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Corsi J.,University of Turin | Maroti B.,Hungarian Academy of Sciences | Re A.,University of Turin | Kasztovszky Zs.,Hungarian Academy of Sciences | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Analytical Atomic Spectrometry | Year: 2015

The Cisalpine Gaul's coinage has been produced by different tribes settled in northern Italy between the 4th and the 1st century B.C. During this wide chronological period several types of silver drachms have originated, nowadays classified by numismatists in different typologies. To verify the presence of a debasement along the years and to investigate the exchange ratios among different drachmas, the rich collection of the Hungarian National Museum in Budapest has been analysed. Measurements have been performed at the Budapest Neutron Centre with the Prompt Gamma Activation Analysis (PGAA), a bulk technique which enables overcoming of surface enriched layers and alterations. This technique allows silver and copper to be quantified, while to check the presence of tin and other minor elements X-ray fluorescence (XRF) has been used. Results show that the silver content falls from 94% of the first emissions up to 50% of the Cenomans' and Insubres' tribes late typologies. This strong debasement takes place between the III and the II century B.C. and could be related to the military efforts in the decades around the second Punic war. At the same time, we observe the transition from a binary silver-copper alloy to a ternary one, made of silver, copper and tin. © 2015 The Royal Society of Chemistry.


Borel A.,Eotvos Lorand University | Borel A.,French Natural History Museum | Dobosi V.,Hungarian National Museum | Moncel M.-H.,French Natural History Museum
Quaternary International | Year: 2016

Several Western and Central European archaeological sites from the Marine Isotopic Stage (MIS) 5 to 3 yielded microlithic assemblages made by Neanderthals. The European Prehistory lacks a thorough study of these small artifacts to understand their meaning, potential function and to investigate Neanderthal capabilities, behaviours and conception of their tool kit. We propose here to describe the microlithic artifacts from Tata (Hungary) using both typo-technological and functional (usewear analysis) approaches to understand how and what for these tools were made and used. The results show that these stone artifacts were produced using two main reduction sequences. The overall outline of the tools was probably not of great interest for the users which rather looked for artifacts with at least one sharp edge opposite a back. Usewear analysis allowed identification of different activities such as scrapping, cutting, or sawing hard or softer materials. The smallest artifacts may not have been the most used artifacts and that several tools may also have been hafted. The reason why so small artifacts were produced remains unknown. The Neanderthal world (supposedly related to these microlithic sites in Central Europe) was probably developed through multiple techno-morphological solutions. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA.


Bradak B.,Geographical Institute | Kiss K.,Geographical Institute | Barta G.,Eotvos Lorand University | Barta G.,Leibniz Institute for Applied Geophysics | And 8 more authors.
Quaternary International | Year: 2014

Complex geomorphological, geological, paleopedological and chronometrical investigations were started to reveal the development of the alluvial section and the loess/paleosol sequence containing remnants of a Late Palaeolithic site near Veroce, Hungary. Different paleoenvironments were identified in the profiles of the abandoned brickyard influenced by different facies in the margin of fluvial-alluvial (Palaeo-Danube) and proluvial (southeast pediment of Börzsöny Mountain) area and the environments affected by the climate fluctuation of Late Pleistocene (loess/paleosol sequence overlying the base of alluvial materials). Sediments possibly deposited by Palaeo-Danube were identified in a basal section of the abandoned brickyard. The alluvial facies was indicated by sand, silt, and clay layers in the sediment sequence. Some parts of the alluvial sediments were covered by loess in the glacial periods intercalated by four paleosol horizons formed during interglacial or interstadial periods. The sedimentation of loess and the forming of paleosols were finished by pedimentation processes (sheet wash, redeposition) indicated by the fine layered material at the top of each paleosol horizon. Another complex fluvial-alluvial section was identified at a different part of the brickyard possibly developed synchronous with the loess/paleosol sequence during the Late Pleistocene. Based on relative and chronometrical dating methods (e.g. archaeological stratigraphy and correlation of the artifacts, 14C and luminescence dating), the development of the loess/paleosol sequence started in marine isotope stage 6 (MIS6) and the youngest layer dated to MIS2. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA.


Csiszar G.,Eotvos University Budapest | Ungar T.,Eotvos University Budapest | Jaro M.,Hungarian National Museum
Applied Physics A: Materials Science and Processing | Year: 2013

Micro-structure can talk when documentation is missing. In ancient Roman or medieval periods, kings, queens, or just rich people decorated their clothes or even their horse covers richly with miniature jewels or metal threads. The origin or the fabrication techniques of these ancient threads is often unknown. Thirteen thread samples made of gold or gilt silver manufactured during the last sixteen hundred years are investigated for the micro-structure in terms of dislocation density, crystallite size, and planar defects. In a few cases, these features are compared with sub-structure of similar metallic threads prepared in modern, twentieth century workshops. The sub-structure is determined by X-ray line profile analysis, using high resolution diffractograms with negligible instrumental broadening. On the basis of the sub-structure parameters, we attempt to assess the metal-threads manufacturing procedures on samples stemming from the fourth century A.D. until now. © 2012 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


News Article
Site: news.yahoo.com

Tissue samples from a Hungarian mummy have revealed that people in the early 17th and 18th centuries suffered from colon cancer, long before the modern plagues of obesity, physical inactivity and processed food were established as causes of the disease, according to new research. In a new study of 18th-century Hungarian mummies, scientists found that the genetic predisposition to colon cancer predates modern impacts on health. One of the mummies in the study carried a mutation in the adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) gene, which physicians now know raises the risk of colon cancer, said lead study author Michal Feldman, a research assistant formerly at Tel Aviv University in Israel. If the APC mutation is confirmed in other samples, it could mean that inherited changes in DNA play a bigger role in cancer evolution than do modern environmental impacts, Feldman told Live Science in an email. [10 Do's and Don'ts to Reduce Your Risk of Cancer] "Today, colorectal cancer is the third most common type of cancer, and it has a clear genetic background that is well-researched in modern populations," Feldman said. "In light of the many lifestyle and environmental changes human society has undergone during the last few centuries, we found it important to compare the spectrum of historical mutations to the modern spectrum." Because mummification preserves tissue, samples from such remains can give scientists invaluable information on anthropological, historical and medical details, Feldman said. In the past, studies of mummified remains have provided clues about the history of tuberculosis, clogged arteries and even air pollution. In the new study, Feldman's team collected tissue samples from 20 mummies that were excavated from sealed crypts in a Dominican church in Vác, Hungary. These crypts were used for the burial of several middle-class families and clerics from 1731 to 1838, and more than 265 mummies were found there in 1995, the researchers said. The mummies are now housed at the Hungarian National Museum in Budapest. The low temperature in the crypts, combined with constant ventilation and low humidity, were ideal conditions for natural mummification of the corpses, the researchers said. Some 70 percent of the bodies found in the location were completely or partially mummified, providing a rich source of preserved tissue and DNA samples for the scientists. [8 Grisly Archaeological Discoveries] By extracting DNA from the mummies, Feldman and her team were able to sequence and assess the presence of APC gene mutations. "The interesting thing about this study is that the APC mutation in cancer that was recently discovered in the past couple of decades is not new," said Dr. Sidney Winawer, a gastroenterologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, who was not involved in the study. "This opens up a whole new way of thinking. If this mutation was present so many years ago, why was it present there?" Additional historical samples need to be investigated, he said, in order to better understand the relationships between cancer and environmental factors, such as lifestyle, and between cancer and genetic changes. The findings were published online Feb. 10 in the journal PLOS ONE. Copyright 2016 LiveScience, a Purch company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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