, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp 235-312

The Italian Neolithic: A Synthesis of Research

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This paper reviews the distinctive economic and social development of Neolithic Italy and its islands, from ca. 6000 B.C. until the emergence of the Copper Age ca. 3500 B.C. Through a synthesis of traditional interpretations and more recent discussions relating to early farming economies, social and technological developments, settlement, and landscape, the complex regional patterns are described. The development of archaeological studies in Italy, the biases in regional and chronological data collection, the regional patterns of cultures and landscapes, and the emergence of distinctive funerary, artistic and economic activities reveal a wealth of varied and intriguing archaeological information from a wide variety of sources that link parallel developments in the Mediterranean and Europe.