History of Hungary

Iron Age
Hallstatt Culture ©Angus McBride
700 BCE Jan 1

Iron Age

Ópusztaszer, Pannonian Basin,

In the Carpathian Basin, the Iron Age commenced around 800 BC, when a new population moved into the territory and took possession of the former population's centers fortified by earthworks. The new population may have consisted of ancient Iranian tribes that had seceded from the federation of the tribes living under the suzerainty of the Cimmerians.[1] They were equestrian nomads and formed the people of the Mezőcsát culture who used tools and weapons made of iron. They extended their rule over what are now the Great Hungarian Plain and the eastern parts of Transdanubia.[2]

Around 750 BCE, people of the Hallstatt culture gradually occupied the western parts of Transdanubia, but the earlier population of the territory also survived and thus the two archaeological cultures existed together for centuries. The people of the Hallstatt culture took over the former population's fortifications (e.g., in Velem, Celldömölk, Tihany) but they also built new ones enclosed with earthworks (e.g., in Sopron). The nobility were buried in chamber tombs covered by earth. Some of their settlements situated along the Amber Road developed into commercial centers.[1]