Martin Schumacher, Mid-Holocene Landscape Development in the Carpathian Region - Pastoralism, Climate and their Interdependencies, 2016


This thesis was developed in the context of the Topoi research group (A-4) Textile Revolution. The central research question of the group focuses on the emergence and spread of early wool economies. The single research projects included in the group target different aspects related to wool processing.

In this thesis changes of Holocene environmental dynamics related to increasing pastoral activities are investigated. The research project includes two independent studies on Holocene environmental change in the Carpathian region. The regional and supra-regional scales are addressed with a standardised meta-analysis of published pollen data. The local scale is addressed by investigating fan deposits of tributary valleys in the Bükk Mountain foreland in northern Hungary. A precedent study reflects the conceptual and thematic integration of the different research projects within the group. This gives implications for a constructive contribution to the interdisciplinary research approach. Increment value due to the integration of different scientific fields may only be obtained if basic parameters of the single projects are thoroughly aligned and specific understanding of the different research objects is transparent. Results of the data evaluation imply an increase of herding activities in the course of the Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age periods. In the South Carpathians, increased herding indication is evident for the Early Chalcolithic, whereas in northern Hungary grazing impact increases only during the Late Chalcolithic – Early Bronze Age transition. This is synchronous with enhanced sediment deposition in the Bükk Mountain foreland. However, grazing impact was overall low and significant land degradation due to pastoral activities are not implied by the data.