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date: 16 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

The Mediterranean basin has experienced significant environmental change throughout the Holocene. This has conditioned human settlement and economy. Much of the coastline is backed by mountains so communication has usually been by sea, and seasonal vertical patterns of movement have been commonplace from the Mesolithic on. During the early Holocene the Mediterranean basin and its hinterlands were thinly inhabited by Mesolithic hunter-gatherers. In the interior of western Asia, agriculture and settled life began during the late glacial. This new way of life spread throughout the Mediterranean in a series of rapid advances followed by episodes of stasis. Farming reached Cyprus before 10000 cal BP, and then the Aegean, Thrace, and Greece. Around 8000 cal BP this new way of life was carried along the shores of the central and western Mediterranean and to north Africa. Migrant farmers took this way of life with them, replacing the local Mesolithic inhabitants.

Keywords: Holocene, Mesolithic, Mediterranean, western Asia, agriculture

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