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The survey revealed more than 1,500 structures grouped into 60 neighbourhoods, in turn clustered into 14 quarters, each focused on one or two larger buildings termed ‘assembly houses’.Two circuits of houses and large spaces for gardens, fields and animals were surrounded by a shallow perimeter ditch.A mega-structure excavated in 2012 suggested that larger buildings in these settlements were just bigger versions of ordinary houses with very little sign of material goods or differences in social status.Archaeologists have recreated and destroyed an experimental replica of a 6,000-year-old house to understand more about one of Europe’s earliest “mega-sites”.The experiment is part of Durham University-led research which has been named in the World’s top 10 archaeology projects.
Lead researcher Professor John Chapman, in Durham’s Department of Archaeology, said: “Our project has opened up many key issues of Tripillian archaeology.
“The interpretation of mega-sites as low-density towns where all people were equal is also still a serious possibility.” Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) the work has included a geophysical survey of the 236 hectare settlement completed by Archaeological Services Durham University.
By comparing the remains of these buildings to that of their experimental house, the researchers aim to understand if the original buildings were of one or two-storeys.
Durham is leading an international team involving researchers from Ukraine, Hungary, Bulgaria, the USA and other institutions in the UK.
The research is seeking to reveal the history of these settlements which were founded approximately 4,000 years BC in what is modern-day Ukraine.