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Parkinson, William A. et al 2004 The Transition to the Copper Age on the Great Hungarian Plain. The Körös Regional Archaeological Project Excavations at Vésztő-Bikeri and Körösladány-Bikeri, Hungary, 2000-2002. JFA

Parkinson, William A. et al 2004 The Transition to the Copper Age on the Great Hungarian Plain. The Körös Regional Archaeological Project Excavations at Vésztő-Bikeri and Körösladány-Bikeri, Hungary, 2000-2002. JFA

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The Transition from the Neolithic to the Copper Age: Excavations at Vésztő-Bikeri, Hungary,2000-2002Author(s): William A. Parkinson, Richard W. Yerkes, Attila GyuchaSource:
Journal of Field Archaeology,
Vol. 29, No. 1/2 (Spring, 2002 - Summer, 2004), pp. 101-121Published by: Boston UniversityStable URL:
Accessed: 30/07/2010 11:38
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101
TheTransitionfromtheNeolithictotheCopperAge:ExcavationsatVeszto-Bikeri,Hungary,2000-2002
WilliamA.Parkinson
Florida StateUniversityTallahassee,Florida
Richard W. Yerkes
OhioStateUniversity
Columbus,Ohio
AttilaGyucha
Munkicsy MihalyMuizeumBekescsaba,Hungary
The transitionromtheNeolithicto theCopperAgeon the GreatHungarianPlain(ca.4500B.C.)coincideswithdramaticchangesnhouseorm,settlementlayout,settlementdis-tribution,andmortuaryustoms.Thesechangesaffectednearlyevery spectofsocialorgani-zation-fromtheorganizationofhouseholdsndvillagesothedistributionofculturalgroupsacross helandscape.Ourcurrentunderstandingofthevariouschangeshatoccurreduringthisimportantransition shinderedbyalackof systematicallyxcavatedsettlement itesdatingtotheEarlyCopperAgeon theGreatHungarianPlain.The resultsofthreeyears ofexcavationat anEarlyCopperAgesettlementocated ntheKorosRiverValleyuggesthat,in contrast o theNeolithic,craftactivitiesonEarlyCopperAgesitesaresegregatedndifferentarts ofthe settlements.Thisgeneral patternofincreas-ingeconomicspecializationccursthroughoutSEEuropeatthe endoftheNeolithicandisassociatedwithatendencyowards ncreasedintegrationofeconomic ndsocialunits inset-tlementsduringtheCopperAge.
Introduction
Since1998theK6rosRegionalArchaeologicalProjecthas beeninvestigatingthetransitionfromtheNeolithic totheCopperAgeintheeasternCarpathianBasin
(FIG.
I).
Theprojecthasintegratedregionalanalysesbaseduponsurfacesurveyandsettlementpatternstudieswithsite-basedanalysesbased onsystematicexcavationandgeo-physicaltestingatspecificsettlements tomodelthevarioussocialchangesthatoccurred attheend oftheNeolithicintheregion,ca.4500B.C.Preliminaryresultsofourresearchindicateatrendtowardseconomicintensificationandin-creasingsettlementintegrationatthebeginningoftheCopperAge.ThetransitionfromtheNeolithic(6500-4500cal
B.C.)
totheCopperAge(4500-3000cal
B.C.)
incentraland SEEuropeischaracterizedbyseveraltechnologicalandsocio-economicchanges.Fromthe islandsof theAegeantotheAustrianAlps,thetransition totheCopperAge-alsoknownastheChalcolithic,Eneolithic,and FinalNeolith-ic-ismarkedbytrendsin thearchaeologicalrecord thatsuggestcentralandSEEuropewereexperiencingasocialtransformationat thistime.Thesetrendsinclude:an in-creasein theproductionanddistribution oftoolsfash-ionedfromsmelted andnativecoppersources(Jovanovic1971,1982;Chernykh1992),ageneraltendencytowardslarger,morehomogeneous,stylisticprovincesbased ontechniquesofceramicdecorationandmanufacture(Bognar-Kutzian1972:172-180;DemouleandPerles1993:398),smaller,morenumerous,dispersed,settle-ments(Diamant1974;Parkinson1999;RunnelsandvanAndel1987;Sherratt1983a,1984;Wickens1986),thees-tablishment offormalcemeteriesonthelandscape,inde-pendentofsettlementsites(Bailey2000:193-209;
 
102TransitionromtheNeolithic totheCopperAge,Hungary/Parkinson,erkes,ndGyuchaBognar-Kutzian1963;Davis1992),andtherestructuringoflong-distancetrade networks that had characterizedheregionthroughouttheNeolithic(Bir61998;DemouleandPerles1993).In additiontothesechanges,the "sec-ondary productsrevolution" alsobeganto affect the Balka-ns around thistime(Sherratt1981,1983b),andcattle,sheep,andgoatsbegantobekeptalivelongersotheycouldprovidemilk and wooland be usedas draftanimals(Bogucki1993;Bokonyi1986;Greenfield1988;Sherratt1981,1983b).Similarchangesoccurredin theLevantat thebeginningof the Chalcolithicperiod,butthechangesthere aregen-erallyassociatedwiththeemergenceof rankedsocietieswithsocialdifferentiation,inheritedleadershippositions,gradedor rankedlineages,permanentritualand ceremoni-alcenters,andlocal craftspecialization(Earle1991;Levy1995).Bycontrast,thechangesin theCopperAgesoci-etiesof
SE
Europeoccurredwithinmoreegalitarian,au-tonomousvillageortribalsocietieswithinwhichthereisno evidenceofinstitutionalizedsocialinequalityoras-cribedranking(Parkinson1999, 2002a;Parkinson,Gyucha,andYerkes2002;Sahlins1968;Service1971).The socialtransformationsin
SE
Europeatthebegin-ningof theCopperAgecannotbeattributedto the emer-genceofinstitutionalizedranking,butthechangesinthearchaeologicalrecordindicatethat
SE
Europeanculturesunderwenta socialtransformationthatmayhavebeenasdramaticasthe"agriculturalrevolution"at thebeginningofthe Neolithic.Parkinsonhasarguedthatthesechangesareassociatedwithcyclicalpatternsofintegrationandin-teractionwithintribalsocieties(Parkinson2002b).Suchrepeatingtribalcyclesaresimilartothoseidentifiedinmorepoliticallycomplexgroups(Anderson1994;Flan-nery1999;Marcus1993;Wright1984),butinthecaseoftribalsocieties,whichlackbothclearlydefinedsocialboundariesandaninstitutionalizedcentralauthority,thecyclestendtooccuratmorevaryingtemporalandgeo-graphicscales.StudiesoftheNeolithic-CopperAgetransitionincen-traland
SE
Europe promisetoprovideus withawealthofinformationonthenatureof socialchangewithinseden-taryagriculturalsocieties(Flannery2002;Parkinson1999),butourcurrentunderstandingof themechanismsofchangeishinderedbya lackof researchaimedatex-ploringtheseissues.TheTransitiontotheCopperAgeon theGreatHungarianPlainOneareawheredataareavailableisin the GreatHun-garianPlain(NagyAlfold)inmodernHungary,wherear-chaeologistshavebeenconductingsystematicarchaeolog-icalsurfacesurveysfor the lastthirty years(Ecsedyetal.1982;Jankovich,Makkay,and Szoke1989;Jankovichetal.1998).Like theirneighborsin the Balkans andelse-wherein
SE
Europe,the smallagriculturalcommunitiesoftheGreatHungarianPlainexperiencedchangesin socialorganizationaround 4500B.C.Here, however,thesechangesaffectednearlyeveryaspectof socialorganizationfrom themacro-regionaldistributionofculturalgroupstotheorganizationof individualhouseholds.Three discretegroupsdividedthe culturallandscapeduringtheLate Neolithic(i.e.,theTisza-Herpaly-CsoszhalomComplex;Kalicz andRaczky1987).Thesewerereplacedin theEarlyCopperAge byasingle,rela-tively homogeneous"culture"(theTiszapolgarCulture)thatextendedacrossthe entirePlainandintothefoothillsofSlovakia,westernRomania,andnorthernSerbia(Bognar-Kutzian1972;Siska1968;GarasaninandGarasanin1951).The similarsitelayoutsandceramicas-semblagesfromtheEarly CopperAgesitesmayreflectabroadareaofinteractionamongdispersedgroupswithasharedculturaltradition,whilethediscreteLateNeolithicgroupsseemtohaveinteractedmoreintensivelywithmembersoftheirownlocalculturaltradition(Parkinson1999:134-137,2002b).In additiontotheseregionaltransformations,changesalso occurredatthelocallevel,specificallywithregardtosettlementorganizationandsite distribution.TheLate Ne-olithicsettlementpattern,withmulti-componentsettle-mentsfrequentlyenclosedbyafortificationditchand/orpalisade,gavewayintheEarlyCopperAgetotheoccupa-tionof morenumerous,smaller,moredispersed,single-componentsettlements,(Bognar-Kutzian1972:164-171;KaliczandRaczky1987;Sherratt1984).Mostofthetellsiteson theGreatHungarianPlainwereabandonedattheendoftheNeolithic,andfewwerere-inhabitedduringtheEarlyCopperAge(Chapman1994).At thoseexceptionalsitesthathavebothLateNeolithicandEarlyCopperAgelevels(e.g.,Veszt6-Magor;Hegediis1977,1982;Hege-duisandMakkay1987),a buriedAsoilhorizonsuggestsanoccupationhiatusattheendoftheLateNeolithicwhenthesiteswerenotoccupiedandsoilsformedoverthehabi-tationlayersbeforethetellwasre-occupiedintheCopperAge.Inadditiontobeingsmaller,EarlyCopperAgesitesal-sooccurinfargreaternumbersthanLateNeolithicsites,andtheyaremoreevenlydistributedacrossthelandscape.Forexample,inourstudyareaof2100sqkm,34sitesdatetotheLateNeolithicand243sitesdatetotheEarlyCop-perAge-aseven-foldincrease.ItisnotclearwhetherthepopulationoftheGreatHungarianPlainincreasedatthebeginningoftheCopperAgeorwhethertheexistingpop-

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