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Ideology and Social Structure of Stone Age Communities in Europe

Also including: Wateringen 4 & Acquiring a taste.

Annelou van Gijn, Corrie Bakels & Marek Zvelebil
01 January 1997
Sidestone Press

This volume contains the edited volume “Ideology and Social Structure of Stone Age Communities in Europe” as well as two added papers “Wateringen 4: a settlement of the Middle Neolithic Hazendonk 3 Group in the Dutch” and “Acquiring a taste: the menu of Iron Age and Roman period farmers in Oss-Ussen, the Netherlands”.

Ideology and social structure of stone age communities in Europe

This volume is the result of a conference held at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Studies, Wassenaar, Holland, on April 28 and 29, 1994. The subject of the conference focussed on the social organisation and ideology of the stone age communities in Europe during the later Mesolithic and Neolithic periods (ca. 8000-4000 BP).

The questions of social structure, social organisation and ideology of hunting and gathering and early farming communities in the stone age are becoming increasingly central to our understanding of these societies and of their transformations. This realisation has provoked a lively debate on the subject in recent publications. At the same time, many archaologists and prehistorians approach this question from the position of their own period of research (either Mesolithic or Neolithic), and/or from the point of view of a particular paradigm they favour. This has resulted in many conflicting views which provide a polemical background to the subject of the volume.

The contributions to the volume focussed on three particular questions: 1) what do we know about the social organisation and ideology of these societies today, 2) how can we use archaeological evidence and our conceptual frameworks to gain greater knowledge of the social domain of the Mesolithic and Neolithic societies, 3) what patterns of social change attend the Mesolithic-Neolithic transition?


  • “Annelou van Gijn & Marek Zvelebil: Preface
  • Annelou van Gijn & Marek Zvelebil: Stone age, ideology and scaling the ladder of inference
  • Richard Bradley: Domestication as a state of mind
  • Ivana Radovanovic & Barbara Voytek: Hunters, fishers or farmers: sedentism, subsistence and social complexity in the Djerdap Mesolithic
  • Marek Zvelebil: Hunter-gatherer ritual landscapes: spatial organisation, social structure and ideology among hunter-gatherers of Northern Europe and Western Siberia
  • Kristina Jennbert: Mentality and the social world: the Mesolithic-Neolithic transition in Southern Scandinavia
  • Julian Thomas: The materiality of the Mesolithic-Neolithic transition in Britain
  • Leo Verhart & Milco Wansleeben: Waste and prestige: the Mesolithic-Neolithic transition in the Netherlands from a social perspective
  • Torsten Madsen: Ideology and social structure in the earlier Neolithic of South Scandinavia: a view from the sources
  • Piet van de Velde: Much ado about nothing: Bandkeramik funerary ritual
  • Marjorie de Grooth: Social and economic interpretations of the chert procurement strategies of the Bandkeramik settlement at Hienheim, Bavaria
  • Mark Edmonds: Taskscape, technology and tradition
  • John O’Shea: A portrait of ancient society on the South Hungarian Plain
  • John Barrett: Stone age ideologies
  • Douglas Lewis: Remarks on the problem on inferring ideology and social structure from the artifacts of human action

Also included:

  • Wateringen 4: a settlement of the Middle Neolithic Hazendonk 3 Group in the Dutch coastal area, by: D.C.M. Raemaekers Wateringen, C.C. Bakels, B. Beerenhout, A.L. van Gijn, K. Hänninen, S. Molenaar, D. Paalman, M. Verbruggen & C. Vermeeren
  • Acquiring a taste: the menu of Iron Age and Roman period farmers in Oss-Ussen, the Netherlands, by: Corrie Bakels, Dieke Wesselingh & Ilse van Amen
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