The man and the lake : living in the neolithic lakeside settlement of Dispilio, Kastoria, Greece

Here we present the ‘Abstract‘ of the corresponding paper by Hourmouziadi, Anastasia & Touloumis, K.


The relation between man and water is well established in prehistoric Balkans, as the marshywetlands of the lakes constituted an advantageous environment for human settlements. In 1992 theUniversity of Thessaloniki, under the direction of Professor G. Hourmouziadis, began systematicexcavations in the lakeside Neolithic settlement located at the bank of Kastoria’s lake.This paper is an attempt to approach the Neolithic life way in this particular ecosystem. The sitewas inhabited from the Middle Neolithic until the Hellenistic era. The scientific study isdetermined by the abundance of the wooden piles and other wooden elements themselves, as thetaphonomic conditions favour their preservation.The Neolithic man in Dispilio seems to be primary a farmer and, especially, a stockbreeder.Fish bones and fishing tools are not lacking, especially in the later Neolithic, but they do notnecessarily reflect a community of specialized fishermen.Contacts with other settlements are suggested from archaeological and geological investigationsin the direct and indirect vicinity.The finds represent a dynamic society that managed to live ‘in an imponderable, due to thewetland ecosystem. Dispilio, therefore, is a good example against approaches that regard Neolithicman as an ‘occasional’ human being who has lived under the fear of his environment and itsseasonal variations and shortages.



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