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Abstract  

Late-Quaternary material of various rodent species remnants (lower jaws and teeth) of different depth and age burials from zoogenic deposits in karstic cavities of the Urals (Russia) has been analyzed by thermogravimetry, differential thermal analysis, differential scanning calorimetry, and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Exothermic peaks position and shape as well as quantitative values of mass loss and heat effects (especially parameters of organic matter combustion at 200–600 °C) were found to vary significantly depending on bone’s age and fossilization conditions. On the basis of correlation between bone organic component and corresponding concentrations of some trace elements, three different types of fossilization had been proposed. The obtained values of the organic contents in the bone remnants of similar type and location were used to identify different age admixtures as well as chronologically systematize large sample collections.

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Abstract

Stable C isotope studies of the soil organic matter (SOM) have delineated areas with histories of vegetation change from C3 forest to C4 maize (Zea mays L.) agriculture and back to the contemporary C3 forest. The objectives of this study were to: (1) determine if land around El Kinel, Guatemala possessed a vegetative history of shifts from C3 forest to C4 maize agriculture in the past, (2) determine if 10 years of contemporary maize production is sufficient time to deposit an isotopic signature of C4 plants in the root zone (top 40 cm), and (3) to examine the extractable phosphorus concentrations and δ13C in soils of important archaeological features that included a midden, a burial, and two ancient reservoirs (aguadas). The lack of a shift in δ13C greater than 3.5‰ in the top 40 cm of the contemporary maize field suggested that continual maize cultivation of more than ten years is required to create an isotopic signature for maize agriculture. Carbon isotopic evidence was found in soil profiles to confirm that long-term agriculture was practiced by ancient Maya farmers at El Kinel. The man-made aguadas did not show isotopic shifts greater than 2.3‰ in any part of the profile, indicating they were used for other purposes not associated with C4 plant growth. The relatively low P (<30 mg kg−1) was found in soil at the same depth but at a distance of 30 cm from an ancient burial. The high P concentration (127 mg kg−1) found within millimeters of the bones implied that the P enrichment came from the remains but P remained fixed in the soil and did not migrate.

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Fens are among the most threatened habitats in Europe as their area has decreased considerably in the last centuries. For successful management and restoration conservationists need detailed knowledge about seed bank formation and seed longevity of plants, as these features are closely related to successional and vegetation dynamical processes. I analysed seed longevity and the germination characteristics of six fen plant species by seed burial experiments. Based on seed weight, seed bank was expected for long-term persistent for the light-seeded Schoenus nigricans, Carex appropinquata, C. pseudocyperus, C. davalliana and Peucedanum palustre and also that for the medium-seeded Cicuta virosa. It was proved that, the latter two species have short-term persistent seed banks, while Carex pseudocyperus has a transient seed bank, therefore these species may only have a limited role in restoration from seed banks. It was found that Schoenus nigricans, Carex appropinquata and C. davalliana have persistent seed banks, because some of their four-year-old seeds have emerged. Fresh seeds had low germination rate in all studied species and majority of seeds emerged after winter, except for Carex pseudocyperus. After the germination peak in spring, the majority of the ungerminated seeds of Schoenus nigricans, Peucedanum palustre, Carex appropinquata, C. davalliana and Cicuta virosa entered a secondary dormancy phase that was broken in autumn. I found the seasonal emergence of the latter three species highly similar.

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Abstract

The parish church of Turócszentmárton (Martin, Slovakia) was the main burial place of the Szklabinya and Blatnica lines of the Révay family in the 16–17th centuries. The members of the Hungarian aristocratic family who were buried here were the hereditary holders of the ispán's and chief ispán's offices in Turóc county (lat. perpetuus et supremus comes comitatus Turociensis). Few original funerary monuments survive in the church: there is a single figural tombstone (Ferenc Révay I, †1553) and a painted and gilded funeral coat of arms (Pál Révay I, †1635). The funeral arms of crown guard Péter Révay (†1622) is only known from archive photos, and the only information about the funeral banners is gleaned from collections of inscriptions especially from a collection discovered in the last time in the manuscriptcollection of the University Library in Bratislava. Ferenc Révay's effigy in relief shown in secular attire is rare in the sepulchral art of the Hungarian Kingdom (two analogies are propalatine i.e. a chief justice of the Hungarian Kingdom, Imre Czobor of Czoborszentmihály's tombstone [†1581] in Sasvár [Šaštín] and László Kubinyi's [†1598] in Galánta [Galanta]), but the funeral coats of arms fit in well with pieces found in Nagyszombat (Trnava), Lőcse (Levoča), Csetnek (Štítnik), etc.

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The paper offers a brief survey of the excavations and conservation of the ruins of the medieval provostal church of SzEkesfehErv·r, that took place between 1936 and 1938, in connection with the 900th anniversary of the death of King Saint Stephen I of Hungary, celebrated with large-scale programs in 1938 (the King was the founder of the provostship, which became the place of coronation of the medieval rulers of Hungary, and at the same time the burial-place of Saint Stephen and many of his successors). In this process the art historian Tibor Gerevich, leader of the National Office for the Protection of Historic Monuments played an important role. The building of the so called mausoleum, where the marble sarcophagus from the 11th century, considered as the monument of Saint Stephen was placed in the centre, and a semicircular-arched gallery for the purpose of a lapidary were built on the border of the excavated territory. The buildings were designed by the young architect Géza Lux, in a modest, elegant style referring to the brickwork of some Italian Romanesque churches. The ensemble is an important part of the history of monument protection in Hungary, and at the same time it offers the highest level of the official state architecture of its age.

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The west to east oriented graves of an Early Avar period cemetery came to light at Szihalom-Budaszög in 1996. Two clay mugs turned on a fast wheel bespeak local Gepidic ceramic traditions. A wooden amulet capsule can likewise be linked to Pannonian and Transylvanian communities with a Merovingian culture. The gold and gilt bronze mounts of the capsule suggest the burial of an individual from the community’s elite. The gold mounts of the capsule are decorated with four masks arranged in a cross-like design. The stylistic and iconographic parallels to the masks point towards Italy and the regions north of the Alps. The capsule provides evidence for syncretic beliefs: the amulet was probably believed to have both pagan magical and Christian protective properties. The small cemetery was used by a local Gepidic community with good contacts with Western Europe living under the overlordship of the Avar Khaganate.

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In the present paper, we called attention to a so far unknown religious idea of the Bell Beaker - Csepel group after observations made at the excavation of Budapest-Albertfalva, archaeo-astronomical analyses, two special shards with channelled knob ornaments and their analogues. The schematic representation of the Sun symbol appears, although rarely, in the accompanying material (“Begleitkeramik”) of the Csepel group (on grave ceramics, the Albertfalva fragment was probably originally intended to be placed in a grave). The custom of the building of round houses in the western group of the Bell Beaker culture and the burials with round ditches in the eastern group make us think. The orientation of the houses according to the winter solstice at Albertfalva and the existence of a territory enclosed by a round ditch between the houses render the role of the Sun in the daily and religious life of the population of the Csepel group even more emphatic. The representation of the Sun in various forms (gold discs, incised Sun motives) can be observed on nearly the entire territory of the Bell Beaker culture yet we do not want to interpret this phenomenon as a Sun cult. The religious beliefs of the Bell Beaker culture are extremely complicated, complex and colourful, and Sun, an environmental factor that defines daily life, could only be an element in it.

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Through conflicts of opinions inside the Bratislava Jewish religious community, the author monitors changed relations toward Judaism after the Holocaust.

The current form of the community was due to Regulation 231-1945 concerning “the arrangement of the conditions of the Jewish faith members in Slovakia”. This resulted in religious, economic, and organizational centralization.

After the 1968 occupation, those who stayed behind in Bratislava concluded that due to the emigration of the young and middle generations, the community lost its future and under the newly established conditions it was losing its past too. The Velvet revolution helped to overcome passivity existing until then. An informal gathering called Jewish forum helped to build and revive the Jewish identity. The status of the present-day Judaism can be illustrated by the fact that 36.6 percent of funerals in the course of 2001–2013 were done by cremation prohibited in Orthodox Judaism. It has been a manifestation of solidarity with the “burials” of those killed in concentration camps; but it is also a kind of revolt against God who did not prevent the Shoa.

Today both individuals and families create their own model based on the traditions that they choose for themselves. Practicing such customs does not follow from Judaism, but it is an expression of one’s affiliation with the community and its traditions.

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The Slovene ballad Animals Bury the Hunter is an animal narrative song of jocular character. It tells of the burial of a hunter and of a funeral procession not composed of humans but wild animals (a bear, foxes, hares, a wolf, cranes and partridges, song birds, etc.) who seem to derive great joy from the event. The analysis of the song's 31 variants reveals the changes made to the song over the course of time, as it survived through different historical periods and spread throughout Slovenia. I attempt to show that the ballad was used as a model for painted beehive panels featuring the same motif. In addition to the analysis, I am concerned with the sociological and ethical elements of the ballad. The paper proposes at least three possible theses: 1. The song is part of the conception of a topsy-turvy world, where the roles and mutual relationships of people and animals are reversed in an ironic sociological view of the world.  2. The song is a critique of one class by another: peasants mocking hunters who belong to a different social stratum. 3. The song is a representation of “pre-Cartesian” times, when animals were not “mere machines” without feelings, to be treated by man as objects with no ethical significance. It points to the ethical aspects of the human treatment of animals.

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Hungarian excavations in the Theban necropolis have been extended to wide territories on the south slope of the El-Khokha hillock. In the 2005 season, the tracing of the epigraphic material of the mural decoration in the 19 th Dynasy rock cut tomb of Nefermenu (TT 184) was completed. This monument, according to its characteristic religious, architectural and artistic layout, belongs to the so called “Khokha tomb-group” of TT 23 (Tjay), TT 32 (Djehutimes), TT 183 (Nebsumenu) and TT 264 (Ipiy). In previous seasons, the remains of a pyramid-like superstructure of a New Kingdom tomb were exposed, which probably belonged to Nefermenu’s monument. The research of the chronological position of this superstructure drew the attention to the structures in the upper section of the hillock, where architectural survey was carried out in the small and ruined New Kingdom rock cut tombs: TT 204, TT 205, TT 206, and (Kampp)-41-,-42-,-43-Excavation was also possible in one of these:-43-, and in a newly discovered, Middle Kingdom monument, a saff-tomb with eight-pillared façade, where material of secondary burials dated to the Third Intermediate Period also came to light. The analysis of finds from earlier seasons concentrated on wooden fragments, shabtis, funerary cones and cartonnages.

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