After a two year hiatus due to Covid, we were finally able to make it back to Hungary and back to the field! As part of the Körös Consortium, the BAKOTA, KRAP, and PIPP projects combined forces for the past two weeks to work at the Late Neolithic sites of Vésztő-Mágor and Csökmő-Káposztás-domb, and the Bronze Age site of Békés-Várdomb. While two weeks doesn't sound like a lot, the weather gods favored us and gave us beautiful conditions, so we were able to begin the conservation work at Vésztő-Mágor, extensively tract walk, intensively surface collect 10x10m units, lay in multiple shovel test probes, and complete magnetometry at a couple of sites. We owe a huge thanks to the students from the University of Kiel and the University of Georgia (Martje, Ruby, Emil, and Victoria), to our friends in Vésztő (Béla, Marika, Golyó, and Sándor), to our amazing mag team (Máté, Misi, Bence, Borisz, and Gábor), to our new partners in archaeology from the University of Cardiff (Ashley and Jerrod), and to our friends and colleagues in Hungary who help make this research possible (János, Orsi, Györgyi, Laci, Dóri, Sanyi, András, Gergő, and so many more!). It has been an unbelievable season and we can't wait until we can come back again.
-D. J. Riebe
With the global pandemic impacting everyone around the world, the Prehistoric Interactions on the Plain Project's website has gone a bit quiet, but that doesn’t mean the work has stopped! In fact, there are several announcements that we would like to share with you. First and foremost, PIPP Director, Dr. Danielle Riebe, and Ceramic Specialist, Dr. Attila Gyucha, are now part of the Anthropology Department at the University of Georgia. While a 2021 field season was impossible, we are hopeful that we will be able to have a 2022 season and bring students from UGA and other institutions into the field. In the meantime, our Hungarian colleagues (János Dani, Máté Stibranyi, Gábor Mesterházy, and Mihály Pethe) have continued to make progress on the magnetometry survey at Csökmő and they are planning one more excursion later this fall after the harvest. The mag results are looking extremely promising and will be used to guide future work at the site.
In addition to the exciting field work, Dr. Danielle Riebe has published her first solo-authored book! Based on her doctoral thesis, Redefining Archaeological Cultures, models interactions and prehistoric socio-cultural boundaries between the Late Neolithic Herpály and Tisza archaeological cultures on the Great Hungarian Plain. As part of the “Prehistoric Research in the Körös Region” series edited by Attila Gyucha and Bill Parkinson, the book was published by Archaeolingua Publishing House with funding from the Nemzeti Kulturális Alap (National Cultural Fund of Hungary). The book might not hit the New York Times Best Seller list (though it should!), but it nicely synthesizes prehistoric research to date in southeastern Hungary and the successful international collaborations in the region. A link to order the book will be coming soon, but for now it is featured in the Summer 2021 issue of Hungarian Archaeology.
With more research and news coming soon, stay tuned to see what else PIPP is up to!
-D. J. Riebe
Brokering Boundaries and Creating Culture
In the highly connected world that we live in today, interactions play an important part in every aspect of our lives. However, the importance of interactions is not a modern phenomenon, and by investigating interactions in the past, it is possible for archaeologists to reconstruct the active role that people played in the creation of their own social identities. Since 2013, Dr. Riebe has directed the "Prehistoric Interactions on the Plain Project" (PIPP) in Southeastern Hungary and has investigated how different multi-scalar interactions and various degrees of connectivity resulted in socio-cultural differentiation during the Late Neolithic (5,000-4,500 BCE) on the Great Hungarian Plain. This lecture presents the results of PIPP's recent research to illustrate how critical interactions were and continue to be in the creation of human culture.
WHEN: Wednesday, February 12, 2020
TIME: 7:00 - 9:00PM
WHERE: Simone's Bar, 960 W. 18th St., Chicago 60608 (Pilsen)
The event is free and open to those who are 21 and over. Get your tickets online at eventbrite:
The fall has been a good one for PIPP! Check out the most recent publication for the project:
In addition to this great read, if you are heading to the AIA's this year in Washington, D.C., make sure to check out the PIPP presentation:
Paper Title: More Similar Than Different: Reassessing Settlement Patterns and the Implications for Late Neolithic Archaeological Cultural Units on the Great Hungarian Plain
Session: 4D: Regions, Households & Objects: New Research in Southeastern European Prehistory
Session Time: Saturday, January 4 (8:00 – 10:30 AM)
Congrats to Co-Director of NASKA (see Related Projects), Dr. Roderick Salisbury, and his co-authors who have recently published an article in Nature about prehistoric ceramic baby bottles! This is outstanding research that is giving more representation to one group of marginalized individuals in the past: children.
Milk of Ruminants in Ceramic Baby Bottles from Prehistoric Child Graves by J. Dunne, K. Rebay-Salisbury, R. B. Salisbury, A. Frisch, C. Walton-Doyle, and R. P. Evershed
Click on the link to read more about this research:
It has been quite the year and there are several accomplishments that need to go into this first PIPP Squeak. Namely, the first NSF funded PIPP season was a HUGE success! We were able to conduct extensive magnetometric survey over approximately 32 hectares at Csökmő-Káposztás-domb and the results are stunning. Subsurface anomalies illustrate a ditch around the tell, lots of houses (rectangular anomalies in white, oriented northwest to southeast), and many other settlement features (e.g., pits, possible wells, modern farmstead, etc.). This is a promising start for the first season.
But it wasn't all rainbows and butterflies. We ran into several obstacles this summer, namely the weather. Extreme drought early in the year, followed by non-stop rain in April and May meant that the wheat and barley harvests were over a month delayed. But this is the life of an archaeologist and we constantly have to make plans, alter plans, and them completely change plans. First rule of being an archaeologist: be flexible. And flexible we were! We managed to accomplish a lot in a short amount of time and the results are going to drive the next phases of research.
In addition to the 2019 fieldwork, PIPP finally has a website! With all of the research that has been conducted as a part of PIPP over the last 6 years, a website to share this information was long overdue. Readers can explore the PIPP website to learn about past and present research, related projects in the region, and stay up-to-date on new developments. It's a one stop website for all of your PIPP needs!
Lastly, a shout out to our GIS Specialist, Dr. Rebecca Seifried! She has recently begun a new position as a GIS Librarian in the Digital Scholarship Center at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Congrats, Becky!!!
This year has brought a lot of changes for project and personnel alike and undoubtedly there will be more to come. Stay tuned for more news from the PIPP Squeak!
- D. J. Riebe
About the PIPP Squeak
Upcoming presentations or conferences? New fieldwork opportunities? Recent articles or other publications? The PIPP Squeak will provide all of the latest information about PIPP and related projects.
THE PIPP SQUEAK Archives