Concluding the Neolithic: The Near East in the Second Half of the Seventh Millennium BC
The second half of the seventh millennium BC saw the demise of the previously affluent and dynamic Neolithic way of life. The period is marked by significant social and economic transformations of local communities, as manifested in a new spatial organization, patterns of architecture, burial practices, and in chipped stone and pottery manufacture. This volume has three foci. The first concerns the character of these changes in different parts of the Near East with a view to placing them in a broader comparative perspective. The second concerns the social and ideological changes that took place at the end of Neolithic and the beginning of the Chalcolithic that help to explain the disintegration of constitutive principles binding the large centers, the emergence of a new social system, as well as the consequences of this process for the development of full-fledged farming communities in the region and beyond. The third concerns changes in lifeways: subsistence strategies, exploitation of the environment, and, in particular, modes of procurement, consumption, and distribution of different resources.