Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The plain is roughly bounded by the Carpathian mountains, the Alps, the Dinaric Alps and the Balkan mountains. Because of the long Carpathian border, it can also be referred to as the Carpathian Basin. Another term is Great Hungarian Plain, though it is seldom used. The former Hungarian Kingdom was centered around the plain and included almost all of it. The basin forms a topographically discrete unit set in the European landscape, surrounded by imposing geographic boundaries that have created a fairly unified cultural area that looks more towards the south and east than to the north and west.
Although the rain is not plentiful, it usually falls when necessary and the plain is a major agricultural area; it is sometimes said that these fields of rich loamy loess soil could feed the whole of Europe. For its early settlers, the plain offered few sources of metals or stone. Thus when archaeologists come upon objects of obsidian or chert, copper or gold, they have almost unparalleled opportunities to interpret ancient pathways of trade.
Today the plain is divided among Croatia, Hungary, Slovakia, Austria, Romania, Ukraine and Serbia and Montenegro. The peripannonian lands, areas around this plain but not elevated like the surrounding mountains, also spread into Slovenia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Large areas of the plain that do not necessarily correspond to national borders include:
- Baranya, Baranja (Hungary, Croatia)
- Bačka, Bacska (Serbia and Montenegro, Hungary)
- Banat (Romania, Serbia and Montenegro, Hungary)
- Mačva (Serbia and Montenegro)
- Moslavina (Croatia)
- Podravina (Croatia, Hungary, around Drava river)
- Pokuplje (Croatia, around Kupa river)
- Posavina (Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Montenegro, around Sava river)
- Semberija (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
- Slavonia (Croatia)
- Srem, Srijem (Serbia and Montenegro, Croatia)
- Transylvania (Romania)
- Vojvodina (Serbia and Montenegro)
- several more inside Hungary, cf. list of historic counties of Hungary
The precursor to the present plain was a shallow sea that reached its greatest extent during the Pliocene, when three to four kilometres of sediments were deposited.
- Körös Regional Archaeological Project: Neolithic and Copper Age archaeology in the Pannonian plain
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