LATE BRONZE AGE POTTERY IN THE SOUTH-EASTERN CARPATHIAN BASIN
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After the abandonment of some of the Middle Bronze Age tell settlements, a series of developments and transformations lead to the construction of mega-forts in the Lower Mureș Region during the 15th c. BC, followed by their subsequent destruction/demise during the 13th c. BC. While most investigations in the aforementioned region have focused on the evolution of the most representative sites, a large number of artefacts, especially the pottery assemblage, have not yet been analysed in detail. The current paper aims to fill this gap by presenting a detailed analysis combining the available radiocarbon dates, the contexts from where these samples were taken, and the associated pottery finds. In this way we could establish time intervals expressed in absolute dates that frame the evolution of certain pottery shapes, decoration techniques and ornamental motifs. As a result of this analysis, it became clear that certain characteristics of the Middle Bronze Age pottery have been perpetuated during the Late Bronze Age. Another important observation was the widespread use of channelled pottery as early as the 16th c. BC within some communities from this region. On the other hand, other communities in the area make extensive use of incised decoration until the 14th c. BC. As a result, two different stylistic areas could be observed in the Lower Mureș Region. The results obtained in this paper underline the drawbacks of traditional relative chronologies based on the evolution of certain artefact types. Therefore, a chronological scheme based on major events taking place in the Lower Mureș Region, established following the analysis of a series of radiocarbon dates, is put forward in this paper.
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