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EARLY BROZE AGE

(2800-2000 BC)

 

The beginning of the Early Bronze Age in Hungary is marked by the appearance of the Makó culture, which supplanted a great cultural entity of the Late Copper Age, the Baden culture. The new culture is characterised by small, seasonal settlements and small cemeteries used for short periods. One of the bigger of these settlements was excavated in Aranyhegyi street.

Due to the very favourable geographic location of Budapest, new groups of people settled along the narrow bank of the Danube in the second phase of the Early Bronze Age. The peoples of the Bell Beaker-Csepel-group, who came across the valleys of the Rhine and later the Danube handed down unique artefacts. Their characteristic cemeteries lay further from the Danube, while their settlements were found closer to the riverbank. On these riverbank settlements, such as those discovered in Csepel-Hollandi street, in Szigetszentmiklós-Üdülőtelep and lately in Albertfalva, the traces of beamframed houses turned up. Based on the pole-holes found during excavation, the structure of beamframed houses with arching walls could be observed in Szigetszentmiklós for the first time, and so the whole house could be reconstructed. According to observations at the excavation and the reconstruction, the ears of the beamframed arching houses were situated in the axis of the house, and oriented North-South or Northeast-Southwest, depending on the prevailing wind-direction. The walls of houses were made of wattle braided between the poles and pugged with mud. The mud used for pugging the walls was gained from the clay-potholes found next to the houses. The roof was covered with sedge, hay and weeds. The houses were probably inhabited by extended families.

From the pottery used by the communities that lived on the settlements, the ones used for storage and cooking remained in greatest quantities. It is assumed that there were storage pots also made of organic material, however these perished during the years. A greater number of artefacts also turned up at the excavated sites, especially in Albertfalva: awls, needles, antler-hoes, axes, and bone-skates for easier travel. Numerous flaked and polished stone tools were used as well: blades, knives, stones for polishing bone, and grinding stones. Copper tools, rare at this time, were represented by the few, partially recovered needles on the settlements.

Animal husbandry was the most important farming activity, and horse breeding surpassed the breeding of all other domestic animals. The people living on the settlement grew chaff wheat products, mostly einkorn (wild wheat), emmer, barley, and vegetables such as peas with a high protein content and fava (or horse) beans. In the last phase of the Early Bronze Age the way of life changed significantly in the Danube and Tisza regions. Settlements before used only for short periods were replaced by layered, so-called tell settlements indicating long sedentary lifestyle. Living in one place for longer periods was made possible by the increased variety of natural resources available (mostly an increase in the amount of food), and the development of methods for intensive resource utilisation.

The surroundings of Budapest were occupied by the communities of the Nagyrév culture that was present in the centre of the country. While it had a local base, there were probably southern elements involved in the formation of this culture.

 

Literature

Bóna, István: Bronzezeitliche Tell-Kulturen in Ungarn. In: Meier-Arendt W. (Hrsg.): Bronzezeit in Ungarn. Forschungen in Tell Siedlungen an Donau und Theiss. Frankfurt am Main 1992, 9-39.

Ecsedy István: A bronzkor kezdete. In: A bronzkor kincsei Magyarországon. Szerk.: Maráz Borbála. Pécs 1995, 14-17.

Endrődi Anna: Results of settlement archaeology in Bell Beaker Culture research in Hungary. BAR S690 (1998) 141-161

Harrison, Richard J.: The Beaker Folk. Copper Age archaeology in Western Europe. London 1980.

Kalicz-Schreiber, Rózsa: Komplex der Nagyrév-Kultur. Kulturen der Frühbronzezeit des Karpatenbeckens und Nordbalkans. Red.: Nikola Tasić. Beograd 1984, 133-190.

Schreiber Rózsa: A harangedények népe Budapesten - Die Glockenbecherkultur in Budapest. Emlékek Budapest múltjából, Budapest 1973.

Schreiber, Rózsa: Die Probleme der Glockenbecherkultur in Ungarn. Glockenbecher-Symposion. Oberried-Freiburg 1974, Bossum/Haarlem 1976, 183-215.

 

 

 


BELL BEAKERS (Budapest)

 

TRIANGULAR BRONZE DAGGERS (Budapest - Békásmegyer)

 

POT WITH AN ASYMETRIC HANDLE  (Szigetszentmiklós - Üdülősor)

 

POT WITH A SYMBOLIC MOTIF (Budapest, XI. district Pannonhalmi street)

 

SET OF ARTEFACTS FOR BURIAL – LATE NAGYRÉV CULTURE (Szigetszentmiklós - Felsőtag)


© Budapest History Museum, 2003