A Multiscalar Approach to Modeling the End of the Neolithic on the Great Hungarian Plain Using Calibrated Radiocarbon Dates
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CitationYerkes, R. W., Gyucha, A., & Parkinson, W. (2009). A multiscalar approach to modeling the end of the Neolithic on the Great Hungarian Plain using calibrated radiocarbon dates. Radiocarbon, 51(3), 1071-1109.
AbstractThis article presents the results of a multiscalar analysis of 168 radiocarbon dates from Neolithic and Copper Age sites on the Great Hungarian Plain. We examined chronological patterns at different geographic scales to explore socioeconomic changes that occurred during the transition from the Neolithic to the Copper Age. The beginning and end of the Late Neolithic (5000-4500 cal BC) and Early Copper Age (4500-4000 cal BC) were modeled with 14C dates calibrated with the CALIB 5.01 program and IntCal04 calibration curve. Our attempts to identify chronological subphases within these 500-yr-long periods were confounded by multiple intercepts in the calibration curve. The analysis indicated that terminal Late Neolithic (4700-4300 cal BC) and "transitional" Proto-Tiszapolgr occupations (4600-4250 cal BC) at tell sites were contemporary with initial Early Copper Age habitations (4450-4250 cal BC). Calibrated dates from small Early Copper Age settlements at Vsztő-Bikeri and Krsladny-Bikeri document changes in community and household organization that took place over several decades during the transition to the Copper Age. Bayesian analysis indicated that the small fortified sites were occupied contiguously in phases of 30-50 yr. The younger Krsladny-Bikeri site was established before the older Vsztő-Bikeri site was abandoned. When large nucleated Late Neolithic communities dispersed and established small Early Copper Age settlements, the pattern of vertical accretion that had created the Late Neolithic tells gave way to a pattern of horizontal settlement accretion at the smaller settlements.