Előzetes jelentés a nagytevel-tevel-hegyi kovabánya áÁsatásának eredményeiről

T. Biró, Katalin and Regenye, Judit and Puszta, Sándor and Thamóné Bozsó, Edit (2010) Előzetes jelentés a nagytevel-tevel-hegyi kovabánya áÁsatásának eredményeiről. Archaeologiai Értesítő, 135 (1). pp. 5-25. ISSN 0003-8032

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Nagytevel határában, a Tevel-hegyen található Magyarország egyetlen, szoros értelemben véve tűzkőnek nevezhető kova nyersanyaga. A felső kréta korú mészkőben, amelyet a község határában egy modern kőbánya tár fel, gyakran 20–30 cm nagyságú tűzkő gumók figyelhetők meg. A környéken több alkalommal gyűjtöttek megmunkált kovaszilánkokat. A területen 2005 és 2008 között feltárásokat végeztünk a Magyar Nemzeti Múzeum és a Veszprém Megyei Múzeumok Igazgatóságának együttműködésében. Az ásatás célja a feltételezhető őskori kovabánya azonosítása és feltárása volt. Összesen 22 bányaobjektumot figyeltünk meg, többségében sekély kitermelő gödröket. A bánya lehetséges lokalizálása, illetve behatárolása céljából két alkalommal geofizikai méréseket is végeztünk. A jelenségek keltezését szórványos kerámialeletek mellett optikai lumineszcens kormeghatározással és a régészeti elterjedési adatok értelmezésével kíséreltük meg. | Introduction. Nagytevel is a small village in West-Central Transdanubia close to the city of Pápa (Fig. 1). It is situated along the north-western fringes of the Bakony Mountains facing the Kisalföld (Little Hungarian Plain). To the south of the village centre we find the Tevel hill, a calcareous block mountain within the Northern Bakony. It is built up of Upper Senonian limestone with large siliceous nodules. This locality is the only source of flint in the strict sense within Hungary and probably also within the Carpathian Basin. This flint became known during the geological mapping of the area. Fortunately, the mapping geologist, Dániel Bihari had a good eye for archaeology. He collected some worked flakes from the W3 sandy sediments around the outcrop. In course of the systematic field survey of prehistoric lithic raw materials in the early 1980-ies by the Hungarian Geological Institute several surveys were made in the area, though at that time it was difficult to access because Tevel hill was a military ground for Russian troops. After 1989, the environs of Tevel hill became accessible. During the research of the exploitation areas in the Bakony Mountains we paid regular visits to the site. From 2000 onwards, the investigation of the Tevel quarry became more topical as we were excavating the Neolithic settlement at Kup, some 10 kms to the south of the flint outcrop where about half of the chipped stone artefacts were made of Tevel flint. Kup was known to have the most spectacular conical cores, made naturally of Tevel flint in Transdanubia. Results of the Kup excavations were published in a preliminary study as well as a local exhibition. The next step in the analysis of the quarry was a geodetic survey and analysis of archaeological distribution data followed by an analysis of the Bakony workshop districts. Excavations at Nagytevel. Tevel flint crops out in an abandoned village quarry (for limestone) on the north-western side of the Tevel hill facing the village (Fig. 2). As the former Russian military exercise ground was situated immediately over the modern quarry, it was not evident, in spite of the frequent occurrence of worked flint flakes in the sandy slopes that any traces of prehistoric mining were preserved. The intensive study of the area was started with a geophysical survey by Sándor Puszta and his team. The survey involved two rectangular areas yielding characteristic patterns of low and high magnetic signals (Figs 3–5). To get an overview of the situation as well as to interpret the geophysical survey results correctly, a 30×30 m large area was cleared and appearing features mapped, right over the modern quarry at area (excavation area “A”; Figs 6–7). By cleaning, intact bedrock, prehistoric mining debris and argillaceous sediment filling the pits could be observed. It was noted, that bedrock (limestone with more or less flint nodules) corresponds to low magnetic values (blue, under –5 nT) and argillaceous fill gave the high values (orange and red, over 5 nT). We started to excavate in squares of 5×5 meters. Ten squares were started and excavated at least till the surface of the mining debris. We reached the bottom only in two squares. Altogether seven features were identified. The finds comprised large amount of flaked flint, some of them very large and flint nodules/precores rejected. There were occasional hammerstones and a few antler fragments in very bad state of preservation. We believe that we hit the most intensively exploited area of the mine at least among the existing evidence because it is certain that the modern (limestone) quarry destroyed a large part of the prehistoric mining field. Unfortunately we had to cover the cleaned surface by the end of the excavation, and could not finish all mining pits observed. Next year we sampled the area “B” with less frequent magnetic anomalies. We were planning exploring trenches on the exact spot (line) of positive anomalies and could transect six new mining features (Figs 8.1, 9, 16). The mining pits at this spot were obviously more shallow and less complex. The method of exploring trenches and sections planted along observed features enabled us to excavate the features completely. In the 2006 pits, shards of the Lengyel culture were also found. In 2007, we returned to the “A” territory. To the south of the area explored we planted a new exploring trench in the length of 25 meters. Five new pits were observed (Fig. 8.2). In the last year, a new geophysical survey was made. The area covered about 50,000 square meters, incorporating part of former area “B” and new territories allowed by surface visibility and vegetation, to the south and south-east of the former rectangular square. The newly surveyed territories were not controlled by new excavations, the 2008 trenches and sections remained within the confines of the former geophysical survey, both on territory A and B, respectively. The new trenches (30 m and 15 m long, respectively) were planted almost adjacent to the 2006–2007 trenches on the line of observed positive anomalies. Six new features were observed. Two features in trench 2008/1 and 2008/2, respectively, were sampled for OSL (Figs 14, 18). Since 2007, the area is protected in the framework of “Natura 2000” project. Though there are obviously wide possibilities for further excavations, the work was stopped to evaluate existing finds and make strategic decisions about the site. Mining features and finds. The basic units for flint extraction at Nagytevel were simple pits. They were rather shallow at most of the observed parts (an average of 80–120 cm), deeper only towards the central parts of the quarry where the pits were deepened below 2 m. At the central parts of the quarry the mining features were more complex, too, involving longer trenches and ridges in between. No sign of shafts or more complex array was observed as yet. The bedrock, wherever it was preserved, started almost immediately under the surface (10–30 cms below present surface). Mining debris was deposited in most of the left-over pits. The miners utilised cracks and tectonic inhomogeneities of the rocks. In several cases, a monolith-like columnar object was observed across the pits or cuts which can be related to mining technique. Traces of fire is suspected as a means for facilitating extraction, documented by remains of greyish lilac ash and compact lime. The structure of the mine is best seen on the geophysical map: croissant-form blocks of bedrock were left among the pits and ridges, probably to support sediments and prevent slide on the steep slope. Most of the finds are naturally flint debris, partly worked. Some of the flakes are of very large size like the pieces found in Feature 2005/2 (Fig. 15). Many of the pieces can be refitted, though not all of the refittings can be considered intentional flaking. The mining tools are relatively scarcely represented; mainly hammerstones and very few and badly deteriorated antler pics, also recovered from the deepest part of the flint mine excavated so far, i.e. Feature 2005/2. Few but very important Late Neolithic shards were found in Features 2006/1 and 2007/1. Chipping floors were identified in some of the large features filled with argillaceous sediments over the barren debris. This is interpreted as a secondary use of the abandoned mining pits. Worked flakes are frequent in the sand and the surface surrounding the quarry area, though not in their original position. The most likely form of the Tevel quarry products was precore or core (blade core), but a lot more analysis is needed to specify the work-flow on the site. The minimal extent of the mining field, according to the geophysical survey, can be estimated at 10 hectares. The maximal extent can be estimated on the basis of the geological mapping data as 1–3 km<sup>2</sup>(Fig. 19), i.e. the distribution of the flint-bearing layers. Dating the mining features. The mining features are very difficult to date. The flaking is not really characteristic chronologically and we have very little dateable evidence. Prior to the excavations, the known distribution data and the evidence of the most significant settlement where Tevel flint was used and procured in large quantities (Kup-Egyes) indicated a peak in production, and, probably, exploitation during the Transdanubian LBC and the Lengyel cultures. The most evident proofs of prehistoric mining activity are the Neolithic shards found in some of the trenches and extraction pits. So far, only Late Neolithic shards were found probably belonging to the Lengyel Culture. In the last year of the excavations, samples were taken for OSL dating (Optically Stimulated Luminescence Dating). This method can measure the last time the sediments were irradiated by natural light. The underlying principles are similar to the better known TL dating. OSL is widely used now to date sandy layers and sediments. The results were presented on the conference of Mineralogy and Petrology, Budapest (Thamó-Bozsó–Biró 2009, Table 1). The dates obtained are consistent with the indirect evidence of flint distribution data and the scanty evidence of pottery found in the mining features. Distribution data. Tevel flint is an important regional raw material. It contributes to the chipped stone raw material stock of Transdanubia at least 5 %. The physical qualities of Tevel flint are fairly distinctive: non-transparent grey with concentric patterns, with white nodule cortex. When patinated, the surface can be bluish white. This is mainly typical for surface finds, but not always. The raw material types which may be of similar appearance and partly overlapping supply area are Moravian grey flints (e.g., Krumlovski Les type and Stranska Skala flint) and various grey flint and chert types coming probably from Croatia and/or Slovenia. This is obviously the case along the M7 motorway where rescue excavations have brought to light large Neolithic settlements with considerable amount of lithic finds. It can be also mistaken on a superficial glance to Bavarian ‘Hornstein’, though so far we have no data on overlapping supply areas. Analytical information on the raw material comprises petrographical thin section and chemical composition by NAA and PGAA, respectively. To give a ‘fingerprint’ of Tevel flint, these data are quoted here as well (Table 2). Distribution data on Tevel flint were published in a number of communications already. The map presented here (Fig. 20) summarises chronological data available as well. Conclusions. The existence of a large mining field at Nagytevel is proved by the excavations beyond doubt. A large part of the prehistoric quarry was obviously destroyed by the modern limestone quarry operated in the 20th century by the village. The main method of prehistoric mining was shallow pits with evidences of heat treatment. Towards the centre, more complex and deep features could be observed and partly excavated. Local chipping activity could be demonstrated in some left-over pits of large extension. The overall image and situation resembles most to the Sümeg-Mogyorósdomb flint mine excavated by L. Vértes and later by J. Fülöp and E. Bácskay. Opposed to Sümeg, however, the raw material exploited here was popular and widely distributed all over Transdanubia. The most important workshop and largest set of lithics are known from the site Kup-Egyes, the habitation periods of which seem to correspond to main periods of use of the Nagytevel quarry.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: C Auxiliary Sciences of History / történeti segédtudományok > CC Archaeology / régészet
Depositing User: xKatalin xBarta
Date Deposited: 05 Jan 2017 13:55
Last Modified: 05 Jan 2017 13:55

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