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In the East European region between Prut and Dnieper, proto-urban mega-sites developed ca. 4100−3600 BCE with population agglomerations of around 10000 inhabitants per site. An outline of complexity categories, based on P. Turchin et al. (2018), illustrates that “computational abilities” are first developed to make the shift from dispersed to agglomerated settlement patterns. The development of an internal decision-making system for a polity that organizes communication via public buildings on different levels, together with a site-specific track system, may be responsible for this shift (or made it possible). However, after generations, this communication pattern was not developed into further collective communication abilities (e.g., into a writing system), while at the same time a tendency toward centralizing decision processes probably destroyed the communication flow. This ultimately led to the collapse of Tripolye mega-sites.


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Tripolye Mega-Sites: “Collective Computational Abilities” of Prehistoric Proto-Urban Societies?

Show Author's information Johannes Müller1( )Robert Hofmann1Mila Shatilo1
Institute of Prehistoric and Protohistoric Archaeology, Kiel University, Kiel 24106, Germany

Abstract

In the East European region between Prut and Dnieper, proto-urban mega-sites developed ca. 4100−3600 BCE with population agglomerations of around 10000 inhabitants per site. An outline of complexity categories, based on P. Turchin et al. (2018), illustrates that “computational abilities” are first developed to make the shift from dispersed to agglomerated settlement patterns. The development of an internal decision-making system for a polity that organizes communication via public buildings on different levels, together with a site-specific track system, may be responsible for this shift (or made it possible). However, after generations, this communication pattern was not developed into further collective communication abilities (e.g., into a writing system), while at the same time a tendency toward centralizing decision processes probably destroyed the communication flow. This ultimately led to the collapse of Tripolye mega-sites.

Keywords:

non-state societies, social constitution, Chalcolithic mega-sites, Tripolye
Received: 05 August 2021 Revised: 04 December 2021 Accepted: 08 December 2021 Published: 14 February 2022 Issue date: March 2022
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Publication history

Received: 05 August 2021
Revised: 04 December 2021
Accepted: 08 December 2021
Published: 14 February 2022
Issue date: March 2022

Copyright

© The author(s) 2021

Acknowledgements

Acknowledgment

The authors are grateful to the DFG, German Research Foundation (No. SFB 1266/290391021), for funding the research presented here. We are also very thankful for the review by Tim A. Kohler, and Eileen Küçükkaraca for language editing.

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The articles published in this open access journal are distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

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