University of Southampton OCS (beta), CAA 2012

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Neolithic and Chalcolithic territorial patterns in Moldavia (Romania). Remarks on Neamt and Iasi regions.
Andrei Asandulesei, Robin Brigand, Vasile Cotiuga, Olivier Weller

Last modified: 2011-12-16


Despite a long tradition of studies on the Moldavian Neolithic and Chalcolithic cultures, the analysis of human communities' territorial behaviour remains underexploited. This work combines concepts used in landscape archaeology with the potentiality of a Geographic Information System (GIS) in order to mobilise archaeological artefacts in a large-scale setting and multiple thematic scopes.

This paper presents a comparison based on spatial and temporal distribution of archaeological evidences between Carpathian Mountains and Prut River, more precisely in the Neamt and the west part of the Iasi County. Applying integrated approaches through GIS analysis, its purpose aims to explore natural, economic and social phenomena involved in territorial trajectory during Later Prehistory (6000-3500 BC). In the chronological framework of the Precucuteni and Cucuteni cultures (5000-3500 BC), different kinds of viewshed are computed in order to strengthen the control of several territories: piedmont areas (Bistrita-Cracau and Moldova basins), extremely rich in salt resources; steppes area (Bahlui-Bahluet basin), well-known for its fortified settlements density and its extremely suitable soils for agriculture.

An exhaustive archaeological database was built for each area investigated, using both earlier and most recent published repertories. The main goal is to obtain, for every prehistoric settlement, different qualitative indicators regarding the spatial precision of the topographic mapping, the nature of settlement and its chronological framework, the quality and period of the archaeological information. Another goal is to focus on natural indicators and on their relative attractiveness in order to define their relation with economic development by chronological periods. The general scope is to evaluate how Prehistoric territories are constituted and how natural resources (water, salt and soil) were driving factors for these farming groups of eastern Romania. Visual analysis and spatial patterning allow us to describe territorial models which explain the original organisation of these territories.


Settlement Pattern, Natural ressources, GIS, Viewshed Analysis, Territorial Hierarchy