Arbeitsgruppe Antolin: Small-scale farming societies in Prehistoric Europe

This research group is interested in small-scale farming societies that inhabited Southern and Central Europe during the Neolithic period (ca. 6000-2300 cal. BC) and the process of change towards more extensive farming models with the development of urbanism. Our focus is on agricultural decision-making processes, environmental perception and resilience. We are therefore interested in past crop diversity, crop husbandry practices, animal herding practices, risk-reducing strategies (exchange networks, storage systems, pest controls), wild plant use and methods of plant food preparation, as well as the social structures and networks in which they are embedded.

Small-scale farming is still today the most widespread farming system in the planet. Currently, most farmers are under multiple threads including climate change and globalisation. Likewise, urban areas also would benefit at all levels by investing on more spaces for sustainable farming. A change of a model is needed worldwide. Archaeology can prove how resilient small-scale farming can be under various climatic and ecological conditions and provide keys for a more sustainable, small-scale and diversity-friendly planet that still produces enough food for every human being living in it.