Spatial variation and patterning in the distribution of artefacts are topics of fundamental significance in Balkan archaeology. For decades, archaeologists have classified spatial clusters of artefacts into discrete “cultures”, which have been conventionally treated as bound entities and equated with past social or ethnic groups. This timely volume fulfils the need for an up-to-date and theoretically informed dialogue on group identity in Balkan prehistory. Thirteen case studies covering the beginning of the Neolithic to the Middle Bronze Age and written by archaeologists conducting fieldwork in the region, as well as by ethnologists with a research focus on material culture and identity, provide a robust foundation for exploring these issues. Bringing together the latest research, with a particular intentional focus on the central and western Balkans, this collection offers original perspectives on Balkan prehistory with relevance to the neighbouring regions of Eastern and Central Europe, the Mediterranean and Anatolia. Balkan Dialogues challenges long-established interpretations in the field and provides a new, contextualised reading of the archaeological record of this region.

chapter |14 pages

Balkan dialogues

Negotiating identity between prehistory and the present
ByMaja Gori, Maria Ivanova

part I|94 pages

Rethinking groups and cultures

chapter 1|21 pages

Later Balkan prehistory

A transcultural perspective
ByJoseph Maran

chapter 2|14 pages

Ethnicity as a form of social organization

Notes on the multiplicity of understandings of a contested concept
ByHans Peter Hahn

chapter 4|21 pages

Let’s stop speaking “cultures”!

Alternative means to assess historical developments in the prehistoric Balkans
ByZoï Tsirtsoni

chapter 5|24 pages

A tradition in nine maps

Un-layering Niger River polychrome water jars
ByOlivier P. Gosselain

part II|85 pages

Identities in transition

chapter 7|25 pages

Negotiating identities and exchanging values

Neolithic pottery production and circulation in Thessaly
ByAreti Pentedeka

chapter 8|13 pages

Inheritance, population development and social identities

Southeast Europe 5200–4300 BCE
ByJohannes Müller

chapter 9|25 pages

Culinary landscapes and identity in prehistoric Greece

An archaeobotanical exploration
BySoultana Maria Valamoti

part III|76 pages

Frontiers and boundaries

chapter 11|27 pages

Cultivating identities

Landscape production among early farmers in the Southern Balkans
BySusan E. Allen

chapter 12|14 pages

Erasing boundaries or changing identities?

The transition from Early/Middle to Late Neolithic, new evidence from Southern Serbia
ByJasna Vuković

chapter 13|17 pages

Practicing archaeology and researching present identities in no man’s land

A view from the Tri-National Prespa Lake
ByMaja Gori, Petrika Lera, Stavros Oikonomidis, Aris Papayiannis, Akis Tsonos