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You are here: Home / Library / RBINS Staff Publications / Pietrele an der Unteren Donau. Bericht über die Ausgrabungen und geomorphologischen Untersuchungen im Sommer 2011

Svend Hansen, Meda Toderas, Agathe Reingruber, Jürgen Wunderlich, Norbert Benecke, Ivan Gatsov, Elena Marinova, Michael Müller, Chavdar Nachev, Petranka Nedelcheva, Dirk Nowacki, Astrid Röpke, Joachim Wahl and Steve Zäuner (2012 (2015))

Pietrele an der Unteren Donau. Bericht über die Ausgrabungen und geomorphologischen Untersuchungen im Sommer 2011

Eurasia Antiqua, 18:1 - 68.

The excavation campaign in 2011 focussed mainly on investigating the flatland settlement at the foot of the tell ‘‘Magura Gorgana’’. Three trenches respectively were explored in the area northeast and west of the settlement mound. Trenches H, L and P lie ca. 80 northeast of the centre of the tell, and trenches N1, N2 and N3 are located west of that midpoint. They yielded the hitherto oldest excavated material, which has already been radiocarbon dated. Excavations in the outer settlement of Pietrele have brought forth surprising and new perspectives. The oldest settlement attested until now can be dated to the end of the 6th millennium BC, and thus perhaps even to the Middle Neolithic. While a duration of 300 years (4250 to 4550 cal BC) has been confirmed for habitation of the tell, yet without reaching the native soil, find contexts from the end of the 6th and the first half of the 5th and end of the 5th millennium BC have come to light in the flatland settlement. Neolithic and Copper Age settlement remains are present in the immediate vicinity, which is not surprising for a site that was inhabited for a longer time. Hence, in Pietrele the possibility presents itself to research the horizontal stratigraphy of the flatland settlement, link it with the vertical stratigraphy of the tell settlement, and with that to control and render precise the chronological system for the Neolithic. At this point it can already be stated that the boundaries of the flat extended settlement were not reached by geophysical prospection in 2005, neither to the north nor to the west of the tell. Furthermore, geomorphological investigations have already gone far beyond the immediate area of the tell. More than 130 core drillings allow the conclusion that in the course of millennia flowing and standing bodies of water discharged into the Danube meadows. These meadows were covered by a large lake during the time of the tell’s habitation. Initial results of geochemical analyses confirm the existence of this expansive palaeolake before 4600 BC. The basic characteristics of the lake sediments include several massive phases of dark deposits, each a few decimetres in thickness, which are designated as ‘‘dark layers’’ (DL). They mark drastic events in the development of the lake. The lowermost layer, DL I, can be dated by the AMS-14C dating method to the 5th millennium BC, that is, the time of the tell’s habitation. Still to clarify is whether the introduction of organic material through settlement activities and land use had an adverse effect upon the quality of the water.

Peer Review, International Redaction Board
Romania, Lower Danube, Human impact, Copper Age, Settlement, Tell
Bericht über die Ausgrabungen und geomorphologischen Untersuchungen im Sommer 2011
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