PROJECT TITLE: Analysis of plant macro-remains from Neolithic archaeological sites of the Great Hungarian Plain: ethnoarchaeological and environmental data - project is financed by the National Science Centre (Narodowe Centrum Nauki), within the HARMONIA scheme. 


Additional information:

Period of project implementation: 07.05.2013-06.05.2016

Status: in progress

Project leader: dr Magdalena Moskal-del Hoyo

Co-workers: prof. dr. hab. M. Lityńska-Zając (Institute of Archaeology and iEthnology Polish Acedemy of Sciences, Krakow), prof. dr. hab. J.K. Kozłowski (Institute of Archaeology, Jagiellonian University, Krakow), prof. dr. P. Raczky, dr. A. Anders (Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest)

The project aims to qualitatively and quantitatively analyze the plant macro-remains found in the archaeological sites dating from the early neolitisation stage in the Great

Hungarian Plain. Thanks to the remnants of the cultivated plants it is possible to obtain

information about palaeodiet of the first Neolithic farmers and characterize the agriculture system employed by them. These botanical remains, together with other wild specimens, also permit to describe the environmental conditions of the settlements. Research on anthracological materials from archaeological sites provides valuable information concerning, directly, how the wood was used by human groups in the past and, indirectly, the reconstruction of former forest communities. Fossil woody flora is important for carrying out the reconstruction of ancient forest communities and environmental conditions. The period of emergence of the first farmer groups in Europe constitutes a very interesting context for anthracological research because it will allow understanding the impact of early human groups on local forests, permitting to describe the degree and nature of the alterations that occurred in forest communities as a result of human activity. It should also be noted that the first Neolithic cultures occupied areas that were almost completely forested, and thus the analysis of charcoals from the oldest archaeological features will enable the characterization of the primary forest that grew during the Atlantic period. This type of data is closely

related to the archaeological context and to the methodology applied during archaeobotanical sampling. The archaeobotanical research results constitute essential information for understanding Neolithic cultures since they provide data about past habits related to use of plants, which also permit to describe the habitat preferences of ancient group and enrich the knowledge of various economic issues such as ancient crop husbandry and forest management.

Archaeological sites with the archaeobotanical data:

Polgár-Csőszhalom, Polgár-Bosnyákdomb, Polgár-Piócási-dűlő


Węgle webpage

Fig. 1. Charcoals from the Neolithic archaeological sites from the Great Hungarian Plain. 1. Quercus sp., 2. Rhamnus sp., 3. Hedera helix, 4. Salix sp./Populus sp. Micrographs: M. Moskal-del Hoyo.


zdjęcia Polgar

Fig. 2. 1. Tell Polgár-Csőszhalom, 2. Archaeological site of Polgár-Bosnyákdomb, 3. Tisza river near Polgár, 4. Trees and shrubs in the Hortobágy steppe. Photos: M. Moskal-del Hoyo.




 Nagy E.G., Kaczanowska M., Kozłowski J.K., Moskal-del Hoyo M., Lityńska-Zając M. (2014). Evolution and environment of the Eastern Linear Pottery Culture: a case study in the site of Polgár-Piócási-Dűlő. Acta Archaeologica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae 65, 217-283.

Badal E., Ntinou M., Carrión Y.,  Moskal-del Hoyo M., Vidal P. 2016. Punto de encuentro: los bosques neolíticos en varias regiones de europa. Meeting point: Neolithic forests in various regions of Europe (in press).


Moskal-del Hoyo M., Magyari E.K., Lityńska-Zając M., Raczky P., Anders A.  Character of the Atlantic woodland of the Great Hungarian Plain; 6th International Anthracology Meeting 2015, Freiburg (Germany), 30.08–06.09.2015

Moskal-del Hoyo M., Lityńska-Zając M., Cultivated and wild plants used by people in the “Polgár island” during the Middle and Late Neolithic. Scientific session of the Comission for Quaternary Palaeogeography of the Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences entitled: The “Polgar island” (Eastern Hungary): environment, settlement structureand interregional contacts from the Middle Neolithic to the Copper Age; 06.11.2015, godz. 11.00, room: Mała Aula PAU, Sławkowska 17, Kraków

Moskal-del Hoyo M., Lityńska-Zając M., Cultivated and wild plants used by people in the “Polgár island” during the Middle and Late Neolithic; 08.03.2016, 15-16.30, Muzeum krt 4/b, room 217, Institute of Archaeological Sciences, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest

Moskal-del Hoyo M. Rekonstrukcja roślinności leśnej na podstawie badań antrakologicznych holoceńskich stanowisk archeologicznych z południowej Polski, wschodniej Słowacji i północno-wschodnich Węgier: metody analizy i możliwości interpretacyjne. Wykład z cyklu „Biologia Współczesna”, Faculty of Biology, the University of Gdańsk; 04.04.2016, 10.00, room C/105, Wita Stwosza 59, Gdańsk