See: Marko Porcik et al


•The first farmers reached the Central Balkans probably between 6250 and 6200 cal BC.
•The pattern of the Neolithic expansion is consistent with the wave of advance model.
•The speed of the expansion across the Central Balkans was between 1.5 and 2 km/year.
•The Neolithic front speed in the Balkans was greater than the European average.


The new set of radiocarbon dates was used to explore the timing and tempo of the Neolithic expansion across the Central Balkans. Our results suggest that the first farmers arrived in this region around or few decades before 6200 cal BC. The observed spatio-temporal pattern based on the radiocarbon data suggests that the general direction of the expansion was along the south-north axis. The regression analysis (arrival time vs. distance from the origin of expansion in northern Greece) was used to estimate the Neolithic front speed. The results of this analysis suggest that there is a moderate fit of the linear model. Most of the front speed estimates based on the Central Balkan data are between 1 and 2.5 km/year (depending on the data subset and the statistical technique) which is mostly above the expected range (around 1 km/year) for the standard wave of advance model and the empirically determined continental averages. We conclude that the spatio-temporal pattern of the Neolithic expansion in the Central Balkans is broadly consistent with the predictions of the wave of advance model, with the possibility of sporadic leapfrog migration events. The speed of the expansion seems to have been faster in the Central Balkans compared to the continental average."