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Abstract

The loess/paleosol sequence near the village of Madaras is an outstanding record of Late Quaternary paleoenvironmental and paleoclimatic changes in Hungary and the entire Carpathian Basin. The present study highlights the results of preliminary micromorphological investigations implemented on 24 samples taken from two pre-selected pedogenized horizons of the sequence. Our work yielded interesting results regarding the evolutionary history and modes of pedogenesis in the studied section.

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Acta Archaeologica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae
Authors: Beáta Tugya, Katalin Náfrádi, Sándor Gulyás, Tünde Törőcsik, Balázs Pál Sümegi, Péter Pomázi and Pál Sümegi

Abstract

We present the results of the environmental historical and geoarchaeological analysis of Rákóczifalva-Bagi- földek and Rákóczifalva-Rokkant-földek archeological sites in Jász-Nagykun-Szolnok County. They were discovered in the course of several hectares of archaeological excavations related to the Roman Age and Migration Period, especially the Sarmatian and the Gepids era. A significant number of Gepids sites and finds were found in both the investigated areas and the wider area of the site, in the middle reach of the Tisza valley. So the geoarchaeological and environmental historical analysis of the Sarmatian and Late-Sarmatian and Gepids sites in Rákóczifalva can also provide a model for the settling strategy and lifestyle of the Sarmatian and Gepids communities. The purpose of our work is to present how geoarchaeological and environmental historical factors impacted local settling and lifestyles in the Gepids communities and Sarmatian-Late Sarmatian communities as well during the Roman Age and the Migration Period. In addition, to demonstrate the relationship of the Sarmatian and Gepids communities and their environment in the Rákóczifalva site compared to other Gepids and Sarmatian and Late Sarmatian communities in the Great Hungarian Plain.

Based on the number of objects containing animal bones and the amount of bones found in them, we can reconstruct considerable settling in the Celtic, Sarmatian, Gepids, Avar and Arpadian periods. The number of objects from the Linear Pottery culture (Great Hungarian Plain) and the Bodrogkeresztúr culture is high; however, the number of animal bones is low. On the basis of the bones discovered, we can count on a smaller settlement during the Tiszapolgár culture, the Hunyadihalom group, the Halomíros culture, the Gava culture and during the Scythians period.

In this paper, we present the results of the Sarmatian, Late Sarmatian and the Gepid findings since the largest number of animal bones (except the Avar period) turned up from these periods. Our aim was to compare the animal husbandry, meat consumption and hunting habits of the Oriental origin Sarmatians and the Germanic Gepids communities. Bone artefacts and bone anvils have been found in the archaeological material of both ethnic groups.

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Abstract

The Madaras brickyard section found at the northernmost fringe of the Backa loess plateau is one of the thickest and best-developed last glacial loess sequences of Central Europe. In the present work high-resolution magnetic susceptibility measurements (at 2 cm) were implemented on samples from the 10 m-section corresponding to a period between 29 and 11 KY cal b2K. One aim was to compare the findings with the ice core records of northern Greenland in order to establish a high-resolution paleoclimatic record for the last climatic cycle and with findings documented in other biotic and abiotic proxies so far. Our results revealed a strong variability of loess/paleosol formation during MIS 2. Millennial time-scale climatic events that characterize the North Atlantic during the last climatic cycle have been identified. From 29 ka up to the start of the LGM, the recorded MS values show a weak, negative correlation with the temperature proxy, and a weak positive correlation with the dust concentration of Greenland. A strong correlation was observed with the local paleotemperatures. Local climatic factors must have had a more prominent effect here on loess/paleosol development than the climate shifts over Greenland. During the LGM the same pattern is seen with a stronger correlation with the dust concentrations and a weaker correlation with the local temperature. Local climatic factors, plus dust accumulation, must have had a prominent influence on loess/paleosol development here. From the terminal part of the LGM a strong positive correlation of the MS values with the temperature proxy for Greenland accompanied by a strong negative correlation with the dust concentration values is observed. Correlation with local paleotemperatures is positive and moderate, strong. Here climate shifts over Greenland, as well as local endowments equally had an important role on the development of the MS signal.

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Central European Geology
Authors: Attila Demény, Gabriella Schöll-Barna, Pál Sümegi, Péter Sipos, István Fórizs, Brigitta Réka Balázs, Bernadett Bajnóczi and Gordon Cook

Abstract

In this paper we present sedimentological and geochemical data for a section of fluvial deposits from SE Hungary covering the period from about 20 to 5 ky BP. Major and trace element geochemistry of bulk sediments as well as stable C and O isotope compositions of the carbonate content indicate significant changes in depositional facies and/or sediment provenance as well as climate conditions. Variations in bulk sediment Sr, TiO2 and P2O5 concentrations were correlated with major climate change events following the Late Glacial Maximum that support the age model established on the basis of AMS 14C age data. Bulk sediment Sr concentrations and stable C and O isotope compositions of bulk sediment carbonate were determined by changes in denudation of carbonate rocks in the recharge area. The Sr and C-O isotope patterns show correlations with global temperature changes during the Pleistocene-Holocene transition. However, TiO2 and P2O5 contents show correspondence with humidity changes, suggesting variations in chemical weathering. In addition to the sedimentological effects, C and O isotope compositions of Unio crassus shell fragments show strong changes at the Pleistocene-Holocene transition, indicating that the bivalve shells can reflect climate conditions. On the other hand, shorter climate change events were difficult to track in the isotope records due to the competing fractionation processes. The combined evaluation of chemical and isotopic compositions revealed that beside the globally important Younger Dryas and Bølling/Allerød periods, the Ságvár-Lascaux interstadial was of local importance, in accordance with earlier studies.

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Central European Geology
Authors: Ádám Bede, Roderick B. Salisbury, András István Csathó, Péter Czukor, Dávid Gergely Páll, Gábor Szilágyi and Pál Sümegi

The Ecse-halom is a burial mound (kurgan) in the Hortobágy region of Hungary. Built in the Late Copper Age/Early Bronze Age by nomadic people from the east, it now stands on the border between two modern settlements. A road of medieval origin runs along this border and cuts deeply into the body of the mound. The southern half of the mound was plowed and used as a rice field, and later a military observation tower was built on top of it. Despite this disturbance, the surface of the mound is in decent condition and provides a home for regionally significant, species-rich loess steppe vegetation. The mound comprises two construction layers as indicated by magnetic susceptibility and thin-section micro-morphological analysis. Examination of organic compounds and carbonate content at various levels showed different values, which suggest a variety of natural and anthropogenic stratigraphic layers. Mid-sized siltstone fraction is dominant in the section. The layers originate from the immediate vicinity of the mound, but have different characteristics than present-day soils. These mounds contain a valuable record of cultural and environmental conditions occurring at the time of their construction, and also serve as a refuge for ancient loess vegetation; therefore their conservation is highly recommended.

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