Cookies

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Department of Archaeology

Staff

Publication details for Professor John Chapman

Chapman, John (2009). The Danube and settlement prehistory – 80 years on. European Journal of Archaeology 12(1-3): 145-156.
  • Publication type: Journal papers: academic
  • ISSN/ISBN: 1461-9571, 1741-2722
  • DOI: 10.1177/1461957109342798
  • Keywords: Binary classification, Cultural complexity, Economic basis, Land ownership, Neolithic self-sufficiency, Tells versus flat sites, Vere Gordon Childe.
  • View online: Online version
  • Durham research online: DRO record

Author(s) from Durham

Abstract

Although commentators have discussed myriad themes presented in the rich and extensive oeuvre of Childe, one of the topics that has been, in my view, seriously neglected is the topic of settlement types. In this article, I seek to make good this omission, starting from a consideration of The Danube in Prehistory. The basis of Childe’s ideas on settlement types in the Neolithic and Copper Age of eastern Europe was a binary classification into ‘tells’ and ‘flat sites’ that, in turn, reflected a division between permanent and shifting cultivation and greater and lesser cultural complexity. However, the introduction into this debate of questions of trade, surplus production, and Neolithic ‘self-sufficiency’, as well as metallurgy and ritual, meant that the initial binary classification left a series of contradictions that Childe struggled to transcend in the last decade of his life.