The simple dolmen or primeval dolmen is an early form of dolmen or megalithic tomb that occurs in Northern Europe. The term was defined by archaeologist, Ernst Sprockhoff, utilised by Ewald Schuldt in publicising his excavation of 106 megalithic sites in the north German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern; the simple dolmen emerged in the early days of the development of megalithic monuments of the Funnelbeaker culture and around 3,500 BC they appeared across the entire region covered by the stone cult structures of Nordic megalith architecture, but not in the Netherlands, in Lower Saxony west of the River Weser nor east of the River Oder and only once in Sweden. Neolithic monuments are an expression of the ideology of neolithic communities, their emergence and function serve as indicators of social development. In many cases there is no clear distinction between simple dolmens and stone cists. In the necropolis of Brüssow-Wollschow, in the Uckermark region, simple dolmens and stone cists occur together.
The differences consist in the degree to which they are embedded and in the material used for the sidestones. In simple dolmens the sidestones consist in stone cists of slabs. Whether this was of relevance for neolithic people, remains questionable, because there are combinations of both materials; the smallest simple dolmens occur on the Danish island of Zealand, where the ratio of length-to-breadth of the southern half of the island is less in the north. This small size led researchers such as Hans-Jürgen Beier, to refuse to give simple dolmens the status of a megalithic site. Whether, the very small megalithic tombs fulfil his conditions, is still open to question. In Sicily, in recent years, are being found small dolmen monuments, because around the end of the 3rd millennium BC, the west coast of the Mediterranean island was caught up in a cultural wave coming the Sardinian coast, which in turn had imported from the peninsula Iberica. You can follow the evolution of simple dolmens, which for the early builders was a learning process, how, step by step, they met the demands placed on them at the time by producing more mature solutions.
This applies to the development of simple dolmens into extended dolmens, to its round variant, the polygonal dolmen, to the great dolmens. The prototype of the simple dolmen is the so-called block cist, enclosed on all sides and dug into the ground, it has no entrance and is, once closed, difficult for the technically less skilled user to open and re-utilise. It was therefore only intended for a one-time use. On the island of Sylt in Schleswig-Holstein, two simple dolmens were found in a common enclosure, but there is only one simple dolmen within an enclosure, lying parallel to the longitudinal axis, the so-called parallel type. In Ulstrup near Gundeslevholm two of the three simple dolmens form a pair next to one another in the enclosure; the block cist in the Tykskov of Varnæs near Aabenraa and the one in the Nørreskov on Alsen lie diagonally within the enclosure. North of the River Eider about 20% of the simple dolmens are covered by a circular mound. Initial progress - in terms of multiple use - was achieved by the creation of an entrance.
In examples that were still dug into the ground the entrance was made through the roof - as, for example, at Barkvieren. By dividing the ceiling into a large stone and a stone that could be lifted by hand, access from above was enabled; this variant, however, is not widespread. This development path was abandoned in favour of options using other axes of entry; the simple dolmen was now buried less and the upper half of one of the ends was used as access. This form can be found e.g. in the stone enclosures of Grundoldendorf. The weight of the single stone was still divided amongst three orthostats; this process shows the discovery of the stability of a three-point support system. The always parallel-sided open simple dolmens are 2.2 to 2.6 metres long and 1.0 to 1.8 metres wide and larger than the closed examples. For Schleswig-Holstein, the small chamber at Dobersdorf Plön county, is, in this respect, an exception. Of the 20 simple dolmens in Schleswig-Holstein, 12 are sealed on all sides, five are classified as open at the end and the design of three simple dolmens cannot be determined.
Of about 88 simple dolmens once found in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern there are still 51 survivors. Subsequently, the first rectangular dolmens and passage graves were still sunk in pits. In the next step, the neolithic builders understood how to lay the foundation of the three or more supporting stones in such a way that their base of the structure could be closer to the surface of the ground; this higher positioning allowed a passage to be added. Now, however, a threshold stone was required that separated the chamber and the profane or secular passage from one another; the effort was made to reduce the size of the slab covering the opening of the re-usable simple dolmen to one that could be manhandled by the settlement community. The simple dolmen with a passage evolved into the "extended dolmens", which are longer have more than one capstone and - apart from the transitional types at Neu Gaarz, Bad Doberan county - have orthostats that stand on one of their two smallest f
The polygonal dolmen is a visually attractive megalithic architectural structure and is therefore depicted as the archetypal dolmen. It is encountered frequently in the north of the Danish island of Zealand, in the Swedish province of Bohuslän and on the Cimbrian Peninsula, for example, at Troldkirken in Jutland. In Schleswig-Holstein, there are 11 examples. In Lower Saxony, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Saxony-Anhalt they appear are only occasionally. Neolithic monuments are expressions of the ideology of Neolithic communities, their emergence and function are indicators of social development. Five to nine supporting stones, or orthostats, shape the ground plan of the polygonal chamber. A single, sometimes large capstone covers them. An externally built entrance passage, whilst obligatory, has not survived. In Dithmarschen the rectangular and polygonal dolmens of Albersdorf are important; the Brutkamp is one of the most impressive examples of this type. Typologically viewed, the chamber of Hemmelmark, Rendsburg-Eckernförde, stands out, with its unusual dimensions of 2.8 × 2.25 metres and the division of sub-chambers by vertical slabs.
Polygonal dolmen occur more within stone enclosures and more in round barrows. It was thought that this type of dolmen originated in the west, due to its circular construction; these views were refuted by comprehensive research by Ewald Schuldt in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, which emphasized the autochthonous origin of different types. Nordic megalith architecture Piccolo, Salvatore. Ancient Stones: The Prehistoric Dolmens of Sicily. Thornham/UK: Brazen Head. ISBN 978-0-9565106-2-4. Jutta Roß: Megalithgräber in Schleswig-Holstein. Untersuchungen zum Aufbau der Grabanlagen nach neueren Ausgrabungsbefunden. Kovač, Hamburg, 1992, ISBN 3-86064-046-1. Ewald Schuldt: Die mecklenburgischen Megalithgräber. Untersuchungen zu ihrer Architektur und Funktion. Deutscher Verlag der Wissenschaften, Berlin, 1972. Jürgen E. Walkowitz: Das Megalithsyndrom. Europäische Kultplätze der Steinzeit. Beier & Beran, Langenweißbach, 2003, ISBN 3-930036-70-3
Schleswig-Holstein is the northernmost of the 16 states of Germany, comprising most of the historical duchy of Holstein and the southern part of the former Duchy of Schleswig. Its capital city is Kiel. Known in more dated English as Sleswick-Holsatia, the region is called Slesvig-Holsten in Danish; the Low German name is Sleswig-Holsteen, the North Frisian name is Slaswik-Holstiinj. The name can refer to a larger region, containing both present-day Schleswig-Holstein and the former South Jutland County in Denmark; the term "Holstein" derives from Old Saxon Holseta Land. It referred to the central of the three Saxon tribes north of the River Elbe: Tedmarsgoi and Sturmarii; the area of the tribe of the Holsts was between the Stör River and Hamburg, after Christianization, their main church was in Schenefeld. Saxon Holstein became a part of the Holy Roman Empire after Charlemagne's Saxon campaigns in the late eighth century. Since 811, the northern frontier of Holstein was marked by the River Eider.
The term Schleswig comes from the city of Schleswig. The name derives from the Schlei inlet in the east and vik meaning inlet in Old Norse or settlement in Old Saxon, linguistically identical with the "-wick" or "-wich" element in place-names in Britain; the Duchy of Schleswig or Southern Jutland was an integral part of Denmark, but was in medieval times established as a fief under the Kingdom of Denmark, with the same relation to the Danish Crown as for example Brandenburg or Bavaria vis-à-vis the Holy Roman Emperor. Around 1100, the Duke of Saxony gave Holstein, as it was his own country, to Count Adolf I of Schauenburg. Schleswig and Holstein have at different times belonged in part or to either Denmark or Germany, or have been independent of both nations; the exception is that Schleswig had never been part of Germany until the Second Schleswig War in 1864. For many centuries, the King of Denmark was both a Danish Duke of Schleswig and a German Duke of Holstein. Schleswig was either integrated into Denmark or was a Danish fief, Holstein was a German fief and once a sovereign state long ago.
Both were for several centuries ruled by the kings of Denmark. In 1721, all of Schleswig was united as a single duchy under the king of Denmark, the great powers of Europe confirmed in an international treaty that all future kings of Denmark should automatically become dukes of Schleswig, Schleswig would always follow the same order of succession as the one chosen in the Kingdom of Denmark. In the church, following the reformation, German was used in the southern part of Schleswig and Danish in the northern part; this would prove decisive for shaping national sentiments in the population, as well as after 1814 when mandatory school education was introduced. The administration of both duchies was conducted in German, despite the fact that they were governed from Copenhagen; the German national awakening that followed the Napoleonic Wars gave rise to a strong popular movement in Holstein and Southern Schleswig for unification with a new Prussian-dominated Germany. This development was paralleled by an strong Danish national awakening in Denmark and Northern Schleswig.
This movement called for the complete reintegration of Schleswig into the Kingdom of Denmark and demanded an end to discrimination against Danes in Schleswig. The ensuing conflict is sometimes called the Schleswig-Holstein Question. In 1848, King Frederick VII of Denmark declared that he would grant Denmark a liberal constitution and the immediate goal for the Danish national movement was to ensure that this constitution would give rights to all Danes, i.e. not only to those in the Kingdom of Denmark, but to Danes living in Schleswig. Furthermore, they demanded protection for the Danish language in Schleswig. A liberal constitution for Holstein was not considered in Copenhagen, since it was well known that the political élite of Holstein were more conservative than Copenhagen's. Representatives of German-minded Schleswig-Holsteiners demanded that Schleswig and Holstein be unified and allowed its own constitution and that Schleswig join Holstein as a member of the German Confederation; these demands were rejected by the Danish government in 1848, the Germans of Holstein and southern Schleswig rebelled.
This began the First Schleswig War. In 1863, conflict broke out again. According to the order of succession of Denmark and Schleswig, the crowns of both Denmark and Schleswig would pass to Duke Christian of Glücksburg, who became Christian IX; the transmission of the duchy of Holstein to the head of the branch of the Danish royal family, the House of Augustenborg, was more controversial. The separation of the two duchies was challenged by the Augustenborg heir, who claimed, as in 1848, to be rightful heir of both Schleswig and Holstein; the promulgation of a common constitution for Denmark and Schleswig in November 1863 prompted Otto von Bismarck to intervene and Prussia and Austria declared war on Denmark. This was the Second War of Schleswig. British attempts to mediate in the London Conference of 1864 failed, an
Neolithic Europe is the period when Neolithic technology was present in Europe between 7000 BCE and c. 1700 BCE. The Neolithic overlaps the Mesolithic and Bronze Age periods in Europe as cultural changes moved from the southeast to northwest at about 1 km/year - this is called Neolithic Expansion; the duration of the Neolithic varies from place to place, its end marked by the introduction of bronze implements: in southeast Europe it is 4,000 years while in parts of Northwest Europe it is just under 3,000 years, although copper metallurgy was in use on a small scale from c.2800 BC. Regardless of specific chronology, many European Neolithic groups share basic characteristics, such as living in small-scale, family-based communities, subsisting on domesticated plants and animals supplemented with the collection of wild plant foods and with hunting, producing hand-made pottery, that is, pottery made without the potter's wheel. Polished stone axes lie at the heart of the neolithic culture, enabling forest clearance for agriculture and production of wood for dwellings, as well as fuel.
There are many differences, with some Neolithic communities in southeastern Europe living in fortified settlements of 3,000-4,000 people whereas Neolithic groups in Britain were small and mobile cattle-herders. The details of the origin, social organization, subsistence practices and ideology of the peoples of Neolithic Europe are obtained from archaeology, not historical records, since these people left none. Since the 1970s, population genetics has provided independent data on the population history of Neolithic Europe, including migration events and genetic relationships with peoples in South Asia. A further independent tool, has contributed hypothetical reconstructions of early European languages and family trees with estimates of dating of splits, in particular theories on the relationship between speakers of Indo-European languages and Neolithic peoples; some archaeologists believe that the expansion of Neolithic peoples from southwest Asia into Europe, marking the eclipse of Mesolithic culture, coincided with the introduction of Indo-European speakers, whereas other archaeologists and many linguists believe the Indo-European languages were introduced from the Pontic-Caspian steppe during the succeeding Bronze Age.
Archeologists trace the emergence of food-producing societies in the Levantine region of southwest Asia at the close of the last glacial period around 12,000 BCE, developed into a number of regionally distinctive cultures by the eighth millennium BCE. Remains of food-producing societies in the Aegean have been carbon-dated to around 6500 BCE at Knossos, Franchthi Cave, a number of mainland sites in Thessaly. Neolithic groups appear soon afterwards in the Balkans and south-central Europe; the Neolithic cultures of southeastern Europe show some continuity with groups in southwest Asia and Anatolia. Current evidence suggests that Neolithic material culture was introduced to Europe via western Anatolia, that similarities in cultures of North Africa and the Pontic steppes are due to diffusion out of Europe. All Neolithic sites in Europe contain ceramics, contain the plants and animals domesticated in Southwest Asia: einkorn, barley, pigs, goats and cattle. Genetic data suggest that no independent domestication of animals took place in Neolithic Europe, that all domesticated animals were domesticated in Southwest Asia.
The only domesticate not from Southwest Asia was broomcorn millet, domesticated in East Asia. The earliest evidence of cheese-making dates to 5500 BCE in Poland. Archaeologists seem to agree that the culture of the early Neolithic is homogeneous, compared both to the late Mesolithic and the Neolithic; the diffusion across Europe, from the Aegean to Britain, took about 2,500 years. The Baltic region was penetrated a bit around 3500 BCE, there was a delay in settling the Pannonian plain. In general, colonization shows a "saltatory" pattern, as the Neolithic advanced from one patch of fertile alluvial soil to another, bypassing mountainous areas. Analysis of radiocarbon dates show that Mesolithic and Neolithic populations lived side by side for as much as a millennium in many parts of Europe in the Iberian peninsula and along the Atlantic coast. With some exceptions, population levels rose at the beginning of the Neolithic until they reached the carrying capacity; this was followed by a population crash of "enormous magnitude" after 5000 BCE, with levels remaining low during the next 1,500 years.
Populations began to rise after 3500 BCE, with further dips and rises occurring between 3000 and 2500 BCE but varying in date between regions. A study of twelve European regions found most experienced boom and bust patterns and suggested an "endogenous, not climatic cause."In 2018, an 8,000-year-old ceramic figurine portraying the head of the "Mother Goddess", was found near Uzunovo, Vidin Province in Bulgaria, which pushes back the Neolithic revolution to 7th millennium BC. Genetic studies since the 2010s have identified the genetic contribution of Neolithic farmers to modern European populations, providing quantitative results relevant to the long-standing "replacement model" vs. "demic diffusion" dispute in archaeology. The component due to Mesolithic European hunter-gatherers and Neolithic farmers expanding from the Near East were called "Western Hunter-Gatherers" and "Early European Farmers" (EEF
A dolmen or cromlech is a type of single-chamber megalithic tomb consisting of two or more vertical megaliths supporting a large flat horizontal capstone or "table". Most date from the early Neolithic and were sometimes covered with earth or smaller stones to form a tumulus. Small pad-stones may be wedged between supporting stones to achieve a level appearance. In many instances, the covering has weathered away, leaving only the stone "skeleton" of the mound intact, it remains unclear. The oldest known are found in Western Europe. Archaeologists still do not know who erected these dolmens, which makes it difficult to know why they did it, they are all regarded as tombs or burial chambers, despite the absence of clear evidence for this. Human remains, sometimes accompanied by artefacts, have been found in or close to the dolmens which could be scientifically dated using radiocarbon dating. However, it has been impossible to prove that these remains date from the time when the stones were set in place.
The word dolmen has an unclear history. The word entered archaeology when Théophile Corret de la Tour d'Auvergne used it to describe megalithic tombs in his Origines gauloises using the spelling dolmin; the Oxford English Dictionary does not mention "dolmin" in English and gives its first citation for "dolmen" from a book on Brittany in 1859, describing the word as "The French term, used by some English authors, for a cromlech...". The name was derived from a Breton language term meaning "stone table" but doubt has been cast on this, the OED describes its origin as "Modern French". A book on Cornish antiquities from 1754 said that the current term in the Cornish language for a cromlech was tolmen and the OED says that "There is reason to think that this was the term inexactly reproduced by Latour d'Auvergne as dolmen, misapplied by him and succeeding French archaeologists to the cromlech". Nonetheless it has now replaced cromlech as the usual English term in archaeology, when the more technical and descriptive alternatives are not used.
Dolmens are known by a variety of names in other languages, including Irish: dolmain and Portuguese: anta, Bulgarian: Долмени Dolmeni, German: Hünengrab/Hünenbett and Dutch: hunebed, Basque: trikuharri, Abkhazian: Adamra, Adyghe Ispun, dysse, dös, Korean: 고인돌 goindol, "dol", "dolmaengi", Hebrew: גַלעֵד. Granja is used in Portugal and Spain; the rarer forms anta and ganda appear. In the Basque Country, they are attributed to a race of giants; the etymology of the German: Hünenbett, Hünengrab and Dutch: hunebed - with Hüne/hune meaning "giant" - all evoke the image of giants buried there. Of other Celtic languages, Welsh: cromlech was borrowed into English and quoit is used in English in Cornwall. Great dolmen Passage grave Polygonal dolmen Rectangular, enlarged or extended dolmen Simple dolmen Holcombe, Charles. A History of East Asia: From the Origins of Civilization to the Twenty-First Century. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-51595-5. Piccolo, Salvatore. Ancient Stones: The Prehistoric Dolmens of Sicily.
Thornham/Norfolk: Brazen Head Publishing. ISBN 978-0-9565106-2-4. Murphy, Cornelius; the Prehistoric Archaeology of the Beara Peninsula, Co. Cork. Department of Archaeology, University College Cork, 1997 Trifonov, V. 2006. Russia's megaliths: unearthing the lost prehistoric tombs of Caucasian warlords in the Zhane valley. St. Petersburg: The Institute for Study of Material Culture History, Russian Academy of Sciences. Available from Kudin, M. 2001. Dolmeni i ritual. Dolmen Path – Russian Megaliths. Available from Knight, Peter. Ancient Stones of Dorset, 1996. World heritage site of dolmen in Korea Piccolo, Salvatore. "Dolmen." Ancient History Encyclopedia. The Megalithic Portal and Megalith Map Dolmen Museum in Italian and English Goindol: Dolmen of Korea Research Centre of Dolmens in Northeast Asia Poulnabrone Dolmen in the Burren, County Clare, Ireland "Dolmen sites in Korea". on UNESCO's World Heritage List. Jersey Heritage Trust Dolmen Pictures by Robert Triest
A megalithic entrance is an architectonic feature that enables access to a megalithic tomb or structure. The design of the entrance has to seal the access to the cultic structure in such a way that it is possible to gain access to the interior again after a long time, in order to perform rituals. To that end, the practitioners of Nordic megalith architecture, the Wartberg culture and Horgen culture, used several variants, that are found in other megalithic regions in identical or modified form; as the solutions were refined in detail, they all had in common the aim of sealing the structure that its re-opening was possible under difficult but manageable conditions by the tribal community. In general the following forms of entrance may be differentiated: Simple dolmens 1. No entrance 2. Entrance on the top 3. Half-height entrance sealed with a closure stone 4. Full height half-width stone Dolmens 5. Squared entrance 6. Additional entrance to the external passagePassage graves 7. Triangular entrance 8.
Portal entrance 9. Low passage entrance in front of a portalGallery graves and stone cists 10. Round port-holeVariation 7 has its focus in the Swedish Bohuslän; the stones forming the entrance were so selected or fashioned that together they form a triangular entrance. This special form, which replaces the lintel, is found in the region of Languedoc-Roussillon, e.g. at the dolmen of Banelle, which lies near Saint-Hippolyte-du-Fort in the southern French department of Gard. The portal entrance used a lintel, a horizontal block placed over two lower supporting stones in order to level out the distance to the capstone; this enabled access only by crawling, through a trilithon opening, may be seen across the whole area where Nordic megalithic architecture occurs. In portal-like openings in the chamber wall, for example, have been made by leaving out a supporting stone, a passage in front of the chamber allows the cross-section of the entrance to be reduced. An example of this type of construction is the Sieben Steinhäuser in Lower Saxony.
Such "chambers without passages" may be found in the Schleswig-Holstein. The entrance location and size determines whether the structure is a passage grave or a dolmen. In the Netherlands, where this form is common, structures with no passages are known as portal graves. Variation 7 is not dissimilar to the so-called port-hole, in which the front stone or, as in the diagram, two front stones are hewn out so as to create a circular access hole; the slabs were made of a material that enabled contemporary methods and tools to be used to fashion them. This version occurs Central Europe at sites built by the Wartberg and Horgen cultures in Baden-Württemberg and Switzerland; some Swedish so-called megalithic stone cists have port-holes. In German, such a hole is known as a Seelenloch, a name that originated because of the erroneous assumption that holes were created with the intention of releasing the soul of the deceased. In the Bronze and Iron Age sites on Sardinia and the Iberian Peninsula, similar openings are found, that are narrow, but nearer the ground, apse-like, with embedded closure stones.
Another feature of ground-level entrances is a so-called stone sill. This separates the profane area of the passage from the sacred burial chamber. In some cases, it serves to support the closure stone or slab. In some embedded simple dolmens and portal tomb it is so high that it forms a half-height front stone, enabling access above it, is thus part of the wall of the chamber. Nordic megalith architecture Jürgen E. Walkowitz: Das Megalithsyndrom. Europäische Kultplätze der Steinzeit. Beier & Beran, Langenweißbach 2003, ISBN 3-930036-70-3
The Chalcolithic, a name derived from the Greek: χαλκός khalkós, "copper" and from λίθος líthos, "stone" or Copper Age known as the Eneolithic or Aeneolithic is an archaeological period which researchers regard as part of the broader Neolithic. In the context of Eastern Europe, archaeologists prefer the term "Eneolithic" to "Chalcolithic" or other alternatives. In the Chalcolithic period, copper predominated in metalworking technology. Hence it was the period; the archaeological site of Belovode, on Rudnik mountain in Serbia has the oldest securely-dated evidence of copper smelting, from 7000 BP. The Copper Age in the Ancient Near East began in the late 5th millennium BC and lasted for about a millennium before it gave rise to the Early Bronze Age; the transition from the European Copper Age to Bronze Age Europe occurs about the same time, between the late 5th and the late 3rd millennia BC. The multiple names result from multiple recognitions of the period; the term Bronze Age meant that either copper or bronze was being used as the chief hard substance for the manufacture of tools and weapons.
In 1881, John Evans recognized that use of copper preceded the use of bronze, distinguished between a transitional Copper Age and the Bronze Age proper. He did not include the transitional period in the three-age system of Early and Late Bronze Age, but placed it outside the tripartite system, at its beginning, he did not, present it as a fourth age but chose to retain the traditional tripartite system. In 1884, Gaetano Chierici following the lead of Evans, renamed it in Italian as the eneo-litica, or "bronze–stone" transition; the phrase was never intended to mean that the period was the only one in which both bronze and stone were used. The Copper Age features the use excluding bronze; the part -litica names the Stone Age as the point from which the transition began and is not another -lithic age. Subsequently, British scholars used either Evans's "Copper Age" or the term "Eneolithic", a translation of Chierici's eneo-litica. After several years, a number of complaints appeared in the literature that "Eneolithic" seemed to the untrained eye to be produced from e-neolithic, "outside the Neolithic" not a definitive characterization of the Copper Age.
Around 1900, many writers began to substitute Chalcolithic for Eneolithic, to avoid the false segmentation. It was that the misunderstanding began among those who did not know Italian; the Chalcolithic was seen as a new -lithic age, a part of the Stone Age in which copper was used, which may appear paradoxical. Today, Copper Age and Chalcolithic are used synonymously to mean Evans's original definition of Copper Age; the literature of European archaeology in general avoids the use of "Chalcolithic", whereas Middle Eastern archaeologists use it. "Chalcolithic" is not used by British prehistorians, who disagree as to whether it applies in the British context. The emergence of metallurgy may have occurred first in the Fertile Crescent; the earliest use of lead is documented here from the late Neolithic settlement of Yarim Tepe in Iraq, "The earliest lead finds in the ancient Near East are a 6th millennium BC bangle from Yarim Tepe in northern Iraq and a later conical lead piece from Halaf period Arpachiyah, near Mosul.
As native lead is rare, such artifacts raise the possibility that lead smelting may have begun before copper smelting." Copper smelting is documented at this site at about the same time period, although the use of lead seems to precede copper smelting. Early metallurgy is documented at the nearby site of Tell Maghzaliyah, which seems to be dated earlier, lacks pottery. Analysis of stone tool assemblages from sites on the Tehran Plain, in Iran, has illustrated the effects of the introduction of copper working technologies on the in-place systems of lithic craft specialists and raw materials. Networks of exchange and specialized processing and production that had evolved during the Neolithic seem to have collapsed by the Middle Chalcolithic and been replaced by the use of local materials by a household-based production of stone tools; the Timna Valley contains evidence of copper mining in 7000–5000 BC. The process of transition from Neolithic to Chalcolithic in the Middle East is characterized in archaeological stone tool assemblages by a decline in high quality raw material procurement and use.
This dramatic shift is seen throughout the region, including Iran. Here, analysis of six archaeological sites determined a marked downward trend in not only material quality, but in aesthetic variation in the lithic artefacts. Fazeli et al. use these results as evidence of the loss of craft specialisation caused by increased use of copper tools. An archaeological site in Serbia contains the oldest securely dated evidence of coppermaking from 7,500 years ago; the find in June 2010 extends the known record of copper smelting by about 800 years, suggests that copper smelting may have been invented in separate parts of Asia and Europe at that time rather than spreading from a single source. In Serbia, a copper axe was found at Prokuplje, which indicates use of metal in Europe by 7,500 years ago, many years earlier than believed. Knowledge of the use of copper was far more widespread than