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Durham University

Department of Archaeology


Publication details for Professor John Chapman

Albert, Bruce, Innes, Jim , Krementskiy, Konstantin Millard, Andrew , Gaydarska, Bisserka , Nebbia, Marco & Chapman, John (2020). What was the ecological impact of a Trypillia mega-site occupation? Multi-proxy palaeo-environmental investigations at Nebelivka, Ukraine. Vegetation History and Archaeobotany 29(1): 15-34.

Author(s) from Durham


Fine-resolution sampling of pollen, non-pollen palynomorphs and microcharcoal as well as sedimentological data in a 6-m sediment core were used to reconstruct both natural conditions and human impacts in the late fifth and early fourth millennia cal bc in the environs of the Nebelivka megasite in Kirovograd Oblast, Central Ukraine. This 238-ha site, dating to the Middle (or BII) Phase of the Trypillia culture, represents one of the first low-density urban establishments in Europe. Despite what was believed to be a sizable population, local human impacts reconstructed from the multi-proxy palaeo-ecological record were moderate in character. There was no positive evidence to indicate a depositional hiatus in the P1 core and no sign of a major ecological impact at any stage in the high-resolution record. The palaeo-ecological record indicates modest settlement agglomeration with less permanent populations rather than permanent populations of tens of thousands of people.