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UMR 8215 - Trajectoires

21 Allée de l'Université
92023 NANTERRE CEDEX

MK-Projekt - Emergence of the social complexity :


Enclosures, resources and territoriality during the Neolithic

A French-German research program on the Michelsberg culture.


The MK-Project is a French-German program (2010-2014), co-funded by the ANR (French National Research Agency) and the DFG (German Research Foundation). The principal investigators of the project are: UMR 8215 Trajectoires (CNRS, University of Paris 1-Panthéon-Sorbonne, INRAP), DAI (German Archaeological Institute), RGZM (University and Museum of Mainz) and Landesamt für Denkmalpflege und Archäologie Sachsen-Anhalt.

General aim: From materiality to space: monumental enclosures, exploited resources and territoriality during the Neolithic The MK-projekt's intention is to study a key moment in our history, at around 4500 BC, which saw the onset of major economic, social, technological and cultural transformations in agricultural societies. The most striking feature is without doubt the appearance in the landscape of large sites enclosed by complex systems of ditches and palisades. More generally one sees intensive exploitation of natural resources, stone, flint, salt, etc., and there are clear signs of social differences. The project looks more specifically at the causes, forms and consequences of these first mechanisms of social complexity in north-west Europe. The Michelsberg culture (MK), which extends from 4200 to 3600 BC from Normandy in the west to Saxony-Anhalt in the north-east, astride both France and Germany, was chosen for its abundant data, which has not previously been synthesized, and because there is a long tradition of French-German scientific collaboration, offering the possibility of exchanging methodologies.