This is a study of the stone tools found in the rubble of a Prototiszapolgár culture house and the humus layer above during the 2007 excavations of Polgár-Bosnyákdomb. This assemblage marks an important interface between Late Neolithic and Early Copper Age lithic industries in this transitional period. The repertoire of raw materials is dominated by specimens from eastern sources, while the technology is characterized with Late Neolithic traditions.
The Balkans, particularly southern and central, were sparsely populated in the Mesolithic and the occupation networks in that period were discontinous and highly diversified, contrasting with the density and homogeneity of the Early Neolithic. The aim of this paper is to describe the environmental conditions of the Mesolithic sites in relation to Early Holocene climatic fluctuations and to discuss the causes of specificity and diversity of culture and behaviour at this period.
Some general trends are observable in the adaptation to Early Holocene environments (trends in faunal exploitation; for ex. shift from high ranked large game to low ranked small animals) but also particular adaptations to local conditions (technological changes due to difficulties in access to better quality lithic raw materials, adaptations to coastal or to terrestrial resources reflecting the unique features of site use, etc).
The diversity of the Mesolithic is also reflected in cultural taxonomy: in some sequences continuity of the Balkan Epigravettian techno-morphological tradition can be seen as opposed, in other sequences, to highly isolated groups with technology and tool morphology adapted to local raw materials and specific activities. The Balkan Mesolithic was not completely cut-off from the Western Mediterranean techno-morphological influences (particularly in Southern Greece) and from the Anatolian lithic traditions (seen only in the Northern Aegean). A more intensive network of marine contacts is confirmed by obsidian circulation in the Aegean Basin.
The general inventory of the chipped stone artefacts coming from the LBK features at Apc indicates that a specific, small scale, local lithic production was conducted on-site. Majority of used raw materials are limnoquartzites (nearly 70%) originating mainly from the Mátra and Cserhát Mountains. The use of rather poor quality local raw materials influenced the technique of working raw materials, which was employed throughout the period of the functioning of LBK settlements at Apc. As a consequence, most tools were made on flakes. At the same time, as early as the oldest phase a limited supply of blade blanks and blade tools, produced elsewhere, was used. The ground stone artefacts and fragments included lower and upper grinding stones, plaquettes with polished surfaces, hammerstones, grinders/pounders. The raw materials used in the ground stone industry are either local (quartz, conglomerate, sandstone) or mesolocal (gabbro, basalt) coming from river alluvia or from the hills at the Hungarian—Slovakian border. Andesites, probably from the Mátra Mountains, occur in small quantities. Thus, the raw materials exploited at Apc demonstrate contacts with eastern region, however the site is the easternmost LBK settlement.
The topographical position and size of the site, the number of detected houses, the presence of the early phase make the Apc-Berekalja I settlement one of the most significant sites of the LBK in Hungary. The ongoing processing of the excavation data provided already some very important observations. The geoarchaeological results demonstrated the presence of the in situ soil of the Neolithic period and effects of floods on the settlement. The study of the chipped and ground stone material coming from the Neolithic features revealed no conspicuous changes in the lithic industry of the settlement from the pre-Notenkopf to Želiezovce phases of the LBK. Lithic raw materials came exclusively from territories to the east of the site, which is an evidence of the isolation of the LBK groups that inhabited Apc.