Trade_Immiserising_Growth_and_the_Long-T - Forthcoming in...

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1 Forthcoming in the Journal of Anthropological Archaeology Trade, Immiserising Growth and the Long-Term Neolithisation Process of the Pitted Ware Culture Serge SVIZZERO Faculté de Droit et d’Economie, Université de La Réunion 15 Avenue René Cassin. BP 7151, 97715 Saint Denis, France Phone : +262 262 13 82 58 Email: [email protected] July 27, 2015 Abstract While agro-pastoralism has been introduced in northern Europe – southern Scandinavia from 4000 BC, a hunting and gathering culture – the Pitted Ware (3300-2300 BC) – reappeared in this Neolithic context and left a central question: why it did not adopt agriculture despite contacts during one millennium with its neighbouring farming communities? We provide an explanation based on an economic mechanism related to trade between foragers and farmers. We demonstrate that the terms of trade of raw materials (mainly seal oil) extracted and sold by foragers have a tendency to decline in the long term in relation to the resources produced and sold by farmers. Neolithisation of northern Europe can therefore be viewed as the outcome of a long-term process based on trade in which hunter-gatherers get voluntarily involved without forecasting that it will, in the end, constraint most of them to give up their way of life. Keywords : Acculturation, Agriculture, BAC, Hunter-Gatherer, Pitted Ware Culture, Neolithisation, Trade, TRB, Contact Zone, Northern Europe.
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2 1. Introduction Although it is widely accepted that agro-pastoralism first appeared in the Near East, its diffusion to Europe – the so-called neolithisation process – is still, even eight decades after Childe’s (1936) seminal publication, the purpose of major debates and controversies among scholars. These debates are about the various theories explaining agriculture commencement (Svizzero and Tisdell, 2014) or the diffusion of agriculture (e.g. according to migrationists, indigenists or integrationists) (Zvelebil, 2001). Among these debates, a European region – namely Northern Europe and Southern Scandinavia – occupies a central place especially owing to the role played by successive hunter-gatherers (HG hereinafter) cultures, the Ertebølle culture (5400–3950 BC 1 ) and the Pitted Ware Culture (3300-2300 BC). Indeed, this region (denoted simply by ‘Northern Europe’ in the sequel) was in Europe one of the latest, just before Britain and Ireland, where agriculture arrived around 4000 BC (Rowley-Conwy, 2011). Per se , this chronology is not astonishing since agriculture spread from the Levant into Europe following a southeast – northwest global movement. What is more surprising, is that agriculture spread rapidly into central Europe (with the LBK culture, 5700-4900 BC), and then stopped at the northern fringes of Europe (Dolukhanov et al., 2005). In this area were living the people of the Ertebølle culture (5400–3950 BC), a Mesolithic society of complex hunter-gatherers for whom subsistence was mainly based on marine resources. Despite 1500 years of contacts – from 5400 to 3950 BC - with the successive farming communities (LBK,
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