Archaeologists have discovered evidence of a highly complex prehistoric society in Central Europe that thrived in a region experts previously believed was abandoned in 1600 BC. This sophisticated society was one of the "major cultural centers of southern Europe" and exerted "regional scale influences across the continent and into the Mediterranean," they report in a new study.
The Pannonian Basin is a region that centers on modern-day Hungary and touches upon multiple nations in Central Europe. Thousands of years ago, Bronze Age humans settled there and built a complex and influential society that lasted for centuries before it was mysteriously abandoned in 1600 BC. Ancient sites examined by experts show signs of depopulation over several decades, leading to the theory of a "regional scale collapse" and a relatively "abrupt end" for this prehistoric social order.