Discovering Untouched History: Satellites Reveal Hidden Bronze Age Settlement in Serbia

More than 100 hidden Bronze Age structures in the Serbian plains were revealed by satellite imagery. Discovered in 2015, remnants of the 3,000-year-old enclosures were detected by archaeologists while reviewing Google Earth photos from a 93-mile stretch (150 kilometers) of wilderness along Serbia’s Tisza River, according to a study published Nov. 10 in the journal PLOS One.

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“Over 100 Late Bronze Age settlements were identified in the images, including their size and internal layout,” said study lead author Barry Molloy, an associate professor of archaeology at University College Dublin, to Live Science.

Molloy added, “It is quite unique in European Bronze Age archaeology to get this level of detail for so many settlements in such a specific area.”

The area, called the Pannonian Plain, was previously thought to be a hinterland, but researchers now believe it to be part of an extensive trade network found across Europe at that time.

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Aside from satellite images, the study also involved visiting the site to observe firsthand the footprints of dozens of structures “hiding in plain sight,” according to Science magazine.

The enclosures were built close together, indicating a “complex and well-organized society,” according to Molloy. Walls, ditches, and other signs of occupation were discovered despite centuries of agricultural interference.

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