During my 2010-2011 tenure as Visiting Scholar at the University of Pittsburgh, I began comparing the developmental trajectories of three areas of the Carpathian Basin during the Bronze Age. The first region under study, the lower Körös basin, was synthesized recently in my dissertation. The other two regions, the cultures of the Hernád valley and the Maros river, are already well known. The fortified sites of the Hernád valley and their associated cemeteries reveal a populous regional hierarchy where craft production was controlled by the elite and the autonomy of smaller villages may have been lost. The settlements on the Maros, however, are generally much smaller. There is minimal evidence for hierarchy in the cemeteries, although the burial of children with wealth does suggest hereditary inequality.  Recent fieldwork at Pecica, an important Bronze Age fort upriver, indicate it was functionally more complex than other Maros sites, and possibly controlled the trade route across them.

This simple network, created using Netdraw, represents space only indirectly. The nodes (Middle Bronze Age settlements in the lower Körös basin) are only linked to other nodes that fall within 20 km as the crow flies. (Image credit: Paul Duffy).

My project involves integrating differences in landscape into networked site distribution models for these three regions. In these Hungarian settlement systems, both size and connectivity to the network may have had an impact on access to ores and other resources not locally obtainable. I’m currently investigating the effects of size and network differences in the flow of ore from the mountains. I am also exploring network models including travel costs from waterways and marshland, and manipulating the parameters of each network to explore the different effects. Investigating these factors will help us to explain how changes in trade and differentially impacted the development of social inequalities across the region.