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Durham e-Theses
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Early Cities or Large Villages? Settlement dynamics in the Trypillia group, Ukraine

NEBBIA, MARCO (2017) Early Cities or Large Villages? Settlement dynamics in the Trypillia group, Ukraine. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



This thesis investigates the development of the largest sites - megasites - in Europe during the Chalcolithic (4th millennium BC) and seeks to discuss their urban nature within the wider settlement context of the Trypillia group in modern Ukraine. The study brings together a number of different archaeological datasets and sources, including remote sensing, field survey and legacy data, into a single GIS-based interpretative framework. The assessment of the potential of these sources of information is carried out in order to establish a new field methodology, as well as a nuanced theoretical framework, for the study of the nature of megasites.
Quantitative analyses are performed in order to describe trans-scalar patterns in the settlement data, and an interpretative narrative is proposed to explain these patterns and their relevance for the definition of the ‘urban’ nature of megasites.
Concepts like ‘seasonality’ and ‘heterarchy’ are used to explain the development and the social organization of megasites, which are conceived as temporary gathering places where an ‘urban-like’ identity starts to develop.
The results suggest that Trypillia megasites can be defined as ‘urban forms’ within their coeval settlement and social context, but in the long-term perspective of the last six millennia they are “only” large/overgrown villages. The contribution of this thesis is not only to the specific field of Trypillia archaeology, but it also provides new insights into the wider investigation of the origins of global urbanism.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Archaeology, Department of
Thesis Date:2017
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:18 May 2017 11:11

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