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During the international conference 'Settlement, Communication and Exchange around the Western Carpathians' held in Krakow in October 2012, attention was focused on the complex issues of long-term cultural change in the populations surrounding the Western Carpathians, with the aim of striking a balance between local cultural dynamics, subsistence economy and the alleged importance of far-reaching contacts, and communication and exchange involved in this process.
Specialists from Germany, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and the United States met and discussed for two days their archaeological findings relating to questions of (Trans)Carpathian communication, settlement patterns, and agricultural and technological changes that occurred (mainly) during the Neolithic and Bronze Age.
Additionally, case studies from Northern Poland and Eastern Germany were included to provide a perspective on the variability of traditions and economic strategies in different natural environments and topographical settings.
Drawing on a broad spectrum of methods (including anthropological, archaeobotanical, geochemical, and geophysical), and adhering to different theoretical approaches, the objective was to contribute to a more holistic understanding of prehistoric settlement strategies, adaptation to marginal (and not so marginal) environments, and the role of communication for prehistoric populations to the north and south of the Western Carpathians.
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