Thoughts on the various scientific dating methods applied on 9th–10th-century pottery assemblages – Potential sampling strategies

Merva Szabina

Hadak útján. A népvándorláskor fiatal kutatóinak XXIV. konferenciája. Esztergom, 2014. november 4–6. Conference of young scholars on the Migration Period. November 4–6, 2014, Esztergom

MŐT Kiadványok 3.2 (2017) 523–530

DOI 10.55722/Arpad.Kiad.2017.3.2_24


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Egy kifejezetten a 9–10. századi telepek időrendjét tárgyaló alprojekt keretében a cél különböző természettudományos keltezési módszerek alkalmazhatóságának vizsgálata volt. A tanulmányban a lehetséges és az optimális mintavételezési stratégia, illetve annak indoklása kerül bemutatásra.

Kulcsszavak: természettudományos keltezési módszerek, 9–10. század, telepek, kerámia, időrendi problémák


The aim of the subproject focused on the chronology of the 9th–10th-century settlements in the Carpathian Basin is to test the applicability of the various scientific dating methods on pottery finds from the investigated period, in order to refine the presently used, but generally uncertain, chronology. However, the final intention, and the optimal one, would be to try to identify settlements from the time of the Hungarian Conquest, that is, from the end of the 9th century. The scope of this paper is to present the potential – and optimal – sampling strategy as well as its justification. After summing up briefly the history of pottery and settlement research in the period under study, the author discusses the current problematic issues. It is important to keep in mind that, owing to regional diversity as well as to the low level of pottery manufacturing in these centuries, we cannot rely on standardized pottery wares. Consequently, we can establish that, seeing the possibilities of archaeology, it is more realistic to start the work with samples from one or two sites from a microregion (preferring the radiocarbon dating) than attempting to sketch up the ‘typical’ pottery assemblages of the Hungarian Conquest period in the whole Carpathian Basin based on some data from several sites.