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date: 28 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This contribution traces the development of tells, or settlement mounds, in south-east Europe. Owing to their surviving height, these habitation monuments became the foci of regional research traditions, but more recently the balance has shifted to include horizontal or ‘flat’ sites. This has allowed to integrate tells into their social context, to systematically investigate off-tell activity, the different notions of time and community played out in both types of settlement, and the relations to other kinds of site, such as cemeteries. This chapter offers a chronological overview from the earliest tells in the southern Balkans in the mid seventh millennium, when households engaged in a variety of mobility strategies, to their expansion north-westwards into the Hungarian Plain, during which the significance of tells also altered. While tells continue to be built until around 3700 BC, the increasing social stratification may be a factor in their ultimately rapid abandonment.

Keywords: tell, horizontal settlement, Balkans, Neolithic, Copper Age, time, habitation monument, status

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