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Neolithic

The Neolithic era lasted in Greece from about the middle of the VII millennium to 3000/2800, and in the western regions of the country in places it could hold until the middle of the III millennium. The internal divisions of the Neolithic culture are still preliminary - the period best studied in Thessaly, but the ratio of the stages of the Thessalian Neolithic with similar phases of the history of the more southern regions has not yet been finalized. In addition, the classification of the Thessalian Neolithic itself has recently been revised by D. Pheocharis, who undertook a new study of strata in Sesklo (Thessaly). Comparing the results of the research of Feoharis, Beinberg, Clark, Rodden and other archaeologists, it is permissible to construct the following preliminary classification scheme of the Neolithic in Greece:

Pre-Ceramic Neolithic - VII millennium

Early Neolithic - the end of the VII millennium - about 4600

Middle Neolithic - about 4600 - 4100/4000

Late Neolithic - about 4100/4000 - 3000/2800

These absolute figures serve only as approximate milestones to be clarified for each region of Hellas. As is known, in Thessaly and Macedonia, the late Neolithic lasted 200-300 years longer than in Central and Southern Greece.

The task of our review does not include a detailed examination of the Neolithic era in Greece - this problem requires special study. However, it seems appropriate to touch upon some issues concerning the characteristics of the general ways of progress of the population of the country.

And on the Balkan Peninsula, the population has passed the stage of the pre-Ceramic Neolithic. Data on the named period are given by some settlements of Thessaly. The most interesting recent works of D. Feoharis in Sesklo, where the researcher discovered a layer of pre-ceramic settlement dating back to the middle of the VII millennium. The inhabitants of this village used bone products and microlitic tools, leading a sedentary lifestyle. The inhabitants of the Argissa-Magula settlement, excavated by B. Miloychich in the vicinity of Larissa (Northern Thessaly), were also engaged in agriculture and cattle breeding. These data indicate that the pre-Ceramic Neolithic agricultural culture covered the entire territory of Thessaly.

It should be assumed that the production skills developed during this period by the local population allowed him to switch to a new type of economy - to agricultural and cattle breeding. This was a major turning point in the development of the material base of the tribal world that inhabited Greece at that time. Such a radical shift did not occur because the inhabitants of the south of the Balkan Peninsula borrowed a higher culture in the East (according to Schachermayer) or in the North (according to Matz). It was realized only because the necessary economic and cultural prerequisites were formed in the environment of the society that lived on the Balkan Peninsula at that time.