farmers in europe: 8.000 - 800 bc

 
Go to the links about this subject
 
1 Description of the migration movement
2 Causes of migration
3 Consequences of migration
4 Reactions on migration

CHARACTERISTICS OF THE PERIOD

Around 8 000 B.C. the everyday life of inhabitants of Europe gradually started to change. This process, by which agriculture slowly replaced the traditional hunter-gatherer lifestyle, began in the south-east of Europe as people started growing their own food. Cultivating the land in this way meant that people were taking a more active role in shaping the environment to meet their needs.

The introduction of agriculture had a large impact on demography; the controlled production of food and further improvements in agricultural methods paved the way for a growing population.

The shift to agriculture brought with it different cultures since groups of people were more likely to settle in one particular area, and in doing so own more goods and build stronger shelters than would have been feasible as part of a nomadic existence. Different agricultural methods, tools, household articles and burial traditions characterised separate groups, within which they caused changes in social structure. A new type of plough for instance meant that men ploughed the fields instead of women.

Trade connections, driven by the need for materials to make tools, existed between different parts of Europe. Copper was first used to make tools around 4500 B.C. in the Balkans, after which copper tools were brought to other parts of Europe. Later on, bronze also became important. Most important new developments took place in the eastern section of the Mediterranean Sea. As a result of trade-contacts with other areas of Europe, some knowledge about these new developments reached central and northern Europe. The new methods, however, did not become useful in northern Europe until the Romans invaded the area.

EFFECT OF CHARACTERISTICS ON MIGRATION

A lack of fertile land in the Near East most likely caused the migration of farmers into south-eastern Europe (the borders of the Aegean Sea). The eldest traces of agriculture were found in the Balkans and on Crete, Cyprus, Argolis, Thessaly, Macedonia and Montenegro. The agricultural methods caused a widespread need for land, which the farmers found in Europe.

Population growth as result of widespread use of agricultural methods drove farmers to keep searching for new land to cultivate. Colonisation started near the Danube, but spread across Europe. This process brought farmers all the way to northern Europe between 8.000 B.C. and 4.000 B.C.

Agriculture thus drove the migration of different cultures. This migration caused a mixture of cultures in some places while in other locations, two or three different cultures lived alongside each other. In Bohemia for instance cultures mixed, while in Spain several cultures co-existed. In the Netherlands, around 3.100 B.C. the Beaker people settled next to the Megalithic chambered tomb-builders who already inhabited the area, yet they maintained their own burial traditions for centuries.

The scarcity of certain materials or tools in many areas created a market for merchants and craftsmen, who would most likely travel around, providing material for tools like axes and often also making them. The Phoenicians for example were known as famous traders; they travelled from the eastern Mediterranean all the way to Western Europe, reaching as far as England. Boats -both on river and on sea- were vital for transportation in this period.

1. DESCRIPTION OF THE MIGRATION MOVEMENT

1.1 Who were they, and were did they come from: ethnic origin, geographical background, religion, adults, men or women, special qualities
 

* 5000 B.C.: Waves of Danube colonists came to Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Yugoslavia.
* 4000 B.C.: People came from the borders of the Aegean Sea and Anatolia to the Balkans and the eastern part of the Mediterranean.

1.2 How did they travel: transport, circumstances of travelling
 

* 3000 B.C. People came to Crete by ship and went on trade-journeys to the coasts of Europe.

1.3 When?
 

* 8000 B.C.: Groups came from the Near East to south-eastern Europe.
* 5000 B.C.: Waves of Danube colonists came to Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Yugoslavia.
* 4750 B.C.: More movement of groups was seen in the north of the Danube and in southern Moravia (at the edge of Starcevo-Körös culture which was in southern Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Yugoslavia) which spread agriculture over larger parts of Europe.
* 4000 B.C.: People came from the borders of the Aegean Sea and Anatolia to the Balkans and the eastern part of the Mediterranean.

1.4 How many?

1.5 Permanent or temporary?

1.6 Where did they go and where did they stay?
 

* 8000 B.C.: Groups came from the Near East to south-eastern Europe, to the borders of the Aegean Sea (Balkans, Crete, Macedonia, Cyprus, Montenegro, Argolis and Thessaly.
* 5000 B.C.: Waves of Danube colonists came to Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Yugoslavia.
* 4750 B.C.: More movement of groups was seen in the north of the Danube and in Southern Moravia (at the edge of Starcevo-Körös culture which was in southern Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Yugoslavia) which spread agriculture over the larger parts of Europe. The Bandceramic culture found its way through the valleys of Vistula, Oder, Elbe and Danube. About 4500 B.C., it arrived in Alsace, Belgium and the south-eastern Netherlands. From 4250 onwards it reached Paris and the Atlantic Ocean. Groups also went to areas such as the German mountains, Polish swamps and Slovakian and Hungarian areas. 4000 B.C.: there were new migrations in central Europe, starting in Hungary. The Michelsberg culture, which came from the Rhineland, settled in parts of Belgium and the Netherlands. People from the Danube-culture settled in areas where the North Sea and Baltic coast people lived. They also reached the borders of the Channel, Val de Loire and Brittany. At the same time, the Funnelbeaker culture reached north-western France and England.
* 4000 B.C.: People came from the borders of the Aegean Sea and Anatolia to the Balkans and the eastern part of the Mediterranean.
* 3000 B.C. People came to Crete by ship and went on trade-journeys to the coasts of Europe. After their settlement was ruined, the Phoenicians took over the trade. They also went further to the west, even to Spain and the Canary Islands. They also came as far as England.

 

2. CAUSES OF MIGRATION

2.1 Circumstances that favoured migration
 

* 8000 B.C. - ...: The fact that Europe had lots of fertile and safe land brought many groups of migrants here.

2.2 Circumstances that hindered migration

2.3 Direct causes of migration
 

* 3000 B.C.: Merchants (amongst others, the Phoenicians) came to Crete and the European coast for economic reasons.

3. CONSEQUENCES OF MIGRATION

3.1 Short term consequences
Positive consequences
- for the migrants (first generation):
- for their new environment/ the native born:
 

* 2000 B.C.: Bell-beaker-culture brought the technique of making bronze to Europe.
* 8000 BSc: Groups started introducing agriculture in Europe; this went on for several millennia. Everywhere in Europe, people started using agriculture to provide for their food instead of hunting and gathering.
- for the country they left:

Negative consequences
- for the migrants (first generation):
- for their new environment/ the native born:
- for the country they left:

3.2 Long term consequences
Positive consequences
- for the migrants (second and third generation)
 

* 8000 B.C. - ...: In many places all over Europe, mixture of culture took place. New techniques therefore spread fast.
- for their new environment:
 
* 8000 B.C. - ...: In many places all over Europe, mixture of culture took place. New techniques therefore spread fast.
* 5600 B.C.: Agriculture started spreading, through contacts with the Balkans, to the Adriatic, about 5300 B.C. to the Tyrrhenian Sea, about 5200 B.C. to the French-Iberian coast and after that to the Atlantic coast from the Algarve to the Loire. That is the southern route along which agriculture has spread. I suppose groups had brought the knowledge along with them.
* 2000 B.C.: The Kurganes-culture spread to central Europe and reached parts of the Balkans, the Carpathians and the Danube-area. Nomadic shepherds on their way to new pastures spread the culture. They established a homogenous culture between the Rhineland and eastern Poland. The so-called "Strijdhamer" or "Standvoetbeker"-culture arrived in the Netherlands, Denmark and southern Scandinavia. The Bell-beaker-culture had entered Europe and ruled a large area from the Iberian Peninsula to the Netherlands and from Bohemia to the British Islands.
* 2000 B.C.: In Spain, there was no mixture of cultures. Andalusia was open for influences from the Levant. About 1000 B.C. there was no cultural unity on the Iberian Peninsula. The west coast was influenced by Atlantic cultures, Catalonia was influenced by central European cultures and the south was influenced by original Iberian cultures.
* 2000 B.C.: In Bohemia, a culture emerged which was a mixture of Bell-beaker-culture and some elements from Asia Minor: the "Unetice"- or "Aunjetiz"-culture. This culture spread fast from Hungary to the Rhine.
- for the country they left:

Negative consequences - for the migrants (second and third generation)
- for their new environment:
- for the country they left:

4. REACTIONS ON MIGRATION

4.1 Reactions of the receiving society on the immigrants
- official reaction:

- reaction of the common people

* 4750 B.C.: The groups that moved into Europe from the east Bandkeramik culture took a variety of manners and customs with them; they partway colonised the areas they entered. Their customs were very different from those of the mesolithical groups that already lived in those areas. These groups stayed in the woods, the mountains and along the Baltic coast. The new groups made contact with the groups that already met agriculture through the people of the Mediterranean; which took place when they reached the Atlantic coast. A mixture of traditions existed here.
* 2000 B.C.: As a result of the migrations of the Kurgane culture, a homogeneous population arose, from the Rhineland to eastern Poland. This suggests that the natives took on the culture of the newcomers. A closely related group took over the Netherlands, Denmark and Southern-Scandinavia, the so-called "Strijdhamer"- or "Standvoetbeker"-culture. Because of contacts with Bell-beaker-cultures (who came from Ukraine), a mixture of cultures took place.

4.2 Reactions of the immigrants on their new environment:
- integration/assimilation
- maintaining their own identity
- differences between first, second and third generation

IN SHORT

Attracted by an abundance of fertile farmland, migrants from the Near East moved towards Europe, thereby spreading the use of agriculture. As the population in these areas increased due to the newly introduced agricultural methods, they themselves needed more land to farm and thus moves further into Europe. New cultures arose as the settled, agricultural life became widespread, enabling people to obtain and keep possessions such as household articles and tools. The centre of these new developments was south-eastern Europe, and although they spread to north-eastern Europe by means of trade, they were not completely introduced until Roman times.

 

 

Dr. Marlou Schrover