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  • 1 Szent István University Institute of Environmental and Landscape Management Gödöllő Hungary
  • 2 Hungarian National Museum Laboratory for Applied Research, National Heritage Protection Centre Budapest Hungary
  • 3 Hungarian National Museum Laboratory for Applied Research, National Heritage Protection Centre H-1113 Budapest 3 Daróczi út Hungary
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The present state of our landscapes is not only the result of various natural processes, but of the anthropogenic effect that humankind had since its occurrence within the landscape. These processes reach back as far as the beginning of the known archaeological eras. One of the major problems in the reconstruction of landscape evolution is bridging the gap between the archaeologically well-defined periods and the extensively documented last three centuries. Remains of the various archaeological periods are conserved in the soil and form part of the soil’s memory function; but soils develop and might get destroyed over time. However, soils also bridge the heritage of once lived cultures with those events of the last few centuries that are reconstructable, based on written and map sources. It must be noted that the possibility of human-induced soil destruction is significantly higher within the mentioned centuries, therefore the understanding of land-use changes, land-use trajectories are essential in assessing the possible degradation of soils, archaeological sites and heritage.The present contribution attempts to integrate the tools of geoarchaeology, soil science and landscape ecology with the archaeological knowledge of the Cikola valley (Mezőföld, Hungary). The historic land-use changes within the target area of the valley were detected and quantified with the trajectory tracking method. This was compared to soil conditions, geoarchaeological data and to information collected through on-site archaeological field walking. The comparisons of archaeological sites that have been less or more intensively used in the past, differ both in soil conditions, and in the condition of the archaeological phenomena they preserve. The trajectory values gave a good estimate on the possible and predictable disturbance of the archaeological phenomena preserved at the examined sites.

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