Browsing by Subject "Early Bronze Age"

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  • Smith, Stefan L. (2022)
    In the poorly-investigated Greater Western Jazira (GWJ) of north-eastern Syria, the most well-known sites are large tell settlements often called "Kranzhügel". While this term broadly describes sub-circular mounded sites with two concentric ramparts, it is neither precise nor applicable to all fortified tells of the region. Its widespread application across morphologically heterogeneous sites has led to a distortion of concepts of settlement dynamics and human activity in the GWJ during the Early Bronze Age. This paper uses an intensive remote sensing study and results from past fieldwork to disentangle the term "Kranzhügel" from indiscriminate use and lack of academic dissemination, and build a new typology based upon the absolute morphological forms of fortified GWJ sites. This not only provides a framework for researchers in this region, especially when working with remote sensing data, but also a case study of the pitfalls of terminological ambiguity which are present across many areas of archaeological research.
  • Preda-Balanica, Bianca; Frinculeasa, Alin; Heyd, Volker (2020)
    This paper aims to provide an overview of the current understanding in Yamnaya burials from north of the Lower Danube, particularly focussing on their relationship with supposed local archaeological cultures/societies. Departing from a decades-long research history and latest archaeological finds from Romania, it addresses key research basics on the funerary archaeology of their kurgans and burials; their material culture and chronology; on steppe predecessors and Katakombnaya successors; and links with neighbouring regions as well as the wider southeast European context. Taking into account some reflections from latest ancient DNA revelations, there can be no doubt a substantial migration has taken place around 3000 BC, with Yamnaya populations originating from the Caspian-Pontic steppe pushing westwards. However already the question if such accounts for the term of 'Mass Migrations' cannot be satisfactorily answered, as we are only about to begin to understand the demographics in this process. A further complication is trying to assess who is a newcomer and who is a local in an interaction scenario that lasts for c. 500 years. Identities are not fixed, may indeed transform, as previous newcomers soon turn into locals, while others are just visitors. Nevertheless, this well-researched region of geographical transition from lowland eastern Europe to the hillier parts of temperate Europe provides an ideal starting point to address such questions, being currently also at the heart of the intense discussion about what is identity in the context of the emerging relationship of Archaeology and Genetics.