Late Neolithic I covers the period 5300-4800 BC. It includes the so-called Pre-Dimini phases and is characterized by a great variety of pottery styles. In Thessaly these styles have been classified by archaeologists as the phases Tsangli-Larisa and Arapi, recorded though in other geographical regions of Greece as well.
From the initial phase of the Late Neolithic I (Tsangli-Larisa) a considerable
increase in the number of settlements in the plains has been observed,
which lead to a population boom and an intensification in cultivation.
The architectural structure of the settlements differed from that of previous
periods. Settlements consisted of large buildings, rectangular and megaron-type
(Visviki), timber-post framed (Sitagroi,
Dikili Tash-Macedonia) or with stone foundations. Food-preparation constructions
(hearths, ovens) were normally found in the interior of the houses. Many
settlements were surrounded by ditches 4-6 metres wide and 1,5 to 3,5
metres deep (e.g. Otzaki, Galini, Makriyialos).
These ditches are believed to have been used either to protect the inhabitants
from wild animals or to demarcate the limits of the settlement and thus
protect goods. The lakeside settlement of Dispilio-Kastoria,
the first lakeside settlement to be excavated in Greece and one of the
most important in Europe, had a distinctive structure: the houses were
built inside the lake, upon timber-post framed platforms.
The farming economy intensified and grew with the clearance of woody
and shrubby areas in order to secure arable lands and grazing fields.
Farming was based on the cultivation of cereals (einkorn and emmer wheat,
barley) which were known from the Pre-Pottery Neolithic, while from
this period onwards bread wheat, millet, rye and oat were cultivated.
To the already familiar pulses, lentils, peas, broad beans, Vicia
evilia and chickpeas were added. Cattle and pigs acquired a special
importance in the diet of Neolithic man, while sheep and goats were
raised for their wool which was used in weaving.
In Thessaly specialization in the production of grey and black burnished
pottery (Tsangli-Larisa phase) took place and was traded to other regions