Investigating the last glacial Gravettian site 'Ságvár Lyukas Hill' (Hungary) and its paleoenvironmental and geochronological context using a multi-proxy approach

Janina Bösken, P. Sümegi, Christian Zeeden, Nicole Klasen, Sándor Gulyás, Frank Lehmkuhl

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9 Citations (Scopus)


Gravettian population during the last glacial maximum (LGM) was sparse in Europe; this is generally related to harsh environmental conditions. Here we report of geoarcheological investigations (physical, chemical and biological data) of the Ságvár site in the Hungarian part of the Carpathian Basin in southeastern Europe. Geochronological control is given by luminescence dating, which places loess accumulation between 20.6. ±. 1.4. ka and 17.7. ±. 1.2. ka. This study demonstrates that human occupation at Ságvár did not occur during a rather mild climatic phase, but during a 'typical' cold LGM climate. Of the two cultural layers discussed at the section, the upper one can be clearly distinguished in the section by the physical proxy data, while the lower one is observed only in some proxies. Similarly, previous archeological investigations describe a higher tool density in the upper layer. The mollusk composition indicates dry climate for both occupation phases, but the paleoecology of the lower occupation phase suggests also the presence of mosaic spots of wet tundra, which allowed for increased weathering processes in the sediment. These are preserved as indications for weak pedogenesis in the physical and chemical proxy data, although a disturbance of human occupation in the signal cannot be excluded. This study demonstrates the advantages of integrating proxy data of different disciplines.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPalaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2017



  • Geoarcheology
  • Gravettian
  • Last glacial maximum
  • Loess
  • Luminescence dating
  • Malacology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Palaeontology

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