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Becoming Neolithic in words, thoughts and deeds

Mithen, S. ORCID: (2019) Becoming Neolithic in words, thoughts and deeds. Journal of Social Archaeology, 19 (1). pp. 67-91. ISSN 1469-6053

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1177/1469605318793958


How did people come to ‘think Neolithic’? While there has been considerable progress on reconstructing the environmental, economic, technological and social changes associated with the transition from mobile hunter-gathering to sedentary farming and herding communities, we remain limited in our understanding of how Neolithic culture in its most profound sense arose. I suggest that the formation of new words required for that new lifestyle was as much a driver as a consequence of the Neolithic transition, illustrating this with a sample of Neolithic innovations from the southern Levant that appear likely to have required new words. Such words, I argue, helped to establish new concepts in the mind, shaped thought, influenced perception and ultimately the human deeds in the world that left an archaeological trace.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Social Archaeology
Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Department of Archaeology
ID Code:78473


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