The duration of the Neolithic varies from place to place: in southeast Europe it is approximately years i. There are also many differences, with some Neolithic communities in southeastern Europe living in heavily fortified settlements of 3,—4, people e. Marija Gimbutas investigated the Neolithic period in order to understand cultural developments in settled village culture in the southern Balkans, which she characterized as peaceful, matristic , and possessing a goddess-centered religion. In contrast, she characterizes the later Indo-European influences as warlike, nomadic, and patrilineal. Using evidence from pottery and sculpture, and combining the tools of archaeology , comparative mythology , linguistics , and, most controversially, folkloristics , Gimbutas invented a new interdisciplinary field, archaeomythology.

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He was elected president of the Cambridge Union in In he completed his PhD thesis Neolithic and Bronze Age cultures of the Cyclades and their external relations; in the same year he married Jane M.

Ewbank, and was appointed to the post of lecturer in the Department of Prehistory and Archaeology at the University of Sheffield.

Between and , Renfrew directed excavations at Sitagroi , Greece. In he unsuccessfully contested the Sheffield Brightside parliamentary constituency on behalf of the Conservative Party. In that year he was elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries , in was elected Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland and in elected an Honorary Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.

During his time at Southampton he directed excavations at Quanterness in Orkney and Phylakopi on the island of Milos, Greece. In Renfrew published Before Civilisation: The Radiocarbon Revolution and Prehistoric Europe in which he challenged the assumption that prehistoric cultural innovation originated in the Near East and then spread to Europe. He also excavated with Marija Gimbutas at Sitagroi.

In Renfrew was elected a Fellow of the British Academy. In he was elected to the Disney Professorship of Archaeology in the University of Cambridge , a post he held until his retirement.

His " Anatolian hypothesis " posited that this group lived 2, years before the Kurgans , in Anatolia , later diffusing to Greece, then Italy, Sicily, Corsica, the Mediterranean coast of France, Spain, and Portugal. Another branch migrated along the fertile river valleys of the Danube and Rhine into central and northern Europe. He developed the Anatolian hypothesis , which argues that Proto-Indo-European , the reconstructed ancestor of the Indo-European languages , originated approximately 9, years ago in Anatolia and moved with the spread of farming throughout the Mediterranean and into central and northern Europe.

Renfrew served as Master of Jesus College from until From to he directed new excavations on the Cycladic Island of Keros , and is currently co-director of the Keros Island Survey.


Old Europe (archaeology)



Archaeology; Theories Methods Practice 7th 7E


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