Castrum Tetei : egy induló kutatási program kérdésfeltevései

Szentpéteri, József: Castrum Tetei : egy induló kutatási program kérdésfeltevései. In: A honfoglalás kor kutatásának legújabb eredményei : tanulmányok Kovács László 70. születésnapjára. pp. 357-371. (2013)

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I first climbed atop the Tételhegy mound near Solt in County Bács-Kiskun on March 22, 2005, holding István Bóna’s sketched map in my hand (Fig. 1). My field observations and the information gathered from archival material, museum archives and old maps led to the proposal of an interdisciplinary research project. Why was it given the name Castrum Tetei Project? One of the most important written sources of the Hungarian Middle Ages, the Gesta Hungarorum written around 1200 by the Anonymous Chronicler, mentions a certain castrum Tetei, which was until now identified with Titel in the former county of Bács (now in Serbia). According to the chronicle, one of the worthiest adversaries of Prince Árpád, leader of the ancient Hungarians, was Salanus, the Bulgar dux, who lorded over the area between the Danube and Tisza rivers, and had his seat at Titel. The Anonymous Chronicler also records that the lord of Titel had another fortress at Alpár overlooking the River Tisza (castrum Olpar/ Alpar), near which lay Körtvélytó and Mount Tetétlenhegy. The Gesta makes several references to a certain Szalánkemén (Slankemen, Serbia) near Bolgárfejérvár (modern Belgrade, Serbia), a toponym that can be etymologically linked to the name of Salan. Abu Abdallah Muhammad al-Idrisi, the Arab geographer, compiled his map of the world in 1154 in Sicily. One page in a surviving copy of his renowned map shows a certain town called Titlws, lying about halfway between Buda (Bdwárh) and Bács (Bansin/ Bksyn), roughly 75 miles from each (Fig. 2), which according to his description was a wealthy trading town. It seems to me that if the proposed identification of Titel with Tétel is correct, the castrum Tetei mentioned by the Anonymous Chronicler in his Gesta written half a century later can justifiably also be identified with the Tételhegy area in County Bács-Kiskun (at the same time, the assumed links between the two settlements, lying at considerable distance from one another, calls for further studies to substantiate the claim). It must also be recalled that the Gesta contains toponyms such as Körtvélytó and Tetétlen-hegy described as lying near Alpár. On early Hungarian maps, from the 16th century onward, the settlement lying southeast of Solt is marked as Körtvélyes, while the nearest settlement is called Tetétlen (modern Dunatetétlen). Interestingly enough, the first cartographic study on the Gesta Hungarorum by Miksa Hell in 1772 has the Körtvélytó marshland (Curtveltou Stagnum) located near Tételhalom and the Gyömölcsény Forest (Gemelsen Sylva) is also shown in the same area (Fig. 3). As regards the period’s archaeological relics, an assemblage dating from the Conquest period (from the first two thirds of the 9th century) was found roughly a hundred years ago, in 1907: the finds were grave goods from the burial of a high-ranking woman (a pair of silver gilt braid ornaments, a silver bracelet and two heartshaped pendants; Fig. 4). We know that the findspot lay “on the Tételhegy mound by Solt, along the road leading from Solt to Fülöpszállás”; the road in question was probably identical with the one appearing on the maps of the three post-medieval military ordnance surveys (Fig. 5). The Tételhegy mound lies on the eastern outskirts of Solt, some 7 km from the Danube as the crow flies, near the Dunaföldvár and Bölcske fords. The north-west to south-east oriented, longish oval mound measures roughly 1150 m by 800 m. Its highest point is 112.2 m a.s.l., and it rises above the surrounding floodplain by 17 m. The aerial photos made by the military from the 1950s (Fig. 6) proved very useful for interpreting the features during both the site’s survey and its excavation. The site’s survey in 2005 was followed by an excavation in 2006. The site’s complex investigation continued in 2007 and 2009, as part of the project to create the Castrum Tetei Nature Conservation Park and Historical Landmark, a collaborative project between the Jedlik Ányos Programme of the National Research and Technology Office and the Museum Organisation of the County Bács-Kiskun County Council (now the Katona József Museum of Kecskemét). The project was coordinated by the present author (Figs 7-8). The current results are as follows: in addition to gathering and reviewing the archival material (old aerial photos, historical maps, charters), we have demonstrated through a series of excavation campaigns that the site’s earliest occupation fell into the Middle Bronze Age (17th century BC) and that its occupation continued into the Late Bronze Age (12th century BC), when a two hectares large area of the settlement was enclosed by a ditch and rampart. Further fieldwork is necessary in order to determine whether the entire site, extending over a hundred hectares, was fortified and to reconstruct its layout and internal division with ditches and smaller ramparts (Fig. 9). The decayed earlier fortifications were repeatedly renewed during the Árpádian Age. We uncovered over one hundred burials of an Early Árpádian Age cemetery and an early medieval church on the so-called Templomdomb Hill. We have prepared a reconstruction of the church’s Gothic period (Fig. 10). The site was also explored using various archaeometric methods: magnetometer surveys (Fig. 11), geological corings and palaeoenvironmental sampling in order to reconstruct the one-time environment and to gain an understanding of the vegetation changes. A series of studies have already appeared on the written sources, on the archival maps, on the photo collections providing a sound basis for the area’s historical and ethnographic research, on the human remains, on the coin finds and on the archaeozoological and archaeobotanical samples. Following an interval of three years, work on the site was resumed during a four-week excavation campaign in the summer of 2013. We continued the investigation of the prehistoric and medieval settlement on Templomdomb Hill and we also opened trenches on the neighbouring Várdomb mound in order to locate the Early Árpádian Age earthen fort described as the castle of the ispán of Solt in the written sources. We plan to continue the excavation of the prehistoric settlements and of the defence works dating from various periods, coupled with an investigation into the possible relations between the cemeteries of the Conquest period, the Early Árpádian Age and the graveyard of the medieval church. One pressing task is the excavation of the Romanesque antecedents of the medieval church and its computer reconstruction. We also conducted excavations on three other sites lying near the Tételhegy mound (Hitre-tanya: Sarmatian and Avar settlement; Pékmajor: Avar cemetery; Kalimajor: Hungarian Conquest period cemetery). Our other plans include the assessment of previously excavated sites in the Solt area and a series of intensive field surveys in order to locate yet unknown archaeological sites in the area between the Nagy-ér and Kígyós-ér Streams (Fig. 12).

Item Type: Book Section
Other title: Castrum Tetel : research design of a new archaeological project
Journal or Publication Title: A honfoglalás kor kutatásának legújabb eredményei : tanulmányok Kovács László 70. születésnapjára
Date: 2013
ISSN: 2062-9877
ISBN: 978 963 306 241 8
Page Range: pp. 357-371
Series Name: Monográfiák a Szegedi Tudományegyetem Régészeti Tanszékéről
Related URLs:
Uncontrolled Keywords: Régészet - leletek - Magyarország - középkor
Additional Information: Bibliogr.: p. 368-369. és a lábjegyzetekben ; ill. ; összefoglalás angol nyelven
Subjects: 06. Humanities
06. Humanities > 06.01. History and archaeology
06. Humanities > 06.01. History and archaeology > 06.01.02. Archaeology
06. Humanities > 06.01. History and archaeology > 06.01.02. Archaeology > Archaeology, archaeometry, landscape archaeology
Date Deposited: 2020. Sep. 03. 14:04
Last Modified: 2020. Sep. 03. 14:04

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