Abstract and Keywords
This article claims that at the turn of the twentieth century, excavations beneath Bronze Age strata at Dimini and Sesklo in Thessaly and Knossos on Crete revealed an earlier epoch of human occupation, characterized by stone tools, handmade pottery, and the bones of domesticated animals. Termed Neolithic period by analogy with other European regions, it was immediately clear that this was a phase of village-dwelling farmers, the Aegean's first agricultural society. In what has become a modern origin myth for Western society, the development of agriculture and sedentism was viewed as an escape from the impasse of savagery—a revolutionary beginning in the development of modernity, albeit one eclipsed in modern significance by the urban revolution and the emergence of civilization in the Bronze Age.
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