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Geography of Journal Authors

Stratum plus. 2011. №2

S. Hansen (Berlin, Germany), M. Toderaş (Bucarest, Romania), A. Reingruber (Berlin, Germany), J. Wunderlich (Frankfurt am Main, Germany)

Pietrele. The Copper Age Settlement on the Lower Danube




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Pages: 17-86


Scientific research has been conducted on the Copper Age settlement of Măgura Gorgana near Pietrele, Romania, on the Lower Danube since 2002.
The excavation is a joint undertaking of the Eurasia Department of the German Archaeological Institute in Berlin, the Archaeological Institute “Vasile Pârvan” of the Romanian Academy in Bucharest and the Institute of Physical Geography of the J. W. Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main. The aim of research is to contribute towards information on the chronology of the Gumelniţa culture, house architecture and settlement organisation, and economic strategies employed by the inhabitants during the second half of the 5th millennium BC.
In the course of excavations geomagnetic prospection was carried out on the tell as well as in its immediate surroundings. The rows of houses upon the tell that were visible in the magnetograms could be confirmed through excavation. This was augmented by the discovery of an expansive settlement around the tell and the identification of a cemetery with ca. 50 burials to the west. Excavation in four trenches north and east of the tell actually brought forth the ruins of heavily burnt structures and a few burials in contracted position. Finally, Corona satellite images revealed a circular ditch complex located in the close vicinity of the tell. Geomagnetic measurements likewise disclosed the existence of three concentric ditches. This settlement is considerably larger than hitherto assumed for settlements of the Gumelniţa culture. The numerous kinds of specialised craſts attested in excavations on the tell are quite plausible when viewed against the background of a clearly larger populace. Above all, the discovery of the expansive outer settlement has led to a number of questions, which concern the role of the tell and its inhabitants and will revise the present-day picture of Copper Age tell settlements fundamentally. Furthermore, far-reaching recognitions about the development of the river meadows and riverine systems in the area of Pietrele have been attained through fluvial morphological investigations. In addition, drillings and geophysical measurements undertaken in the tell’s surroundings show that sediments in the flood zone and soils and soil sediments (colluvium) on the bordering slopes provide exceptional archives, which will allow well founded statements on the potential use, on one hand, and the effects upon the landscape of ever increasing settlement activity and land use since the Neolithic period, on the other.


Keywords: Copper Age, tell settlement, outer settlement, skeletal remains, geophysics, archaeobotany, archaeozoology, radiometry, specialised crafts, social organisation, reconstruction of environmental conditions.


Information about authors:

Svend Hansen (Berlin, Germany). Professor, doctor habilitat. German Archaeological Institute, Eurasia Department.
E-mail: [email protected]

Meda Toderaş (Bucarest, Romania). Research assistant. Institute of Archaeology “Vasile Pârvan”.
E-mail: [email protected]

Agathe Reingruber (Berlin, Germany). Doctor. German Archaeological Institute, Eurasia Department.
E-mail:
[email protected]

Jürgen Wunderlich (Frankfurt am Main, Germany). Professor, doctor habilitat. J. W. Goethe University of Frankfurt am Main, Institute of Physical Geography.
E-mail: [email protected]

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