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Problems of the social reproduction and of the visible and invisible social powers in prehistoric Eurasia

Date: 29.10.2007

How were the Advancement and the Social Astuteness Fueled in Prehistory?

A session at the 13th Annual Meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists, Zadar, Croatia, 18th- 23rd September 2007, organized by Lolita Nikolova (Bulgaria/USA)  and Marco Merlini (Italy), Friday, Sept 21st, Full day

Eight presentations covered key topics of Archaeology of Early Eurasia, each one followed by a discussion with respect to the session’s problems. The emergence of the earliest symbols  was discussed by Paola Ucelli Gnesutta (Italy) based on her own Paleolithic excavations in Italy. Lolita Nikolova (Bulgaria/USA) stressed on the age classification scheme of the development of the individuals known from the contemporaneous psychological literature and the problems of its application to the prehistoric social behavior. Marco Merlini (Italy) reported computerized data on the earliest signs from the Balkans with elements of writings. The problem of the early writing was further extensively discussed by Paola Demattè (Italy/USA) based on Chinese records. Cristian Schuster (Romania) presented numerous archaeological data from prehistoric Romania opening the discussion of their ambiguous character for social interpretation.  The anthropologist Alexandra Comşa (Romania) used both anthropological and burialgoods data to advance our knowledge on the Bronze Age cemeteries (e.g. Zimnicea) in terms of social differentiation. Alenka Tomaž (Slovenia) pointed to some non-metal ornaments from prehistoric Slovenia. And finally, through slide show, musical instruments and sound Tinaig Clodoré-Tissot (France) discussed the role of music in Bronze Age Europe.

There were many questions to the presenters, as well as a discussion on the cultural code of the archaeological records towards many social practices known from traditional cultures and on the interrelation between the inductive and deductive research. The conclusion from the session is that to answer the question How the Advancement and the Social Astuteness were Fueled in Prehistory we need a broad integration of the archaeological data and science with cultural anthropology, biological and social psychology and sociology that may result in an integrated discipline Social-psychological Prehistory.

After the 13th Annual Meeting of EAA the International Institute of Anthropology  announced the Favorites from Zadar: Joahn C Barrett, Kristian Kristiansen, Marek Zvelebil, Alenka Tomaž etc.  There are photogalleries published at the website of the Institute about the sessions on the Archaeological culture  and the Linearband Ceramics  together with the Problems of Social Reproduction.

Lolita Nikolova, PhD
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Website: (with internal links)

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