jueves, 27 de marzo de 2014

Bronze Age Hungary uncovered by archaeologists (Hungary)

Archaeologists from Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań have begun the study of three settlements dating back 4000 years in an area of Hungary called Kakucs about 40 km southeast from the capital city of Budapest.

Bronze Age Hungary

The Polish researchers are interested in the sites of the Vatya culture (2000-1400 BCE). Occupying the central Danube basin the Middle Bronze Age culture is known from numerous, but poorly understood fortified tell (mound) settlements and cremation burials.
There are five heavily fortified settlements of the Vatya culture in the Kakucs area and Polish archaeologists surveyed three of them; Kakucs-Turján, Dabas-Dabasi szőlők and Dömsöd; using wide-area magnetometric surveys.
“These studies revealed that a relatively small region of contemporary settlements had completely different forms, fortifications were also erected differently. Strongholds were not located in similar geomorphological, and probably also environmental conditions” – explained Dr. Mateusz Jaeger of the Institute of European Culture AMU in Gniezno.

Excavations of Kakucs-Turján tell site

On the basis of the geophysical results, the archaeologists began excavations at the Kakucs-Turján tell site.  The first season of work saw them locate well preserved building remains including clay floors over which they found numerous objects of bronze and gold.
More importantly, the archaeologists were able to begin the exploration of the stratigraphic build-up of material resulting from human settlement activity. A tell-mound is created when each new structure is built on the demolished remains of previous houses, resulting in the recognisable mound. The work showed the long complicated history of the settlement, which began at the end of the Early Bronze Age (late third and early second millennium BCE) and was abandoned around 1500/1400 BCE.
At the end of the Early Bronze Age and the beginning of the Middle Bronze Age (the turn of the 3rd and 2nd millennium, BCE), a new type of bronze jewellery appeared in the Budapest area. This jewellery (cast neckrings with twisted ends, spiral necklaces (torcs), half-moon-shaped earrings, spiral earrings), are the products of bronze craft workers from the Eastern Alps. The spread of this jewellery along the Danube region clearly shows the formation of the trade route along the Danube at the end of the Early Bronze Age.

New information

“Excavations have provided large quantities of artefacts, which is typical for multilayer site such as this; thousands of pottery fragments, but also objects made of bone, antler, obsidian, flint and metal. Compared with studies in Poland, the number of finds in such a small area was huge”- said Dr. Jaeger.
An important part of research in season 2013 was collecting samples, to be subjected to expert analysis. Geochemical studies will be particularly important and allow researchers to better understand the deposition of layers and the possible activities that were carried out in the buildings.
Studies are carried out under the project “Open communities – closed spaces. Dynamics of fortified settlements, the economy and trans-regional relations in the Middle Bronze Age in the Kakucs region (Hungary)”, funded by the National Science Centre.
Involved in the project, alongside archaeologists from Poland, are researchers from the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in Budapest under the supervision of Dr. Gabriella Kulcsár, and Prof. Johannes Müller from Christian Albrecht University of Kiel.

Source: Past Horizons:

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