Paper Short Abstract:
Paper long abstract:
While the first half of the 3rd millennium BC in the southeast of Europe is still characterised by a - comparatively - low level of social and economic complexity and the dominance of pastoral tribes of a north-Pontic origin, the period between 2500 and 2200 BCE sees a real explosion in complexity and the inclusion of the Balkans and the Eastern and Central Mediterranean in a much wider network now dominated by exchange, trade, colonies, urbanism, and new forms of prestige and status expression.
Although prehistoric archaeology is still struggling here with its own inherent problem, an accurate chronological resolution, the paper tries to demonstrate that nor simple mechanisms of diffusion of information, ideas and goods are here at work, nor the models of World-System-Theories can be easily applied, but that is existing a much more complicated interference of ideological peripheries and traditional cultural boundaries, of acculturation processes, and seemingly contemporary different levels of complexity in the same region. It is exactly in this unstable contact zone that some sites obviously act as hotspots of transmission for these new achievements.
Diffusion: a reappraisal of the concept