Understanding the prehistoric narrative of a region requires good dating, and in recent years good dating has moved increasingly from models drawn from types of artefacts to a framework provided by radiocarbon sequences. This in turn is bringing a change in the way events are described: from broad cultural histories to a network of local sequences. In this case study, the authors apply this rethinking to the Copper Age in a key region of Europe, the Great Hungarian Plain in the Carpathian Basin. They replace the traditional Early and Middle Copper Age, defined by pottery types, with an 800-year sequence in which six cemetery and settlement sites experience different trajectories of use, and the pottery types make intermittent and often contemporary appearances. In this new chronology based on radiocarbon, the variations in pottery use must have some other explanation.