Polgár-Bosnyákdomb, a Late Neolithic tell-like settlement on Polgár Island (NE Hungary). Preliminary results of the investigations

Pál Raczky,

Alexandra Anders


In this study, we summarise the preliminary results of thirty years of investigations at the Polgár-Bosnyákdomb site. The significance of the site located on the one-time bank of the Tisza River is that it lies no more than 5 km away from the well-known Polgár-Csőszhalom settlement complex. One of our goals was to investigate the relation between the settlements in the Polgár Island micro-region and to identify the similarities and differences between them. It is quite obvious that with its estimated 70 hectares large extent, Polgár-Csőszhalom was a dominant settlement complex in this landscape during the earlier fifth millennium, while the Bosnyákdomb settlement, represented an entirely different scale with its 8 hectares and had a different role during this period. The AMS dates provide convincing evidence that the two settlements had been occupied simultaneously during one period of their lives. Despite their spatial proximity and chronological contemporaneity, the two settlements had a differing structural layout. Although both had a prominent stratified settlement mound that was separated from the single-layer settlement part by a ditch, the system of the ditches, their structure and, presumably, their social use differed substantially. This would suggest that each community  constructed its settlement and architectural structures according to different spatial rules in the different locations of Polgár Island. Despite the spatial differences, we could identify traces of similar community events on the settlement mounds at Bosnyákdomb and Csőszhalom such as the recurring practice of house burning.  Despite the smaller excavated areas, we identified wholly different mortuary practices at Bosnyákdomb, diverging fundamentally from the funerary rites practiced at Csőszhalom. The bones of the deceased were secondarily deposited into the ditch of the central mound. The various cultural features discussed in the above indicate that the community responses of the groups settling and living in the Polgár area during the Late Neolithic to the environmental challenges of the land around them were embodied by a set of distinctive cultural behaviours. Nevertheless, certain elements in the colourful diversity of material features and their different levels outline the structure of a micro-regional network with Csőszhalom in its centre in the Upper Tisza region.

Słowa kluczowe: Neolithic, tell-like and horizontal settlement complex, enclosure system, 14C dating, Polgár Island, Great Hungarian Plain

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