Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Sesklo - The First Neolithic Culture of Europe

The Sesklo Culture is famous for being one of the first Neolithic cultures in Europe. If you remember, a culture becomes a Neolithic one when it discovers how to do one of two things or both. It leaves the Mesolithic to join the the Neolithic when it masters farming or starts building pottery. The Sesklo seem to have done this as early as 6850 BC give or take a margin of error. They did this in what is modern day Greece in the regions of Thessaly and Macedonia. Confusingly, the culture seems to arisen out of two cultures, the Pre-Sesklo and Proto-Sesklo cultures. The distinction is so ridiculously nuanced that I can't seem to wrap my head around it, let alone explain it. But, that's where they come from.

They became Neolithic by learning how to farm wheat and barley. Because Nabisco's Wheat Thins and barley laden Rye Whiskey cannot sustain a man (trust me on this one), the Sesklo culture also kept herds of sheep, goats and a few cows and pigs. They completed the double Neolithic by fashioning bowls and cups to eat and drink out of. The Rye Whiskey though they liked to drink straight from the bottle like a boss.

The Sesklo would have been a minor footnote in history had they not influenced other cultures though. In this they seem to have been prolific. They influenced the Karanovo and the Starčevo–Kőrös–Criş in the Balkans. The Starčevo–Kőrös–Criş would then go on to influence the Danubian cultures that stretched all over Southeastern and Central Europe. The Sesklo also seem to have been the origin for the Cardium pottery Culture that dotted the southern coastal region of much of Europe stretching from Croatia to Italy to France and to Spain. For this reason, the minor city of Sesklo, played a major role in spreading the Neolithic Revolution to much of Europe.

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