Early urbanism in prehistoric Europe?: the case of the Tripillia mega-sites

This AHRC-funded research project takes as its starting-point the Tripillia (Russian 'Tripolye') mega-sites of Ukraine – the largest sites in 4th millennium BC Europe, termed 'proto-urban' by local archaeologists, and the only exception to Roland Fletcher's (1995) limits of agrarian settlement growth. The project objective is to understand how and why Tripolye sites expanded in this unprecedented way, In summer 2009, a preliminary season co-directed by Drs. Mikhail Videiko and John Chapman focused on the 220 hectare mega-site of Nebelivka, Kirovograd domain, enabling the production of a 15 hectare geophysics plot with over 50 burnt structures and a small number of unburnt structures, as well as pits and other anomalies. Coring of burnt structures was successful in recovering organically-rich daub for direct 14-C dating. On the basis of these results, the AHRC made a Research Grant for a four-year Project (February 2012–January 2016).