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  • I Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Research Centre for the Humanities, Institute of Archaeology, 4 Tóth Kálmán u., H-1097 Budapest, Hungary
  • II Szent István University, 1–3 Szabadság út, H-5540 Szarvas, Hungary
  • III Babeș-Bolyai University, 1 Mihail Kogălniceanu, 400048 Cluj-Napoca, Romania
  • IV University of Szeged, 2–6 Egyetem u., H-6722 Szeged, Hungary
  • V Sapientia Hungarian University of Transylvania, 4 Calea Turzii, 400112 Cluj-Napoca, Romania
  • VI Laboratory of Environmental Studies, Institute of Nuclear Research of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, 18/C Bem tér, H-4025 Debrecen, Hungary
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The medieval market-town of Sic (Szék in Hungarian) was an important Transylvanian settlement due to its remarkable salt mining. The impact of the mining activities on the environment and the history of water management were investigated based on a palaeoecological study, performed on the large Reedbed of Sic (Stufărişurile/Nádas-tó). We found that in the last 3000 years the anthropogenic impact has been continuous in the territory, but the types and intensity of the disturbances changed with time. The most notable environmental transitions took place after 1000 AD, suggesting a significant intensification of salt mining. Forest cover significantly drop, but salt concentration and the frequency of halophytic species in the investigated marshland increased during the Late Middle Ages. The dominance of halophytic marshland species reached their peak in the 17th century. This coincides with the apogee of mining activities and human lake management. The most remarkable deforestation occurred in the 18th century, when the present-day landscape with negligible forest cover was developed.

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