A radiocarbon-dated cave sequence and the Pleistocene/Holocene transition in Hungary

Pál Sümegi, Katalin Náfrádi

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8 Citations (Scopus)


The Petény Cave located on the Hungarian Highlands yielded one of the most well-documented vertebrate fauna of the Late Pleistocene and Holocene in Hungary. In addition to the vertebrate remains, considerable numbers of mollusc shells and charcoals were retrieved from the profile of the rock shelter. Furthermore, a pollen sequence close to the cavewas also evaluated in order to reconstruct the flora of the region. A new radiocarbon analysis of samples from the Petény Cave was used to correlate data of different methods and to correct the earlier outcomes. The cave sequence exposes layers from 15.180 cal BP to 483 cal BP. Nevertheless, based on our new radiocarbon data, the sequence is incomplete and layers corresponding to the Pleistocene/Holocene boundary are missing from the profile. The results of our radiocarbon analysis clearly support considerable amounts of thermo-mesophylous gastropod species appearing as early as 15.180 cal BP. The appearance of deciduous woodlands in the Carpathian Basin along with the concomitant mollusc elements is much earlier than previously assumed, supporting the presence of temperate woodland refugia in the study area.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)783-798
Number of pages16
JournalOpen Geosciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2015



  • NE Hungary
  • Radiocarbon analysis
  • cave
  • malacology
  • vertebrata fauna

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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