The firing of clay to make pots, figurines, and other representational or expressive material culture and the construction of new social environments were major novelties in Balkan life after 6500 BC. Contemporary changes in the treatment of the dead and the production of flaked-stone tools, however, were less dramatic. The traditional defining characteristic of Neolithic life, the cultivation of plants and the breeding of domesticated animals, may be better understood in terms of continuity than of novelty.