Talianki (archaeological site)
(c. 4800 to 3000 BC)
Characteristic example of Cucuteni-Trypillian pottery
Coordinates: Talianki is an archaeological site near the village of the same name in Cherkasy Oblast, Ukraine. It was the location of a large—currently the largest known settlement in Neolithic Europe—Cucuteni-Trypillian settlement dating to around 3,850 - 3,700 BC. The settlement, built on a bluff between the Tal'ianki River and a smaller stream, was made up of ovular, concentric rows of interconnected buildings. Built on top of the older Cucuteni-Trypillian settlement are the remains of some Yamna culture tumuli (burial mounds) dating to the middle of the 3rd millennium BC, as well as some graves from the late Bronze Age.
Talianki was discovered in an infrared aerial photography survey carried out in the 1970s by a Ukrainian pilot in his spare time. Excavations at the site began in 1981, directed by V. Kruts. Further excavations were carried out by Kruts up to 2001. Many of the buildings that were excavated had two storeys. The walls and ceilings of the structures were decorated with red and black designs, reminiscent of designs painted on Cucuteni-Trypillian pottery – which, along with ceramic figurines, were also found at the site. Finds from these excavations are exhibited in the Cherkasy Regional Museum, the Museum of Agriculture in Talne, and the Institute of Archaeology in Kiev.
Kruts estimated the total area of the settlement at 450 ha, on the assumption that it had a rectangular plan. Extrapolating from this and the density of houses in the surveyed portions of the site, M. Videiko estimated that Talianki contained approximately 2,700 structures and, at its height, could have been occupied by over 15,000 inhabitants. Recently Kruts' figure has been revised by Thomas K. Harper, who used a geomagnetic plan of the site to put its area at 335 ha. This implies Videiko's figure for the peak population of the site is also an overestimation, with Harper suggesting 6,300–11,000 as a more likely range, favouring the lower end. But other estimates are much larger with a population of around 15,000 as the most cited, and adding the numbers for the satellite towns the total population were up to 25,000 - 30,000 people within its cluster.
- Videiko, M. Yu. (2011). "Trypillia Culture Proto-Cities: After 40 Years of Investigations". Trypillian Civilization Journal.
- Videiko, Mykhailo Yu. "Settlements of the Trypillian culture in Ukraine : a short guide". The Trypillian Civilization Society. The Trypillia-USA-Project. Retrieved 15 December 2009.[dead link]
- Kruts, Vladimir Afanasʹevich; Korvin-Piotrovskiĭ, A.G.; Ryzhov, S.M. (2001), Трипольское поселение-гигант Тальянки : Исследования 2001 [Talianki - settlement-giant of the Tripolian culture : investigations in 2001] (in Russian and English with summary in Ukrainian), Kiev: In-t arkheologii NANU, ISBN 966-02-2379-X, OCLC 182554448
- Harper, T. K. (2012). "Regarding the Problem of the Size of the Settlement Near Tal'yanki". Title Forthcoming (in press). Kiev: Institut Arkheologii NAN Ukrainy.