The Early Neolithic
During the Early Neolithic we observe a growing complexity and diversity brought about by new social and economic practices. These ranged from the progressive introduction of agriculture and stockbreeding to a new way of viewing a territory that was being transformed and humanised, as well as a gradual sedentarisation of populations and new concepts of identity manifested through personal adornment and decoration.
Until now, research into these populations −for which the archaeological record is limited− has focused on aspects related to the new agricultural and stockbreeding productions. Material manifestations and other technologies that were developed at the same time have been largely side-lined and only taken into account where they act as indicators of social or economic change.
Furthermore, most excavations have been carried out in caves, leading to a possible under-representation of open-air habitats, with the limitations this implies for our knowledge of other aspects of daily life in that period.
La Cueva del Toro is a good place to learn about how these communities lived. Here we find the simultaneous remains of domestic activities ─food preparation and consumption, craftwork and stabling of sheep and goats─ and evidence of ritual and funerary activities. This is an archaeological record that also allows us to speak of identity, beliefs, learning and socialisation.
Picture: Daily life and environment in the Early Neolithic. Cueva del Toro (Torcal del Antequera, Malaga). Illustrated by Miguel Salvatierra
Mª Dolores Camalich Massieu and Dimas Martín Socas. PGI El Neolítico en la comarca de Antequera. Dirección General de Bienes Culturales y Museos. Consejería de Cultura. Junta de Andalucía.
I+D+i HAR2011-29068, HAR 2013-38857 y HAR2016-78197-P. Support to the Research of Archaeological Complex Dolmens of Antequera.