Archaeological sites on large river’s islands as records of Holocene climate and fluvial changes. A geomorphological case study in the Danube river section between Komárom and Paks, Hungary



The purpose of the research is the enhanced understanding of the Late Pleistocene and Holocene variability of fluvial dynamics affected by the climate changes in Hungary and its surrounding regions. The research area includes the islands of the Danube in the river section between Komárom and Paks, it spans 71 settlements. Two big islands: the Szentendre (55 km2) and Csepel Island (242 km2) are in the studied section of the Danube. In those islands there are also floodfree terrace surfaces (last glaciation) (Mari, L. 2002, Fiar S. 2004). Beside those large islands there are more than 50 smaller or formerly existing islands in the study area. The present studies focus on those islands, naturally in connection with the large islands and with the coastal areas along the river. The geomorphological study of the smaller and lower lying islands in large rivers offers a new, less applied aspect of fluvial dynamics. The advantage of the study of islands is that they react sensitively to environmental changes, while they are less affected by the geomorphological impact of areas lying beyond the river. The history of the islands intertwines with human history, while the period of the islands’ evolution may be paralleled with human history. Traces of human inhabitation and land use from Neolithic times can be found on their surfaces despite the fact that they have been always limitedly suitable for inhabitation due to the floods. Yet they were repeatedly inhabited or used in the past, therefore historical data are readily available.

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