National Heritage Protection Center

Budapest, Hungary

National Heritage Protection Center

Budapest, Hungary
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Cucchi T.,French Natural History Museum | Cucchi T.,University of Aberdeen | Kovacs Z.E.,National Heritage Protection Center | Berthon R.,French Natural History Museum | And 9 more authors.
Biological Journal of the Linnean Society | Year: 2013

Transcaucasia comprises a key region for understanding the history of both the hybrid zone between house mouse lineages and the dispersal of the Neolithic way of life outside its Near Eastern cradle. The opportunity to document the colonization history of both men and mice in Transcaucasia was made possible by the discovery of mouse remains accumulated in pits from a 6000-year-old farming village in the Nakhchivan (Autonomous Republic of Nakhchivan, Azerbaijan). The present study investigated their taxonomy and most likely dispersal path through the identification of the Mus lineage to which they might belong using a geometric morphometric approach of dental traits distances between archaeological and modern populations of the different Mus lineages of South-West Asia. We demonstrate that the mouse remains trapped in the deep storage pits of the dwelling belong to the Mus musculus domesticus from the Near East, with dental shapes similar to current populations in Northern Syria. These results strongly suggest that the domesticus lineage was dispersed into Transcaucasia from the upper Euphrates valley by Neolithic migration, some time between the 7th and 5th millennium BC, providing substantial evidence to back up the scenario featuring near-eastern stimuli in the emergence of agriculture in the South Caucasus. The domesticus mitochondrial DNA signature of the current house mouse in the same location 5000 years later, as well as their turnover towards a subspecies musculus/castaneus phenotype, suggests that early domesticus colonizers hybridized with a later musculus (and maybe castaneus) dispersal originating from south of the Caspian Sea and/or Northern Caucasia. © 2013 The Linnean Society of London.


Peto A.,National Heritage Protection Center | Peto A.,Szent Istvan University | Gyulai F.,Szent Istvan University | Popity D.,Mora Ferenc Museum | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Archaeological Science | Year: 2013

A well-preserved assemblage of pottery and a broken stone artefact were excavated within a long house in the southern part of Tiszasziget, near the town of Szeged, Hungary. The settlement had been inhabited by the Late Neolithic Tisza culture around 5000-4500 BC. Based on the position of the finds it is suggested that the objects represent an ideologically-charged structured deposition. A piece of organic residue found in a mug (No. 18) with three-fold articulation has been subjected to macro- and microfloral analysis. After precise sampling of the residue, the standard methods to recover organic and inorganic plant remains were utilised. Based on the macrofloral and amino acid content analysis, it is suggested that the organic remains were pieces of fermented pastry made of cereal flour. The recovered silicified tissues and articulated phytoliths were subjected to morphometric measurements, which revealed that the food remain placed in the structured deposition was prepared of Triticum and - probably wild - Avena species. Starch granules of cereals were also detected, whilst the palynological evidence supports morphologies most likely to be related to the accompanying weed flora. The fortunate survival of the organic matter and the complex macro- and micro-archaeobotanical approach provided an unique opportunity to gain a better insight to the food preparation of Late Neolithic communities of the Carpathian Basin. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.


Lisztes-Szabo Z.,Debrecen University | Kovacs S.,Debrecen University | Peto A.,National Heritage Protection Center
Turkish Journal of Botany | Year: 2014

Phytoliths in Poa pratensis L. (Poaceae) leaf blades and sheaths are described in this study. Te role of plant opal particles- known as phytoliths-is considerable in taxonomical studies, and their long-term preservation in sediments makes them a useful tool in the reconstruction of ancient plant communities and plant-human interactions. All together, 2244 phytoliths were counted and analyzed in 25 plant samples (5 shoots of 5 specimens and approximately 500-600 phytoliths per specimen). Te biogenic silica content of P. pratensis leaves was determined at 2.61%, and 27 morphotypes have been described using the International Code for Phytolith Nomenclature. Two morphotypes are described for the frst time in this study. Long cells (elongate psilate and sinuate morphotypes) and short cells (rondel-trapeziform elongated and rounded morphotypes) are frequently present in this species. Diferences in morphotype frequency and signifcant diferences in a few simple morphometric data (length, width, height) of long cells and short cells were found among specimens, which suggests that these features vary depending on environmental factors and the maturity of leaf tissues. © TÜBİTAK.


Peto A.,National Heritage Protection Center | Serlegi G.,Hungarian Academy of Sciences | Krausz E.,University of West Hungary | Jaeger M.,Adam Mickiewicz University | Kulcsar G.,Hungarian Academy of Sciences
Agrokemia es Talajtan | Year: 2015

Based on the similar ceramic style and typography, the homogenous cultural identity that emerged during the Middle Bronze Age (app. 2000/1900-1500/1450 cal BC) in the central territory of the Carpathian Basin is called the Vatya culture. The settlement network of the Vatya culture involved fortified, multi-layered tells and open air horizon-tal settlements of varying size and inner structure. These archaeological sites are not only important parts of the cultural heritage of the Carpathian Basin, but are significant elements of the natural heritage. The importance of these structures lies within the po-tential to study their buried soils and anthropogenic sediments. Data gained by the means of soil science methods not only form the basis of conclusions on environmental history, but also give an idea of the interaction between ancient human populations and their environment. The geophysical prospection and the field walking of the locality helped to locate and identify the tripartite settlement of Kakucs-Turján mögött. The site, which lies on the border of different geographical micro-regions and at the conjunction of dissimilar natural environments, was identified as belonging to the Vatya culture. The stratigraphy of the Bronze Age settlement was identified by means of shallow geological corings. To accomplish this, high resolution and focused coring series were planned, based upon the geophysical prospection map of the site. The coring series not only aimed at the precis identification of the soil properties and the stratigraphy of the anthropogenic and natural sediments of the settlement and its surroundings, but also at facilitating our understanding of site formation processes of the archaeological site. The modern soil cover of the site was characterised using on on-site soil description protocols (macro-morphological description) and basic laboratory measurements (H%, TOC%, Ptotal, pH [H2O, KCl], salt%, CaCO3%, KA). As an outcome of these the recent soil cover was identified as a Chernozem soil developed on different, but in each case sandy textured parent material. The shallow geological profiles of the site was compiled based on two coring series that covered the two major (north-south and east-west) axes of the site. Both series conducted of 10-10 coring points and covered app. 300 meters each. Corings that penetrated the archaeological features (buildings) located within the central part of the tripartite settlement revealed the anthropogenic layers of the contem-porary dwellings, the accumulation of settlement debris, and the possible destruction layer of the site. The implementation of high-resolution coring series made it possible to precisely identify the stratigraphy of Kakucs-Turján mögött archaeological site. Possible site formation of this Bronze Age settlement was also specified based on the preliminary results. Table 1. Soil physical and chemical data of the soil and anthropogenic sediment samples collected during the geoarchaeological study of Kakucs-Turján mögött archaeological site. (1) Code of the coring point. (2) Code of the soil horizon/sediment layer represented by the sample. (3) Denomination of the soil horizon/sediment layer represented by the sample. (4) Sampling depth. (5) Total organic carbon (TOC), %). (6) Humus content, %. (7) Total phosphorus content (Ptotal), mg•kg-1; (8) Carbonate content, %. (9) Total salt content, %. (10) Soda alkalanity, %. (11) Arany-type soil texture coefficient (KA). A. Undisturbed soil profile/east-west cross-section; B Archaeological feature (building). Note: n.a. nem áll rendelkezésre adat; ∗ nyomokban. Fig. 1. Coring scheme of Kakucs-Turján mögött archaeological site; coring points are displayed on the geophysical prospection map of the site. Fig. 2. The north-south geoarchaeological cross-section of Kakucs-Turján mögött archaeological site. For the location of the coring points refer to Fig. 1. Fig. 3. The east-west geoarchaeological cross-section of Kakucs-Turján mögött archaeological site. For the location of the coring points refer to Fig. 1. Fig. 4. The geoarchaeological cross section of building-like archaeological features located in the centre part of Kakucs-Turján mögött archaeological site.


Kovacs Z.E.,National Heritage Protection Center
Acta Zoologica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae | Year: 2012

The origins of the black rat Rattus rattus can be placed in the Indian Peninsula and its occurrence in Europe is a result of a westward expansion. Based on archaeozoological finds, this rodent came into the Mediterranean and other parts of Europe before the Roman Period, as a commensal species associated with trade, although it was also introduced in many other parts of the continent during that time. After a depression in the population there is an increase in number of rat finds dating to the 11th century in Europe. The same tendency was observed in Hungary. The earliest rat remains in the country were recovered from sites dated to the Roman period (3-4th century AD) from inside and outside the territory of the Empire as well. Remains outside the limes (the border of the empire running along the right bank of the Danube) indicate that the Danube River did not pose a barrier in the expansion of rats. Records from the Roman period were followed by a gap of ca. 1000 years when the appearance of black rat was detected again at medieval Hungarian sites (from the 14th century onwards) reaching large numbers at sites dated to the Ottoman period (16-17th century).


Kenez A.,National Heritage Protection Center | Malatinszky A.,Szent Istvan University | Peto A.,National Heritage Protection Center
Vegetation History and Archaeobotany | Year: 2014

Caryopsis and spikelet fork remains of Dasypyrum villosum (L.) Coss. & Durieu ex P. Candargy have been recovered from a Hallstatt period archaeobotanical assemblage (ca. 900/800–450 cal. bc) in western Hungary (Carpathian basin). The presence of D. villosum has not been reported previously from any Hungarian archaeological sites, however there are accounts of its possible occurrence from the Neolithic, the Bronze and Iron Age in northern Serbia. The exact identification of the species has been hindered by its morphological similarity to wild rye and wheat species, as well as to Secale cereale L. and Triticum timopheevii Zhuk. ssp. timopheevii. D. villosum has been found growing at seven locations in Hungary during the past 100 years. Most of these occurrences do not exist today, and the species is not considered indigenous to the present Hungarian flora. The new finds of this species from an Iron Age feature dated to 702–696 cal. bc in western Hungary leave doubts as to whether it is indigenous or not, and should encourage archaeobotanists to consider the possibility of the occurrence of this species on other sites. © 2014, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


Salata D.,Szent Istvan University | Peto A.,National Heritage Protection Center | Kenez A.,National Heritage Protection Center | Geiger B.,Szent Istvan University | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Landscape Ecology | Year: 2013

The demand on scientific analyses during historical researches dealing with biological phenomena and factors often arises. Moreover the proper interpretation of scientific analyses types is inevitable in the assessment of temporal changes, since the examined state of the research material is only a snapshot, and not the endpoint of the analysed processes. This complexity is explicitly true in case of supraindividual research objects, like the landscape itself. In our case study, the landscape history of the 18 ha extended Kisgombos wood pasture - situated north to the city of Hatvan - is complemented with various scientific approaches, which include the reconstruction of land use forms, soil, seedbank and phytolith analyses, as well as the examination of growth trends of the arboreal vegetation based on tree-ring width measurements. Based on written sources, the first notice on the area derives from the 17th century, though the analyses of the soils, micro- and macro-botanical remains shed light on much older history of the pasture. The occupational history of the study area is complex. As an outcome of the analyses of historical maps it can be stated that evolution of the Kisgombos wood pasture is a result of the opening up of a closed forest, however it is difficult to estimate the time when it reached its present ecological state. Archive sources report on sparse and high-trunked oak wooded forest already from the 18th century. The use of this pasture was intensive throughout the first third of the 20th century, which is proved by rich archive photographic sources from the 1930's. At this time the area was utilised through grazing. The intensive land use could also be detected in the tree-ring development of the arboreal vegetation; one of the main impacts was the set up of a power plant in the close vicinity of the area in the second half of the 20th century. As illustrated by the layers of the vegetation cover changes and supported by the age composition of younger arboreal vegetation, the abandonment of the wood pasture was progressive and continuous from the mid 20th century.


Papesa A.R.,Gradski muzej Vinkovci | Kenez A.,National Heritage Protection Center | Peto A.,Szent Istvan University
Prilozi Instituta za Arheologiju | Year: 2015

Micro- and macro-archaeobotanical investigations were carried out on a selection of Late Avar graves from the archaeological site of Nuštar with the aim to reveal interactions between burial customs and plants of the Late Avar (710-810) population in Eastern Croatia (Croatian Danube region). During the excavation 108 soil and sediment samples were collected from the graves; due to the fact that there was a great amount of material, samples were collected from different depths and places in graves. Moreover, a little less than 100 whole vessel contents were recovered. Twenty sediment samples from grave-fill for macro-archaeobotanical study, as well as ten samples from vessels for micro-archaeobotanical study were chosen according to a “difference key” (samples from all gender and age and different burials). Overall the archaeobotanical assemblages were poor with none of the samples yielding high amounts of seed or fruit remains. Thus, only six different cereals and three different weed species were identified. Cereals form 67.31% of the entire assemblage, whilst weeds form 12.50% and food remains 15.38%. Phytolith analyses also show the presence of cereal related phytoliths, but most of the samples were considered sterile. Based on the micro- and macro-archaeobotanical investigations of selected graves from the Late Avar cemetery we may consider that the use of plants in burial customs at Nuštar did not play a significant role. In light of previous studies at Late Avar settlements and cemeteries in the surrounding geographical environment (Carpathian Basin, and Middle Danube valley) animal-derived products might have therefore had a more prominent role in ritual and burial contexts. © 2015, Institute of Archaeology. All rights reserved.


A set of plant opal particles - phytolith assemblage - found in soils can provide information on the covering vegetation. The phenomena of redundancy and multiplicity usually makes it difficult to directly link a single phytolith to a given species or even to a higher taxanomic unit. The aim of this paper is to present the results of multivariate statistical analyses applied on the data gained from twenty soil profiles and to recommend on diagnostic morphotypes and/or morphotype groups. Correspondence and principal component analyses have been performed on the data matrix composed of over 6000 phytoliths identified in 117 soil samples from Hungary. Based upon the results, soil types representing different habitats can be charaterized by distinctive indicator groups. On the basis of the research data of 20 soil profiles and as a result of the comparative analysis a suggested reference system is presented, which hopefully enables detection of the habitat and soil type through the quantitative and qualitative characteristics of the diagnostic morphotypes in palaeoenvironmental reconstructions. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA.


Krausz E.,University of West Hungary | Salata D.,Szent Istvan University | Peto A.,University of West Hungary | Bidlo A.,National Heritage Protection Center
Journal of Landscape Ecology | Year: 2014

The Middle Bronze Age fortified settlement of Perkáta-Forrás-dulo is one of the key elements of a complex environmental and settlement historical study conducted by the Hungarian National Museum National Heritage Protection Centre and the Szent István University Institute of Environmental and Landscape Management. One of the aims of the project is to study the historical land-use intensity and to reconstruct the environment of the fortified settlement and its wider surroundings. As a part of the more extended project, a complex study is being carried out on the landuse history of the area. The present contribution aims at summarising the historical land-use changes within the Cikola watershed. The historical land-use is analysed based on historic maps - dated as early as the 18th century - and aerial photographs. During the examination of the territory, it became clear that after the first official mentioning of the area, which can be dated back to the beginning of the 15th century, it was continuously used for agricultural production due to its geographical properties.

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