Journal of World Prehistory

, Volume 24, Issue 2–3, pp 161–174 | Cite as

A River Runs Through It: Landscape and the Evolution of Bronze Age Networks in the Carpathian Basin

  • John M. O’SheaEmail author
Original Paper


The homogeneous and circumscribed character of the Carpathian Basin makes it an ideal setting for examining the interplay of topography and resource distribution in the development of Bronze Age social networks. Such networks include both systems of settlement and land use, and the patterns of interconnection between communities and regions that facilitate trade and exchange. Drawing on new excavations and increasingly common radiocarbon dates within the region, the alteration in these networks from earlier Copper Age and Neolithic patterns can be traced. It is suggested that the substantial river systems of the region provided the principal axes for the movement of goods during the Bronze Age and that control of these water routes was contested among neighboring communities and polities. It is further argued that contrastive overland trade connections also developed which, at least initially, transported distinct materials. Later, these overland connections undermined and superseded the pre-existing riverine systems.

Keywords Maros Hungarian archaeology Romanian archaeology 


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Museum of AnthropologyUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA

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