Archaeology  Research York

ARISE: Agricultural Revolution In Southern Europe?

Project Member(s):

  • Oliver Craig, Olga Rickards (Roma II), Italo Muntoni (Roma I)
  • Project Dates: 2007 - ongoing
  • Funding Bodies: EU


Between 9,000 and 7,000 years ago the arrival of farming in the Mediterranean basin had far-reaching effects on human demography, health, social organisation and ideology. Many questions surrounding this critical change remain unanswered:

  • Was it a rapid event or a series of drawn-out processes?
  • Were hunting, fishing and gathering totally replaced by farming?
  • Did farming arrive as a integrated package or were some elements introduced earlier than others?
  • Was this process driven by the movement of people, of ideas or of domestic crops and animals?
  • Did it involve the large-scale movement and replacement of people?
  • How did early farming practices and the transition to farming vary in space and time?

This study funded by Marie Curie Actions will explore these questions, uniting a broad range of complementary state-of-the-art analytical methods aimed at the retrieval of molecular information from ancient biological specimens. We will do this by examining the bones of these early peoples, the discarded remains of animals and plants they ate, and the pottery they used, in order to establish how they lived. In doing so, ARISE will address specific models, such as the concept of "Maritime Pioneer Colonization" which has been put forward to explain the dispersal of farming through the Western Mediterranean (Zilhao, 2001; PNAS)

ARISE will unite an number of European laboratories, world renowned for their expertise in biomoleuclar archaeology, with archaeologists based in museums across the Mediterranean.



ARISE logo