The environmental history of a former salt town in Transylvania (Sic, Northern Romania)

Gusztáv Jakab, Lóránd Silye, P. Sümegi, Tünde Törocsik, Attila Tóth, B. Sümegi, Elek Benko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The medieval market-town of Sic (Szék in Hungarian) was an important Transylvanian settlement due to its remarkable salt mining. The impact of the mining activities on the environment and the history of water management were investigated based on a palaeoecological study, performed on the large Reedbed of Sic (Stufǎrişurile/Nádas-tó). We found that in the last 3000 years the anthropogenic impact has been continuous in the territory, but the types and intensity of the disturbances changed with time. The most notable environmental transitions took place after 1000 AD, suggesting a significant intensification of salt mining. Forest cover significantly drop, but salt concentration and the frequency of halophytic species in the investigated marshland increased during the Late Middle Ages. The dominance of halophytic marshland species reached their peak in the 17th century. This coincides with the apogee of mining activities and human lake management. The most remarkable deforestation occurred in the 18th century, when the present-day landscape with negligible forest cover was developed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-206
Number of pages22
JournalActa Archaeologica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae
Volume69
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2018

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Transylvania
Romania
town
history
middle ages
water management
Environmental History
Salt
present
market
management
Marshland

Keywords

  • Fishponds
  • Geochemistry
  • Middle ages
  • Palynology
  • Radiocarbon dating
  • Salt mining

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • Archaeology

Cite this

The environmental history of a former salt town in Transylvania (Sic, Northern Romania). / Jakab, Gusztáv; Silye, Lóránd; Sümegi, P.; Törocsik, Tünde; Tóth, Attila; Sümegi, B.; Benko, Elek.

In: Acta Archaeologica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae, Vol. 69, No. 1, 01.06.2018, p. 185-206.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Jakab, Gusztáv ; Silye, Lóránd ; Sümegi, P. ; Törocsik, Tünde ; Tóth, Attila ; Sümegi, B. ; Benko, Elek. / The environmental history of a former salt town in Transylvania (Sic, Northern Romania). In: Acta Archaeologica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae. 2018 ; Vol. 69, No. 1. pp. 185-206.
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