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Archaeology of Early Agricultural Societies

Code: 100730 ECTS Credits: 6
Degree Type Year Semester
2500241 Archaeology OT 3 0
2500241 Archaeology OT 4 0
The proposed teaching and assessment methodology that appear in the guide may be subject to changes as a result of the restrictions to face-to-face class attendance imposed by the health authorities.


Miguel Molist Montaņa

Use of Languages

Principal working language:
catalan (cat)
Some groups entirely in English:
Some groups entirely in Catalan:
Some groups entirely in Spanish:


Miguel Molist Montaņa


No prerequisites

Objectives and Contextualisation

This course of the Archaeology degree is focused on the study of the origins and consolidation of agricultural societies. A historical and archaeological analysis of the phenomenon of domestication of plant products (agriculture) and animals (livestock) is carried out. It also includes the study of the economic and social transformations associated with it: the appearance and consolidation of settlements, demographic changes, technological transformations, funerary practices, in other words, the study of peasant society. In the analysis of the empirical and historical record, special emphasis is placed on the study of societies in different geographical areas: the Near East, Europe and the Mediterranean during the Holocene


  • Contextualizing and analysing historical processes.
  • Developing critical thinking and reasoning and communicating them effectively both in your own and other languages.
  • Students must be capable of applying their knowledge to their work or vocation in a professional way and they should have building arguments and problem resolution skills within their area of study.
  • Students must be capable of collecting and interpreting relevant data (usually within their area of study) in order to make statements that reflect social, scientific or ethic relevant issues.
  • Students must be capable of communicating information, ideas, problems and solutions to both specialised and non-specialised audiences.
  • Students must develop the necessary learning skills to undertake further training with a high degree of autonomy.
  • Students must have and understand knowledge of an area of study built on the basis of general secondary education, and while it relies on some advanced textbooks it also includes some aspects coming from the forefront of its field of study.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Autonomously searching, selecting and processing information both from structured sources (databases, bibliographies, specialized magazines) and from across the network.
  2. Carrying out oral presentations using appropriate academic vocabulary and style.
  3. Effectively expressing themselves and applying the argumentative and textual processes of formal and scientific texts.
  4. Identifying the context of the historical processes.
  5. Interpreting material sources and the archaeological record.
  6. Mastering and identifying the history of immediate environment.
  7. Mastering the diachronic structure of the past.
  8. Mastering the processes of change produced in Prehistory.
  9. Mastering the relevant languages to the necessary degree in the professional practice.
  10. Submitting works in accordance with both individual and small group demands and personal styles.
  11. Using suitable terminology when drawing up an academic text.
  12. Using the specific interpretational and technical vocabulary of the discipline.



Block 1 Introduction, Concepts, Methodology

Introduction: Definition and History of Research

Concepts, variables and changeover times

Block 2 Theory, Transformations and the Archaeological Record

Interpretive theories on the emergence of agriculture and livestock.

Change and continuity in agricultural societies: economic and social aspects

Territory and population. Habitat and domestic devices

Agriculture and Livestock: debate on domestication

Agriculture and Livestock new economic forms

New technologies: tools, containers, fabrics, decorations, ...

Exploitation and circulation of biotic and abiotic goods

Funeral practices and symbolic change

A Global Reading: Peasant Societies: New Economy and Social Approach

Block 3 Analysis of the origin of peasant societies in the Middle East

Early Agricultural Societies in the Eastern Mediterranean: Precedents

First agricultural manipulations in the Eastern Mediterranean

Cattle raising and consolidation of the village.

Technological transformations and socioeconomic stabilization

From the village in the city

Block 4 Analysis of the origin of peasant societies in Europe and the Middle East

Early Agricultural Societies in Europe and the Western Mediterranean: Precedents

Diffusion versus autoctonism Closed debate?

The world of Southeast Europe (Greece, Balkans, ...)

Italy and its role in the neoliticization of the Western Mediterranean

First agricultural societies: the printed ceramics groups

Consolidation of the new economic forms (Chassey, Sepulchres

Megalithic societies in Western Europe

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)




Theoretical classes directed by the teaching staff. 30h

Teaching-learning methodology: Master classes with ICT support and large group discussion.

Seminar sessions and practices led by the teaching staff. 10h

Teaching-learning methodology: Introduction of the session, presentation of the text, evaluation and collective critical discussion. Individual and/or collective presentations and round of assessments.



Teaching-learning methodology: Arranged sessions to solve doubts and maintain discussions on specific contents of the subject, problems and seminars.

-Performance of guided learning exercises.

Teaching-learning methodology: Conducting and correcting standardized learning exercises.


-Personal study.

Teaching-learning methodology: Integration of the acquired knowledge.

Reading of texts. Writing of papers. Preparation of oral comments and seminars. Search of bibliographic information.

Teaching and learning methodology: Comprehensive reading of texts, preparation of reviews, summaries and analytical comments using a guide. Information search strategies. Selection of materials.

Annotation: Within the schedule set by the centre or degree programme, 15 minutes of one class will be reserved for students to evaluate their lecturers and their courses or modules through questionnaires.


Title Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Type: Directed      
Theoretical classes and faculty-led research seminars 40 1.6 1, 8, 9, 6, 7, 11, 4, 5, 12
Type: Supervised      
Carrying out guided learning exercises and tutorials 19 0.76 1, 9, 3, 11, 4, 12
Type: Autonomous      
Personal study, text reading. Writing papers. Reading of comments 80 3.2 1, 8, 9, 7, 2, 11, 5


In addition to continuous evaluation (written tests, work and field trips), a re-evaluation is planned. Students wishing to take part in the re-evaluation must meet the following requirements:

- All the evidence of continuous assessment in the teaching guide must have been submitted.

- They must have passed the work and the exercise of the field trip.

Re-evaluation calendar: The dates of the re-evaluation exams are set by the Faculty of Arts. It is the students' responsibility to know the date that corresponds to them to make the re-evaluation of their subject. These dates are published on the faculty's website in July of the previous academic year.

At the time of completion / delivery of each assessable activity, the teaching staff will inform (Moodle, SIA) of the procedure and date for reviewing grades.

In the event that the student carries out any irregularity that may lead to a significant variation in the grade of an evaluable act, this evaluation act will be graded with 0, regardless of the disciplinary process that may be instructed. In case of several irregularities in the acts of evaluation of the same subject, the final grade of this subject will be 0.

If the tests cannot be taken in person, their format will be adapted (maintaining the weighting) to the possibilities offered by the UAB's virtual tools. Homework, activities and class participation will be done through forums, wikis and/or exercise discussions through Moodle, Teams, etc. The teaching staff will ensure that the student can access or offer alternative means, which are within their reach.

Assessment Activities

Title Weighting Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Delivery of works 10% 1 0.04 1, 8, 9, 6, 7, 3, 2, 11, 5, 10
Presentations and active participation in class 30% 6 0.24 9, 6, 7, 3, 2, 11, 12
Tests of theoretical content 60% 4 0.16 9, 6, 7, 3, 11, 4, 5, 12


General titles

BAR YOSEF O. (Edt.) (1998) : “The transition to agriculture in the Old World”. The review of Archaeology. Massachusetts, 63 pags

BENDER,B. (1978): Gatherer-Hunter to Farmer: A Social Perspective. World Archaeology, nº 10, 1978, pp.204-222.

BENDER,B.(1981): Gatherer-Hunter intensification. in: Sheridan, Bailey (Eds): Economic Archaeology. B.A.R. International Series nº 96, 1981, pp. 149-157.

BOSERUP E.(1968): Las condiciones del desarrollo en la Agricultura . Madrid, Tecnos, 1968).

BOSERUP E.(1984): Población y cambio tecnologico, Oxford: Blakwell.

BINFORD L.R: Post-Pleistocene Adaptations in S.R. Binford&L. Binford (Eds.) New perspectives in Archaeology. Aldine, Chicago. pp. 313-34. 

BINFORD L.(1988): En busca del pasado. Ed. Crítica, 1988, 273 p. (Capt. Sobre los origenes de la agricultura)

BRAIDWWOOD R.J. (1979): El hombre prehistórico. F.C.E. Mexico (diferents edicions)

CAUVIN J. (1994): Naissance des divinités, naissance de l'agriculture. La revolution des symboles au Néolithique. CNRS Edt. Paris. 304 p.

CHILDE,V.G.(1974): El origen de la civilización. Fondo de Cultura Económica. Mèxic, (diferents reedicions).

COHEN, M.N.(1981): La crisis alimentaria en la Prehistoria. Alianza Editorial. Madrid 1981.

HERNANDO A. (1994): El proceso de neolitización, perspectivas teóricas para el estudio del Neolítico. Revista Zephyrus 46 p. 123-142.

HARRIS D.(ed.)(1996) The origins and Spread of Agriculture and Pastoralism in Euroasia. Edt. UCL. London

MEILLASSOUX,C.(1987): Mujeres, granjeros y capitales. Ed. Siglo XXI, Mèxic, 1987.

RINDOS,D.(1990): Los orígenes de la agricultura. Una perspectiva evolucionista. Ed. Bellaterra. Barcelona, 1990, 341 p.

TESTART,A.(1981): Les Chasseurs-Cueilleurs ou l'origine des inégalités. Société d'Ethnographie. Paris 1981.

UCKO,P. i DIMBELY,G.W. (eds.)(1969):The domestication and explotation of plant and animals. Durkworld. Londres, 1969.

VICENT,J.M.(1981): El origen de la economia productora. Breve introducción a la Historia de las ideas. in: Lopez,P.(ed.): El Neolítico en España. Ed.Cátedra, Madrid, 1981, pp. 11-58.


References on agropastoral societies (Europe and Midle East)


ARIAS P., (1997): Marisqueos y Agricultores. Los origenes del Neolítico en la fachada Atlántica Europea. Universidad de Cantabria. 106 pags


AURENCHE, O. S.K. KOZLOWSKI (1999): La naissance du néolithique au Proche Orient. Editions Errance.( Paris). 256 pags.


BERNABEU J., AURA J.E. , BADAL E (1993): Al oeste del Eden. Las primeras sociedades agrícolas en la Europa Mediterránea. Edt. Síntesis (Madrid), 336 pags.


BUXÓ R. (1997) : Arqueología de las Plantas. Edt. Critica. 356 pags.


HERNANDO A. (1999): Los primeros agricultores de la Península Ibérica. Edt. Síntesis. 315 pags.


HODDER,  I. (1990): The domestication of Europe. Edt. Blackwell, 331pags.

GUILAINE J., (Edt.) (2000): Premiers paysans du monde. Actes du Séminaire du College de France.Editions Errance,Paris, 2000.320 pags.  (Desde el 2000 Edició anual d’un llibre del seminaris amb temes de Neolitic i Edat del Bronze)

GUILAINE J. (2003): De la vague à la tombe. La conquete néolithique de la Méditerranée. Edt. Seuil, Paris, 375 pags.


LICHARDUS, J .  et alii ( 1987): La protohistoria de Europa. El neolítico y el calcolítico. Edt. Labor (col. Nueva Clio) 598 pags.


LOPEZ P. (comp.) (1988) : El neolítico en España. Edt. Catedra. 428 pags.


MAZURIÉ DE KEROULAIN, K. (2003): Genèse et diffusion de l’agriculture en Europe. Editions Errance, Paris, 184 pags.


REDMAN Ch. (1991): Los orígenes  de la civilización. Desde los primeros agricultores hasta la sociedad urbana en el Próximo Oriente. Editorial Critica. 443 pags.

SAÑA M. (Coor) (1995): Dossier: Arqueozoologia: Economia i societat. Revista COTA ZERO. núm. 11. 128 pag.


DENNELL, R.  (1987). Prehistoria Económica de Europa. Edt. Critica. 289 pags.


THORPE E. J. (1999).- The origins of Agriculture in Europe. Edt. Routlege (London).224 pags.


VAQUER J. (1999).- Le néolithique du Nord-ouest méditerranéen. Actes du Colloque Int. Carcassone, 1994. Editions du BSPF, Paris, 296 pags.


WHITTLE A. (1996).- Europe in the Neolithic. The creation of the new worlds. Cambridge Univ. Press. London.443 pags.


DIVERSOS AUTORS (1991 i 1993) : Agricultura: Orígens, adopció i desenvolupament. Revista COTA ZERO, Nº 7(1991) pags. 7-126; i Nº 9 (1993)  pags 7-96


DIVERSOS AUTORS (1992) : Estat de la investigació sobre el Neolític a Catalunya. Actes del 9ª Col.loqui Inter.. d’Arqueologia de Puigcerda. Andorra, 1992. 338 pags.


DIVERSOS AUTORS (1996) : Formació i implantació de les comunitats agrícoles.. Actes del 1º Congrés del Neolític a la Peninsula Ibérica. Revista Rubricatum, 1 ,  Gavà, 1996. (2 vols. 908 pags.


DIVERSOS AUTORS (1999) : Actes del II Congrés del Neolític a la Peninsula Ibérica. Revista Saguntum Extra-2. València, 1999. 338 pags.


P. Arias, R. Ontañon, C. Garcia-Moncó (Edts) (2005) : Actas del III Congreso  del Neolítico en la Península Ibérica. Universidad de Cantabria, Santander, 2005. 1076 pags.


Programari Temes.

Introducció: Definició, treballs i recerca

Teories interpretatives sobre la seva aparició.

Territori i poblat

Hàbitat i dispositius domèstics

Agricultura i Ramaderia : debat sobre la domesticació

Agricultura i Ramaderia : noves formes econòmiques

Seminari. 1. Exposició i discussió(temes/articles)

Seminari. 1. Exposició i discussió(temes/articles)

Canvis tecnològics: Les eines lítiques polides (aixes, destrals, ….)

Canvis tecnològics: Les eines lítiques tallades.

Canvis tecnològics: els recipients de ceràmica

Canvis tecnològics: eines amb os i ornaments

Explotació i circulació de bens biòtics i abiòtics

Canvis en les Practiques funeràries

Elements pel canvi simbòlic

Canvis socials : Unitat domestica

El substrat dels caçadors-recol·lectors. Mesolític al Pròxim Orient

Primeres manipulacions agrícoles al Mediterrani Oriental

Ramaderia i consolidació del poblat.

Transformacions tecnològiques i estabilització socio-econòmica

Del poblat a la ciutat al Pròxim Orient

Primeres societats agrícoles al Mediterrani Oc.

El mon de l'Europa del Sud-est (Grècia, Balcans) i Mediterrani Central

Primeres societats agrícoles: els grups de les ceràmiques impreses

Primeres societat agrícoles a Illes Britàniques

Desenvolupament societats neolítiques a la Península Ibèrica