Kurgans as indicators of co-existence between Anopheles atroparvus van Thiel, 1927 (Diptera: Culicidae) and ancient human populations in the Hungarian Great Plain
Kurgany ako znak spolubytje Anopheles atroparvus van Thiel, 1927 (Diptera: Culicidae) a davnych ljudi vo Velike madjarske nizine

Attila J. TRÁJER

Department of Limnology & Institute of Environmental Engineering, University of Pannonia, HUNGARY

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Abstract: While the potential malaria vector Anopheles atroparvus occurs in Hungary to the present day, malaria was endemic to the country only until the mid-20th century when it was eradicated. Estimating the historical distribution of malaria-infected populations in the Great Plain is difficult, since it requires spatial data about mosquito breeding habitats and the former settlements in wetland areas. Since river regulation dramatically changed the water supply of the Great Plain, the present distribution of malaria-transmitting mosquitoes is smaller than it was in the ancient times. It was hypothesized that the distribution of kurgans can indicate areas of Anopheles-human encounters in the Copper Age and Bronze Age. It has been shown that kurgans can be found especially in the water system of the river Tisza, mainly near existing or ancient channels. Today, An. atroparvus breeds mainly in the remaining wetlands of the Great Plain, even where channel systems have been dramatically reduced. An. atroparvus are rare in Transdanubia and absent from the mountainous areas of Hungary. About two thirds of the known occurrence sites of An. atroparvus lie within a 15-km radius of known kurgans. It was found that the presence of kurgans indicates former habitable areas for human populations in wetland areas of the Great Plain. It is concluded that the kurgans indicated areas can be targeted by future anthropological investigations to identify the historical distribution of malaria.

Abstrakcijny: Hot' perenosčik malarije Anopheles atroparvus jest v Madjariji do dnes, malarije byla izničena vo Madjariji vo sredine 20. stoletje. Ocenit istorijnou distribuciji naseljenji s malarijuo vo Velike madjarske nizine jest težke, ibo by bylo treba znati prostorova data o vyskitu komaru a staryh ljudskih sel. Ibo regulace rek drsatičně izmenila vodstvo Velike niziny, dnešna distribucija komarov prenosujici malariju jest o mnoho menši než vo starověku. V tutov članoku jest uvedena hipoteza že distribucija kurganu može indikovat oblast'i s vyskitem komarov Anopheles a ljudi vo med'enem a bronzovem věku. Jest pokazano že kurgany se znahodiji glavno vo vodstvu reky Tisza pri tutodennyh a davnyh kanalu. Dnes sa An. atroparvus razmnažuje glavno vo ostalyh mokriščih Velike niziny hot' byli reky drastičně redukovany. An. atroparvus jest redki vo Transdanubiji a nežije vo gorskih oblastech Madjarije. Okolo dvou tritin vseh znanyh mist vyskitu leži do petnadset'i kilometru od znanyh kurganov. Bylo ukazano že prisučnost kurganu označuje byvši obyvatel'ne oblast'i pro ljudi vo Velike nizine. Jest zaključiteno že kurgany se možu stati prědmetem budučiho antropologčneho raziskani s cel'em identifikovani historičnou distribucije malarije.

Keywords: Anopheles, ecology, tomb, wetland, malaria

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Contact information: trajer.attila@mk.uni-pannon.hu

Please cite as: Trájer, A. J. Kurgans as indicators of co-existence between Anopheles atroparvus van Thiel, 1927 (Diptera: Culicidae) and ancient human populations in the Hungarian Great Plain. Ethnoentomology 2, pp. 5–13, 2018. 

Ethnoentomology 2018

Volume: 2

Page range: 5–13

First published online: 9.6.2018

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Ethnoentomology

an Open Journal of Ethnoentomology and Cultural Entomology

 

ISSN 2570-804X (online)