Régészeti kutatások Hajdúböszörmény–Pródi-halmon

Raczky, Pál and Fodor, István and Mester, Zsolt (2010) Régészeti kutatások Hajdúböszörmény–Pródi-halmon. Archaeologiai Értesítő, 135 (1). pp. 161-182. ISSN 0003-8032

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Polgár-Csőszhalom település tágabb mikroregionális kapcsolatainak vizsgálata a késői neolitikum gazdaságtörténeti viszonyainak rekonstrukciója szempontjából különösen érdekesnek ígérkezik. Ez a problémafelvetés vezetett a korábbi szakirodalomban már többször említett, az elterjedési térképeken ábrázolt Hajdúböszörmény közigazgatási területéhez tartozó Pródi-halom lelőhely behatóbb vizsgálatához. A halom légvonalban körülbelül 20 km-re délkeletre helyezkedik el Polgár-Csőszhalomtól, egy korábbi ártéri sziget keleti végében. A közel 4 m magas domb környezetének felszínét sűrűn borítják egy feltehetően Árpád-kori templom szétszántott, a mezőgazdasági művelés által folyamatosan pusztított maradványai. A topográfiai megfigyelések eredményeinek ellenőrzésére 2007-ben a Pródi-halmon kis léptékű kutató ásatást végeztünk. A késő neolitikus leletek mellett bronzkori, római császárkori szarmata és Árpád-kori emlékek kerültek napvilágra. A körvonalazott régészeti előzmények után végzett magnetométer felmérés eredményeként a Pródi-halom körül többszörös körárok-rendszer képe bontakozott ki. A 2008-as felmérés és a halom környékén végzett többszöri helyszíni szemle alapján rekonstruálhatóvá vált a kiemelkedéstől nyugati irányban, mintegy 550–600 m hosszan húzódó egykori újkőkori település. Ennek foltja lényegében követi a kelet–nyugati dombhát 92,5 m-es szintvonala által körülhatárolt területet, így közel 7–8 ha kiterjedésűre becsülhető. Ezen belül az egykori rondella területe nagyjából 3–3,5 ha területet foglalhatott el. | Research history Following the 1989–2007 excavations at Polgár-Csőszhalom it became increasingly clear that this late neolithic site in the Upper Tisza Region consisted of a horizontal settlement and an adjacent tell that was surrounded by a system of circular ditches and palisades. The sheer extent of the horizontal settlement, as well as its relation to the habitation mound may be considered unique within the prehistoric cultural context of the Great Hungarian Plain. Studying the broader environment of this site looked especially promising in reconstructing the micro-regional function and economic relations of this settlement during the Late Neolithic. This approach to the problem inspired focused research at the site of Pródi-halom in the outskirts of Hajdúböszörmény often mentioned in the literature and identified in site distribution maps. This settlement mound is located some 20 km southeast of Polgár-Csőszhalom as the crow flies. It occupies the eastern end of what was an island within the Tisza floodplain (Fig. 1). It was János Makkay who first directed attention to Pródi-halom in 1957, due to its possible contacts with settlement blocks of the Herpály culture that may have had connections with settlements in the Berettyó-region during the Late Neolithic. Within the framework of a brief review of research history, he also directed attention to the forgotten fact that the renowned archaeologists Flóris Rómer and József Hampel had already carried out excavations at this spot in 1882. In the 1987 register of late neolithic settlements in the Upper Tisza Region, this site was classified as belonging to the Herpály culture on the basis of the aforementioned publication by J. Makkay although it is located some 45–50 km north of the settlement block of the Herpály culture itself. Moreover it has been hypothesized that this site may be classified within the category of tell-like settlements. In spite of these efforts, detailed studies of this mound began only more than a century after the 1882 excavations. This may in part be explained by some disturbing topographic phenomena. Among others, the surface around the almost 4 m tall mound was littered by rubble originating from a church tentatively dated to the 11th century, continuously destroyed by tillage. Quantities of human bone brought to light during plowing bear witness to the burials in the churchyard. Hair-rings dated to the Period of the Árpád Dynasty (11–13th century) recovered on the eastern slope of the mound may also be related to this medieval complex. These phenomena already indicate that under such circumstances excavations aimed at verifying prehistoric strata may run into difficulties. Recent archaeological research at the site Excavations1. Upper strata (Period of the Roman Empire and Middle Ages) Being aware of the history of this mound, including numerous disturbances by previous excavations the 12 × 2 m test trench oriented east-west was not opened on the top but near the northwestern foot of the mound (Fig. 2.1–2). Three graves came to light in the eastern end, while Grave 1 found in the southeastern corner reached beyond the test trench and had to be followed by the excavations. An incomplete skeleton oriented northwest was recovered at a depth of 84 cm (Fig. 3). An S-shaped hair-ring was found on the chest of the deceased (Fig. 4). Remains of a wooden coffin could be observed near the legs covering a surface of approximately 45 cm in length. Coffin nails and the fragment of a coffin clasp were recovered in the proximity of these finds. It may be hypothesized, however, that the remains of the coffin did not belong to this skeleton but to a later burial that disturbed the lower grave. Grave 2 was located some 2 m east of this spot at a depth of 92 cm. It contained no grave goods (Fig. 3.2). Grave 3 was found by yet another 2 m toward the east. It reached partially into the southern wall of the test trench. The deceased was oriented west lying on her left side in a contracted position (Fig. 3.3). The first two of these three burials (Graves 1–2) could be dated with great certainty. The S-shaped hair-ring found in Grave 1 is typical of the Period of the Árpád Dynasty, more exactly its phase that predated the mid 13th-century Mongol-Tartar invasion. The rite identified in the case of Grave 2 points toward the same period. It may be reasonable to hypothesize therefore that we encountered graves from the churchyard dated to the Period of the Árpád Dynasty. The rite observed in the third grave, however, differs from those of the two previously discussed burials. On the basis of analogous-looking burials observed at Csőszhalom it may be identified as the probable burial of a late neolithic woman. In addition, Sarmatian shards representing the Period of the Roman Empire were also found in the upper strata of the mound. An oval feature with diameters measuring 160 × 150 cm and of a depth of 195 cm must have served as a Sarmatian refuse pit. 2. Late neolithic trench While the test trench was opened randomly, without particular planning, it revealed a surprise of great archaeological importance. A “V”-shaped ditch of approximately 10 m width could be recognized at a depth of 170–180 cm below the original surface (Fig. 2.2). The ditch itself could be followed down to a depth of 250 cm in a 1 m wide band at the northern section of the test trench. On that level, however, ground water made excavations difficult, therefore the position of the ditch was clarified by a series of stratigraphic bore samples. A combination between the image obtained by a subsequent magnetic survey carried out in 2008 and the excavation profile superposed on it shows that the test trench intersected with the northwestern segment of a major circular ditch system. The find material brought to the surface from the test trench at Pródi-halom was quite homogeneous. It consisted of a relatively great quantity of pot shards and animal bones. This fragmentary artifactual assemblage may be associated with a single major event detectable at the bottom of the prehistoric ditch. It originates from a fill rich in organic material. It seems therefore that the ditch ceased to exist within the framework of some conscious activity as had also been observed in the case of the ditch system recovered at Polgár-Csőszhalom. Even the types of ceramics and their decorations correspond to the late neolithic stylistic realm identified at the tell sites of Csőszhalom and Berettyóújfalu-Herpály (Figs 5–6). On the other hand, a variety of painted ware is missing from the ceramic material of the test trench opened at Pród. To some extent, this paucity may be attributed to poor preservation both in terms of high fragmentation and destructive soil conditions. Flaked and ground stone assemblages The artifactual assemblage brought to light from the prehistoric ditch at the site of Pródi-halom contained nine flaked and two ground stone artifacts (Fig. 7). Among the flaked tools only two types of raw material were represented: four were made from obsidian, while five were fashioned from Volhynian flint. Given the geographical location of the site, the use of local lithic sources would be out of the question. The nearest sources of such raw material are located in the southern reaches of the Tokaj foothill zone at a distance of some 50–60 km from the site under discussion here (Fig. 8). Magnetometric survey Following the aforementioned antecedents, a magnetometric survey carried out in 2008 revealed the image of a multiple circular ditch system (Figs 9–10). It is suggested here that the concentric ditches are formed by two major structural units. 1. The double external ditch formed an enclosure of some 170–180 m in diameter with estimated widths of 2–3 m. In spite of some disturbance, traces of several renovations and corrections may be observed in the southern section of this double ditch. For example at one point the double ditch is trebled. On the other hand no opening could be identified in this system that could have been interpreted as a “gate”. 2. The inner part of the enclosure was 90–100 m in diameter, surrounded by a 6–8 m ditch, and another inner ditch that measured only 1–2 m in width. The larger outer ditch of this system was interrupted by four “gates” that correspond to the main directions of the compass. Three of these were clearly recognizable in the magnetometric images. The width of these “entrances” may be estimated as 6–8 m. The narrower, inner ditch may be – with great likelihood – interpreted as the foundation ditch of a palisade system. These two phenomena seem to have formed part of a “rotunda”-like construction that consisted of a ditch and an inner fortification. 3. Four smaller and a large homogeneous spots were discovered at the eastern edge of the innermost area within this enclosure. The interpretation of these features has posed problems (Fig. 11). The very regular southernmost spot measuring 9×7 m may be considered the trace of a previously dug test square possibly opened by F. Rómer and J. Hampel in 1882. A number “3” shaped anomaly in the magnetic map may correspond to the foundations of a church or some other building. When mirrored around a northeast-southwest axis of symmetry, this shape forms the outline of a building measuring approximately 28×18 m. It is evident that this problem can be clarified only by additional excavations. It seems likely that the walls of this tentatively identified building were quarried that resulted in a new fill that cannot be sensed at a 1×1 m resolution grid system. Sonar measurements carried out on the eastern edge of the mound covered a square of 30×8 m. This method, however, yielded no results. The remaining two north-south and east-west spots may possibly result from grave robbing. Summary of research carried out at the site 1. It is evident that the best formal parallel to the circular ditch/palisade system detected at Pródi-halom is known from Polgár-Csőszhalom. Detailed observations and verifying excavations at that site complex delineated an inner tell and an external horizontal settlement whose social functions must have differed. This observation has been supported by archaeological observations. It is surprising that the external ditches at both Csőszhalom and Pródi-halom form enclosures of nearly identical diameters, 180–190 m and 170–180 m respectively. Meanwhile, the enclosure surrounded by the inner ditch differed, measuring 70–75 m and 90–100 m. This means that the inner area of possible social function was significantly larger at Pródi-halom. In summary, however, it may be said that the concentric ditch and palisade system observed at Pródi-halom and Csőszhalom show close relations to “earthworks” (Rondel, Circular ditched enclosure, and Einhegung, Kreisgrabenanlage etc.) known from Transdanubia (Western Hungary) and similar features dated to the Lengyel culture in Central Europe. 2. As already mentioned, repeated field surveys in the environs of Pródi-halom revealed a 550–600 m long section of a late neolithic horizontal settlement located west of the mound. Remains of this settlement actually follow an elevated bank whose height may be defined by following the 92.5 m contour line and whose area may be estimated as 7–8 hectares (Fig. 12). The rondella once must have covered approximately 3–3.5 hectares within this territory. The double settlement structure identified at Pród (consisting of an external, horizontal component and a mound) thus corresponds to the complex late neolithic settlement identified at Polgár-Csőszhalom. The only difference is that while the rondella stands at the western end of the settlement in the case of Polgár-Csőszhalom, in the case of Pród it is located in the eastern section. It is also likely that a major tell-like artificial mound had once stood in the center of the Pródi-halom enclosure, but it may since have been destroyed. This means that the settlement of Polgár-Csőszhalom is no more without parallels. In fact, it may be predicted that the traces of additional such earthen structures will be discovered at Csőszhalom type settlements in the Upper Tisza Region. Meanwhile, similarly to Lengyel culture rondellas, the circular ditch and palisade systems discovered at Csőszhalom and Pródi-halom also carried symbolic and sacral meanings. This may mean that there is an underlying similarity in the cognitive characteristics of these two cultural units. The cultural affiliation of Pródi-halom between the sites of Berettyóújfalu-Herpály and Polgár-Csőszhalom would be impossible to identify on the basis of the ceramic assemblage alone. The circular ditch and palisade system may be considered more diagnostic from this point of view, indicating a definite connection to Csőszhalom. 3. The lithic raw materials encountered as well as the technological observations place this assemblage clearly within the archaeological context of the Late Neolithic. The important roles played by type 1 Carpathian obsidian and Volhynian flint, as well as their local manufacturing are well-known phenomena at settlements in the region. The occurrence of these raw materials at the settlement of Pródi-halom may be best explained by connections with the Carpathian foothill region where type 1 Carpathian obsidian may be found and roads lead towards the Dniester river valley across the passes of the North-eastern Carpathians. 4. Even this short field project has reconfirmed documentary sources that mention the church of Pród village that had dated back to the early Period of the Árpád Dynasty. Although the remains of the church itself remain unknown, the two contemporaneous graves found at the site make its existence very likely. The mound itself was inhabited during the Bronze Age and the Sarmatian Period as well. Meanwhile no trace of a village datable to the Period of the Árpád Dynasty and late Middle Ages was found. These will have to be localized during subsequent extensive field surveys and excavations of large scale. The name of the village Pród (provod) occurs first in the written sources in 1067 and existed till the end of the 16th century.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: C Auxiliary Sciences of History / történeti segédtudományok > CC Archaeology / régészet
Depositing User: xKatalin xBarta
Date Deposited: 05 Jan 2017 14:21
Last Modified: 05 Jan 2017 14:21

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