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Archaeobotany, the study of plant macrofossils (seeds and fruits) obtained from archaeological excavations, becomes particularly important when there is very little or no archaeological, written or iconographical material available about the cultivation of the plants found. This is particularly the case in relation to the early Hungarian settlers.  The most significant event of the 10th century in the Carpathian Basin was the Hungarian conquest, yet this is the most fiercely debated period of Hungarian history, and the subject, in some cases, of extreme views. The information available on the way of life of the early Hungarians is very sparse, especially as regards farming and crop production skills. The conquering Hungarians were “semi-nomadic”. This may equally include mobile pastoralism and a limited extent of tillage and plant cultivation. Other archaeobotanical evidence suggests that the early Hungarians were not nomadic. There are very few seed remains directly relevant to the period of the Hungarian Conquest: the leading strata of early Hungarian society probably practised mobile pastoralism of a fundamentally Turkish character. It can be presumed that plant cultivation was the occupation assigned to common people who pursued a more sedentary way of life. It was probably these people whose plant remains were found in Lébény-Billedomb (near Gyor) in 1993 and are presented in this paper. This is the first evidence of plant cultivation by the early Hungarians. The finds from the 10th century settlement are rich in cereal species such as common wheat, barley, rye and millet.

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Sacrificing – Feasting – Cursing

Rituals in the Magna Mater Sanctuaries of Kempraten (Switzerland) and Mainz (Germany). An Interdisciplinary Approach

Acta Antiqua Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae
Author: Pirmin Koch


During rescue excavations between 2009 and 2013 carried out at the periphery of the vicus at Kempraten (municipality of Rapperswil-Jona, St. Gallen, Switzerland) a Gallo-Roman sanctuary, dating from the second quarter of the 2nd to the end of the 3rd century AD, was unearthed. The excavation included intense sampling for geoarchaeology and archaeobiology, which prompted the Archaeology Department of Canton St. Gall (KASG) to launch an interdisciplinary project. Four curse tablets attest to the cult of Magna Mater in the sanctuary at Kempraten.

This paper presents the first results of the interdisciplinary study and compares them to the Magna Mater sanctuary at Mainz (Germany), focusing on 1. the layout of the sanctuary, 2. sacrificing, 3. feastings and 4. cursing. The comparison between both sites showed that there was no strict setting of rituals in the cult of Magna Mater, but the importance of cursing and of burnt sacrifices is characteristic for both sites. Summing up: The temple precinct at Kempraten had a specific setting, which showed on one hand local and regional influences, for instance in terms of the temple architecture and the choice of food offerings. On the other hand, distinct differences between the Kempraten sanctuary and local Gallo-Roman sanctuaries can be observed, for instance in relation to cursing, the composition and the importance of the burnt offerings.

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prehistoric food. Vegetation History and Archaeobotany 17 (2008) 65–73. Behre K.-E. Collected seeds and fruits from herbs as prehistoric food Vegetation History and Archaeobotany 2008 17 65 73

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Archaeologiai Értesítő
Authors: László Domboróczki, Anna Budek, László Daróczi-Szabó, Małgorzata Kaczanowska, Tomasz Kalicki, Edyta Kłusakiewicz, Janusz K. Kozłowski, Angela Kreuz, Péter Pomázi, Michał Wasilewski, and Zsuzsanna K. Zoffmann

. K reuz , A ngela – S chäfer , E va 2011 Weed Finds as Indicators for the Cultivation Regime of the Early Neolithic Bandkermik Culture? Vegetation History and Archaeobotany (Berlin–Heidelberg) 20 , 333 – 348

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Middle to late Holocene vegetation history of the Upper Engadine (Swiss Alps): the role of man and fire Vegetation History and Archaeobotany 12 143 163

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. Inst. Ungar. Akad. Wiss. 4 : 157 – 173 . Gyulai , F. ( 2010 ): Archaeobotany in Hungary. Seed, fruit, food and beverage remains in the Carpathian Basin: an

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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

granatum L.(pomegranates) from early Roman contexts in Vindonissa (Switzerland) . Vegetation History and Archaeobotany 11/1–2 ( 2002 ) 79 – 92 . Jakab–Sümegi–Magyari 2004 = G. Jakab – P. Sümegi – E. Magyari : A new paleobotanical method for

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régészeti — növénytani vizsgálatok alapján (Archaeobotany. History of cultivated plants in the Carpathian Basin on the basis of archaeological-botanical analysis) Jószöveg Kézikönyvek Kiadó Debrecen 240

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. Vegetation History and Archaeobotany 13:249–255. Kilian R. Late-glacial and Holocene vegetation history of the Magellanic rain forest in Southwestern Patagonia, Chile

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.-E. ( 2001 ). Palaeoethnobotanical studies of the Neolithic settlement in Hidden Valley, Farafra Oasis, Egypt . Vegetation History & Archaeobotany, 10 ( 4 ), 235 – 246 . doi: 10.1007/PL00006935 10.1007/PL00006935

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