast, and Mari on the upper Euphrates. All the palaces had large central courtyards. Living quarters, storage rooms and administrative centers were positioned around. They also had working quarters for skilled craftsmen: blacksmith, knappers, bakers, farmers; labourers; artists and more. Since metallurgy had begin, it allowed a more structured commercialization of barter and trade. Kind of like today. They made and traded for tin, copper and stone, created awesome glazed pottery, made gold jewelry and even engraved things. From this period. Hieroglyphic scripts were found, and trade with Egyptians was undertaken. Knossos produced and commercialized fine polychrome pottery during this period. It was around 1720 BC a destructive earthquake leveled parts of Knossos. Thereafter, it was rebuilt stronger with stairs, and greater safety elements.

Did you know? Greek mythology stated Knosso palace was designed with such complexity. That no one placed in it could ever find its exit. King Minos commissoned famed architect Dedalos. He arranged with Dedalos to never leave the site so he would not revealed its design and plans to anyone.

Metallurgy, completion of a palace and culture. Separated the end of Knossoses neolithic age
Covering three acres with its main building and five acres when separate out-buildings. The palace at Knossos was big. It had bathrooms, toilets and a drainage system.
Stores that occupied sixteen rooms. For barter and trade, they had large storage jars up to five feet tall. Oil, wool, wine, grain and other things were stored here. Holding about 400 spectators. A theatre was found. Women were also praised. They had style and fashion, and the wine flew abundantly. It was a neolithic age and Minoan period epicenter.
Building techniques at Knossos continued typical. The foundations and lower course were stonework with the whole built on a timber framework of beams and pillars. The main structure was built of large, unbaked bricks. The roof was flat with a thick layer of clay over brushwood.
Chambers and corridors were often decorated with frescoes showing scenes from everyday life. Possessions, relationships and wildlife. Outside of double headed axes (labrys); and bulls, warfare and violence was conspicuously absent here. In Knossos, during the neolithic age and Minoan period would have been a great time.

Unfortunately, some time after about 1400 BC, what researchers called the “Last Palace” of Knossos. Was destroyed by a fire of uncertain origin. Fires destroyed many other Cretan settlements at this time. Knossos was reduced henceforth to the status of a mere town. The political focus of the Aegean world shifted to Mycenaeans on the Greek mainland. Knossos continued to be inhabited through the subsequent centuries, though on a much-reduced scale. Be sure to check it out, and some more neolithic architecture today.

Because of the giant whirlpool in front of it, Lepenski Vir is cyrillic for ‘Lepena Whirlpool’ or Лепенски Вир

In the middle of the Djerdap, iron gates gorge of the Danube river, where it exits Hungry. Around the steep clifs of Korso hills. Exists Lepenski Vir. One of the earliest establishments in Europe.

Lepenski Vir 1 habitations, w/ house locations ‘l’, as well as some radiocarbon dates based on charcoal samples. From: the iron gates mesolithic, 1. Radovanovic, with additions from Bonsali et al.

Vindicating a Serbian transition, it is one of the most important archaeological sites of the mesolithic iron gates culture in the Balkans. Between 11,000, and 8,000 years ago, radiocarbon and AMS data suggest a unique chronology. During 8300 to 8000 years ago, when humans were transitioning out of caves, the late Lepenski Vir architectural phase, saw numerous developments of unique trapezoidal buildings and monumental sculptures. The site itself consists of one large settlement with around ten satellite villages. Numerous pristine sculptures and well built architectural remains. Where many archaeologist claim that ‘Lepena Whirlpools’, early European sculptures, and original architectural solutions define prehistoric European culture.

Houses, fish and human sculptures and growth
Considering the ice age had just ended. The thermic benefits of the limestone bluffs above Lepena whirlpool helped established the community. Throughout the 800 year phase of Lepenski Vir 1 and 2 occupations. Amongst the sandy landscapes, houses were laid out, and built in parallel. They were wooden homes. Floored with sandstone, lime and homemade concrete. And, the walls were often covered with hardened limestone plaster. Sometimes even burnished in colour, with red and white pigments from the surrounding clay and loam.

Most houses had a hearth, some a fish roasting spit, and that was centrally located for relaxation and eats. Several of the houses housed alters, and sculptures made of sandstone. Probably due to its proximity to the Danube river, and sexuality trends. The culture liked to combine humans and fish in there artistic creations. Once again defining early European culture. The community grew, expanded and loved.

Helping keep the settlement going. The whirlpools encouraged algae and fish. And, at the same time, while all of this was going on. Building, foragers and fishers. Farming communitys sprang up nearby. Known as Starcevo-Cris culture. They exchanged pottery and food with Lepenski Vir residents. For things like fish, stone tools, and what were probably becoming skilled techniques and skills in building construction.

Did you know? Derdap National Park. Established in the 1970s, and more recently a Unesco global geopark. Lepenski Vir, and about 510 square miles (1330 square km) around it, can be visited to explore, hike, camp and bike. The park was the first designation of its kind in Serbia.

like Catal Hoyuk in Turkey (which was built around the same time). ‘Lepena whirlpool’ provides a glimpse into mesolithic and early neolithic rituals, building, art and gender relationships. As well as the transformation from forgers, fisherman, and into agricultural. Lets hear it for what some say, was one of the first towns in Europe.

Crete is roughly the shape of Long Island; lies half way between Peloponnes and north Africa; and, with steep mountains, became popular in Neolithic times

Radiocarbon dating of charcoal and organic remains, offers some dates on the neolithic history of Crete. It is believed the neolithic period on Crete lasted from about 6800 to 3200BC. About 9000 or 8000 years ago, neolithic people that were farmers, with sheep, goat, and grains arrived on the island and were able to establish small settlements. Using local obsidian, and clay. They farmed, made advanced stone tools and sophisticated pottery.

Cretes early civilization did not know metallurgy yet. Many of the weapons, farming tools and art, were of obsidian, bones or clay and stone. Vindicating statuses, they shared and enjoyed small primitive carvings representing women. Different sculptures and pieces have been found on diverse places all over the island. Sharing an enjoyment, and perhaps even worship of the goddess of fertility. Too many, Crete was an advancement from the other Greek neolithic islands. Probably because it was closer to the eastern regions of Anatolia, Cilicie, and even Palestine. Included with Mochlos and Pseira. Some of the first ports, could have been established on Crete. Because of there location. Trade and commercializations would have been bigger.

Houses and neolithic evolution
Beginning with huts made of wooden pickets and hard pack ground surface. By the middle to late neolithic, stony walls and stronger beams became the commonplace. And, houses were now arranged with several rooms. Techniques of construction evolved, using bricks, stones, cobs; beautiful logs and masonry. Thru the end of the neolithic period, the population had significantly increased, and good looking architecture became an attraction.

Megafauna of Crete: Ice age, the pleistocene, & hunter gathers
Before neolithic times, and during the pleistocene. Native fauna of Crete included many. There was the pygmy hippo, pygmy elephant (paleoloxodon chaniensis), and dwarf deer (praemegaceros cretensis). Giant mouse (kritimys catreus); and insectivores; as well as, badger, beech marten and lutrogale cretensis. A kind of terrestrial otter. Instead of the larger carnivores, there was the almost flightless cretan owl. It was the apex predator. Most of these animals died out at the end of the last ice-age. It is believed hunter/gather humans played a significant part in this extinction. And, there knowledge, stories and location would have attracted others here.

Photo of a giant mouse’s mandibles, only its 1st and 2nd molars are visable

Did you know? In 2008 and 2009, in South Crete, scientists excavated, what they believed to be stone tools at least 130,000 years old. Which was a sensational discovery since most believed the earliest sea crossing was thought to occur around 12,000bc. The stone tools found in this, the Plakias region, included hand axes of the Acheulean type, that were made from quartz. It is now believed pre-homo sapiens or hominids crossed from Africa to Crete on rafts. And, currently, scholars are debating even later dated artifacts.

Undeciphered ‘Linear A’ script; Minoans, metallurgy; post neolithic natural disasters; and, disruption
Neolithic art and cultural influences are believed to originate and influence Crete from Egypt, the Cyclades (Greek islands) and middle east. Records were actually found on the island in a written undeciphered script known as ‘Linear A”. In combination with these scripts, archaeological records indicate Cretes superb palaces, houses, roads, paintings and sculptures. All of which originated in the neolithic period. During this time, main settlements of Knossos and Trapeza became well known. Crete was the center of Europes most ancient civilizations. And, during the late neolithic age, as commercialization and trade kept increasing. Metallurgy became more common. A peoples and culture called the Minoans, begin establishing themselves with even greater pottery, architecture, and style. Unfortunately, it was a earthquake around 1600bc; and, volcanic eruption in 1500bc. Followed by invasion, looting and fires from mainland Greeks, and others. That was there prehistoric downfall. Be sure to check out Crete, and some more neolithic architecture today.

Sources include: the atlantic, made in crete, wikipedia and google.

Beginning with the spread of farming, neolithic Greece started around 9000 to 8500 years ago.

Major sites:
Nea Nikomedeia
Franchthi Cave

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.

Sources: Foundation of the hellenic world in Greece; Dartmouth colleges Aegean prehistory; and, wikipedia

Michelsberg culture (4400 to 3500bc) is characterized by undecorated pointy based tulip beakers.

A hill near Untergrombach, Germany belongs to central Europes late neolithic period. Covering much of west central Europe, along both sides of the Rhine. Scientists have based chronology on pottery, and other neolithic elements.

Important sites

In north eastern France around 4400, a new culture emerged. Based on human DNA, there tools and craft. Evidence suggests that peoples here originated via a migration route from the Paris basin. And, Mediterranean farmers from the southwest.
Previously occupied by the linear pottery culture. Michelsberg culture expanded rapidly through central Germany, north eastern France, eastern Belgium and south western Netherlands.

Archaeology evidence
The culture has strong affinities to the Chasseen culture of central France, and it has been suggested there expansion was not that pretty. Accompanied by violence, colonists from the Michelsberg culture strongly helped establish funnel beaker culture of northern Europe, and brought agriculture to southern Scandanavia. It could have also be said the Michelsberg culture displayed affinities to neolithic England because the spread of agriculture has been identified as happening about the same time.
One of Michelsbergs largest fortified settlement of Kapellenberg has been analyzed. German research agencies have identified numerous rectangular houses, jewelry, jade and stone tools; accompanies by a large tumulus (or, burial mound). That was built in the middle of the settlement around 4200-4100bc. It suggested that it had an influence from Brittany since Tumiac and Saint-Michel were built around 4500 BC. Judging by the numerous Jade axes and tools (from Italy); as well as, callaïs (variscite and turquoise) jewellery from Spain. A complicated exchange network existed.

What is a Jade Axe? Jade is a very hard powerful stone. In the battle field, falling trees, making knives and other tools. Because of its hardness. It would have been better. It lasts longer, is incredibly powerful, and would have provided a voice of power to others in there communities and area.

Rising steeply almost 600 feet above the plain. Michelsberg hill is about 4km southeast of the modern town of Bruchsal. As defined by the 3 steep slopes on almost all sides. It is a protected natural defense mechanism.

Formal archaeology on the sites begin around 1884. All kinds of pathways, earthworks, pits, and daub-covered wooden structures have been found.
Suggesting an agricultural economy, barley and emmer were also discovered. Animal husbandry is indicated. There are bones of domesticated cattle, pig, sheep and goat. Domestic dogs have also been identified. Even been bones of deer, fox and other animals were found. Suggesting hunting was an important element of Michelsberg culture.
Sparingly, there was no indication of a destructive end of the site; nor were there finds suggesting a violent end. Some of the earthworks and pits contained food reserves suggesting abandonment. It could have been due to environment, or something else. Drying up of the Rhines arms would have caused this. If there was less water available in the area. Like many other neolithic sites. Traveling, and/or dyking up would have become too burdensome. And, they would have went somewhere else.

Sources: Wikipedia; the Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum, and, Leibniz Archaeological Research Institute.

Across many past and current cultures, caribou, reindeer or rangifer tarandus are mythical creatures

Still found in the northern portions of North America, Europe and Asia. Caribou, or reindeer, are holarctic deer. Reindeer, caribou or ranifer tarandus remain one of the most culturally significant creatures dating back to mythical stories from the pleistocene. Currently found in Alaska, Canada and along the Canada-U.S. border, including northern Idaho, northeastern Washington and southeastern British Columbia. During historic times, and glaciations; caribou had a much greater southerly distribution ranging from Alaska south to Tennessee and east to Virginia. At the end of the Pleistocene, reindeer followed the shrinking glaciers, and boreal forests, northwards towards the arctic. More recently, caribou could also be found in the northern U.S. from Minnesota to Maine, but they disappeared from these areas during the 19th and early 20th centuries.
Caribou are well-adapted to the extreme cold of Arctic environments, and their presence in more southernly deposits from the late Pleistocene serves as a good indicator of colder climates during this time.

Length: females: 1.4-1.9 m (4.6-6.2 ft), males: 1.6-2.1 m (5.2-6.9 ft.); and
Weight: females: 63-94 kg (139-207 lb), males: 81-153 kg (179-337) lb.

Charles Hamilton Smith is credited with the name Rangifer for the reindeer genus in the 1800s. The tarandos name dates back to Aristotle and Theophrastus in Greece.

Physical Description
Reindeer have a thick, wool like undercoat and a stiff overcoat consisting of long, hollow guard hairs to protect them from cold. They have broad, flat, deeply cleft hooves that allow them to travel across boggy ground, snow, ice and water.
In March or April, antlers begin to grow on male and in May or June, female. The process is called antlerogenesis.
Antlers grow very quickly every year on the bulls. And, as they grow, spongy in texture, are covered in thick velvet, filled with blood vessels.
Caribou is the only species of deer in which both the males and females have antlers.

Caribou occupy boreal and sub-boreal forests as well as arctic tundra, and they utilize a range of habitats within these areas. They prefer old-growth and mature forests, particularly those adjacent to wetland and riparian areas. They are also found at high elevation grasslands, alpine and sub-alpine open forests. And, scrub, and barren habitats characterized by large stretches of bare ground. In winter, they favor habitats with shallow snow cover, which allows them to drink and forage through the snow more easily.

Reindeer, or Caribou are herbivores who feed on grasses, sedges, mushrooms and shrubs. During the winter months, when plants are not common, these animals forage primarily on lichens, and moss.

While migrating reindeer travel about 19–55 km (12–34 mi) a day. It can run at speeds of 60–80 km/h (37–50 mph). After one day, young calves can outrun an Olympic sprinter.
Most reindeer/caribou are fairly nomadic animals who travel in large herds, migrate between summer and winter habitats, and frequantly over long distances. Males use there antlers in the fall to joust, and the right to win a mate. In the spring pregnet females establish calving grounds in the open tundra and grassland habitat.
Did you know: reindeer can swim about 6.5 km/h (4.0 mph), and if duressed, even more almost 10 km/h, or (6.2 mph).

Where to find reindeer: past and present
Caribou have been found around terminal pleistocene ice sheets. In north America, some of the areas were: central and eastern Wisconsin (Zelienka Caribou, Oostburg Caribou, and Wauwatosa Caribou), northeast Illinois (Valentine Bog), northern and central Indiana (Kolarik and Christensen Bog), northern Ohio (Sheridan Pit and Huffman Bog) and eastern Michigan (Fowlerville Caribou, Holcombe Beach, and Minden City Caribou).
In Europe and Norway more than 25,000 mountain reindeer are still around Scandanavia.
Russia manages 19 herds of Siberian tundra reindeer that total about 940,000.
The Taimyr herd of Siberian tundra reindeer is the biggest. With an estimated 400,000 and 1,000,000.
In some areas of the world, including Canada. Reindeer have been disappearing.

Relationship with humans
Both arctic and European prehistoric people have deemed the reindeer culturally significant. Northerners depended on caribou for food, clothing, and shelter. And, many prehistoric Europeans cave drew reindeer. Both developed herding or semi-domestication for things such as meat, hides, antlers, milk, and transportation, around or before the bronze age.
In both Alaska and Finland, reindeer sausage is sold in supermarkets and grocery stores. Some countries even sells Caribou as meatballs, and as a popular beer brand in Canada.
As a natural aphrodisiac, nutritional or medicinal supplement, Asians had sought reindeer antlers for centuries.

Indigenous North Americans
Considered important amongst indigenous populations, and especially modernly in the north. There is an aboriginal saying: “The caribou feeds the wolf, but it is the wolf who keeps the caribou strong”.

Indigenous Eurasians
Many northern European nations have used the reindeer in there coat of arms.

Hunting history
In 53bc, in Commentarii de Bello Gallico (chapter 6.26). Julias Caeser described the reindeer: “There is an ox shaped like a stag. In the middle of its forehead a single horn grows between its ears, taller and straighter than the animal horns with which we are familiar. At the top this horn spreads out like the palm of a hand or the branches of a tree. The females are of the same form as the males, and their horns are the same shape and size.”

Santa Claus and Christmas
In 1823, “A visit from St. Nicholas” was wrote. Around the world, at Christmas and new years, public interest spikes in reindeer peaks.

Believe it or not, golden eagles are one of the most prolific reindeer hunters on calving grounds. Other critters, such as wolverines especially take newborn calves or birthing cows, and although less commonly, even adults. Brown bears and polar bears hunt on reindeer but healthy adult reindeer can usually far outpace a bear. Gray wolf is the most effective natural predator. And, commonly, these (and wolves) groups will work together.

Varna Necropolis has the oldest gold treasures and jewelry in the world dating from 4200 to 4600bc

Internationally considered a significant site for pre-history and metallurgy. Its not only the large and 6000 year old gold treasures (including a penis sheath), but many other treasures from the area.

Discovery and excavation
In October 1972, excavator operator Raycho Marinov accidently discovered one of the greatest archaeological finds from the past 60 years. He contacted the local museum. What they found contained some of the most sophisticated examples of gold and copper metallurgy; pottery; high quality flint and obsidian blades; beads; and, shells from the Neolithic era, and Chalcolithic Varna culture.

Many of the sites graves did not contain a skeleton, but had great gifts. The empty graves actually had the richest gold artifacts. Three thousand gold artifacts were found. At a weight of approximately six kilograms. Grave 43 contained more gold than has been found in the entire rest of the world for that epoch. It was initially identified as the grave of a prince, but is now thought to be that of the smith . It is the oldest cemetary where humans were buried with gold. The total gold at Varna Necropolis exceeds the amount found on earth from the period 7000-6000 years ago.

Museum finds
Nearbys Sredna Gora copper mine, and the mediterraneans spondylus shells were currency. Varna culture probably had huge trade relations with distant lands. Vindicated at this site. Chalcolithic Varna culture had some of the earliest sophisticated beliefs about status differences and afterlife.

Museum exhibitions
Since being on television, and touring the world. Many of Varna Necropolises artifacts can be seen at the Varna Archaeological Museum and at the National Historical Museum in Sofia.

Hisarlik is Turkish for ‘place of fortresses’, and to many the site of ancient Troy

Located in what was known as Anatolia. Hissarlik, is the Turkish name for an ancient city. It is part of Çanakkale, Turkey.
An artificial hill, or tell. It is elevated in layers over an original site.

Some of the earliest literacy work of Europe, the Iliad mentions Ilion and was probably Hisarlik. It is especially mentioned in ancient Greek. Many people work, research and visit the site each year.

Prospering in neolithic Anatolia, the area was ripe for settlement, and these area(s) existed as some of the first urban cities. Originating around 8000bc. Seas were recedeing, leaving a fertile, well watered flat area. Above the farming areas and natural waterways, and the hills were large enough to support building. Both Çatalhöyük, and Hisarlik were well known neolithic settlements in Anatolia.

Homer wrote many poems about Troy, and it was visited by Caesar and Alexander the great. Though, it does not say much about the builders. Historians have argued the trojan war (and others), were sydications of numerous events that stretched back centuries. It is also argued that Troy was not an area at all but district inhabited by trojans. There is more information on other sites online. Significant facts remains, that for over two millennia a thriving civilization existed at Hisarlik.

Archaeological excavation
In the early to mid 19th century, a hill, Hisarlik tell, was identified as a possible site of ancient Troy. Identifiers were famous archaeolgists Frank Calvert, and Heinrich Schliemann.
Since 1871, the site has been under almost-constant archaeological excavation. Many rare artifacts have been found.

Troy 7 is an important archaeological layer
From 1300 to 950bc, a layer of Hisarlik coincides with the collapse of the Bronze Age and is thought to be the site of the Trojan War.

Akrotiri (prehistoric city) was destroyed in the Theran eruption, in the 16th century, and buried and preserved in ash

Sleeping volcanos
There is a variety of evidence about the eruption that destroyed Akrotiri. It probably ocured between 1620 and 1530 BC.

Did you know? Records in material cultures, and unusual growth patterns of tree rings actually suggest there could have been multiple eruptions.

A small fishing and farming village. The earliest neolithic evidence in Akrotiri can be traced back as early as the fifth millennium BC.
As evidented by the pottery at the site, by the 3rd century, this community was thriving. Its growth begin neolithically with trade relations, in agriculture, farming, and pottery. And, its strategic position on the primary sailing route between Cyprus and Minoan Crete made it an important point trade route. Proven by the paved streets and extensive drainage system. Akrotiri prospered.

Excavation and location
The Akrotiri site is on the Greek island of Santorini. Paintings, pottery, furniture, advanced drainage systems and three-story buildings have been discovered at the site.

F Fouque begain archaeological excavations in 1867. Extensive modern excavation was started in 1967 by Spyridon Marinatos. Akrotiri in the Bronze age was revealed. For the archaeologists (many of whom had no experience with volcaniclly barried cities), life became extremely challenging.

Frescoes (a painting done rapidly with water colour, on a plaster wall or ceiling, so the colours penetrate the plaster and become fixed as it dries)
The frescoes in Akrotiri are important for the study of art because they are well preserved. Almost of all the other paintings from this age are broken, and in small pieces. Paintings at Akrotiri include white, yellow, red, brown, blue and black. Popular Frescoes found standing included the Fisherman and the Lady from the House of Ladies.

Pottery was significant
Volcanic eruptions happen quick. Because people needed to get out, meant they could only take most valuable possessions. At Akrotiri, a lot of pottery was left behind.
Jars were used as containers. Things like stirrup jars were used for transportation. Archaeologists even found vessels for preparing and cooking food, eating and drinking and many others. It is believed some of the pottery at there included: bathtubs, braziers, oil lamps, bee-hives, and flower pots. The eruption did not spell well for wood.

Akrotiri today
Connecting the neolithic and modern world. There is a a cool mountain bike, and hiking path from the modern settlement to the parking lot of excavations at Akrotiri.

Franchthi Cave was used for around 35,000 years, and is one of the thoroughly studied sites from southeast Europe.

Last occupied around 3,000 BC (or, final neolithic), a major archaeological site overlooking Kiladha Bay, in the Argolic Gulf, opposite the village of Kiladha is in southeastern Argolis, in Greece.

Humans first occupied the cave during the paleolithic era. Appearing around 38,000 BC (and possibly earlier.) Groups continued to live in, or seasonally visit the cave. Throughout the Mesolithic and Neolithic eras. With occasionally apparent short episodes of abandonment.

Formal excavation history
In 1967, T. W. Jacobsen, a professor of classical archaeology and classical studies at Indiana University, began excavations at Franchthi Cave. The dig was only intended to temporarily occupy Jacobsen and his fellow researcher, M.H. Jameson, for one short season. It soon became clear that Franchthi Cave was more important than they had anticipated. They kept going. Ending 10 years later in 1976. Since then numerous people have examined the extensive finds. Some still are.

Similar to some of the extreme weather we see today. During much of its history, Franchthi was significantly further from the coastline, than it is today. The lower sea levels that have since risen around 120 metres (400 ft). Inhabitants of the cave and area, looked out on a coastal plain that was constantly changing.

During the pleistocene, Franchthi Cave was probably seasonally occupied by a small group (or groups). Probably in the range of 25 to 30 people. Who mainly hunted wild ass and red deer. Its use as a campsite increased considerably after the last glacial maximum (LGM). Obsidian from the island of Melos, and other nearby lithic tool sources, appear at Franchthi Cave.

Ancient boats
As early as 13,000 BC, Franchthi cave offers some of the earliest evidence of seafaring and navigational skills by anatomically modern humans in Greece. There is also evidence that suggest, ancient mariners, such as Homo Erectus or Homo Heidelbergensis, may have came thru Franchthi, and reached Crete 130,000 years ago.

An blip in the occupation of Franchthi Cave occurred during the younger dryas climate cooling event. After which the Mesolithic and Neolithic culture appeared. The world settled into the warm holocene climate, that continues, and you see today. These periods are represented by only a few sites in Greece, and, like the Franchthi. Nearly all of them are close to the water and coast. It is believed that they did not rely as heavily on big game as their predecessors. Probably due to changing climate and location. Plus resources like a variety of small game, wild plants, fish and mollusks. Implying deep sea fishing, there was a even a notable stretch spanning several hundred years (circa 7,900 to 7,500 BC) when tuna became a major part of the diet at the Cave. Like other early neolithic or mesolithic cultures, agraves were found buried in the cave, suggesting health care and respect for the dead.

The cave contains some of the earliest evidence for agriculture in Greece. Remains of domesticated plants and animals are found among the usual wild plant and animal species hunted and gathered during the Mesolithic, and from before around 7,000bc. Suggesting that either the inhabitants of Franchthi had begun to practice agriculture. Or, were trading seeds, meat, fish and crops with others. There is debate about whether agriculture developed locally at the cave, was introduced or both. Though it is now generally believed that emigrants from the pre- pottery neolithic b, introducing agriculture, arriving on boats from the near east. Mesolithic hunter-gatherers would have rapidly adapted to the Neolithic methods introduced, discovered or combined there.

During the Neolithic, the main occupancy of the cave shifted to an area outside the entrance, called the Paralia, (or, the seaside). They where terracing walls for growing crops, and, art and tool making areas. It was believed the inhabitants occupied an additional settlement below the Paralia. Which is now submerged beneath the sea. Confirming this, several anthropomorphic and zoomorphic figurines were recovered from the cave. And, it has been suggested parts of the site, served as a workshop, for making cockle-shell beads. They traded with inland, and other communities during the early Neolithic age.

Underwater village
The Franchthi area of Kiladha Bay below, is a strong candidate for the submerged Neolithic village. In 2012 a search was launched called the ‘Bay of Kiladha Project’, searching for underwater evidence. It was a collaboration between the University of Geneva and the Greek Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities. The divers revealed very old pottery fragments and odd seafloor anomalies. By 2015, under a more thorough investigation, they found early ruins of a bronze age city. Including foundations of buildings, stone paved surfaces, roads and the fortification of 3 large towers. The site spanned 3 acres, and lies beneath 1 and 3 m (3 and 10 ft) of water. Its defensive structure would be the first of its kind from the early bronze age in Greece. Being built around the same time as Newgrange, great pyrimids and many other significant structures. This place is an amazing piece of Neolithic history.