Community negotiation and pasture partitioning at the Trypillia settlement of Maidanetske

Cheryl A. Makarewicz, Robert Hofmann, Mykhailo Y. Videiko, Johannes Müller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The inhabitants of the vast Chalcolithic Trypillia sites of Eastern Europe required highly organised strategies to meet subsistence needs. Here, the authors use isotopic analyses of faunal remains from Maidanetske, Ukraine, to identify intensive and extensive grazing practices. The former demanded intra-community negotiation to ensure access to high-quality pastures for valuable animals such as dairy cows, suggesting that pasture may have also served socially integrative functions. The simultaneous use of extensive pasturing strategies for cattle placed on different pastureland suggests that landscapes were partitioned, with access determined by cooperation or competition. Maidanetske's dual pasturing system reflects the importance of spatially organised practices in maintaining social structure.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)831-847
Number of pages17
Issue number388
StatePublished - 26 Aug 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Chalcolithic
  • farming
  • isotope analysis
  • pasturing
  • social organisation
  • Trypillia mega-site
  • Ukraine

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Archaeology
  • General Arts and Humanities


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