What we currently call ‘The Neolithic Revolution’ was a complex and ample change in human life. As compared to previous prehistoric times, in Anatolia and the Fertile Crescent, people began to develop a new way of life marked by a series of innovations, such as the domestication of sheep, goats, and dogs – which implied a shift from hunting and fishing to animal raising; larger villages which ultimately led to the emergence of pre-urban settlements; farming – the cultivation of wheat (triticum monococcum and dicoccum); control of fire for preparing food and then for developing archaeo-metallurgical skills (processing copper and gold, two metals with a low melting point), also for burning pottery, thus rendering it more resistant. These processes began before 8,000 BCE, and around 7,000 the first sacral symbolism began to emerge on pottery, and then on dedicated tablets. These may be considered the first attempts of prehistoric symbolism, which later developed into pre-writing, and ultimately writing proper.

The Balkan History Association is preparing a volume that aims at analyzing the tortuous and complex process of developing a system of communication by engraving symbols, later by developing phonetic representations, first syllabaries, then alphabets. Researchers are invited to submit papers referring to the following topics: a brief description of the “Neolithic Revolution”; the emergence of symbolism; the spread of symbolism and its gradual evolution towards pre-writing, then full phonetic writing; Southeast Europe as a specific area of development; the emergence of cultures like Dimini (Greece), Vinča (the Danube area), Turdaș (often considered a variant of Vinča, consequently labeled Vinča-Turdaș culture spread in Serbia and Romania), Karanovo (Bulgaria – a prehistoric culture with a very long evolution), Cucuteni (Eastern Romania, Republic of Moldova and Ukraine, known in the Soviet and Post-Soviet literature as Tripolye or Tripilye in Ukranian); the Tablets of Tărtăria, Karanovo, and other objects (e.g., the stone object discovered at Lepenski Vir in Serbia near the Danube) as dedicated artifacts of sacral symbolism.

Submission procedure

The volume will be published by Peter Lang (in the series “South-East European History”). Original manuscripts should be prepared following the editorial guide of Peter Lang available on its website, especially “Style Guidelines – British English” and “Submission Guidelines“. You can see the chapters of this open access volume to understand how manuscripts should be edited. Manuscripts must not have been published, submitted for publication or available on the internet elsewhere. Interdisciplinary work is particularly welcome. Please submit your proposal, including the title of your manuscript, an abstract (up to 300 words), and an author’s biography (up to 100 words) to all editors. The abstract should include the research question and purpose, the approach and main ideas, and results. No figures, tables, footnotes, or endnotes should be included in the abstract. Articles should not exceed 8,000 words in length including footnotes and references (reference list or bibliography). The volume may contain up to 20 black-and-white images.


September 4, 2023: Submission of the proposals to editors

September 11, 2023: Notification of accepted proposals

March 4, 2024: Receipt of final chapters for peer-review


Sorin Paliga (University of Bucharest), sorin.paliga@gmail.com

George Bodi (Institute of Archaeology, Iaşi), georgebodi@gmail.com

Attila Kreiter (Hungarian National Museum, Budapest), attila.kreiter@gmail.com

Marcel Burić (University of Zagreb), mburic@ffzg.hr

Lily Bonga (Institute for Aegean Prehistory Study Center for East Crete), lilybonga@gmail.com

Please circulate this call for papers among your colleagues and other potentially interested scholars.

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