NATURAL SCIENCES IN ARCHAEOLOGY
Editorial IANSA 2/2014
On the Neolithic and the Importance of Being in the Scopus Database
Jaromír Beneš, Ondřej Mlejnek
This issue contains a series of papers devoted to
geoarchaeology and zooarchaeology. In accordance with
a decision made two years ago, the geographical scope of
articles in Interdiscipliaria Archaeologica (IANSA) is not
limited. This fact is demonstrated by the frst paper describing
interrelations between El Niño climatic phenomenon and
human occupation as recorded in the coastal landscape of
Peru. The paper by Piotr Kalicki demonstrates the importance
of climate in relation to human occupation.
The majority of the papers in the current issue discuss
the problems of the Neolithic and Eneolithic. These periods
of human prehistory seem to be quite popular in current
archaeology. A number of scholars perceive this era as
crucial for understanding the biological roots of European
population. The understanding of the Neolithic has
improved a great deal recently, particularly its relationship
to the previous Late Palaeolithic and the Mesolithic periods.
The Neolithic period is once again the focus of scholars.
The primary question of environmental archaeology is how
Neolithic people infuenced the landscape, where they lived.
The Neolithic mode of life actually substantially changed
the subsistence strategies of humans and also introduced
new animal and plant species. From this point of view we
might expect a major human impact on the environment.
A study concerning Neolithic and Postneolithic
landscape development in the Ondava region analyses
the geoarchaeological record in archaeologically less
recognised Eastern Slovakia. This paper by Marek Nowak
and Tomasz Kalicki demonstrates that the human infuence
on the landscape in the Neolithic period was not really as
intense as one might expect. This “low impact” effect has
been defned some time ago by palynologists. Regarding
these studies, the human impact on the environment was
surprisingly low in the Central European Neolithic. During
the following period, however, archaeologically defned
as the Eneolithic (Late Neolithic), clear anthropogenic
interventions can be determined.
This issue also contains a study which can be labelled as
an attempt at a basal mode of analytical work. This paper
by Beneš et al. deals with the Neolithic Hrdlovka site
located in northern Bohemia (Czech Republic). The authors
demonstrate the importance of the scientifc ordering of both
artefactual and environmental data, as well as the mode of
argumentation, which seems to be prevailing growing in
the archaeological mainstream at present, constituting a
common archaeological standard in peer-reviewed journals.
If one compares it to the structure of archaeological papers
thirty years ago, the differences are dramatically apparent.
The third paper in this volume is an interesting example of
the employment of advanced technology in a terrain survey.
The ERT method used in the research by Martin Moník and
Jan Sedláček during the geophysical investigation of the
Middle Eneolithic hillfort Úsov in Moravia made it possible
to obtain primary data about a rampart and its construction.
The authors also present a hypothesis about the reason for
the intentional burning of the rampart in the local loessial
The last paper of this issue by Teegen and Kyselý is focused
on the issue of malformations of canines in prehistoric
and medieval domestic pigs. In this study four cases of
severe enamel and dentine defects in the upper canines of
male domestic pigs from the Iron Age and Medieval sites
in Bohemia were analysed. According to the authors, such
severe defects are likely results of intra and extra alveolar
traumas. A description of an anomaly on one lower female
pig canine is also included in this paper. These kinds of
malformations are extremely rare in archaeological fnds.
Finally, we would like to inform you about some great
news. IANSA has been included in the Scopus database after
almost two years of evaluation. Why it this so important?
The main task of this database consists in searching for
scientifc publications and sharing of knowledge among
scholars in the electronic age. The Scopus database is a
useful tool particularly in archaeology, which is traditionally
Volume V ● Issue 2/2014 ● Pages 95–96
IANSA 2014 ● V/2 ● 95
Jaromír Beneš, Ondřej Mlejnek: On the Neolithic and the Importance of Being in the Scopus Database
perceived as a social science, which integrates data from
many diverse disciplines. It is of special importance for our
journal, because IANSA is focused on publishing the results
of cooperation between archaeologists and natural scientists.
In disciplines such as archaeobotany, geoarchaeology,
bioarchaeology etc. a transfer of knowledge via papers
published in scientifc journals represents the main mode of
communication among scholars. We hope that the inclusion
of our journal in the Scopus database will empower a new
series of paper submissions. Last but not least, the ranking of
the IANSA journal is now substantially higher. We promise
to make use of this new advantage to improve the quality of