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Trypillia megasites in context: Independent urban development in chalcolithic eastern Europe

Gaydarska, B; Nebbia, M; Chapman, J; (2019) Trypillia megasites in context: Independent urban development in chalcolithic eastern Europe. Cambridge Archaeological Journal , 30 (1) pp. 97-121. 10.1017/S0959774319000301. Green open access

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Abstract

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. Multi-disciplinary 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.

Type: Article
Title: Trypillia megasites in context: Independent urban development in chalcolithic eastern Europe
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1017/S0959774319000301
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0959774319000301
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology > Institute of Archaeology Gordon Square
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10086054
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