During the first part of the Bronze Age in the Carpathian Basin in Central Europe, a large proportion of the population lived in what are known as tell-building societies. A thesis in archaeology from the University of Gothenburg (Sweden) shows that the leaders of these societies had the ability to combine several sources of power in an effective way in order to dominate the rest of the population, which contributed towards creating a notably stable social system.
Tell-building societies are named after a distinct form of settlements with a high density of population and construction, which over the course of time accumulated such thick cultural layers that they took on the shape of low mounds.
On the basis of a discussion and analysis of previously published material from the Carpathian Basin and new findings from the tell settlement Százhalombatta-Földvár in Hungary, the author of the thesis, Claes Uhnér, describes the ways in which leaders could exercise power. Tell-building societies had relatively advanced economies. The subsistence economy, which was based on agricultural production and animal husbandry, produced a good return, and the societies were involved in regional and long-distance exchange of bronzes and other valuable craft products.
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