To raise a tell and raise it well: some odd regularities of the early Chalcolithic construction techniques and the building strategies at Tell Petko Karavelovo
The paper discusses three burnt houses from the earliest levels of the tell site at Petko Karavelovo. The site is situated on the left bank of the old Yantra River bed and the early inhabitants lived not just close to, but in direct contact with the river, which affected their building strategies.
The three burnt houses belong to different occupation phases; although unique, they display striking similarities. They were built using a similar technique, burned in an almost identical manner, and later collapsed following the same pattern. It is therefore the main purpose of this paper to summarize and emphasize the similarities, rather than to describe architecture details.
Built in the same manner, the three houses were destroyed similarly by severe fires. Whether this was the result of their similar construction and combustibility or because the cause of the fires was the same, they produced almost identical debris. The early Chalcolithic building strategies were subjected to the pursuit of rapid growth of the tell, while the later stages display certain slowdown of this process at the expense of gaining stability for the entire mound structure.
The first inhabitants started a long-term project of tell formation, and during the middle and the late Chalcolithic, this ‘project’ was extended and carefully maintained. The process of tell formation was deliberate, desired and controlled by the community, rather than just an accumulative effect of long living at the same place.