Magnetometer survey in Teleac 2018

We made a three week geophysical survey of the Teleac hillfort in Mai 2018 together with colleagues from the National Museum of the Union in Alba Iulia. The main focus was to investigate the remaining open areas north of the hillfort and to reinvestigate a few key stretches of land inside the settlement to find out if more information could be retrieved. The magnetogram now covers the entire settlement and all non-forested areas with gentle terrain around the hillfort.
  No new anomalies of settlement character were found outside the hillfort and it is now clear that Teleac’s entire population lived inside the hillfort’s defensive walls. Another interesting negative result of the geophysical prospection in Teleac is that we have not found any traces of a cemetery, even though a conservative estimate is that the hillfort had a population of more than 1000 persons.
Picture 1: Preparing to survey near the northern gate at Teleac (Photo C. Uhnér)    

The lack of Gáva culture cemeteries in southwestern Transylvania has long been recognised, but the thorough investigation of large stretches of land around Teleac without finding any graves may indicate that the burial practices in this region differed from Gáva communities to the west of Transylvania where people were cremated and buried in urns, which is a burial type that would show up on the magnetogram.

Picture 2: Surveying north of the fortification system. (Photo C. Uhnér)
The main result of the four surveys we have conducted in Teleac is that we have a good understanding of the hillfort’s internal settlement structure. Teleac was densely occupied and in certain respects spatially well organised with some areas set aside for selected activities, such as high temperature production in the Upper Settlement. That said, the geophysics also indicates that the large Lower Settlement at Teleac, where most of the population lived, were less ordered and that the structure of buildings and activity areas developed in a more organic fashion. That all areas outside the fortification system were uninhabited illustrate that there were potentially serious military threats against Teleac. The experienced threat may have been serious enough that no one risked living outside the defences, or the areas were kept open to deny an enemy cover during an assault.