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The University of Southampton
TAG 2016 Southampton

Trypillia Mega-Sites exhibition

International travelling exhibition 'Trypillia Mega-Sites'

The Trypillia–Cucuteni groups have been called ‘the last great Chalcolithic civilization of Europe’. Most other people in South East Europe were living in more mobile smaller communities with burial grounds and votive deposits of elaborate metalwork. Dating from 4800 to 2800 cal BC and extending for over two thousand square kilometres, Trypillia Cucuteni was one of the largest and most enduring Old European groups.

The mega-site of Nebelivka. Geophysical interpretation.

From the Carpathian Mountains to the River Dniepr, for two thousand years the Trypillia people maintained their traditions of house-building and house-burning, making anthropomorphic and zoomorphic figurines and fine ceramic wares. The Trypillia Cucuteni group continued these clay-based practices to reinforce their strong sense of individuality long after other peoples of the Balkan–Carpathian region had ceased to use them. The house, the figurine and decorated pottery were the dominant themes of Trypillia everyday visual culture for two millennia. By contrast, very few metal objects of copper, silver or gold were deposited or discarded at megasites.

In 2012 - 2016, Durham University and the Kyiv Institute of Archaeology worked together on a joint project aimed at the integration and interpretation of a large quantity of new data. The Kyiv–Durham Project’s mega-sites project focussed on four crucial questions:-

This exhibition is the product of the Anglo-Ukrainian Project; it started in Ukraine and travelled to Bulgaria, Moldova, Hungary and Germany before reaching the UK (Durham and now Southampton).

John Chapman & Bisserka Gaydarska (Durham University)

Note: Trypillia mega-sites will be discussed as congregation sites (by John Chapman), jointly with other comparable sites presented by other speakers, in the session S33. Where ‘Strangers and Brothers/Sisters’ Meet: Places of Congregation in Archaeology (Wednesday 21st December, Lecture Theater A, 09:00 – 12:50).

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