Distributed topologies

An example of an urban plan without a centre

What we do find are houses; well over 1,000 in the case of Taljanky. Rectangular houses, sixteen or so feet wide and twice as long, built of wattle and daub on timber frames, with stone foundations. With their attached gardens, these houses form such neat circular patterns that from a bird’s-eye view, any mega-site resembles the inside of a tree trunk: great rings, with concentric spaces between. The innermost ring frames a big gap in the middle of the settlement, where early excavators at first expected to find something dramatic, whether magnificent buildings or grand burials. But in every known case, the central area is simply empty; guesses for its function range from popular assemblies to ceremonies or the seasonal penning of animals – or possibly all three.25 In consequence, the standard archaeological plan of a Ukrainian mega-site is all flesh, no core.

dawn-of-everythingch. 8

TK: most-human-human the onion: all layers, no core


most-human-human Christian, Brian. 2011. The Most Human Human: What Talking with Computers Teaches Us About What It Means to Be Alive. Doubleday. ↩︎ 1

dawn-of-everything Graeber, David, and David Wengrow. 2021. The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity. Signal. ↩︎ 1