Early invaders - Farmers, the granary weevil and other uninvited guests in the Neolithic

Eva Panagiotakopulu, Paul C. Buckland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The Neolithic and the spread of agriculture saw several introductions of insect species associated with the environments and activities of the first farmers. Fossil insect research from the Neolithic lake settlement of Dispilio in Macedonia, northern Greece, provides evidence for the early European introduction of a flightless weevil, the granary weevil, Sitophilus granarius, which has since become cosmopolitan and one of the most important pests of stored cereals. The records of the granary weevil from the Middle Neolithic in northern Greece illuminate the significance of surplus storage for the spread of agriculture. The granary weevil and the house fly, Musca domestica were also introduced in the Neolithic of central Europe, with the expansion of Linear Band Keramik (LBK) culture groups. This paper reviews Neolithic insect introductions in Europe, including storage pests, discusses their distribution during different periods and the reasons behind the trends observed. Storage farming may be differentiated from pastoral farming on the basis of insect introductions arriving with incoming agricultural groups.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-233
Number of pages15
JournalBiological Invasions
Issue number1
Early online date3 Aug 2017
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2018

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Neolithic
  • fossil insects
  • Sitophilus granarius
  • storage
  • Greece
  • Germany
  • LBK


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