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Neolithic human impact on the landscapes of North-East Hungary inferred from pollen and settlement records

Magyari, Enikő K. and Chapman, John and Fairbairn, Andrew S. and Francis, Mark and Guzman, Margarita (2012) Neolithic human impact on the landscapes of North-East Hungary inferred from pollen and settlement records. Vegetation History and Archaeobotany, 21 (4-5). pp. 279-302. ISSN 0939-6314

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Abstract

In this article, we discuss the Neolithic and Early CopperAge (ECA) part of two pollen records fromtheMiddle Tisza Floodplain in association with the local archaeological settlement record. We address the hypothesis of Willis and Bennett (2004) that there was little human impact by farmers on the environment of SE Europe until the Bronze Age. Contrary to this hypothesis, our results show that small-scale agriculture and woodland clearance is already attestable in the earliest Neolithic in Eastern Hungary, there are signs of expanding scale of mixed farming in theMiddleNeolithic and strong evidence for extensive landscape alterations with enhanced pasturing and mixed farming in the Late Neolithic (LN) and ECA. The main vegetation exploitation techniques in the alluvial plain of Sarlo´-ha´t were selective tree felling (mainly Quercus), coppicing (mainly Corylus and Ulmus) and woodland clearance to establish grazing pastures and smallscale crop farming. Comparison with other well-dated pollen diagrams from Eastern Hungary suggested that, in the Early and Middle Neolithic (8000–7000 cal. B.P.), Corylus and Ulmus coppicing were probably frequent, while pastoral activities and associated woodland clearance is distinguished in the LN (7000–6500 cal. B.P.). Our data also suggested a shift to moister summer conditions in the alluvium during the ECA, which may have contributed to a trend towards settlement dispersion and increased reliance on animal husbandry in the NE Hungarian Plain.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Human impact Pollen analysis Archaeology Neolithic Copper Age Great Hungarian Plain
Subjects: C Auxiliary Sciences of History / történeti segédtudományok > CC Archaeology / régészet
Depositing User: Mariann Bosnakoff
Date Deposited: 10 Dec 2013 10:41
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2013 10:41
URI: http://real.mtak.hu/id/eprint/7926

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