The settlement hill Magura Gorgana near the modern village of Pietrele in Wallachia, southern Romania, was an impressive sight in the 5th millennium BC. The tell, about nine metres high, stood upon the lowest terrace of the Danube valley about 15 metres above the level of the riverside meadow at that time. The settlement hill was integrated in a transregional exchange network with comparable settlements on the Lower Danube, where, in the 5th millennium BC, tools and jewellery were made of copper for the first time.
The Chalcolithic in south-eastern Europe is one of the most dynamic periods in European cultural history. The new metal, after which an archaeological epoch was named, led to what was without doubt the most revolutionary transformation after the advent of farming.
Fundamental new insights into this period have been gained by the DAI Eurasia Department’s excavations at Pietrele in the past 15 years. The combination of archaeological excavation and comprehensive landscape reconstruction has proved to be particularly effective and affords an entirely new picture of what happened in the 5th millennium BC.