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This dissertation examines how patterns of regional homogeneity in material culture develop on the local level. Archaeologists have long been concerned with how large, materially homogeneous culture groups develop over large regions relatively quickly. Often, this phenomenon has been associated with migration. In many cases, such as the Linearbandkeramik (LBK) group in Europe and Clovis in North America, migration models are the best explanation. However, in other cases such as the Early Copper Age Tiszapolgár culture on the Great Hungarian Plain, local models of indigenous better fit the patterns of settlement and material culture. This project focuses on changes at the beginning of the Late Copper Age on the Great Hungarian Plain at around 3,500 B.C. At this time, the relatively homogeneous Baden culture became the dominant material culture group on the Plain. Two models of changes are tested here: 1) that the Late Copper Age Baden culture developed out of local populations' intensified involvement in an interregional interaction sphere; and 2) change occurred through migration or migrations onto the plain or a diffusion of material culture and other behaviors that drastically affected settlement and social organization. In this vein, the presumably intrusive kurgan burial tumuli that appeared in the region at about this time are of special interest. These models are tested in two primary ways: 1) a multi-scalar settlement spatial analysis of known archaeological sites; and 2) macroscopic and petrographic ceramic analysis aimed at identifying technological and manufacturing changes over time that might point to either the arrival of new people in the region (migration) or diachronic population continuity. Insufficient evidence exists to support a migration catalyzing the social and settlement changes observed at the beginning of the Late Copper Age. Although a migration scenario cannot be ruled out definitively, settlement pattern analysis supports a model of internal social trajectories leading to the changes, while macroscopic and petrographic ceramic analyses do not reveal any changes in technological preparation or manufacturing methods indicating the arrival of new people or pottery technologies in the region. Ultimately, the results of this research suggest that even dramatic shifts in material culture and incorporation into wider material culture groups can occur in times of population continuity through a combination of social and economic processes.
A Dissertation Submitted to the Department of Anthropology in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Includes bibliographical references.
William A. Parkinson, Professor Directing Dissertation; Daniel Pullen, University Representative; Joseph Hellweg, Committee Member.
Florida State University
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