Combined techniques to date the first Turkish bridge over the Tisza river, Hungary

Zsuzsanna Szántó, Róbert Kertész, András Morgós, Dénes Nagy, Mihály Molnár, Michael Grabner, László Rinyu, István Futó

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)


Given the fluctuating nature of the radiocarbon calibration curve, the precision of single 14C dates on the calendar timescale is limited. However, 14C dating combined with dendrochronology enabled us to date timbers found in the Tisza River, Hungary, during the dry period of summer 2003. Routine preparation of wood samples gave 14C results spread over 4 centuries. By extracting alpha-cellulose from the samples, 2 distinct and relatively narrow historical time periods were obtained: the first period (AD 1505-1595 and 1612-1673, respectively) coincided with the Turkish occupation period, while the second interval (1733-1813) obtained in the case of 2 samples did not exclude the existence of another bridge constructed later. The dendrochronological data confirmed that the bridge was constructed from oak timbers felled between 1558 and 1565. The 14C and dendrochronological dates correspond with the date of a letter written in 1562 by Antal Verancsics, Bishop of Eger, mentioning the construction of the first bridge. In conclusion, the archaeological excavation revealed proof of the first historically attested wooden bridge over the Tisza River.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)515-526
Number of pages12
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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