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Joerg

Middle Copper Age cities from southeastern Europe in reconstructions

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Trying to hunt down tin mining and arsenic copper working souces, I happened on these nice images on Wikimedia from the Cucuteni-Tripyllia culture:

Talianki_(Trypillian_city).jpg

Trypillian_city_(Maydanets).jpgn

(and a sample of the raw geomagnetical data this reconstruction is based on, from a publication of Kiel university dealing with the downfall of this culture - possibly due to the lack of participation of the population in decision-making:)

csm_287-magnetische-prospektion_a97468d8

 

Reconstructed_example_of_Trypillian_city

Reconstructed_Trypillian_city_c_4000_B.C

These appear to be sharing the division between an inner ring and an outer ring population, without any architectural indication that the outer ring population was less privileged than the inner ring.

Edited by Joerg
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Just now, Puckohue said:

Are there any estimations of population numbers?

Various - IIRC there are 2700 buildings at Talianki, with numbers tossed about between 7000 and 25,000. The current theory appears to think that 10,000 would have been the upper number, and geomagnetism doesn't exactly tell us whether the houses were used at the same time. I'm still trying to find more online sources for this in languages I can read.

There appears to have been some custom of intentionally burning the wattle-and-daub houses down every 80 years or so, creating a slow rise of the excavation area while retaining the house position and orientation.

Some of those houses had two stories.

Archaeologists were stumped what caused the collapse of these communities, as the external factors like soil (this seems to be in the thick Loess soils of Ukraine) or vegetation don't seem to have changed significantly.

A comparison of communal buildings (places for decision-making) appears to show a trend in centralization that excluded more and more of the population, presumably without introducing the concept of god-kings to maintain cohesion. There don't appear to be extraordinary individuals like the prince of Glauberg with his monumental burial mound.

On the whole, to me this looks very much like an Orlanthi experiment in urbanisation that succeeded for a while, then disbanded again as it had become too big to survive.

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6 hours ago, Joerg said:

Various - IIRC there are 2700 buildings at Talianki, with numbers tossed about between 7000 and 25,000. The current theory appears to think that 10,000 would have been the upper number, and geomagnetism doesn't exactly tell us whether the houses were used at the same time. I'm still trying to find more online sources for this in languages I can read.

 

Damn, that's a very considerable population number - didn't expect to find something that big in the bronze age outside of the Near East (at least in the Euro-Mediterranean context).
 

6 hours ago, Joerg said:

On the whole, to me this looks very much like an Orlanthi experiment in urbanisation that succeeded for a while, then disbanded again as it had become too big to survive.

I have to admit, my first thought was Peloria, but outside the structured Dara Happan urban ideals, and maybe more into the more recently (re)settled areas to the east.

Where would you place a configuration like this in Orlanthi areas? Does it fit in Kerofinela-Kethaela, or would it be more at home in, say, Vesmonstran or along the Janube?


Also, apropos of nothing, that big open central space, is it for keeping animals overnight after pasture - or is it more purely a communal-ritual space (ie. law-hearings, moot-space, festival plain, etc. etc.) 

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These are very interesting. The date indicates they are chalcolithic, not Bronze Age, though. On the plan view, the placement of the houses is very close, suggesting the houses formed the defensive perimeter. But the renderings make it look like they have curtain walls.

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Thanks for posting this. They are quite big settlements and the Wikipedia page has some good information. I had never heard of them.

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Wikipedia had this reconstruction of a temple for the culture.

I couldn't help think that it kind of looked like a scaled-up, plastered longhouse that maybe you could find in Kerofinela, if we presuppose that longhouses are a thing whether together with square compounds or not.

I could imagine it as either an urbanized rural style, or something else. The ale hall of a particularly powerful clan, maybe.
 Temple_of_Nebelivka,_Ukraine._reconstruc

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5 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

The ale hall of a particularly powerful clan, maybe.

longhouses (including in Kerofinela) are dwellings. look at the scale. probably 200 people live in that building at minimum, if you include the hearth, which is where everyone gets their daily food (cooking is a profession, not 50s style per wife; alemaking is one of the more important subspecialisations and historically women always brewed)

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I'm not sure I caught the problem, but I don't disagree with anything you said.

It's meant to be monumental obviously, being a temple IRL, and either a temple or "ale hall"/palace in a Gloranthan context, as far as I imagined it. It's a prestige building, regardless. As I said, the idea would be for it to be based on historical construction forms/styles but scaled up (perhaps both for traditionalism and as a message). Anyway, just an idea.

 

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1 hour ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

longhouses (including in Kerofinela) are dwellings. look at the scale. probably 200 people live in that building at minimum, if you include the hearth, which is where everyone gets their daily food (cooking is a profession, not 50s style per wife; alemaking is one of the more important subspecialisations and historically women always brewed)

I think you have made your point on that topic at least a dozen or three times ( a wee exaggeration) You differ from canon and that is fine so do I, but really...

You get perturbed when others flog a dead horse you are betting on, so please do be nice, let this dead horse finally be buried and if you must shoot down the an opposing theory on a regular basis please at least acknowledge there is anther side to the tale, and I will try to do the same. 

Viva la maison longue libra, mes ami!. Voila, mon supporte pour votre position.
Excuse my horrid french all, I am sure i have pooched it.

Truly, I do not feel like i am doing anything wrong for supporting my position and giving it a good argument and then letting it go and.I do not wish to feel guilty for it either.

Cheers

Edited by Bill the barbarian
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On 10/31/2019 at 3:44 AM, Joerg said:

 

Archaeologists were stumped what caused the collapse of these communities, as the external factors like soil (this seems to be in the thick Loess soils of Ukraine) or vegetation don't seem to have changed significantly.

 

Clearly, they failed to properly perform Ernalda's community-weaving rituals. One day, everyone just decided to move away.

Edited by Bohemond
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1 hour ago, Bill the barbarian said:

You differ from canon

First, I'd like to say that this is not the first time you've come at me for something I've allegedly done, always with the phrase "beating a dead horse", and always you end up apologising because you are flat wrong. Last time you were angry because you thought I was always making fun of the name of the Guide to the Gods of Glorantha when I joked I was gonna call it BaGoG, to refresh your memory. I don't know why you are always doing this but maybe next time you can think before you write. You seem to have a chip on your shoulder about me and I don't know why but honestly it's not my problem because every time you bring up a complaint it turns out not to be true. If you have a problem with me, speak the fuck up when you see it instead of festering until you yell at me for something that isn't actually something I'm doing.

Yes, i appear differ from canon in arguing for longhouses. I do not differ from canon for saying people live in giant buildings specifically in Kerofinela (outside of Sartar's capital, anyway). This is canon. Also, the shapes of the giant Kerofinelan clan residences are described as "quadrilateral", not square. The hearth areas are square. We've discussed this ad nauseum on this board and Authorities have weighed in that Square is not authoritative; quadrilateral is, which includes but is not limited to "square". I have also listened to people's arguments and taken into account good thoughts on why square is better, because I listen!

But that's irrelevant since I was talking about this building. The Kerofinela comment was an aside.

People don't understand these aren't alehouses. These are mass residences. the past is a foreign country. this is a bronze age skyscraper. this is part of how clans work and why you belong to an extended family. all over the world, the bronze age is about innovative giant buildings where every person in your tribe/clan/whatever lives.

In Sumer, this turned into city-states and the organisation of them into the first bureaucracies, which were the priests of the gods and all work and food was organised via the city's patron god's temple. The most powerful people in Sumer included the brewers, all women, who were symbolically the architects of civilisation - hence why one was sent to Enkidu to tame him. She is badly translated as a "bar maid" or sometimes even as a "sex worker"! In fact, she was the organiser of the main source of caloric intake and food storage for all of the city.

I bang on about this because it's so interesting for Glorantha.

Also, not just the past; people still live in longhouses around the world, I've been to places where this is the norm. Indonesia, for example, has areas where this is the norm.

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Seriously Bill, give it a rest. Qizilbashwoman's explanation is perfectly reasonable, a couple sentences to discuss the nature of longhouses, which S_G mentioned in his post, nothing that should provoke that kind of reaction.

I've read some of the previous threads that involve the longhouse discussion as well, and always found that Qizilbashwoman's arguments make sense, and I've always come away from each discussion with some new knowledge that I didn't have before, so I'd rather like her to continue. Longhouse society has a place in my Glorantha with the Kerofinelans, and elsewhere.

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26 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

 and always you end up apologising because you are flat wrong.

Alas, can’t say I recall it like that, I have apologized when wrong and have not when not. As I say a bit further down and in my last post, I have come up against your anger before and expect it when we disagree.so I am a little gun-shy.Thus I have asked you be nice...

My  backing down is not agreeing that your right and that I was flat wrong, Interesting you though that....it was me hoping to avoid this fight we are now having.

27 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

I don't know why you are always doing this but maybe next time you can think before you write.

I often think before I write, thank you. I thought you were wrong, and not mentioning it would be wrong, but leaving it would not be right. I also know you were going to get mad. I did think before I wrote.So I asked you to be nice.

My reason for doing this this time, (and I am i not always doing it), just as you are not always stating an idea as an axiom or fighting, In fact this is very rare behaviour, thank god. So my reason is to make a simple request for you to back up a little when you aver that a thing is one way...Why can’t it be this way, or even that way. I paid for my game just like you did, and I wish to share thoughts about it too. If I think I am right I  will voice that, but I am willing to be wrong and take my lumps for it. and as smart as you are and as right as you can be, you may want to leave a bit of room for other's opinions (you have been alas, flat wrong as well but you get mad when others point it out, 

1 hour ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

First, I'd like to say that this is not the first time you've come at me for something I've allegedly done, always with the phrase "beating a dead horse", and always you end up apologising because you are flat wrong.

Main reason:, alas as said before you make an lot of absolute statements, and it seems to you are not happy with disagreements to them Please.I am not coming at you, It is not the first time you have been pushing buttons to get nne to react.for that matter.  In fact I have asked you politely to not come at me (be nice) and will ask once again that we play nicely in Triflebraxtor’s home, where we are.

Opinions are great, still an opinion voiced  might well be critiqued although.not attacked, and I hope you have never felt attacked, I can not say that is true for me, which is why I asked you to be nice.I have felt little under attack from you a few times now. I mean really, I can be critiqued as well as any but there has to be shelf life on disagreements, GaGoG and square houses vs longhouse are silly and should stay silly so I asked you to be nice, and you were were, well not really nice. Now I am asking you once again to be nice. I can not promise to not disagree with you in the future and to voice it but but I promise to try to be respectful in doing so And once we disagree I will continue to respect you into the future, We will agree again.Shit happens, 

 Myself, I tend  to say I think it is this way but convince me,  I am willing to hear what one has to say and go the right way, not my way. Teach me something new, give me different opinions, I am here to improve my gaming experience with these fine chaosium products and the great peer to peer resources here.and that  is the point of my time. If I can assist another enthusiast to understand the rules and world. fantastic if Bison Bob says the world is round I will have to state my piece, as will Joerg and many others. . Don’t really care if I am right but I will put in a good effort to be as correct as I can be, by looking up the material and listening others with a good understanding  of how it functions is right up there. and  if I can help someone to get enjoyment out of this. as well, tha is truly great. What can we build together?

You and I though, seems we have different views and are fated to come to loggerheads. Hope I am wrong, Hopefully  we can still disagree nicely with an eye to each other’s right to a safe place to voice opinions’ not to mention agree with each other as well which we have done

So if I walk away from a fight in the future please, do not take this as me caving in, and admitting I am flat wrong, no, no, no.  I am actually a nice, guy and while I will defend myself. I still have no problem seeing your rights exist just as my do.That is not me being wrong, flat or otherwise, I hope it is me being right.

Please, a dispute that continues for more that a couple of posts and has one party asking for a cessation on well,being teased  it is not as much fun as you think ,

41 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

I was gonna call it BaGoG, to refresh your memory.

I get it, you think the house are long, I think that they are square, jeff Richards and canonical sources say tradition means that many adopt and use the Ernadan style, In any case, I like the idea of Long Houses myself and if you wish to use them please do, If you wish to say you hate GaGoG, I think it's cool and will listen to you say your piece and then let sleeping dogs lie..

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27 minutes ago, Mirza said:

Seriously Bill, give it a rest. Qizilbashwoman's explanation is perfectly reasonable, a couple sentences to discuss the nature of longhouses, which S_G mentioned in his post, nothing that should provoke that kind of reaction.

 

Again, can’t say I agree with the comment of give it a rest, but thanks for the opinion in any case.

Cheers

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10 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Wikipedia had this reconstruction of a temple for the culture.

I couldn't help think that it kind of looked like a scaled-up, plastered longhouse that maybe you could find in Kerofinela, if we presuppose that longhouses are a thing whether together with square compounds or not.

I could imagine it as either an urbanized rural style, or something else. The ale hall of a particularly powerful clan, maybe.
 Temple_of_Nebelivka,_Ukraine._reconstruc

Certain features of this reconstruction are most likely based on this clay model of a house coupled with the georadar measurements:

donau_large_building_model_2.jpg

There is nothing to indicate that a portion of the population would have inhabited such a cramped mass quarter when everyone else had their own house (of the types shown in the clay model).

There is no evidence for job specialisation for these settlements - everybody appears to have been fairly equal.

Now there may have been magic people who may have moved into such a mega-building to do their holy stuff, away from the normal life of the rest of the villagers. If so, the don't appear to have received a different entry into the afterlife.

 

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On 11/4/2019 at 8:41 AM, Bill the barbarian said:

I get it, you think the house are long, I think that they are square, jeff Richards and canonical sources say tradition means that many adopt and use the Ernadan style, In any case, I like the idea of Long Houses myself and if you wish to use them please do, If you wish to say you hate GaGoG, I think it's cool and will listen to you say your piece and then let sleeping dogs lie..

I normally play that they are of different shapes and styles, depending on the individual clans.

One Clan might have a long house, another a square house, another a round house, depending on their mythical background and origins. The style might change during a clan's life, so a clan might have long houses and then move to round houses to follow Elmal, or Yelmalio or The Only Old One.

One Clan might have a Feasting Hall that is a longhouse and other halls for communal dwellings, but another might have everyone living in one longhouse, allowing it to double up as both.

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13 hours ago, soltakss said:

I normally play that they are of different shapes and styles, depending on the individual clans.

It might even be a case of different bloodlines doing stuff in their established ways.

From how I interprete Jeff's insistence on Mediterranean architecture, longhouse loghouses or square loghouses would have been the state of the art at the time of the Resettlement until the reign of Sartar. Saronil expanded the access to masonry to an extent that clans on the royal highways or with wealthy temples in the hinterland would afford stone buildings, too. (Never the Varmandi, though... Those guys still think of second stories or chimneys as chaotic sorcery.)

I still think that Orlanth's drinking hall should follow the long hall model - that is the only kind of architecture that lends to a Turing-machine like banquet area which holds all Orlanthi on a High Holy Day.

Jokes aside, masonry is not part of general Orlanthi culture outside of well-organized kingdoms, while carpentry has its own deity (or rather, the all-purpose crafter of Orlanthi mythology is the carpenter).

13 hours ago, soltakss said:

One Clan might have a long house, another a square house, another a round house, depending on their mythical background and origins. The style might change during a clan's life, so a clan might have long houses and then move to round houses to follow Elmal, or Yelmalio or The Only Old One.

That appears to be the case for sacral buildings mainly. The chief's (or king's) seat is more likely to be a longhouse, as that is the available masonry for a feasting house of such dimension short of a basilica. Ernaldan hospitality doesn't seem to extend to mass feasting like the Storm Tribe's (except when those are joint occasions).

That said, the feasting at worship rites will often be an open air barbecue/fair rather than an indoors activity where the holy sites are (above-ground) natural features extended by an altar.

 

13 hours ago, soltakss said:

One Clan might have a Feasting Hall that is a longhouse and other halls for communal dwellings, but another might have everyone living in one longhouse, allowing it to double up as both.

An entire clan living in a single building (and effectively a single room) should be the exception, at least where normal clan size is 500 to 1000 heads. Housing a major bloodline of a clan (still 150-400 heads) in a single timber-framed house is already a major architectural feat worthy the efforts Hrodgar put into the mead-hall Heorot that was harrowed by Grendel.

The Rohirrim architecture from the Lord of the Rings movies did to Iron Age wooden housing what Schloss Neuschwanstein did to a medieval knight's castle.

On the other hand, the Trypolye/Trypillia mega-settlements that started this thread apparently had two-story buildings occupied by farmers. I have found another good source on these settlements - the pdf of the exhibition catalogue The Lost World of Old Europe, an exhibition collecting artifacts from the Copper Age cultures of south-eastern Europe to which these settlements belong.

One of the contributions mentions a paper that claims that the farmer population would have to have farmed the environment of the city for 7 km outward just for grain cultivations, based on simulations using geo-information systems, and that there would have to have been satellite settlements around these mega-settlements to enable the farmers to work on these fields eficiently. One argument was that these 7 km would be too far to bring in the harvest by ox carts, but then I wonder how having satellite settlements would have changed the amount of grain that needed to be carted into the mega-settlement. There are other possible solutions, like temporary shelters among the fields for the work-intensive times of the year that usually take place in clement conditions, and sitting out the inclement winters in the shelter of the mega-settlement.

The absence of any cemetery for the Trypolye mega-settlements suggests that the inhabitants used ossuaries or cremation and stored the remains of their dead in houses inside the mega-settlement. Not too different from burying your ancestors under the mud floor of your house...

It takes exceptional soil for a copper age farming community to be able to concentrate in (artificial) hill settlements (aka "tells", hills that mainly consist of the debris of previous settlement materials), but the Ukraine has those meter-thick loess deposits of fertile black earth which I suspect can be found in parts of Dragon Pass and much of Esrolia, too.

 

If those 7 km distance caused a problem for the Trypolye mega-settlements, the city of Nochet is way more extreme with its 12 km belt of cemetery separating the city from the nearest grain fields. Even with riverine and bay transport, the grain imports for Nochet have an extra measure of difficulty. Boldhome has a similar quandary with its 800 m rise (or more) above the fertile Killard Vale, mitigated only by the excellent royal road, but aggravated by the absence of water transport as a means of transport. I guess that the majority of the grain available in Boldhome was carried there on the backs of mules, hundreds of those. Somewhere in the less fertile hills around Boldhome there must be a clan or three specializing in breeding mules (i.e. horses and donkeys). I would nominate the Sambari as one possible candidate, and possibly the Kheldon clans north of Killard Vale. (Associating Kallyr's stubborn character with donkey breeding is a nice side benefit...)

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I think the whole "burn the daub and wattle buildings every 80 years" thing is interesting.  Intentional clearing the city of accumulated vermin or the result of war/civil conflict?  Or maybe someone just got careless with a lamp.

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4 minutes ago, seneschal said:

I think the whole "burn the daub and wattle buildings every 80 years" thing is interesting.  Intentional clearing the city of accumulated vermin or the result of war/civil conflict?  Or maybe someone just got careless with a lamp.

In the New World, at least in the Northeast where I'm from, indigenous housing had the roofing replaced very frequently, and the actual buildings themselves burnt and rebuilt every couple decades or so. The roofing would harbour parasites - rats, bugs, mold, etc. - even with the smoke and cold and summertime movement to outer buildings, and eventually the wooden structure would become untrustworthy for various reasons - wear, rot, ants. Better to "clean house", so to speak. Often a short relocation (a mile or two) to a new site was in order as well, although that wouldn't apply to a city.

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Later cities didn't build the houses for eternity, either. The La Tene oppidum of Manching had houses built from massive standardized beams that would be recycled when the rest of the house became untrustworthy. (I guess the excavators deduced this from fairly identical remains of wood with significantly different dendrochronological ages.)

The permanence of the location (or at least the relative location on the narrowing tell as it grew upward) of the individual houses is interesting, too. The plots aren't that big. The houses remain individual (which leads to the assumption that a construction worker could perform his duty between the walls of two adjacent houses without much difficulty).

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On 11/11/2019 at 1:23 PM, Joerg said:

An entire clan living in a single building (and effectively a single room) should be the exception, at least where normal clan size is 500 to 1000 heads. Housing a major bloodline of a clan (still 150-400 heads) in a single timber-framed house is already a major architectural feat worthy the efforts Hrodgar put into the mead-hall Heorot that was harrowed by Grendel.

Yes, I tend to say Clan when I mean Bloodline.

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9 hours ago, soltakss said:

Yes, I tend to say Clan when I mean Bloodline.

That's the issue I have when people suggest that the Germanic tribes had clans. The Germanic core unit was the bloodline of about a hundred individuals (hundred being a fluid term, with concrete numerical meanings including 80, 100, 120 and 144).

There were hundreds within hundreds, too - e.g. the Anlo-Saxon organisation into hundreds of (agricultural) hides, or the equivalent in Harald Finehair's organisation of Norway into ships.

The much larger clan size of the Orlanthi is probably the biggest difference between them and colder temperate European "barbarians", and why Germanic, Baltic, Slavic and Viking parallels fail. The smaller sizes of the core unit makes organizing them into a larger tribe a quite different kind of project than juggling just two dozen clans into a city conferation.

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