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Speaker: Amy Bogaard (Oxford)

EXPLO is a European Research Council-funded Synergy project based at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, the University of Bern and the University of Oxford. The project brings together complementary investigations into material culture, dendrochronology, palaeoecology and on-site bioarchaeology (archaeobotany and -zoology) to reconstruct occupation histories and practices of the ‘lakeshore’ Neolithic in the southwest Balkans. Our focus has been three settlements in particular: Dispilio on the southern shore of Lake Orestias, Ploča Mičov Grad on the North Macedonian shore of Lake Ohrid and Lin 3 on the Albanian shore of Ohrid. Organic preservation under anaerobic waterlogged conditions enables a level of chronological resolution and integration that is unprecedented for Neolithic studies in the region, and analogous to that of the well-known lakeshore settlements of the circum-Alpine zone. As in the central European case, the lakeshore settlements of the southwest Balkans raise questions of comparability with the ‘dryland’ Neolithic. This seminar will explore these questions using recent results from the project’s ongoing research.