Institute for Mediterranean Studies

Geophysical and geochemical investigations at two early copper age settlements in the Koros River Valley, Southeastern Hungary

Geophysical and geochemical analyses conducted at the Early Copper Age (ECA, ca. 6500– 5900 B.P.) sites of Vészto-Bikeri and Körösladány-Bikeri in southeastern Hungary located and mapped subsurface features and activity areas. Vertical magnetic gradient measurements defined the extent and layout of structures and features and revealed previously unidentified concentric ditches enclosing both sites. Soil chemical surveys recorded high concentrations of phosphorus in “ring middens” around the sites’ perimeters, but low concentrations around structures. Magnetic susceptibility measurements supported and enhanced the results from other surveys. Excavations confirmed the locations of the features detected in the geophysical and geochemical surveys. The layouts of the two sites were different. Vészto-Bikeri was “nucleated,” with central longhouses surrounded by pits and a ring midden. At Körösladány- Bikeri, smaller structures were dispersed and intermixed with other features, including post- Copper Age pits. The nondestructive investigations helped us refine our models of settlement organization during the Neolithic–Copper Age transition.

  • Apostolos Sarris