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  • Author or Editor: ZS. Molnár x
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From the cultural point of view, the Carpathian Basin resembled a mosaic during the circa 500 years of the Middle Bronze Age. Despite the fact that every community developed a specific material culture we still may speak about a so-called “tell society” in this period based on social and economical macro features. This is specific type of habitat in the region under study and the major part of the great Hungarian Plain, where a “cultural complex” characterized by the homogeneity of pottery and bronze metallurgy developed during the Middle Bronze Age.In the last decades, the problematic of the metallurgy of the Otomani communities became the subject of several archaeological studies written by Romanian scholars like Ivan Ordentlich, Nicolae Chidioşan, Tiberius Bader, Alexandru Vulpe etc. and colleagues from other countries too. Despite the undertaken research and the fact that the study of metallurgy was popular among Bronze Age scholars, a proper typological and chronological analysis of the discovered artefacts according to the latest archaeological data was still needed to be done. In our opinion, the key of understanding the Otomani culture’s problematic is represented by the proper knowledge of the archaeological material which provides a firm foundation for the study of the social complexity of the Bronze Age policy.The aim of the present paper is to sketch a picture about the Otomani culture’s metalworking and debate some typological and chronological issues linked with the bronze artefacts discovered in the Carei Plain and the valley of the Eriul River. Fifty-nine bronze items were discovered during our investigations in the Carei Plain and the valley of the Eriul River, which could be dated from the 2nd and 3rd phases of the Otomani culture. 44% of the finds are weapons, 25% are tools, 28% are pieces of jewellery and 3% are specimens linked with metallurgical processes (casting moulds, bronze ingot etc.). Through the reinterpretation of the archaeological evidences, we have sketched a more accurate picture of the bronze working and metallurgical activity of the Otomani communities.

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The prompt -activation analysis (PGAA) facility at Budapest Research Reactor offers a unique possibility to perform in-beam measurements. Several k 0 factors for decay -lines of short-lived nuclides have been determined accurately by means of in-beam activation. The present values compare well with literature data. New k 0 factors are proposed for 24mNa and 60mCo.

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Since 1996 several applications of prompt gamma activation analysis have been performed at the new Budapest PGAA facility. This paper deals with the investigation of metal objects. We report the results of nondestructive detection of H in amorphous metals, multielement analysis of Roman bronze brooches and measurement of silver concentration in Hungarian coins.

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A modified fire assay type analytical sample preparation method has been developed in order to extend iridium analysis of geological samples to the ppt level by neutron activation analysis (NAA). This method development was essential to trace a potential Ir signal at the Permian/Triassic boundary, the largest mass extinction event in the Phanerozoic history of Earth. The new analytical procedure was calibrated by several synthetic and natural standards and then applied for measuring the Ir profile in the continuous marine Permian/Triassic sedimentary sequence Bálvány north, Bükk Mts., Hungary. The analytical problem of applying the method also on practically pure limestones has been overcome, adding extra SiO2 sand, to avoid the crucible being attacked by the fire assay flux. The nugget after the nickel fire-assay pre-concentration was identified by X-ray diffractometry and energy dispersive spectrometry (EDS–SEM) as heazlewoodite (Ni3S2), hosting iridium in the form of pure metal inclusions, mainly of 2–5 μm size (EDS–SEM). Based on these observations, the filter size of the original preparation protocol was decreased to 0.2 μm, in order to get the highest yield for Ir in the analytical preparation process. By applying the new technique, we determined the iridium profile in the Bálvány north section. The whole profile studied, except for the lowest 10 cm of the “boundary shale”, can be characterized of a several hundred ppt—up to one ppb Ir concentration. At the lowest part of the “boundary shale” the Ir content drops below 100 ppt. These values show no sign of any meteorite impact at this border section. The detailed geological interpretation of the high Ir background and the negative course Ir peak at the lithological border needs further studies.

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A combined radiochemical separation method has been developed that enables the simultaneous determination of 234U, 235U, 238U, 237Np, 239,240Pu, 238Pu, 241Am, 242Cm, and 244Cm in medium and low level liquid radioactive wastes. The main steps of the method are sample destruction, co-precipitation on iron(II)-hydroxide and calcium-oxalate, separation by extraction chromatography using supported dipentyl-pentyl phosphonate (UTEVA) and supported N,N-octylphenyl-di-i-butylcarbamoylmethyl phosphine oxide with tributyl phosphate (TRU), and α source preparation. The key parameter of the method is the adjustment of the oxidation states of the actinoides before adding the sample onto the UTEVA column. It has been determined that (NH4)2S2O8 can be used for oxidation state adjustment resulting sufficient chemical yields.

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Recent attempts to improve the performance of very short-lived neutron activation analysis are reviewed. It is shown that the combination of an intense cold neutron beam from a research reactor with a beam chopper offers higher signal-to-background ratio, more accurate timing and much simpler sample handling than conventional cyclic activation analysis. Application of a digital spectrum analyzer in data list mode allows for easy determination of the half-life. Hence, time-resolved activation analysis utilizing energy and time information becomes practical.

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Instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA) has been used at the research reactor of the Institute of Nuclear Techniques for measuring different types of samples for many years. For standardization purposes, the single comparator method has been applied. Since the theoretical basis of NAA is well understood, the sources of uncertainty can be well estimated, detailed uncertainty calculations have been recently performed to meet the increasing demands for method validation. INAA was validated by the analyses of sets of reference materials (RM), selectivity was controlled, accuracy and precision of the method as well as linearity, detection limits and measuring ranges were determined. Under the conditions of QA/QC, NAA can meet the high demands of trace element analysis.

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The emergence of large fortifications at the beginning of Early Iron Age reflects a change in settlements system. The current paper studies settlement sites along with metal finds, graves and graveyards from Late Bronze Age cultures to Early Iron Age/Hallstatt period in the Transylvanian Plateau.Our aim is to investigate the transformations and the dynamics of the settlements through cartographic documents and data relating to the landscape around the sites (using satellite images, aerial photographs and geophysical measurements) stored in a geographic information system.Modeling the territories of central Transylvanian prehistoric communities provides information about the division of space and possible land use strategies. The research is also based on the existing macro-regional palaeo-environmental data of Central North-Western Romania.We can state that the Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age chiefdoms form peer polities controlling small territories along single or more valleys. Our approach represents the actual stage of research of the subject; the future field researches will bring new concluding evidence in this matter.

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Gábor Fekete academician respectfully but affectionately called ‘Master’ (“Tanár Úr” in Hungarian, a version of ‘Professor’ that we used with a specific meaning of being not only a Tutor but Father and Master as well) by generations of vegetation scientists passed away on the 29th November 2016. His death deprived us of an experienced and didactic teacher who was loved by all. This warm regard was expressed in many commemorating writings published since his death. The present paper mainly concentrates on his scholarly work and the importance of his scientific findings also showing how particular publications signify stages in his scientific career.

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Due to the global land use and climate change, endangerment of natural vegetation is increasing. That is why the threatening factors were documented in details during the MÉTA mapping. We have documented the impacts of water management, land use (management of woodlands and grasslands), the invasive species, urbanisation, habitat fragmentation and the neighbourhood, as well. In the present article (1) we evaluate the actual state of the habitats by the 28 threat types documented during the MÉTA mapping; (2) we introduce 12 newly developed indicators, which were applied for the semi-quantitative comparison of the overall degree of endangerment of the Hungarian habitats.Based on the summarisation of our results the most seriously endangered habitats in Hungary are as follows: sand and loess steppe oak woodlands (M2, M4, L2x), tussock sedge communities (B4), extensive orchards (P7), closed lowland oak woodlands (L5, L6), water-fringing and fen tall herb communities (D5), wooded pastures (P45), vegetation of loess cliffs (I2), rich fens and Molinia meadows (D1, D2), Cynosurion grasslands and Nardus swards (E34), swamp woodlands (J2), xero-mesophilous grasslands (H4) and salt steppe oak woodlands (M3).The least endangered types are the rocky habitats (I4, LY3, H1, G2, M7), certain halophytic (F1a, F5, F1b, F2, B6) and aquatic habitats (A23, A3a, A1), open acidophilous woodlands (L4b), dry shrub vegetation with Crataegus and Prunus spinosa (P2b) and the beech woodlands (K5).

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