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  • Author or Editor: Balázs Pál Sümegi x
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Abstract

The study aims to contribute to the medieval environmental history of the eastern periphery of the Transylvanian Plain (Câmpia Transilvaniei/Mezőség). With the help of archaeological and historical data and the multi-aspect analysis of undisturbed core sequences, the economic life of the Pauline Monastery founded in the 14th century near Sâncraiu de Mureş (Marosszentkirály) and the surrounding villages was investigated. The multidisciplinary research focuses on the paleochannels of the Mureş and the artificial watercourses (ditches) that branch off the river, and the mills built on them. The work also provides new data on the general environmental changes in the middle course of the Mureş river during the Middle Ages and the early modern period, which are largely due to the very intense human activity here.

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Abstract

In this paper we present sedimentological and geochemical data for a section of fluvial deposits from SE Hungary covering the period of 25 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. Correlations of mineralogical and geochemical compositions were used to determine the stable isotope compositions of authigenic calcite component. Additionally, C and O isotope compositions of Unio crassus shell fragments were analysed that show a good agreement with climate change. Major climate change events within the studied time period were detected both in the shells and the authigenic calcite's compositions.

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Acta Archaeologica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae
Authors: Gusztáv Jakab, Lóránd Silye, Pál Sümegi, Tünde Törőcsik, Attila Tóth, Balázs Pál Sümegi and Elek Benkő

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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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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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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