Archaeologists from University College Dublin, together with colleagues from Serbia and Slovenia, have discovered a previously unknown network of massive objects in the heart of Europe. And these objects can explain the appearance on the continent of the largest prehistoric structures – Bronze Age megaforts.
To piece together the prehistoric landscape of the South Carpathian Basin in central Europe, archaeologists said in a study published in the journal PLOS ONE that they used satellite imagery and aerial photography. As a result, more than a hundred objects were discovered that clearly belonged to a highly organized society. According to the authors of the work, these are the predecessors of defensive fences of the Bronze Age.
The researchers noticed that they were already familiar with megaforts, surrounded by 33-kilometer ditches and dwarfing modern citadels with their gigantic size. But their work revealed for the first time that these massive settlements did not stand in isolation, but were part of a dense network of closely connected and interdependent communities.
In total, archaeologists have discovered more than a hundred sites in the Carpathian Basin. Almost all of them are located within five kilometers of each other and are aligned along the river corridor formed by the Tisza and the Danube.
Thus, in 1500-1200 BC, that is, at a time when the Mycenaeans, Hittites and the New Kingdom of Egypt were at the peak of their development, their contemporaries from eastern Europe also did not waste time. The discovery provides new insight into how Europe lived in the 2nd millennium BC, an era that historians consider a turning point from antiquity to modern civilizations.