The Neolithic settlement of Szeghalom-Kovácshalom is the latest focus of the Körös Regional Archaeological Project (KRAP), co-directed by Dr. William A. Parkinson at the Field Museum of Natural History and Dr. Attila Gyucha of the Hungarian National Museum. The site is representative of an archaeologically defined group called the Tisza, who lived on the Great Hungarian Plain from about 5000 to 4500 BC. The multidisciplinary team began working at the site in 2010, using three different strategies to understand how its inhabitants used to live. First, they collected pottery pieces (called "sherds") to help define the boundaries of the Neolithic occupation. Next, they brought along a group of geophysicists from the Laboratory of Geophysical - Satellite Remote Sensing and Archaeo-environment of the Institute for Mediterranean Studies - Foundation for Research and Technology, Hellas (IMS-FORTH). The geophysics team used a combination of magnetometry, ground-penetrating radar (GPR), and electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) to identify subsurface features, including burned walls and man-made ditches. Finally, the results from the geophysical prospection allowed the team to select the best longhouses for excavation, which began in 2011.
The subsurface features at Szeghalom-Kovácshalom
The data gathered during geophysical analysis and excavation - including longhouse dimensions, orientation, and wall thickness - were used to create virtual representations of what the structures may have looked like during the Neolithic. The video presented here was produced by team members at the geophysical laboratory at IMS-FORTH, and it shows how the settlement of Szeghalom-Kovácshalom might have looked at the height of its occupation, around 4,800 BC.
This research was funded by grants from the National Science Foundation (BCS-0911336, OISE-1030436), the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research (ICRG), the Field Museum of Natural History Field Dreams Program, and the Anthropology Alliance of the Field Museum of Natural History.
For more information about KRAP, please visit our website.