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Saturday, 23 December 2017 13:09

A HISTORY OF UKRAINE. EPISODE 4. THE TRYPILIAN CULTURE

Oleksandr Palii, A History of Ukraine, 23.12.2017

 

EPISODE THREE HERE

 

In the late 19th century, the Ukrainian archaeologist Vikentii Khvoika discovered ancient, masterfully designed pottery near the village of Trypilia in the Kyiv region. The culture was initially named after the village of Cucuteni in Iasi County, Romania, where similar ceramic fragments had been found in 1884 by Teodor Burada. Then scientists named it the Cucuteni-Trypilian Culture. 

 

The population of the territory covered by the Trypilian Culture was at least one million at any given time. Trypilian villages formed large populated areas where neighbors lived in safety. 

 

The oldest of these dated back to the Stone Age, the 6th millennium BC. Similar earthenware was later found throughout Right-Bank Ukraine (i.e. to the West of Dnipro river) and in some parts of Left-Bank Ukraine. This culture was close to the contemporary cultures of the Balkans and the Mediterranean. 

 

buda

Ceramic building, likely a model of a temple, the Trypilian culture

 

Trypilian society was similar to the early civilizations of the Ancient East in terms of development. The Trypilians built unfortified settlements, were not afraid of enemy attacks and, most important, learned to grow plants not only on the river floodplains and meadows but also in plain fields. 

 

In Trypilian settlements, houses formed circles around the temple area. The largest Trypilian settlements are located in the Cherkasy region (the villages of Maidanetske, Talianky etc.). Each had 3,000 houses and a population of some 20,000, i.e. more than an average medieval town. Most houses in these “proto-towns” had two residential floors. At the time, these were likely the world’s largest population centers. They were able to reach such a large size due to the fertility of the Ukrainian lands. 

 

baba

Ceramic female figurine, Trypilian culture

 

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