Title: Sídelní areály pravěkých zemědělců
Other Titles: Settlement areas of prehistoric farmers
Authors: Neústupný, Evžen
Citation: Památky archeologické. 1986, 76, s. 226-276.
Issue Date: 1986
Publisher: AÚ ČSAV
Document type: článek
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/11025/16927
Keywords: pravěk;zemědělství
Keywords in different language: prehistory;agriculture
Abstract in different language: The paper develops a model fo further consideration and for testing by means of specific archaeological evidence. Starting from the needs of farming communities in proceeds to the definition of their settlement areas as consisting not only of dwelling sites and cemeteries (the two kids of "sites" of traditional archaeology) but also of places of storage (grain, fodder for domestic animals, raw materials, fuel etc.) and of agricultural production (fields and fallows, pasture lands, places for collecting fodder, hunting, fishing and gathering). There must have been other areas not directly connected with agriculture (extraction of raw materials, deposition of the dead, other ritual activities etc.) The influence of natural conditions upon the selection of settlement areas is discussed (geomorphological, hydrogeological, pedological factors, climate etc.). It is suggested that the probable way of selecting individual settlement areas in prehistory was based on plant indicators. Dwelling areas were surrounded by the other kinds of areas; this seems to be the basis of the repeatedly observed fact that sites from different periods tend to cluster in a limited number of places. At the same time large tracts of land remain free of easily detectable traces of the presence of prehistoric farmers; these may the places of production areas (fields, fallows etc.). The density of settlement areas in Central Europe, however, is remarkable the average distance to the nearest site of the same archacological age being from two to three kilometers in most instances. Judging from the size of villages and from the average distance among them, individual settlement areas were inhabited by a few families each (several ten persons at most). Thus, they were small but distributed densely. This general pattern of settlement did not change during the greater part of later prehistory (beginning with the Neolithic period). The core of settlement areas (consisting of the village, fields and fallows) must have been almost permanently deforested and the surrounding mixed oak forest reduced by the pasture of domestic animals. Recent rescue excavations in NW Bohemia covering several square kilometers revealed that many settlement areas had been inhabited almost continuosly. Some of the archaeological periods, however, are represented by scarce evidence, a fact usually due to the differing probability of the survival of archacological record. All the areas need not have been exploited at the same time; the temporarily free ones could have been used by neighbouring communities as a reserve either in the case of devastation of their former areas by intensive farming or in the case of population increase. Also, they could have been used as pasture lands. Thus, the population of any larger region could maintain stationarity despite their intensive exploitation of the environment and despite their fluctuating population dynamics.
Rights: © Evžen Neústupný
Appears in Collections:Články / Articles (KAR)

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