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Korai székely írásos feliratok (Homoródkarácsonyfalva, Vargyas, Székelyderzs, Székelyudvarhely) archeometriai vizsgálata ['Archaeometric Research of Some Early Inscriptions Written in Székely/Szekler Script']
The Székely or Szekler Script is one of the most mysterious phenomena in the Hungarian cultural history. There is no common understanding either about its origin, or about the time of its genesis, editing, or its original function. The age of its certain monuments is still an open question, as only a few can be dated precisely. The researchers agree that the earliest known monuments are the Vargyas and the Homoródkarácsonyfalva Inscriptions (both on carved stone works), and the Székelydálya Inscription (on wall plaster). Dating these monuments, the archaeologists referred to some material observations. Furthermore, we have inscribed bricks from Székelyderzs and Székelyudvarhely. The arising questions can be answered and the inconsistencies can be elucidated only by using different archaeometric methods. Here we present the preliminary results of the ongoing archaeometric research on the following monuments: the Vargyas, Homoródkarácsonyfalva, Székelyderzs, and Székelyudvarhely Inscriptions. We sampled not only the materials of the written objects but also their contexts (rocks, mortars, and ceramics) as well. Beyond the mineralogical and petrographic analyses, the suitable samples were dated by thermoluminescence (TL) method. The carbon and oxygen isotopic composition of the mortar, wall plaster and whitewashing samples was also determined. The Vargyas Inscription is engraved in tuff, tuffite or sandstone containing the fragments of acidic pyroclastic rock. The composition of the rock essentially differs from the composition of the sandstones sampled from other parts of the church. The Homoródkarácsonyfalva Inscription (contrary to the previous expectations) is not sandstone, but weathered pyroxene-andesite. The depositions observed on the text-bearing carvings were presented as evidence of an early origination (late 13th century) of the Homoródkarácsonyfalva and the Vargyas Inscriptions. The XRD analyses of the white residue seen in the engraving of the Homoródkarácsonyfalva Inscription and on the surface of the carvings clearly exclude that possibility; it is the residue of the material that was used for the separation of the gypsum copy. In the engravings of the Vargyas Inscription we could not find any traces of mortar or whitewash; it can be more likely identified as soil carbonate based on its stable isotopic composition. The mineralogical and isotopic composition of the samples taken from the edge and the side of the carving are different from the characteristics of the whitewash on the rib vault element fragment, which was uncovered during the archaeological excavation. The results of the TL dating (1390–1520) confirmed the Székelyderzs Inscription’s previously supposed age (1490s). The rib-vault element fragment that was recovered during the renewal of the church is coeval (1400– 1490) with the inscribed brick. The Székelyudvarhely Inscription was made between 1660 and 1740; therefore, it is much younger than it was presumed.
The goal of the dissertation is to study the Székely Script (commonly known as Szekler or Hungarian runic script). The paper’s structure is divergent, reflecting the realistic position of recent state of researches regarding this topic. The dissertation is divided into three main chapters. The first chapter introduces the history of research in this topic. The second chapter investigates the contradictions regarding the early findings and recommends new directions for further analysis. The third chapter illustrates the relations between Humanism and Székely Script regarding the Attila-cult and the Wolfenbüttel Manuscript. The book is followed by an appendix with all results of archaeometric examinations.