Author:
Márton Szilágyi MTA–ELTE “Lendület” Momentum Innovation Research Group, Institute of Archaeological Sciences, Eötvös Loránd University, 4/B Múzeum körút, 1088 Budapest, Hungary

Search for other papers by Márton Szilágyi in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7556-8918
Open access
Parkinson W.A., Gyucha, A., and Yerkes, R.W. (Eds.) (2021). Bikeri. Two Copper Age Villages on the Great Hungarian Plain, Vol. 46. Monumenta Archeologica, The Cotsen Institute of Archeology Press at UCLA, Los Angeles, 422 pp.

The Körös Regional Archaeological Project (KRAP) has been the longest-running international archaeological project in Hungary. In the frames of this project, a wide range of research has been carried out on the Great Hungarian Plain since 1998. The main goal of its first phase (between 1998 and 2007) was to create a new interpretation of the transition between the Late Neolithic (LN) and the Early Copper Age (ECA). The excavations at two ECA settlements, which lie on a field called Bikeri on the border between the towns of Körösladány and Vésztő in Békés County, Southeast Hungary, were a basis for the understanding of the beginnings of the Copper Age. At the end of the Late Neolithic, around 4500 BC, a series of changes took place on the Great Hungarian Plain. Perhaps the most spectacular of these was the abandonment of the Neolithic tells and the concentrated settlement network and the emergence of a new network consisting of large numbers of small settlements. The study of the ECA settlement structure alone could have yielded many new results, but the systematic research carried out in the frames of KRAP in 1998–2007 contributed much more to Hungarian prehistoric archaeology. The seventeen chapters in the volume edited by William A. Parkinson, Attila Gyucha and Richard W. Yerkes are excellent proof of this.

The studies are grouped into six parts, each representing a broad theme. A glance through the book reveals a similar structure of studies and a short conclusion at the end of each study, which makes the whole monograph easy to read.

The first part consists of one chapter, in which the editors of the book give a short introduction and a brief research history of the KRAP and the Early Copper Age on the Great Hungarian Plain. The significance of the KRAP project could be discussed at length, but nothing can tell more about its contribution to prehistoric archaeology than Tables 1.3 and 1.4, in which participating students and experts are listed. Many on the student list have since become internationally recognised researchers, and participation in KRAP has certainly contributed to this. This is perhaps an even more important consequence of the project than archaeological achievements.

The second part of the book consists of studies about regional investigations in the Körös River drainage. Chapters 2 (T.A. Frolking) and 3 (A. Gyucha and P.R. Duffy) reconstruct the geological and palaeohydrological background of the study area. It is always vital to understand the paleoenvironment and in the case of the Great Hungarian Plain it is always important to emphasise the diverse environment that characterised this region from the beginning of the Holocene until the time of river regulations in the 19th century. Chapter 4 (R. W. Yerkes, W. A. Parkinson, and A. Gyucha) gives a brief summary of the fieldwalking and systematic surface collection that were carried out in several seasons on the Bikeri sites and another ECA settlement, Okány-Futás.

These studies are complemented by Chapters 5 (soil chemistry, M. Hardy et al.) and 6 (geophysical remote sensing, A. Sarris), and together they provide a detailed and comprehensive picture of the environmental and archaeological background and internal structure of the two Bikeri sites. The above-mentioned analyses were also carried out at the Okány-Futás site (plus geophysical remote sensing was also carried out at Vésztő-Mágor) so that these Early Copper Age sites could be compared in several respects. As a consequence differences regarding their internal structure and use of space could also be revealed.

The third part of the monograph contains studies summarizing the excavations at Vésztő- and Körösladány-Bikeri. Chapter 7 (Yerkes et al.) is the longest in the book and lists the excavation methods and the results of the excavations. After a detailed description of the documentation methods, the results of the excavations at the two sites are presented by excavation units. An example to be followed is the publication of visual documentation, as the chapter is richly illustrated with profile drawings and photographs, feature drawings and in situ photographs or drawings of some of the spectacular features and finds. In Chapter 8 (A. Gyucha, R.W. Yerkes, and W.A. Parkinson) the absolute chronology of the two settlements is discussed. This does not simply mean the publication of radiocarbon dates, but also the modelling of the internal chronologies of the sites and the reconstruction of settlement phases. According to the authors, the disruption of the Late Neolithic settlement network and the development of the Early Copper Age settlement pattern and material culture occurred in the Great Hungarian Plain with different dynamics, and it is possible that the transformation started earlier in the Körös Region than elsewhere. The authors say that the use of the term Proto-Tiszapolgár as a stylistic term is still useful.

Part 4 is the longest section of the book, is comprised of material culture analyses. The most prominent part of this section is the study of pottery. The 90.000 potsherds excavated at both settlements make up the largest ECA pottery assemblage that has been analysed so far. Chapter 9 (A. Gyucha and W.A. Parkinson) is an analysis of pottery typology, style and function. The authors used an existing typology developed by Ida Bognár-Kutzián1 and modified it to make it more suitable to study fragmented settlement pottery assemblages. A typology of plastic, incised and other decorations has also been created. Descriptive statistical analyses showed a high degree of similarity between the pottery assemblages of the two Bikeri sites, and a slow, constant change of stylistic elements. Chapter 10 (S. Duwe et al.) discusses elemental, mineralogical and petrographic analyses of pottery and daub. The analysis does not only rely on the finds from these two sites but also includes other sites in the Körös region. The elemental analyses have revealed traces of local small-scale interactions. The organic residue analysis indicates that milk consumption was sporadic in both Bikeri settlements.

The next chapter includes the analysis of animal bone tools (Zs. Tóth, A.M. Choyke, and A. Gyucha), which is the first study of its kind since no complete bone tool material of any Tiszapolgár settlement has been published so far. In addition to describing the typology of the objects, the authors have also studied their spatial distribution and revealed differences between the central and peripheral parts of the settlements. Chapter 12 contains an analysis of the knapped stone tools (W.A. Parkinson and T. Marton). The authors conclude that the few hundred ECA knapped tools found at the two Bikeri sites are far below the known Late Neolithic knapped stone assemblages. The reason for this is seen in the collapse of the Late Neolithic trade system along with the settlement network.

In Chapter 13 (A. Gyucha and I. Oláh) other small finds are studied, arranged by raw material. Some anthropomorphic and zoomorphic clay figurines are included among the clay objects (spindle whorls, loom weights, clay discs, etc.). The metal objects included here are the first metal objects recovered from an ECA settlement, including small copper rings and awls, and a fragment of a gold plate. Among stone tools (excluding knapped stones), grinding stones are the most common, other tools made of stone occur sporadically. Chapter 14 is a study of faunal remains (A. Nicodemus – Zs.E. Kovács – R.W. Yerkes). Similarly to other types of finds, this is the most complete publication about the faunal assemblage of an Early Copper Age settlement so far. The results suggest a livestock-based diet, with domesticated animal sources providing the majority of the meat source. This is supplemented by fish consumption and, to a lesser extent, hunting. Chapter 15 is an analysis of the floral assemblage (R.W. Yerkes, A. Gyucha, and K. Kasper) which is the first analysis of systematically collected samples from Early Copper Age settlements. The authors conclude that there is a shift in the farming strategies used at the two sites, crop production increased in the partly younger Körösladány-Bikeri settlement compared to Vésztő-Bikeri. The plant remains found at the two sites clearly contradict the earlier assumption according to which pastoralism dominated the Early Copper Age subsistence strategy. The results suggest that crop production continued to play an important role at these sites after the end of the Late Neolithic.

Chapter 16 (J. Giblin and M. Hughes Markovics) briefly summarizes the five settlement burials from the two settlements. In addition to an adult who was buried according to the strict ECA burial rites on the Great Hungarian Plain, it is particularly interesting that two infants and two newborns were also uncovered, the latter covered with ceramic vessels. The authors suggest that the overrepresentation of child burials within the settlements can be the reason for the underrepresentation of such burials in isolated cemeteries.

Similarly to the first part, the fifth and final part of the book is comprised of one chapter: the conclusion (W.A. Parkinson, A. Gyucha, and R.W. Yerkes) in which the authors very briefly summarise the results of the studies organizing them around a few themes. Based on the diverse and varied results, regional and local conclusions have been drawn for the Körös region and the two sites under discussion. Further themes are subsistence strategy and interactions. Finally, the chapter concludes with a re-modelling of the beginnings of the Early Copper Age, as a synthesis of the whole monograph. The book concludes with a unified bibliography and an index.

The Bikeri monograph is more than the publication and interpretation of the finds from two Early Copper Age settlements. It also gives the reader an insight into the structure of a project that is still a rarity in this part of Europe. It is therefore a very useful read, not only for researchers studying the Early Copper Age but also for other archaeologists who are planning large-scale projects, as it is an excellent example of how to design and run such a project.

As in every study, there are, of course, a few statements and conclusions that raise further questions, especially for those who study the Early Copper Age. Rather than listing them in this review, it is worth addressing a more general issue: a logical gap between some results and certain parts of the conclusion. Most of the studies are based on the observations and/or finds from the two Bikeri settlements (and a few other sites), while some of the conclusions are applied to the whole Körös region or even the whole Great Hungarian Plain.

In the last two decades of Early Copper Age research, we have witnessed changes that draw attention to the fact that generalizations obscure the diversity of past realities.2 The authors often make a noticeable effort to avoid generalization, and even draw attention to the fact that certain processes happened with different temporal and spatial dynamics at the beginning of the Copper Age on the Great Hungarian Plain. But in some cases, the conclusions are applied to the whole Great Hungarian Plain based on the results of the studied two sites. As the authors have many times drawn attention to the diversity of certain social and cultural phenomena observed in the case of two neighbouring communities, such as internal settlement structure, subsistence strategy, etc, archaeologists should always bear in mind the diverse nature of how past societies created their own social, economical, ritual, etc worlds.

In summary, the book Bikeri. Two Copper Age Villages on the Great Hungarian Plain edited by William A. Parkinson, Attila Gyucha and Richard W. Yerkes is a great contribution to the research into the Early Copper Age and nothing similar has been published since the monographs of Ida Bognár-Kutzián. It is an excellent summary of the beginnings and the first phase of a meticulously structured and exemplary project, which fortunately has not ended since then and may further enrich our knowledge about the prehistory of Southeast Hungary.

References

  • Bognár-Kutzián, I. (1963). The Copper Age cemetery of Tiszapolgár-Basatanya, Vol. 42. Archaeologia Hungarica, Akadémiai kiadó, Budapest.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bognár-Kutzián, I. (1972). The Early Copper Age Tiszapolgár Culture in the Carpathian Basin, Vol. 48. Archaeologia Hungarica, Akadémiai kiadó, Budapest.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Csányi, M., Tárnoki, J., and Raczky, P. (2010). Das kupferzeitliche Gräberfeld von Rákóczifalva-Bagi-föld in Ungarn. Das Altertum, 55: 241270.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Raczky, P. and Siklósi, Zs. (2013). Reconsideration of the Copper Age Chronology of the Eastern Carpathian Basin: a Bayesian approach. Antiquity, 87: 555573. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0003598X00049127.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Siklósi, Zs. and Szilágyi. M. (2016). Módszertani, interpretációs kérdések az alföldi rézkor radiokarbon keltezése kapcsán (Questions on methodology and interpretation concerning the radiocarbon dating of the Copper Age on the Great Hungarian Plain). Tisicum, 25: 6572.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Siklósi, Zs. and Szilágyi. M. (2019). New data on the provenance of copper finds from the Early-Middle Copper Age of the Great Hungarian Plain. Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences, 11: 52755285. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12520-019-00867-8.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Siklósi, Zs. and Szilágyi. M. (2021). Culture, period, or style? Re-consideration of Early and Middle Copper Age Chronology of the Great Hungarian Plain. Radiocarbon, 63: 585646. https://doi.org/10.1017/RDC.2020.115.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Siklósi, Zs., Faragó, N., Dani, J., Csedreki, L., Kertész, Zs., Szikszai, Z., and Szilágyi, M. (2022). Creating histories: different perspectives, controversial narratives at Rákóczifalva, an Early Copper Age Site on the Great Hungarian Plain. European Journal of Archaeology, 25(3): 350371. https://doi.org/10.1017/eaa.2022.2.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
1

Bognár-Kutzián (1963, 1972).

2

Early and Middle Copper Age absolute chronology: Csányi et al. (2010), Raczky and Siklósi (2013), Siklósi and Szilágyi (2021); the appearance of metallurgy: Siklósi and Szilágyi (2019); cultural modeling: Siklósi and Szilágyi (2016), Siklósi et al. (2022).

  • Bognár-Kutzián, I. (1963). The Copper Age cemetery of Tiszapolgár-Basatanya, Vol. 42. Archaeologia Hungarica, Akadémiai kiadó, Budapest.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bognár-Kutzián, I. (1972). The Early Copper Age Tiszapolgár Culture in the Carpathian Basin, Vol. 48. Archaeologia Hungarica, Akadémiai kiadó, Budapest.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Csányi, M., Tárnoki, J., and Raczky, P. (2010). Das kupferzeitliche Gräberfeld von Rákóczifalva-Bagi-föld in Ungarn. Das Altertum, 55: 241270.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Raczky, P. and Siklósi, Zs. (2013). Reconsideration of the Copper Age Chronology of the Eastern Carpathian Basin: a Bayesian approach. Antiquity, 87: 555573. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0003598X00049127.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Siklósi, Zs. and Szilágyi. M. (2016). Módszertani, interpretációs kérdések az alföldi rézkor radiokarbon keltezése kapcsán (Questions on methodology and interpretation concerning the radiocarbon dating of the Copper Age on the Great Hungarian Plain). Tisicum, 25: 6572.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Siklósi, Zs. and Szilágyi. M. (2019). New data on the provenance of copper finds from the Early-Middle Copper Age of the Great Hungarian Plain. Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences, 11: 52755285. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12520-019-00867-8.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Siklósi, Zs. and Szilágyi. M. (2021). Culture, period, or style? Re-consideration of Early and Middle Copper Age Chronology of the Great Hungarian Plain. Radiocarbon, 63: 585646. https://doi.org/10.1017/RDC.2020.115.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Siklósi, Zs., Faragó, N., Dani, J., Csedreki, L., Kertész, Zs., Szikszai, Z., and Szilágyi, M. (2022). Creating histories: different perspectives, controversial narratives at Rákóczifalva, an Early Copper Age Site on the Great Hungarian Plain. European Journal of Archaeology, 25(3): 350371. https://doi.org/10.1017/eaa.2022.2.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Collapse
  • Expand

 

The author instruction is available in PDF.

Please, download the file from HERE (EN)
Please, download the file from HERE (HU)

 

 

Senior editors

Editor(s)-in-Chief: Vida Tivadar

Editor(s): Váczi Gábor

Editorial Board

  • Bartus, Dávid (ELTE Eötvös Loránd Tudományegyetem, Régészettudományi Intézet)
  • Csiky, Gergely (ELKH Bölcsészettudományi Kutatóközpont, Régészeti Intézet)
  • Kiss, Viktória (ELKH Bölcsészettudományi Kutatóközpont, Régészeti Intézet)
  • Láng, Orsolya (Budapesti Történeti Múzeum, Aquincumi Múzeuma)
  • Mester, Zsolt (ELTE Eötvös Loránd Tudományegyetem, Régészettudományi Intézet)
  • Pusztai, Tamás (Magyar Nemzeti Múzeum, Régészeti Örökségvédelmi Igazgatóság)
  • Ritoók, Ágnes (Magyar Nemzeti Múzeum, Régészeti Tár)
  • Siklósi, Zsuzsa (ELTE Eötvös Loránd Tudományegyetem, Régészettudományi Intézet)
  • V. Szabó, Gábor (ELTE Eötvös Loránd Tudományegyetem, Régészettudományi Intézet)
  • Szenthe, Gergely (Nemzeti Múzeum, Régészeti Tár)
  • Szécsényi-Nagy, Anna (ELKH Bölcsészettudományi Kutatóközpont, Archaeogenomikai Intézet)
  • Tomka, Gábor (Magyar Nemzeti Múzeum, Régészeti Tár)

Research Centre for Humanities
Institute of Archaeology
1097 Budapest, Tóth Kálmán utca 4. HUNGARY
Telephone: +36 1 224 6700
E-mail: vida.tivadar@btk.mta.hu

Indexing and Abstracting Services:

  • Scopus

2022  
Web of Science  
Total Cites
WoS
not indexed
Journal Impact Factor not indexed
Rank by Impact Factor

not indexed

Impact Factor
without
Journal Self Cites
not indexed
5 Year
Impact Factor
not indexed
Journal Citation Indicator not indexed
Rank by Journal Citation Indicator

not indexed

Scimago  
Scimago
H-index
6
Scimago
Journal Rank
0.125
Scimago Quartile Score

Archeology (Q3)
Archeology (arts and humanities) (Q3)
History (Q3)

Scopus  
Scopus
Cite Score
0.3
Scopus
CIte Score Rank
History 768/1599 (51st PCTL)
Archeology (arts and humanities) 241/368 (34th PCTL)
Archeology 223/315 (29th PCTL)
Scopus
SNIP
0.414

2021  
Web of Science  
Total Cites
WoS
not indexed
Journal Impact Factor not indexed
Rank by Impact Factor

not indexed

Impact Factor
without
Journal Self Cites
not indexed
5 Year
Impact Factor
not indexed
Journal Citation Indicator not indexed
Rank by Journal Citation Indicator

not indexed

Scimago  
Scimago
H-index
6
Scimago
Journal Rank
0,104
Scimago Quartile Score History (Q3)
Archeology (Q4)
Archeology (arts and humanities) (Q4)
Scopus  
Scopus
Cite Score
0,3
Scopus
CIte Score Rank
History 683/1499 (Q2)
Archeology (Arts & Humanities) 204/335 (Q3)
Archeology (Social Sciences) 192/289 (Q3)
Scopus
SNIP
0,116

2020  
Scimago
H-index
5
Scimago
Journal Rank
0,116
Scimago
Quartile Score
Archeology Q3
Archeology (arts and humanities) Q3
History Q3
Scopus
Cite Score
13/43=0,3
Scopus
Cite Score Rank
Archeology 169/273 (Q3)
Archeology (arts and humanities) 176/295 (Q3)
History 595/1328 (Q2)
Scopus
SNIP
0,368
Scopus
Cites
16
Scopus
Documents
11

 

2019  
Scimago
H-index
5
Scimago
Journal Rank
0,131
Scimago
Quartile Score
Archeology Q3
Archeology (arts and humanities) Q3
History Q2
Scopus
Cite Score
10/44=0,2
Scopus
Cite Score Rank
Archeology 181/263 (Q3)
Archeology (arts and humanities) 186/278 (Q3)
History 698/1259 (Q3)
Scopus
SNIP
0,186
Scopus
Cites
17
Scopus
Documents
10

 

Archaeologiai Értesítő
Publication Model Hybrid
Submission Fee none
Article Processing Charge 900 EUR/article
Printed Color Illustrations 40 EUR (or 10 000 HUF) + VAT / piece
Regional discounts on country of the funding agency World Bank Lower-middle-income economies: 50%
World Bank Low-income economies: 100%
Further Discounts Editorial Board / Advisory Board members: 50%
Corresponding authors, affiliated to an EISZ member institution subscribing to the journal package of Akadémiai Kiadó: 100%
Subscription fee 2023 Online subsscription: 137 EUR / 181 USD
Print + online subscription: 153 EUR / 215 USD
Subscription Information Online subscribers are entitled access to all back issues published by Akadémiai Kiadó for each title for the duration of the subscription, as well as Online First content for the subscribed content.
Purchase per Title Individual articles are sold on the displayed price.

Archaeologiai Értesítő
Language Hungarian
Size A4
Year of
Foundation
1868
Volumes
per Year
1
Issues
per Year
1
Founder Magyar Régészeti és Művészettörténeti Társulat
Founder's
Address
H-1088 Budapest, Hungary, Múzeum krt. 14.
Publisher Akadémiai Kiadó
Publisher's
Address
H-1117 Budapest, Hungary 1516 Budapest, PO Box 245.
Responsible
Publisher
Chief Executive Officer, Akadémiai Kiadó
ISSN 0003-8032 (Print)
ISSN 1589-486X (Online)

Monthly Content Usage

Abstract Views Full Text Views PDF Downloads
Oct 2023 0 69 8
Nov 2023 0 36 7
Dec 2023 0 157 18
Jan 2024 0 95 17
Feb 2024 0 13 8
Mar 2024 0 6 5
Apr 2024 0 2 3