Original paper

The role of kurgans in the Palaeopedological and Palaeoecological reconstruction of the Hungarian Great Plain

Barczi, Attila; Joó, Katalin


Kurgans (burial mounds) belong to probably the oldest culture historical sites of Hungary. Archeology is not the sole science that may be enriched by observations of kurgans, but our knowledge of botany, paleoecology and soils, too. Our research team planned the soil scientific and palaeoecological observations of the kurgans situated in the Great Hungarian Plain. We planned this in the interest of getting to know the strata of the kurgans and gain data for the pedological knowledge on its broader environment. Based on the data gained from five kurgans we can state that their surface is currently covered by Chernozem soil, and the buried soil feature below the kurgans preserved soils with chernozem features or waterlogged soils, too. Therefore, those kurgans were once surrounded not by closed forest vegetation (as former theories say), but rather warm, dry steppe and half-shaded tall grass steppe environment, that surrounded mosaic wetlands and salt-affected areas. No evidence referring to the generation of Luvisol was found.