International Journal of Human Diversity and Evolution
Coverage: 1923-1941 (Vols. I-XIX) & 1962-2023 (Vols. 1-61)
ISSN 0323-1119 (Print)
ISSN 2570-9127 (Online)
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'Barna JP, 2015: Socio-historical background of cultural changes in South-Western-Hungary as reflected by archaeological data during Post-LBK times. Anthropologie (Brno) 53, 3: 399-412'.
The questions of socio-historical circumstances in South-Western Hungary based on observations made mainly at sites in Zala county during Post-LBK times are discussed below. This time period corresponds to the turn of the Middle and Late Neolithic in Western-Hungary which is, at the same time, the beginning of the emergence of the Lengyel culture. It has previously been accepted that there was genetic continuity between the LBK and the Lengyel cultures. The formation process of the Lengyel culture in Hungary has recently been reviewed. The role of the Sopot culture turned out to be more significant than it formerly had been conceived. The emergence of the Lengyel culture has been reconsidered also in other territories, e.g. in Slovakia, where a great cultural and historical break from the preceding LBK (Želiezovce Group) was proved. Climatic changes are hypothesized in the background of the changes. According to former theories the genesis of the Lengyel culture was considered as a process taking place on the multicultural substrate of the LBK groups in which the Sopot culture played a catalyser role causing and inspiring the transformations. On the other hand, essential details of this time period, among them the factual character of the changes, were not clarified. A fair number of new data resulted from lately excavated sites of the Sopot culture, e.g. Becsehely-Bükkaljai-dűlő, Petrivente-Újkúti-dűlő, Sormás-Török-földek, and Sormás-Mántai-dűlő have broadened our knowledge significantly on the turn of the Middle and Late Neolithic. By the end of the Middle Neolithic a high concentration of Late LBK and Sopot settlements developed in South-Western-Transdanubia. In the territory considered earlier as a periphery compared to the Sopot central core area a secondary settlement block was formed, which consisted of a close chain of extended and enclosed settlements (e.g. the sites mentioned above). The nature of Post-LBK times are mainly discussed on detailed analyses of two sites from the study area. A multicultural site at Sormás-Török-földek represents settlements of the Sopot and Lengyel cultures. Beyond substantial new relative chronological data several absolute chronological radiocarbon data are also available both from Sopot and formative Lengyel contexts from the site. The site at Esztergályhorváti provided a unique feature; a mass grave containing skeletal remains exclusively of male individuals. The Esztergályhorváti find assemblage is dated by 14C to the same period as Sormás-Török-földek. The comparative review of these two sites aims to clarify whether Post-LBK times in South-Western-Hungary were calm, peaceful terms generating prosperous and continuous development of local communities or should it rather be interpreted as a wartime, fraught with danger and violence? The author sets out arguments in favour of the peaceful nature of this time period.
South-Western Hungary – Enclosure – Mass grave – Sopot culture – Formative Lengyel culture

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