Trypillia megasites west of the River Southern Buh: Preliminary results of Bilyi Kamin site investigation in 2018

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Vitalii Rud
Robert Hofmann
Viktor Kosakivskyi
Olha Zaitseva
Johannes Müller


In Bilyi Kamin, Ukraine, a Trypillia megasite of the Chechelnyk group west of the River Southern Buh was systematically investigated by high-resolution magnetometry, targeted excavations and radiometric dating. These new data make it possible to discuss afresh the significance of these large settlements and their relation to the already much longer intensively investigated megasites of the Southern Buh-Dnipro interfluve. The research confirmed that the settlement Bilyi Kamin had an extraordinary size of almost 100 ha and undoubtedly was of a carefully planned character. In order to realise a settlement of this size in the hilly landscape, enormous height differences within the settlement were accepted. Apparently, the intention to place three monumental integrative buildings on a promontory, widely visible from afar, played a decisive role. The study includes a detailed examination of the architecture and find materials of a dwelling. Compared to settlements of the Southern Buh-Dnipro interfluve, these investigations reveal, among other things, differences in waste disposal and similarities in architectural features. In the wider context, the newly obtained dating results from Bilyi Kamin seem to indicate that the peak of population concentration in Trypillia giant settlements in the region west of the River Southern Buh was already passed around 3800/3750 BCE. By contrast, this agglomeration process continued in the Southern Buh-Dnipro interfluve until about 3650 BCE. As possible reasons for these different trajectories differences in social organisation are taken into account.

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Rud, Vitalii, Robert Hofmann, Viktor Kosakivskyi, Olha Zaitseva, and Johannes Müller. 2019. “Trypillia Megasites West of the River Southern Buh: Preliminary Results of Bilyi Kamin Site Investigation in 2018”. Journal of Neolithic Archaeology 21 (December), 27–60.