Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory

, Volume 21, Issue 2, pp 447–460 | Cite as

The Neolithic Transition in the Iberian Peninsula: Data Analysis and Modeling

  • Neus IsernEmail author
  • Joaquim Fort
  • António Faustino Carvalho
  • Juan F. Gibaja
  • Juan José Ibañez


We apply GIS techniques to analyze a carefully selected database of 93 Early Neolithic sites in the Iberian Peninsula. This allows us to study the spatial dynamics of the Neolithic transition in Iberia. We study how the Neolithic was introduced into the peninsula in order to test the hypothesis that the Neolithic was introduced almost simultaneously from two sources: one at the northeast (via the Mediterranean coast) and another one at the south (possibly from Northern Africa). We also analyze how the expansion of the Neolithic transition took place within the Iberian Peninsula and measure local rates of spread in order to identify regions with fast and slow rates (such as the slowdown at the Cantabrian coast). In addition, we attempt to reproduce the main results obtained from the GIS analysis by applying reaction–dispersal models to the expansion of the Neolithic transition in the Iberian Peninsula. We conclude that a model with two sources is a reasonable assumption that agrees better with the archaeological data available at present than a model with a single source.


Neolithic transition Iberian Peninsula GIS analysis Computational modeling Demic expansion 



We are grateful to Toni Pujol for supplying his Fortran programs. This work has been partially funded by the ERC (AdG-230561), MEC (grants SimulPast-CSD-2010-00034, FIS-2012-31307, and HAR2011-23149), FCT (Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, Portugal, grant PTDC/HAH/64546/2006), and the Generalitat de Catalunya (grant 2009-SGR-374).

Supplementary material

10816_2013_9193_MOESM1_ESM.xlsx (20 kb)
Table S1 Early Neolithic database. Information about 93 Early Neolithic sites in the Iberian Peninsula: site name, country, latitude/longitude, radiocarbon date and SD, mean calibrated age and calibrated date range (XLSX 19 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Neus Isern
    • 1
    Email author
  • Joaquim Fort
    • 2
  • António Faustino Carvalho
    • 3
  • Juan F. Gibaja
    • 4
  • Juan José Ibañez
    • 4
  1. 1.Departament de PrehistòriaUniversitat Autònoma de BarcelonaCerdanyola del VallèsSpain
  2. 2.Complex Systems Lab and Departament de FísicaUniversitat de GironaGironaSpain
  3. 3.Departamento de Artes e HumanidadesUniversidade do AlgarveFaroPortugal
  4. 4.Departamento de Arqueología y Antropología, CSIC-IMFBarcelonaSpain

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