Moritz Nykamp, Philipp R. Hoelzmann, Bernhard Heeb, Alexandru Szentmiklosi and Brigitta Schütt, "Holocene sediment dynamics in the environs of the fortification enclosure of Corneşti-Iarcuri in the Romanian Banat", in: Climate change in the Balkan-Carpathian region during Late Pleistocene and Holocene, Quaternary International, 415 (2016), 190–203


The presented study combines data from geomorphological, geochemical, sedimentological, chronometric and archaeological records providing first insights into the Holocene landscape development in the environs of the Late Bronze Age fortification enclosure Corneşti-Iarcuri. This large-scale archaeological site is located in a loess-covered, undulating landscape at the eastern edge of the Great Hungarian Plain, in western Romania. Sediment archives from geomorphologically different locations, closely related to the Copper Age to Late Bronze Age settlements, are presented. Mainly stable geomorphic conditions throughout the Holocene occurred on the high plains of the Vinga Plain as indicated by chemical alteration of the loess deposits and soil formation processes exceeding 2 m. In contrast, two cores from an alluvial fan of a minor drainage system in direct vicinity of the archaeological site document varying morphodynamics throughout the Holocene. Phases of geomorphic activity and stability are indicated by the formation of fan deposits and paleosols developed in these sediments. 14C datings from charcoal extracted from the fan sediments show maximum deposition ages between c. 4400 cal. BP and c. 2900 cal. BP, thus the formation of the charcoal coincides with the Copper Age to Late Bronze Age development of the settlement sites. Daub pieces, incorporated into the reworked soil sediments, provide evidence for human activities in the catchment. This, in turn, may indicate that the erosion processes that led to the fan formation are linked to those activities. However, reworking and redeposition of the charcoal and daub bearing sediments due to retrogressive erosion during the last millennia cannot be excluded.

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