back to news Aug. 9, 2010

Archaeologist to Unearth Hungary History

Richard Yerkes, professor of archaeology, was awarded a NSF grant of $149,991 for his project, "IRES: U.S.-Hungarian-Greek Collaborative International Research Experience for Students on Origins and Development of Prehistoric European Villages."

The grant will allow Ohio State undergraduate students and postdoctoral fellows the opportunity to join an international research team led by Yerkes and co-PIs, William A. Parkinson of the Field Museum and Attila Gyucha of the Cultural Heritage Field Service, Hungary in a study of prehistoric agricultural villages on the Great Hungarian Plain. Understanding these prehistoric processes is critical for learning about the development of urbanization, territoriality, and social stratification.

Yerkes and his team will document the establishment and development of early agricultural societies in this region and develop a model that will help us understand the emergence of economic and political complexity elsewhere in the world. Understanding these prehistoric processes is critical for learning about the development of urbanization, territoriality, and social stratification. In addition to developing cross-cultural models for understanding the development of European societies, the IRES program will provide scholars, including minorities and underrepresented groups, with access to a unique learning experience that will give them the necessary training and contacts they will need to establish themselves as international scientists.

Last spring, professor Yerkes lead four Ohio State undergraduates and an international, multidisciplinary team in researching the natural and cultural processes that led to the establishment of large farming villages on the Great Hungarian Plain 7000-6000 years ago. The Körös Regional Archaeological Project in Hungary laid the foundation to a better understanding of how and why people left their small farming villages to build larger fortified settlements.

With this new NSF grant, more Ohio State students will have the opportunity to conduct field work in anthropology and archaeology.

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