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... The longer duration of large settlements finds its confirmation in empirical data (e.g. Diachenko, 2012). ...
... In this paper, we consider the possible development of transportation (Müller, 2016) and changing climate conditions. These innovations and developments became more suitable for agricultural activities in the time range corresponding to the growth stabilization (Diachenko, 2012;Harper, 2019). Thus, one expects a lower Carrying Capacity for Vladimirovka and Peregonovka, and assumes that both sites could reach 6000 people. ...
... The latter outcome of our model explains the most general principle of Tripolye population movement, represented by approximately 50 year time spans of settlement duration. This is somewhat exceeded by the medium-sized and large settlements, whose duration values reach 75-100 years (Diachenko, 2012;cf. Chapman, 2017;Müller et al., 2016;Nebbia et al., 2018). ...
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The problem of migration is one of the most important demographic issues today. It underlies many development crises as well as the politics of inclusion and exclusion. Today terrorism, warfare, and refugee catastrophes are determinants and consequences of migration. Yet migration always has been a significant part of the human condition. As one of the most successful adaptive radiations of all time, our hominid ancestors, natural migrators and adaptors, moved out of Africa and around the entire globe. Every human individual is either a migrant or a descendant of one.
... This event, referenced by several authors as a response to contemporaneous climatic deterioration (e.g. Anthony, 2007;Diachenko, 2012;Harper, 2019;Weninger & Harper, 2015), illustrates the variegated nature of regional population growth and declineunprecedented population growth in Central Ukraine is accompanied by the nearcomplete abandonment of settlement systems in the Danube Valley that had existed for centuries. While pollen-based climate reconstructions are not indicative of adverse growing conditions in the Danube valley at this time, evidence of alpine deglaciation and large-scale sedimentation in the Danube delta suggest that flooding may have disrupted Gumelnița agricultural systems (Harper, 2019). ...
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Archaeological site data, depending on the robustness of the sample and the state of chronological understanding, can offer an excellent means for comparing regional trends in human population, settlement patterns, and mobility. The estimation of ancient populations based on the chronology, size, and housing density of sites has long been a component of local-scale settlement archaeology. However, population reconstructions on broader spatial and temporal scales, when they are addressed at all, are often based on extrapolation from localized proxy and settlement records. Such methods fail to account for a great amount of variability in environmental suitability and population density between sub-regions. This paper presents a large-scale implementation of the SARP model (introduced by Ammerman et al. 1976), with modern computational improvements. Using settlement data representing over a century of archaeological research at more than 8,000 sites, a reconstruction of demographic trends in Neo-Eneolithic Romania, Moldova, and Ukraine (ca. 6000–3000 BC) is summarized as a case study, with special focus on the Eneolithic Cucuteni-Tripolye cultural complex. Results are contrasted with 14C-based estimation methods, which fail to corroborate observations from settlement data and yield a highly biased and dubious record. This research showcases the continued relevance of traditional settlement-based analysis and the necessity for considering numerous classes of data to generate accurate population estimates.
... Consequently, we consider an individual or a cluster of neighboring domestic sites as a "polity". In this sense, the term was already used for mega-sites [16,17] . Accordingly, the term "polity" is used in the sense of autonomous communities, as already developed by Colin Renfrew in his definition of peer-polity interaction for his discussion of Greek polities [18] . ...
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In the East European region between Prut and Dnieper, proto-urban mega-sites developed ca. 4100−3600 BCE with population agglomerations of around 10000 inhabitants per site. An outline of complexity categories, based on P. Turchin et al. (2018), illustrates that “computational abilities” are first developed to make the shift from dispersed to agglomerated settlement patterns. The development of an internal decision-making system for a polity that organizes communication via public buildings on different levels, together with a site-specific track system, may be responsible for this shift (or made it possible). However, after generations, this communication pattern was not developed into further collective communication abilities (e.g., into a writing system), while at the same time a tendency toward centralizing decision processes probably destroyed the communication flow. This ultimately led to the collapse of Tripolye mega-sites.
... In general, however, the authors of the excavations at Stolniceni tend to extend the site duration to the 38 th century BC (Ţerna et al. 2019). We should make the reader aware of the fact that the duration of large WTC sites, such as Petreni and Stolniceni, slightly exceed the duration of the relative phases of development (Diachenko 2012). ...
... Our paper contributes to further development of a third approach, which combines highly targeted AMS 14 C dating with the traditional relative chronology to create a chronological synthesis. This approach supports the idea that giant-settlements existed more or less sequentially with each being inhabited for around 80 to 100 years (Diachenko 2012;Harper 2016). ...
... According to the CTCC taxonomy, they belong to the Western Tripolye culture (WTC). Studies of the archaeological materials and population dynamics of these settlements indicate that they were formed as the result of populations migrating along the forest-steppe corridor, which extends across Central Ukraine from the Dniester to the Dnieper River valleys (Diachenko 2012;Diachenko, Menotti 2017;Harper 2016;Harper et al. 2019;Ryzhov 1993;2003;2015). Similar hierarchies in settlement size have also been noted in other regions and among other cultures within the CTCC, but these settlements did not reach such extreme dimensions as those in Central Ukraine. ...
... In order to understand the space-time development of WTC local groups, we analysed a dataset of 158 settlement sites with well-defined chronological assignments and site size data (Supplementary Data, Table S5) in QGIS software. The chronology of the sites was determined according to our past projects in regional analysis (e.g., Diachenko 2012;2016b;Harper 2016;Harper et al. 2019) and updated according to the new 14 C dates presented in this study. ...
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Scholarship regarding the Eneolithic Cucuteni-Tripolye cultural complex of Romania, Moldova and Ukraine has recently focused on ‘megasites’ of the Western Tripolye culture (WTC) in Central Ukraine. However, in order to properly contextualize such unusual phenomena, we must explore the broader typo-chronology of the WTC, which is suggestive of a high degree of mobility and technological transfer between regions. We report 28 new AMS 14C dates from sites representing diagnostic types and propose a high-resolution chronological sequence for the WTC’s development. Our results support the relative chronology and offer an opportunity to propose a new chronological synthesis for the WTC.
... Our paper contributes to further development of a third approach, which combines highly targeted AMS 14 C dating with the traditional relative chronology to create a chronological synthesis. This approach supports the idea that giant-settlements existed more or less sequentially with each being inhabited for around 80 to 100 years (Diachenko 2012;Harper 2016). ...
... According to the CTCC taxonomy, they belong to the Western Tripolye culture (WTC). Studies of the archaeological materials and population dynamics of these settlements indicate that they were formed as the result of populations migrating along the forest-steppe corridor, which extends across Central Ukraine from the Dniester to the Dnieper River valleys (Diachenko 2012;Diachenko, Menotti 2017;Harper 2016;Harper et al. 2019;Ryzhov 1993;2003;2015). Similar hierarchies in settlement size have also been noted in other regions and among other cultures within the CTCC, but these settlements did not reach such extreme dimensions as those in Central Ukraine. ...
... In order to understand the space-time development of WTC local groups, we analysed a dataset of 158 settlement sites with well-defined chronological assignments and site size data (Supplementary Data, Table S5) in QGIS software. The chronology of the sites was determined according to our past projects in regional analysis (e.g., Diachenko 2012;2016b;Harper 2016;Harper et al. 2019) and updated according to the new 14 C dates presented in this study. ...
Article
Full-text available
Scholarship regarding the Eneolithic Cucuteni-Tripolye cultural complex of Romania,Moldova and Ukraine has recently focused on ‘megasites’ of the Western Tripolye culture (WTC) inCentral Ukraine. However, in order to properly contextualize such unusual phenomena, we mustexplore the broader typo-chronology of the WTC, which is suggestive of a high degree of mobility andtechnological transfer between regions. We report 28 new AMS 14C dates from sites representingdiagnostic types and propose a high-resolution chronological sequence for the WTC’s development.Our results support the relative chronology and offer an opportunity to propose a new chronologi-cal synthesis for the WTC
... Population estimates for Trypillia 'mega-sites' have a long tradition even before the beginning of the second research phase on the phenomenon in the 1970s. While first estimates were calculated for single significant sites such as Maidanets'ke (summary in Shamgliy and Videiko 2004), regional approaches were conducted by Kruts (1989;1994) and later by Diachenko and colleagues (Diachenko 2012;Diachenko and Menotti 2012;Diachenko 2016;Diachenko and Zubrow 2015). ...
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This paper presents the population development of the Trypillia ‘mega-site’ near Maidanets’ke. For the first time it is possible to calculate the number of contemporaneous inhabitants of such settlements. According to radiocarbon dating around 52% of 3,000 dwellings were coevally inhabited during the peak occupation between 3800–3700 cal BCE. Taking average stem family sizes per dwelling into account, the peak population can be narrowed down to 5,940–7,160 residents. The population density for the second up to the final occupation phase at Maidanets’ke ranges on average between 14.7 to 36.4 inhabitants per hectare. Thus, in contrast to British interpretations, it is argued here that Trypillia ‘mega-sites’ do not qualify as low-density urban sites. Further, the question was addressed whether ‘mega-sites’ developed via internal population growth or represent an aggregation by regional mobility. According to exponential and logistic modelling it is concluded that residential mobility most probably played a crucial role in the development of Trypillia ‘mega-sites’.
... The core area of the Mereshovskiy type, already in the early phase of its development, became the base of the formation of the Petrenskaya local group (Ryzhov 2007). The migratory hypothesis find its confirmation in population and environmental proxies (Diachenko 2012;Diachenko and Menotti 2017;Harper 2017;Harper et al. 2019;Weninger and Harper 2015). According to T. Tkachuk and S. Ryzhov, populations of the Mereshovskaya group extended their territory from the Middle Dniester region to the Middle Dniester and Prut interfluve and the southern part of the Bug region. ...
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This paper presents two pottery kilns of an archaic construction, which were excavated at the Tripolye BII settlement of Kamenets-Podolskiy, Tatarysky, in 2019. The site, dated to the beginning of the 4th mil. BC, is attributed to the Mereshovskaya group of the Western Tripolye culture. Analysis of the construction details of our kilns compared to similar structures, which are known from other Tripolye sites and outside the Cucuteni-Tripolye cultural complex, made possible the typological specification of Cucuteni-Tripolye pottery kilns and a contribution to the issue of major trends in their evolution.
... Currently, these so-called Trypillia megasites or giant settlements are again in the focus of various international research projects (Menotti/Korvin-Piotrovskiy 2012; Chapman et al. 2014;Ţerna et al. 2016;Hofmann et al. 2018;Müller et al. 2016;Uhl et al. 2014;. With improved methods such as high resolution magnetometry and a wide spectrum of scientific methods, those projects are attempting to contribute to answers to the newly discussed question on the nature of these megasites in European prehistory (Шмаглий/ Видейко 2005;Kruts 2012;Diachenko 2012;Diachenko/Menotti 2017; 28 Chapman/Gaydarska 2016;Diachenko/Menotti 2017;Chapman 2017;Nebbia et al. 2018;Müller et al. 2018;Ohlrau 2019;Chapman et al. 2019). ...
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In Bilyi Kamin, Ukraine, a Trypillia megasite of the Chechelnyk group was systematically investigated by high-resolution magne-tometry, targeted excavations and radiometric dating. These new data make it possible to discuss afresh the significance of the large settlements west of the River Southern Buh and their relation to the already much longer intensively investigated megasites of the Southern Buh-Dnipro interfluve. The research confirmed that the settlement Bilyi Kamin had an extraordinary size of almost 100 ha and undoubtedly was of a carefully planned character. In order to realise a settlement of this size in the hilly landscape, enormous height differences within the settlement were accepted. Apparently , the intention to place three monumental integrative buildings on a promontory, widely visible from afar, played a decisive role. The study includes a detailed examination of the architecture and find materials of a dwelling. Compared to settlements of the Southern Buh-Dnipro interfluve, these investigations reveal, among other things, differences in waste disposal and similarities in architectural features. In the wider context, the newly obtained dating results from Bilyi Kamin seem to indicate that the peak of population concentration in Trypillia giant settlements in the region west of the River Southern Buh was already passed around 3800/3750 BCE. By contrast, this agglomeration process continued in the Southern Buh-Dnipro interfluve until about 3650 BCE. As possible reasons for these different trajectories differences in social organisation are ta-ken into account.
... The houses fell within a narrow size range (Supplementary Materials 5, online) and there is a remarkable paucity of prestige goods, especially copper metallurgy, Spondylus ornaments and finely polished stonework. While specialists such as Diachenko (2012; cf. Diachenko & Menotti 2012) have used gravity models to identify size-based settlement hierarchies, Nebbia's (2017) spatial analyses challenge this finding. ...
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The Trypillia megasites of the Ukrainian forest steppe formed the largest fourth-millennium BC sites in Eurasia and possibly the world. Discovered in the 1960s, the megasites have so far resisted all attempts at an understanding of their social structure and dynamics. Multidisciplinary investigations of the Nebelivka megasite by an Anglo-Ukrainian research project brought a focus on three research questions: (1) what was the essence of megasite lifeways? (2) can we call the megasites early cities? and (3) what were their origins? The first question is approached through a summary of Project findings on Nebelivka and the subsequent modelling of three different scenarios for what transpired to be a different kind of site from our expectations. The second question uses a relational approach to urbanism to show that megasites were so different from other coeval settlements that they could justifiably be termed 'cities'. The third question turns to the origins of sites that were indeed larger and earlier than the supposed first cities of Mesopotamia and whose development indicates that there were at least two pathways to early urbanism in Eurasia.