BILYI KAMIN: SITE STRUCTURE OF THE BIGGEST TRYPILLIA CULTURE SETTLEMENT OF THE SOUTHERN BUH-DNISTER INTERFLUVE


  • V. S. Rud Institute of Archaeology, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8087-2236
  • R. Hofmann Kiel University
  • V. A. Kosakivskyi Vinnytsia State Pedagogical University named after M. Kotsiubynskyi
  • O. V. Zaitseva Borys Grinchenko Kyiv University https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8593-4010
  • J. Muller Institute of Prehistoric and Protohistoric Archaeology, Kiel University
Keywords: Trypillia CI, Buh-Dnister interfluve, mega-site, settlement layout, circles of houses, megastructures.

Abstract

So far research effort regarding Cucuteni—Trypillia mega-sites was to a large extent focussed on the region in the east of the Southern Buh. In contrast, the Southern Buh-Dnister interfluve stands for long time in the shadow of its eastern neighbour. To improve this situation and to gain a better understanding of the macro-regional variability within the Cucuteni—Trypillia cultural complex, in spring 2018 the exploration of the large CTCC site Bilyi Kamin was started by an international team of researchers from Kiel University (Germany) and Institute of Archaeology of the National Academy of Science of Ukraine (Kyiv, Ukraine) which is the largest settlement in this region.

Magnetometry in total size of 40.6 ha have been performed using the MAGNETO® MX V3 Survey System of the company SENSYS Sensorik & Systemtechnologie GmbH Bad Saarow (Germany). During our survey large areas in the south, north and near the centre of the site were measured. Based on these data the total extension of the site can be estimated to approximately 97 ha.

Different categories of magnetic anomalies can be identified in Bilyi Kamin: 297 rectangular anomalies, which are the ruins of intensively burnt clay houses; 141 rectangular anomalies of houses, burnt with less intensity or eroded; four rectangular anomalies of unique buildings, so-called «megastructures»; 351 anomaly of different-shape objects, most of which can be interpreted as pits; 12 stretched objects, presumably road to the south of the site; linear anomaly of the ditch or natural gully to the north-west from north part of outer circle.

The site is built in two circles of houses. The ring corridor between the circles is free from buildings. Some buildings are located outside the circles as well. They are grouped as short lines radial and parallel in respect to the circles. The space inside the circles is built partially. In the north and north-west parts of the site the buildings are grouped mostly in long radial lines. In the south part of the site the number of buildings inside the circles is smaller. This might indicate a heterogeneous character of the population or changes in the development plan.

The anomalies of pits from Bilyi Kamin are usually located near the buildings, at side or ending walls. Some groups of pits are not connected to the buildings. It is also possible that some of anomalies of pits, having largest nT values can represent other kind of objects — as for example pottery kilns.

In Bilyi Kamin three elongated mega-structures with lengths between 36 and 64 m and widths between 8 and 11.5 m are placed on the 420 Ч (>150) m measuring square (so-called «plaza»). The partly staggered arrangement of these constructions might suggest that they were not built simultaneously but represent a sequence of successively used buildings. Within the concentric ring corridor directly beside of the central plaza, additionally a fourth mega-structure is visible. For the planning of the settlement layout, the placement of a rectangular square on top of the promontory with three large buildings played potentially an important role. These mega-structures and the associated plaza most likely formed the architectural arena of central integrative institutions for decision-making, integrative ritual action, and surplus-consumption at the level of the entire settlement.

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Published
2019-12-25
How to Cite
Rud, V. S., Hofmann, R., Kosakivskyi, V. A., Zaitseva, O. V., & Muller, J. (2019). BILYI KAMIN: SITE STRUCTURE OF THE BIGGEST TRYPILLIA CULTURE SETTLEMENT OF THE SOUTHERN BUH-DNISTER INTERFLUVE. Archaeology and Early History of Ukraine, 33(4), 362-372. https://doi.org/10.37445/adiu.2019.04.28