EUROPEAN SCIENCE FOUNDATION EXPLORATORY WORKSHOP

EARLY SYMBOLIC SYSTEMS OF COMMUNICATION
IN SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE


KARLOVO, BULGARIA, 14-20 APRIL 2002, SUMMARIES
EUROPEAN SCIENCE FOUNDATION

PREHISTORY FOUNDATION
Social Complexity in Southeastern Europe and in the Near East
(A Comparative Look in View of Early Symbolic Systems)

Mehmet Özdogan
University of Istanbul, Istanbul, Turkey
mozdo@atlas.net.tr


Since early prehistory, every culture has developed symbols or symbolic values to express itself which may, or may not be reflected in archaeological record. These vary from belief systems to exchange mechanism to simple issues related to daily life. However, the development of complex and standardized symbolic values that are meaningful in a globular system is restricted only to cultures that are in the process of state formation. Symbolic values related to such systems are, what we name as writing that ended up in archive building.    
      Even a simple comparison of the Near Eastern socio-economic system based on temple- or state controlled economy with that of the Balkans, presents an
interesting case. Even though both areas had, at the initial stages of the Neolithic common routes, the Near Eastern model developed on a temple-state monopolizing system. The initial indicators of this system can be traced down to the Pre-Pottery Neolithic Period, as reflected by the presence of monumental cult-buildings. However, in the Balkans, as in Central and Western Anatolia, there are no indications of a centralized systems that monopolized economic assets. This does not imply that the early rural communities of the Balkans-and Anatolian plateau did not develop in later prehistory; but the development that took place in these regions was on another line. Accordingly, in looking at symbolic values, it is not possible to use similar parameters.
      The paper will be an overview of the evidence from both areas in view of social complexity as reflected in artifacts that may be indicative of symbolic values.

Another summary by Mehmet Özdogan
cprslc@msn.com
2002 © European Science Foundation
2002 © Prehistory Foundation & Reports of Prehistoric Research Projects
2002 ©The Author
Editor: Lolita Nikolova
All rights reserved. Published: 12/21/02
Since 12/21/02
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