At the Periphery of the Avar Core Region

At the Periphery of the Avar Core Region

English
483 Pages

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Archeological rescue excavations uncovered three burial grounds in Nadlac, dating from the 6th to the 8th centuries. The burial customs and material culture provide important archaelogical data io the mobile lifestyle (nomadism) and possible micro-regional patterns of migration, trade, and cultural transfers. Anthropological and archaeozoological analysis similarly provide numerous data particularly with regard to those animals which can be found.

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Published 04 June 2018
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Erwin Gáll
At the Periphery
of the
Avar Core RegionROMANIAN ACADEMY
INSTITUTE OF ARCHAEOLOGY AND ART HISTORY CLUJ-NAPOCA
Series
P atrimonium Archaeologicum T ransylvanicum
Editors
Sorin CoCiş
AdriAn UrSUţiU
Volume 13ROMANIAN ACADEMY – INSTITUTE OF ARCHAEOLOGY AND ART HISTORY CLUJ-NAPOCA
Erwin Gáll
At the Periphery
of the
Avar Core Region
th th6 –8 Century Burial Sites near Nădlac
(Te Pecica–Nădlac Motorway Rescue Excavations)
with contributions by
Adrian Ursuțiu
Sorin Cociș
Luminița Andreica-Szilagyi
Beáta Tugya
Valentin Dumitrașcu
András Grynaeus
Éditions L’Harmattan • L’Harmattan Publishing
Paris • Budapest
2017DTP and cover:
Francisc Baja
Translated by:
László Ferenczi (Budapest)
László Oláh (B
Gabriela Balica (Cluj-Napoca)
Proofreading by:
Renáta Bilibók (Cluj-Napoca)
László Ferenczi (Budapest)
Academic proof-readers:
Tivadar Vida (Budapest)
Bence Gulyás (B
Csaba Szalontai (Szeged)
Drawings:
Malvinka Urák, Narcisa Șugaru, Márton Ferenczi, Norbert Kapcsos (Cluj-Napoca)
Photograph:
Florin & Radu Sălcudean Studio Photo “Ciorchin”
Book cover image:
Mugur Manea
© Erwin Gáll, Adrian Ursuțiu, Sorin Cociș, 2017
ISBN: 978-2-343-13906-7
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www.amazon.frContents
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 9
CHAPTER 1.
INTRODUCTION (Sorin Cociș) 11
CHAPTER 2.
THE TOPOGRAPHY OF THE SITES. GEOGRAPHICAL CHARACTERISTICS OF THE SURROUNDINGS OF NĂDLAC
(Adrian Ursuțiu) 15
CHAPTER 3.
TH TH6 –10 CENTURY BURIAL SITES NEAR NĂDLAC 17
Introduction 17
“Necropolis”, “cemetery”, or “burial ground” – a terminological problem 17
th thCharacteristics of burial customs in the Carpathian Basin in the 6–10 centuries. Funerary practices as
refections of social status 18
3.1. Site 9M 19
3.1.1. The graves (Adrian Ursuțiu – Sorin Cociș) 19
3.1.2. Analysis of burial practices (Pl. 4–5) 22
3.1.3. Analysis of grave goods 22
3.1.4. Summary 24
3.2. Site 3M-S 25
3.2.1. The graves (Sorin Cociș) 25
3.2.2. Analysis of burial practices 45
3.2.2.1. The structure and size of the burial ground (Fig. 2; pl. 11–12) 45
3.2.2.2. Grave robbings (Fig. 3) 47
3.2.2.3. The orientation of graves (Fig. 4) 47
3.2.2.4. The form, size, and depth of graves 49
3.2.2.4.1. Stepped graves (Fig. 5) 49
3.2.2.4.2. Niche graves (Fig. 6) 51
3.2.2.5. On the position of the body in the graves 53
3.2.2.5.1. The use of cofns and the wrapping of bodies (Fig. 7) 53
3.2.2.5.2. The position of the dead 55
3.2.2.5.3. Unusual burials (Fig. 8) 55
3.2.2.5.3.1. Contracted burials 55
3.2.2.5.3.2. Subsequent burials (Nachbestattung) and superpositions 55
3.2.2.6. Animal burials (Fig. 9–12) 55
3.2.2.6.1. Horse burial (Fig. 9; fg. 11) 58
3.2.2.6.2. Animal sacrifces, symbolic role, and food oferings? (Fig. 9–12) 58
3.2.2.6.3. Eggs (Fig. 9) 62
3.2.2.7. Summary 63
3.2.3. Analysis of grave goods 64
3.2.3.1. Earrings (Fig. 13–14) 64
3.2.3.2. Beads (Fig. 15–19) 66
3.2.3.3. Spindle whorls (Fig. 19) 71
3.2.3.4. Dress or belt mounts (?) 713.2.3.5. Belts (Fig. 20–25) 71
3.2.3.5.1. Buckles (Fig. 20–21) 73
3.2.3.5.2. Belt mounts, strap retainers, and belt hole guards (Fig. 22–23) 74
3.2.3.5.3. Strap ends (Fig. 22) 78
3.2.3.5.4. On the types of belts 78
3.2.3.5.5. On the dating of belts: methodological observations concerning J. Zábojník’s chronological
system and its relevance for the Mureș–Criș–Tisza region (Fig. 24–25) 78
3.2.3.6. Knives (Fig. 26–27) 82
3.2.3.6.1. On the position of knives in the graves (Fig. 26) 82.2. On the length of knives (Fig. 27) 84
3.2.3.6.3. Burials with knives in a regional and macro-regional perspective 84
3.2.3.7. Iron rings 84
3.2.3.8. Iron awl 85
3.2.3.9. Horse accessories 88
3.2.3.9.1. Harness ornaments 88
3.2.3.9.2. Horse bit 89
3.2.3.9.3. Unknown iron object (bridle buckle?) 89
3.2.3.10. Sickle (Fig. 31–33) 89
3.2.3.11. Ceramic vessels (Fig. 9) 95
3.2.3.12. Brim mount of a wooden porringer (Fig. 34) 963. Iron rim of a wooden bucket 97
3.2.3.14. Hernia truss (?) 97
3.2.3.15. Fragments of unidentifed objects 97
3.2.4. Summary 97
3.2.4.1. The incidence of grave goods; age and sex patterns (Fig. 35–37) 97
3.2.4.2. The chronology of the burial ground (Fig. 38–45) 101
3.2.4.3. Demographic aspects (Fig. 46/A–B) 106
3.2.4.4. Observations concerning the social stratifcation of the micro-community 108
3.3. Site 3M-N 108
3.3.1. The graves (Adrian Ursuțiu) 108
3.3.2. Analysis of burial practices 116
3.3.2.1. The site of the burial ground and grave groups (Fig. 47; Pl. 92–94) 116
3.3.2.2. Grave robbings (Fig. 47) 116
3.3.2.3. The orientation of graves (Fig. 49) 119
3.3.2.4. The shape, size, and depth of the graves 119
3.3.2.4.1. Niche graves (Fig. 50) 120
3.3.2.4.2. The problem of grave 333 (Pl. 97; pl. 207) 120
3.3.2.5. On the position of the body in the graves 122
3.3.2.5.1. Wrapping the deceased person 122
3.3.2.6. Animal burials (Fig. 51–54) 122
3.3.2.6.1. Horse burials (Fig. 52, 54) 122.2. Animal sacrifces, symbolic role, and food oferings? (Fig. 51–53) 123
3.3.2.7. Summary 125
3.3.3. Analysis of grave goods 127
3.3.3.1. Rectangular mounts (Fig. 55–56) 127
3.3.3.2. Earrings (Fig. 56) 129
3.3.3.3. Beads (Fig. 56) 129
3.3.3.4. Spindle whorls (Fig. 56) 130
3.3.3.5. Straining spoon (Fig. 56) 130
3.3.3.6. Cylinder brush holder (Fig. 56) 131
3.3.3.7. Chain (Fig. 56) 131
3.3.3.8. A cylindrical bone object (Fig. 56) 132
3.3.3.9. Pendant (?) (Fig. 56) 132
3.3.3.10. Belts (Fig. 57) 132
3.3.3.10.1. Buckles (Fig. 57) 132.2. U-shaped fastening straps (Fig. 57) 134
3.3.3.10.3. Strap ends (Fig. 57) 1343.3.3.11. Single-edged swords without crossguards (Fig. 59) 134
3.3.3.12. Arrowheads (Fig. 59) 1363. Knives (Fig. 59) 136
3.3.3.13.1. On the size of knives 1363.2. On the number of graves with knives 137
3.3.3.14. Stirrup (Fig. 59) (Pl. 107/16) 137
3.3.3.15. Horse bit (Fig. 59) 137
3.3.3.16. Girth buckle (Fig. 59) 137
3.3.3.17. Ceramic vessels (Fig. 51–52) 137
3.3.3.18. Fragments of unidentifed objects 139
3.3.4. Summary 139
3.3.4.1. The chronology of the burial ground (Fig. 60–61) 139
3.3.4.2. Demographic aspects (Fig. 62–63) 141
3.3.4.3. Some thoughts on the evolution of the micro-community in Nădlac-3M-N 141
CHAPTER 4.
CONCLUSIONS 145
4.1. The chronology of the three sites (Fig. 63) 145
4.2. Anthropological and archaeozoological observations concerning lifestyle (Fig. 64) 147
4.3. The settlement network and the landscape context 148
4.4. Problems of “ethnicity” and social status in the light of archaeology (Fig. 65–66) 149
th4.5. The centre and periphery model – 7 century fnds from Nădlac and the early medieval commercial
network (Fig. 67) 152
4.6. At the periphery of the core region (Fig. 68–70) 155
CHAPTER 5.
ANNEXES 161
5.1. The list of the burial grounds in the area between the rivers Mureș–Criș–Tisza in the frst part of the Avar
Age (with bibliography) (see Map 1) 161
5.2. The list of the burial grounds in the area between the rivers Mureș–Criș–Tisza in the second part of the
Avar Age (with bibliography) (see Map 2) 163
CHAPTER 6.
BIBLIOGRAPHY 167
Abbreviations 178
CHAPTER 7.
BIOARCHAEOLOGICAL STUDY OF AVAR AGE HUMAN SKELETONS FROM NĂDLAC
(LUMINIȚA ANDREICA-SZILAGYI) 181
7.1. Introduction 181
7.2. Preservation degree 181
7.2.1. Preservation degree for the skeletons identifed in 3M-S site (Fig. 1–3) 181
7.2.2. Preservgree of the skeletons identifed in the site 3M-N (Fig. 4–6) 182
7.2.3. Preservation degree for the osteological material identifed in the site 9M 183
7.3. Materials and methods for sex and age at death estimations 183
7.4. Paleodemography 183
7.4.1. Site 3 M-S (Fig. 7–13) 183
7.4.2. Site 3M-N (Fig. 14–16) 186
7.4.3. Site 9M (Fig. 17) 187
7.5. Stature 187
7.5.1. Site 3M-S (Fig. 18–19) 187
7.5.2. Site 3M-N (Fig. 20) 189
7.5.3. Site 9M 189
7.6. Paleopathology 189
7.6.1. Dental disease 189
7.6.1.1. Site 3M-S 189
7.6.1.1.1. Enamel hypoplasia (Fig. 21) 1897.6.1.1.2. Dental caries (Fig. 22–27) 189
7.6.1.1.3. Antemortem tooth loss (Fig. 24; fg. 27) 190
7.6.1.1.4. Dental abscesses (Fig. 25; fg. 27) 190
7.6.1.1.5. Dental plaque (Fig. 26–27) 191
7.6.1.2. Site 3M-N 191
7.6.1.2.1. Enamel hypoplasia (Fig. 28) 191
7.6.1.2.2. Other dental pathological features (Fig. 29) 191
7.6.1.3. Site 9M 192
7.6.2. Skeletal indicators for nutritional defciency 192
7.6.2.1. Site 3M-S (Fig. 30) 192
7.6.2.2. Site 3M-N (Fig. 31) 192
7.6.3. Infections 193
7.6.3.1. Sub-periosteal infammation (Site 3M-S) (Fig. 32) 193
7.6.4. Joint disease 193
7.6.4.1. Osteoarthritis (Fig. 33–34; fg. 36/2–3) 193
7.6.4.2 Spondylolysis (Fig. 35) 194
7.6.4.3. Schmorl’s nodes (Fig. 36/1–5) 194
7.6.5. Trauma and fractures 195
7.6.5.1. Site 3M-S 195
7.6.5.1.1. Fractures (Fig. 36/5; fg. 37) 195
7.6.5.1.2. Trauma produced with a sharp object 195
7.6.5.2. Site 3M-N 195
7.6.5.2.1. Fracture 195
7.6.6. Enthesopathies (Site 3M-S) (Fig. 38) 195
7.6.7. Tumours (Site 3M-S) 196
7.6.8. Congenital malformations (Site 3M-S) 196
7.6.8.1. Humerus varus (unilateral) 196
7.6.8.1.2. Spina bifda (Fig. 39/A–C) 197
7.6.8.1.3. Lumbar sacralisation 197
7.6.9. Results and discussions 198
Bibliography 199
Abbreviations 201
CHAPTER 8.
ARCHAEOZOOLOGY 203
8.1. Descriptions of the animal remains in the graves (Valentin Dumitrașcu) 203
8.1.1. Site 3M-S 203
8.1.2. Site 3M-N 207
Bibliography 211
th8.2. Eggshell remains in Avar Age graves in Nădlac (8 century) (Beáta Tugya) 211
8.2.1. Introduction 211
8.2.2. The methods of examining the eggs 212
8.2.3. General characteristics of the eggshells 212
8.2.4. Description of eggs and analysis (Fig. 1–4) 213
8.2.5. Evaluation and comparison (Fig. 5) 214
Bibliography 217
Abbreviations 218
CHAPTER 9.
THE IDENTIFICATION OF THE TREE SPECIES USED FOR THE AVAR AGE WOODEN REMAINS IN NĂDLAC-3M-S
(ANDRÁS GRYNAEUS) 219
CHAPTER 10.
MAPS 221
CHAPTER 11.
PLATES 225Acknowledgements
he preventive reSeArCh on the Nădlac–Pecica section could be
concluded due to the good collaboration between the Institute for Archae-T ology and Art History of Cluj-Napoca and the Arad County Museum,
represented by its director, Peter Hügel, who ofered genuine and efective support
for the entire project. We owe a debt of gratitude to our colleagues of Arad, Victor
Sava, Florin Mărginean, and Luminița Andreica-Szilagyi, for their endeavors and
camaraderie all through the long and strenuous process of feld surveys, paper
work and many other aspects that cannot be captured in such a small number
of lines. Side by side with our colleagues from Arad, the research on the three
sites with Avar and Sarmatian materials benefted from the participation of the
following: Tamás Balog, Gelu Copos, Ştefana Cristea, Mădălina Dimache,
Szabolcs Ferencz, Lavinia Grumeza, Mihály Huba Hőgyes, Norbert Kapcsos, Raluca
Matei, Sándor Romát, Malvinka Urák, younger colleagues, whose enthusiasm and
archaeological profciency enabled us to conclude our research.
The support of the Arad County Ofce for Culture, represented by Mihai
Grozav, was also valuable in surmounting many obstacles, chiefy at the beginning of
the project, as well as the expert advice of the government agency CNADNR,
represented by Mihaela Simion. We should also mention Adrian Adler, project
manager for the contractor (Astaldi – Max Boegl Partnership), with whom we had the
pleasure to work during a very difcult digging session (April – September 2015)
and developed a special relationship, and whose constant support in apparently
impossible situations made the following lines possible.
We would like to thank Olariu Gherghina for the chemical composition
analysis (XRF), whose signifcance for our work is outstanding, as well as Roxana
Cobuşceanu with the Restoration-Conservation Laboratory of the County Museum
in Satu Mare. Likewise, we thank to Georgiana Mureșan (Restoration-Conservation
Laboratory of the Institute of Archaeology “Vasile Pârvan”, Bucharest). We are also
grateful for the expertise and patience with which our friends Florin and Radu
Sălcudean have photographed the items, and, in their Photo Studio “Ciorchin”
– Cluj Napoca, have found time and professional solutions to make them look
even better than in real life due to their eforts and talent. We are indebted to our
colleagues Avram Mihail and Tibor-Tamás Daróczi who have signifcantly
contributed to the desktop research by comparing old Austro-Hungarian maps and
compiling topographic information. For the pencil drawings, we wish to thank Narcisa
Șugaru, Márton Ferenczi, Norbert Kapcsos, Malvinka Urák.
The scientifc documentation also enjoyed the support of Domus Hungarica
Foundation (Hungarian Academy of Sciences) that granted us access to several
discoveries in Nădlac area that have ended up in the Hungarian National Museum
thin the 19 century. We are also grateful for the expert archaeological advice of
Csilla Balogh, Csanád Bálint, László Bartosiewicz, Éva Garam, Bencze Gulyás,
Heinrich Härke, András Kosztur, Andrei Măgureanu, Zsófa Rácz, Radu Harhoiu, Gheorghe Alexandru Niculescu, Adrien Pásztor, Dorin Sârbu, Daniel Spânu, Csaba Szalontai, László Gergely
Szücs, and András Csuthy. Special thanks are due to our colleague Gergely Szenthe, both in what concerns the
support with the research on the discoveries found in the Hungarian National Museum and the recommended
bibliography, chiefy the debates upon the Avar Age that have provided a real and interesting insight into the
problem. Constantly and generously ofering his support, we wish to acknowledge Mr. Tivadar Vida’s
contribution to our project.
Erwin Gáll – Adrian Ursuțiu – Sorin Cociș
10CHAPTER 1.
Introduction
he diAgnoStiC ArChAeologiCAl SUrvey, conducted in October 2011
by the Institute for Archaeology and Art History of Cluj-Napoca in part-T nership with Arad County Museum for the highway construction
project regarding Nădlac–Pecica section (22+200 km) and the spur route
Nădlac-highway (ca. 7 km) according to the agreement with the contractor, has identifed and
marked ten archaeological sites, eight in the main section and two along the
connecting route. They had been previously identifed in the feld by our colleagues
with the Arad County Museum following a professionally conducted operation of
desktop research and feld survey so that the subsequent intrusive survey has to a
great extent validated their evaluation, which is unfortunately rather uncommon
in projects of such scale. The spur route survey could not be completed due to the
pending situation of several land plots not expropriated yet at that time.
Following the intrusive diagnostic survey concluded in November 2011 and taking into
account the size and complexity of the identifed sites, the project study section
where the Institute for Archaeology and Art History of Cluj-Napoca conducted the
preventive survey started from the Romanian–Hungarian border, namely from km
0+000 to km 6+800 of the project, including the spur route, and encompassed six
sites (four in the main section and two along the connecting route). Due to the
fact that there were two contractors for the highway road construction project at
that time, the archaeological survey area was accordingly divided between the
two aforementioned institutions involved in the preventive archaeology operation
in order to facilitate collaboration in the feld.
Considering the geographical features of plain areas, it would have been
irrelevant to designate the sites according to local place names; therefore they
were assigned codes and were defned according to ST 70 coordinates. As stated
before, there were two contractors so that the codes in the Cluj section included
the initial of one of the partners, namely “M”, followed by the fgure indicating the
order in which the site was identifed during the diagnostic survey from west to
east. Thus, the sites in our sector, some of which had been investigated during the
1fall-winter of 2011, have been assigned the codes 1M to in the 4M highway section,
namely 5M and 6M along the spur route. The preventive archaeological survey
was resumed the next year, after some delay unfortunately, site 3M (km
2+0202+200 of the project), whose topsoil had been already stripped away last winter,
2was investigated only between 17.06–22.06.2012. On this occasion, 38
archaeological complexes have been documented and investigated, two dating back to the
Neolithic Age, most of them associated with a Sarmatian settlement with large
1 BârCă – CoCiş 2013, 31–50.
2 Team led by S. Cociş.dwellings, houses, wells, pits, etc. (the diagnostic survey had previously sampled other six complexes).
Modern or contemporary items from local settlements in the area were also found; identifed as such they were left
out of our investigation. In the fall, after another break caused by the contractor, the diagnostic survey of the
3spur route from Nădlac to the highway was also concluded with the identifcation of two other sit and es, 7M
48M. Then the client, the government agency CNADNR, terminated the highway road construction contract for
the respective section and consequently the preventive survey operation was suspended due to lack of funds.
The situation persisted until another contractor was employed to fnish the highway construction project and
we resumed our survey (in March 2014, beginning with the preventive survey for the connecting route, sites 7M
5and 8M, a priority at that time).
After the blueprints for the spur route and its highway ring connection were ready and all the land was
expropriated, the client asked us to conduct a new archaeological diagnostic survey over a rather wide area
6(ca. 70 ha). The diagnostic survey aimed on the one hand at determining the north/south limits of site 3M and,
on the other hand, at evaluating the archaeological potential of the entire area within the connection ring. The
evaluation was required on such a large scale because the contractor wanted to use the soil from the respective
area for the construction of the connecting ring embankment. Accordingly, we marked out site 9M, whose frst
two graves had already been investigated during the previous diagnostic survey, and identifed a full amount
of 22 archaeological complexes (ten burials and one urn cremation grave, six dwellings, one hearth, as well
as four middens). Next, we covered the northern and southern limits of the Sarmatian settlement, site 3M; its
western and eastern borders, belonging to the main highway section, had been investigated as early as 2012.
Whereas the content of site 9M was completely removed, which actually turned it into a borrow pit (ca. 1.4 ha),
in site 3M only the area afected by the connecting ring embankment was investigated. We should point out
that, in spite of the signifcant number of test pit excavations performed during the survey, we could fnd no
burial complex, whether Sarmatian or Avar. Actually, the sampling units fell between the grave rows,
exclusively in the Sarmatian settlement complexes. As a result, when initiating the preventive survey operation we
were expecting to investigate a Sarmatian settlement.
During the 2014 digging session, we enjoyed the opportunity of working once again with the colleagues
from Arad Museum without whose professional approach it would have been hard to meet our deadlines.
In the preventive survey operation, the removal of the topsoil in the area south of the main highway
section revealed the frst burials dating back to the Avar Age. For practical reasons, in order to avoid confusion
when analyzing and interpreting the data, the more so as we were dealing with a situation perpetuated for
7several digging sessions w, e decided to rename site 3M, ascribing the following codes: Site 3M South (3M-S),
with complexes numbered from no. 100, and Site 3M North (3M-N), with complexes numbered from no. 300. It
seems to have been a good call, facilitating the approach to the actual situation in the feld under the
circumstances in which the operations were carried on simultaneously in three sites at one point and the data had to
be organized and collated.
The topsoil was stripped away with ditch clearing bucket excavators over a surface of ca. 1.3 ha in order to
examine sites 3M-S and 3M-N; unfortunately they were not investigated in full like the burial complexes in site
9M, only the areas afected by the project. After the complexes were identifed (the settlements being more or
less altered by the deep furrows specifc to the area), the points of interest were manually scrapped, examined
rd thand documented. In June-August, 198 Sarmatian (3–4 century A.D., dwellings and part of the neighboring
8cemetery) and Avar (the graves in 3M-N, 3M-S) archaeological complexes were identifed and exca This vated.
time, during the 2014 digging session, we have enjoyed a good collaboration with the contractor, fortunate
situation that enabled us to meet the deadlines even under quite unfavourable weather circumstances of heavy
9rain and high summer temperatures in the Western Plain.
3 For the frst published burial ground of the Late Avar Age in the sector Nădlac–Pecica, see CoCiş et Al. 2016, 1–76.
4 Part of the remarkable fndings here have already been published, see: LăzăreSCU – RAdU – UrSUţiU 2016, 301–322.
5 Site 6M, partly identifed during the diagnostic by a single complex and most likely consisting of the necropolis belonging to site 2M,
was no longer part of the new spur route project so it was preserved as such. The access to site 6M during the diagnostic survey was
limited due to the “deadlock” between local landowners and the contractor, unfortunately an issue in most highway road construction
projects.
6 We performed 142 test pit excavations.
7 A quite tricky situation recurring in preventive research; resuming operations can generate confusion, chiefy in what concerns
desktop research, under the circumstances in which we deal with a huge amount of data, collected and interpreted by many specialists at
diferent times.
8 See the results of the reaserch on the Sarmatian necropolis in: Umeză – UGr rSUţiU 2016, u. pr.
9 This urgent but of considerable scope operation required a well-trained (even physically!), seasoned and enthusiastic team. We wish to
express our gratitude to all our friends and colleagues: Tamás Balog, Gelu Copos, Ştefana Cristea, Mădălina Dimache, Szabolcs Ferencz,
12As a general conclusion, we were able to notice that the area afected by the project of the new connecting
road was free of archaeological layers, and that the complexes identifed during the survey operation had
been found at depths between 0.05 and 0.08 m. Under the circumstances of scarce habitation characteristic to
plain regions, with complexes scattered on a wide area, we were able to identify the natural tendency of the
habitation, as well as of the burials to follow the line of the naturally formed terraces. Even after marked
leveling caused by intensive farming, once we went beyond the vegetal layer we were able to have a more accurate
picture of the ancient landscape whose forms of relief must have been more evident.
Lavinia Grumeza, Mihály Huba Hőgyes, Norbert Kapcsos, Raluca Matei, Florin Mărginean, Sándor Romát, Victor Sava, Malvinka Urák,
whose endeavours made possible the investigation and publication of the new material.
13CHAPTER 2.
The Topography of the Sites.
Geographical Characteristics
of the Surroundings of Nădlac
hArACteriStiCS of the nAtUrAl lAndSCApe – as local (“positional”)
resources – are generally relevant in defning human activities. Geo-C graphical and natural features (relief, soil, hydrology, climate,
vegetation [land cover], and fauna) of the Southern Great Plain were, therefore, all
important in shaping the Avar Period settlement systThe arem. ea of the Nădlac
and Cenad – including the foothills of the Apuseni Mountains – became raised
10during the Holocene, and was heavily eroded subsequentl y.
In the Holocene, the River Mureș fowed (originally) towards the Aranca
Stream, but when the Mureș was regulated, the Aranca was considered already
11as a side branch of it The s. wampy forests of the foodplain provided excellent
conditions for fshing, hunting, and fowling, whereas drier areas on the loess
plateau were used for crop farming and animal husbandry. Periodically fooded areas
were covered by meadow soils, and in locations where the underground water
level was fuctuating, saline meadow soils, saline soils and steppe-like solonetzic
12soils formed.
The area of the Nădlac was adjacent to the river branches of the ancient
Mureș, and it was the Mureș that defned the characteristics of this micro-region,
with lakes and ponds (of diferent sizes), swamps, streams and loess covered
alluvia. S. Waltner’s map from 1699, drawn in a scale of 1 to 256 000, shows a
section of the Mureș in the area of Nădlac, and the river is depicted with several
13branches and islands – among them the aforementioned Cenad. Even
nowadays, the river is often changing its course; for example, the winding section
th thshown on the maps of the First and Second Military Surveys (lat – mid 1e 18 9
century) can be found much farther to the south today. The area north of the
river was crisscrossed by small str eams forming a varied hydrological landscape
with patches of swamps and marshlands covered periodically or permanently
by water (Pl. 2).
These areas – covering mainly the western and north-western parts of the early
14modern period settlement – can be clearly identifed on the maps of the F and irst
10 Andó 1993, 96.
11 Andó 1993, 96; KókAi 2000, 303–320; Mike 1991.
12 StefAnovitS 1963.
13 OroSzi 2009, 40.
14 http://mapire.eu/hu/map/collection/frstsurvey/?zoom=14&lat=46.15066&lon=20. S.76ee also521 :
EperjeSSy 1971, 6, 9–10, 12–13, 8. kép.15Second Military Surveys. During periods of fooding, vast tracts of water appeared in the north-eastern and
eastern parts of the settlement, in the dry riverbeds and streams, called Csid-ere and Blezanyica, which are
fowing not far from the River Mureș and almost at right angles to it. (These names were also recorded on the
maps of the Second Military Survey.)
East and north of them, the rich micro-formations of unfooded areas – i.e. the dry and loess covered
allu16vium – could sustain rural communities exploiting the land through crop cultivation and animal farmin g.
thUntil the early 1 c9 entury (before the drainage works), there were swamp-like lakes – the Balatonya’ and
Kis-Balatonya (Small Balatonya) – to the west and north of this area, which were connected by a small stream
adjacent to the settlement, called Büdös-ér. They are not shown on the First Military Survey. This can probably
be explained by the conditions which meant that surveyors could not access the periodically fooded
swampland area.
The sites 3M-N, 3M-S and 9M are situated 4.0–4.4 kilometres north-east of the present-day town of Nădlac
and 7.1–7.5 kilometres east of the aforementioned stream called Blezan wyicahich runs thr, ough the lowest
terrace of the Mureș river valley. Today, the immediate foodplain lies at an elevation of 85 m above sea level,
17but the area around the site is situated 89–92 m a.s B .l.ased upon the location of the sites, it can be taken for
granted that the geographical character of the environment was considered when selecting the three separate
burial grounds, and the possible extent of the sites was limited by this (Pl. 1–2).
18 19According to the Second and Third Military Surveys, along with satellite data (Google Earth), the
aforementioned three sites are surrounded by the Blezanyica stream and a paleochannel, which can be clearly
distinguished on the maps and satellite photos.
Site 9M was excavated frst. It was found ca. 750–790 m to the east of the Blezanyica, with the paleochannel
situated to the south of it. The area was at 92 m a.s.l., and since the elevation of the marshland area is about
90 m a.s.l., this must have defned the extent of both the settlement, and of the burial ground – where 10 graves
were excavated in total. The location of the site indicates that it was considered suitable for settlement already
in the Early Middle Ages (i.e. it was not food-prone).
Site 3M-S stretched out for a length of 110 m in a north–south direction, right next to the Blezanyica – in
fact, the area of burials must have been terminated by the stream on that side. Although at a lower altitude, the
ground was still about 1 meter above the adjacent stream.
Approximately 450 m north-east of this place, Avar Age burials were found in the southern section of the
3M-N site. This was at the highest point of the peninsula surrounded by the Blezanyica, at 91 m a.s.l. Since the
elevation of the terrain was decreasing in all directions (north, south, east and west) – with 1 to 2 meters –, the
height above sea level was again an important aspect of site selection (Pl. 1–2).
Thus, the location of the three sites on higher ground, surrounded by the Blezanyica stream (to the west
and to the north) and the paleochannel (to the south and south-east), indicates that hydrography was an
important factor in site selection already in the Early Middle Ages. This apparently had practical implications,
yet whether or not it also had ritually signifcance can be only speculated, based on our present knowledge.
15 http://mapire.eu/hu/map/collection/secondsurvey/?zoom=13&lat=46.17941&lon=20.72962. Timár et Al. 2006.
16 Andó 1969.
17 After Google Earth.
18 http://mapire.eu/hu/map/collection/secondsurvey/?zoom=13&lat=46.17941&lon=20.72962. Timár et Al. 2006.
19 http://mapire.eu/hu/map/hkf_75e/?bbox=22 88849.48422 83893%2C5797003.334404838%2C2 341055.9745471645
. %2C5818482.139352973. BiSzAk et Al. 2007.
16CHAPTER 3.
th th6 –8 Century Burial
Sites near Nădlac
Introduction
“Necropolis”, “cemetery”, or “burial ground”
– a terminological problem
hen diSCUSSing eArly medievAl funerary practices in the
Carpathian Basin, it is a common practice to use the terms “cemetery” W and “necropolis”, yet, often without refecting on their semantic
20contexts. The word “cemetery comes fr” om the Greek language, and was already
th thin use in the 6–9 centuries (i.e. contemporaneously with the Nădlac sites), in
reference to Christian burial places. Since the meaning of the term has social and
institutional implications in relation to Christian burial sites in the territory of the
21Roman Empire since the Late Antique Period, it is clearly incompatible with the
archaeological context of our sites, or of other non-Christian burial places.
It would be similarly incorrect to use the term “necropolis”, which derives also
from the Greek (νεκρόπολις ). The “necropolis” is a compound word made from
the words “dead” (νεκρός – nekros) and “city” (πόλις – polis), and it referred to
ancient, non-Christian burial grounds in the Mediterranean region already before
Christian times. This etymology – the city of the dead – also implies the common
practice of the ancient Greek and Latin cultures, namely, that it was forbidden to
bury the dead inside the cities (except for some cases), and there were places
out22side the cities, which became “cities” of the dead, called necropolises In sum . -
th thmary, using these terms would be ill-advised in regard to the 7–8 century burial
grounds in Nădlac. Instead, the more neutral “burial ground” is preferred.
20 The word coemeterium or cimiterium (in Greek: koimeterion) was used exclusively for the burial
places of Jews and Christians. “Ta kaloumena koimeteria”, has appeared in an imperial edict of 259,
but the word occurs in Tertullian’s De anima ([...] in coemeterio corpus corpori iuxta collocando spa -
tium accessui communicasse LI) (Tertulliani Liber De Anima: http://www.tertullian.org/latin/de_
anima.htm), and must be even older. Originally, cthe oemetarium referred to the above ground part
of a Christian cemetery, whereas the underground part was called (grcrypt.: kra ypte, “hidden”). The
Hungarian vernacular (folk) version of coemetarium was cinterem, referring not only to the
graveyard (the cemetery itself), but to the chamber of the church as well, which was intended for wakes.
The word “cinterem” found its way as a loanword into the Transylvanian dialect of the Romanian
language as ţintirim. The German vernacular version is Friedhof, “the yard of peace” or “garden of
peace”, with the right of asylum. The original “Freithof” (=“umfriedeter Ort”) refers to a closed yard in
connection with asylum right (“Freiung” means “setting free” or asylum). MKL 2007; RebillArd 1993,
975–1001. On the development of churchyards burials, see: Bollók 2016, 113–122.
21 Bollók 2016, 113–114.
22 RebillArd 1993, 975–1001.th thCharacteristics of burial customs in the Carpathian Basin in the 6–10 centuries. Funerary practices as
refections of social status
Apart from human remains, many graves contain grave goods, which may refect the social rank of the
deceased persons’ family. (The furnishing of graves must have been in accordance with the intention of family
23members, who wanted to emphasize the prestige of the famil ) It is quity. e understandable that communities
or families wanted their dead to appear in shining glory when escorted to their fnal resting places. Already in
th ththe 11 –12 centuries, however, burial customs were dominated by Christian norms, requiring more humble
etiquette even from members of the elite, who were often frst to convert to Christianity to secure the power of
their families.
24Funerary practices were multifaceted, as demonstrated by the large variety of grav Gre gaoodsves c . ould
be furnished with various fashion items, accessories (earrings, lock rings, bracelets, foot rings, appliques,
mounted belts etc.), weapons, everyday tools. Food and drink were also put in graves as provisions – as
shown by the large numbers of ceramic vessels, animal bones found in grave pits, including e.g. eggshells.
These were often deposited next to the body – inside the cofn (if there was also a cofn) –, however, if not,
a diferent interpretation/funerary function (e.g. ritual sacrifce) can be suggested. Most grave goods (such as
e.g. mounted belts, or ornate weapons) are commonly interpreted in a materialistic sense, as “indicators” of
wealth, prestige, infuence, and consequently, as representations of the acquired and/or inherited social power
25or status of the deceased person and of his/her famil Howy. ever, some objects might have been placed in the
26graves for other reasons.
Although it seems generally reasonable to assume that a signifcant part of objects found in graves
were status symbols, this can be genuinely wrong, considering the problem of social mobility – i.e. the
dichotomy between changing or stagnating social statuses. This is not to deny that burial practice is
closely linked to social status. It is, however, feasible to argue that social status was not a static phenome -
non per se, and what we see in the graves represent what individuals “managed” to achieve, and how their
27families or societies refected on that It is impor. tant to distinguish between two types of social status:
28the inherited or ascribed (e.g. sex, age) and the acquired (e.g. role as a warrior This ).latter, the “social
role”, is the dynamic aspect of “social status”, in the sense that individuals keep playing “roles”, when
29they are acting or practicing their rights and obligations, which – in turn – afects their “ The status”.
30ascribed and acquired quality of social status is also referred as horizontal and v In some casesertical. ,
the two types interact, and the horizontal shifts into vertical or the other way. For example, burials with
horses in the Avar Period and in the time of the Hungarian conquest can be considered as representing
horizontal identity, but they can be also seen as symbols of vertical identity, especially in post-conquest
archaeological context.
Besides grave goods, the funerary context is also characterized by the ritual process as a performative
social act. The complexity of the archaeology of Avar graves – with horses and weapons – implies that
cere31monies required a considerable amount of time, including ritual killing of horses and preparation of meals .
Regardless of their temporary functions, however, objects put in the graves during these rituals were also
mne32monic devices, “timeless” instruments to refresh memories about the dead per son.
In contrast to grave goods and burial rites, the topographic context of burials is often ignored. However,
the location of burial mounds (or burial grounds) in relation to other landscape features and settlements, can
be considered also an important way of expressing vertical identity. Burial grounds as integral elements of the
23 For example: PArker PeArSon 1999, 196.
24 Härke 2014, 1–21.
25 One may note here Parker Pearson’s words: “Tombs are not just somewhere to put bodies: they are representations of power. Like
ritual, funerary architecture legitimizes and extends the hegemonic or Arker Peder.” PArSon 1999, 196.
26 Härke 2014, 12.
27  2014, 8 also points out that in some cases, objects placed in the graves can be read as “biographies” of the deceased persons.
28 In an abstract sense, status is position in context of a pattern. Accordingly, individuals may have several diferent statuses or identities
as everyone is part of diferent patterns of reality.
29 For example: GilkeSon 2010, 65; Linton 1964, 113–115.
30 In our interpretation, horizontal identity is based on proprietary status, whereas vertical identity is acquired.
31 In contrast to simple funerals, there was much social and economic efort or “energy” put into these rituals (Bede 2012, 190).
Consequently, each burial ground, where there was a person invested with this “energy”, must have been of special signifcance for members
of the community. Such burial places could be instrumental for collective memory, which explains why these graves were often robbed
– see more on this below.
32 EffroS 2003, 175; HøilUnd NielSen 1997, 129–148.
18contemporary landscape had socio-psychological dimensions, symbolizing social diferences between groups
33of people, thus, refecting the social organization of communities .
Each society, community or micro-community had its own system of values, which applied also to funerary
customs. Therefore, burial practices are best approached simultaneously on diferent spatial levels, i.e.
starting with each burial as a “separate world”, then exploring the local community level, and the broader contexts
34too.
As every social entity (community) could be exposed to new ideas, they could continuously change their
customs and fashions, at once reinterpreting newly acquired ideas. The complexity of reconstructing how
35funerary customs could evolve in a dynamic way, is enormous – taking for instance the problem of graves
without furnishings. Although one may not be able to interpret them to refect accurately on the stratifcation
of the population as a whole, still they represent a dynamically changing picture of a society, and provide an
insight into the archaeology of death. Nevertheless, on a macro-regional level (in the Carpathian Basin), one
clearly observes a similarity between prestigious burials (horse burials with very similar furnishings), and
this can be interpreted as a sign of a cultural koiné, and as a material testimony of the power network the Avar
people belonged to.
As described above, funerary rites were multi-dimensional social acts. Nevertheless, archaeological
research focusing on early medieval populations in Central-Eastern Europe typically has a simplifed point of
view. Interpretations are two-sided: they tend to explain diferences either in terms of migration, mobility or
acculturation. In our opinion, the – often very dynamic – spread of funerary practices in the Carpathian Basin
can be understood only from the perspective of a newly emerging power network. Individuals, families,
communities were presumably adopting values associated with a core group – as a cultural entity –, which
represented the vertical dimensions of their social identities and was acting as an integrative force on a regional
level, from which they have obtained their authority and power. Such networks can be detected in the
archaethology of the Carpathian Basin from the 6 century to the time of the Hungarian Conquest, and their formation
followed similar principles. Analysing contemporary social phenomena, G. Tarde observed at the beginning
thof the 20 century, that fashion trends always move from the centre of a society towards the periphery, both
36in social and geographical sense. As the archaeological fnds from the migration period display similar
phenomena, one may use this as an explanatory model to emphasize the expansion of power networks. In other
words, grave goods as fashion phenomena should be seen less as modes of horizontal identities, but rather of
vertical ones, expressing acquired or inherited status in a macro-regional context.
3.1. Site 9M
In 2014, a large area was excavated at the 9M site, presumably covering the complete burial ground. This
bears special relevance to the interpretive context, since there were only 10 burials found in total. Altogether
22 objects were unearthed, ten of which were dating from the Avar Period (Pl. 1–5).
3.1.1. The graves
Grave 1 (Pl. 6; pl. 132)
Inhumation. Orientation: N–S (3°). Rectangular grave pit. Dimensions: 221 × 60 cm.
The skull is tilted to the left. The skeleton was on its back, hands by its sides. Length of the skeleton: approximately
171 cm. Sex: female. Age: 30–50 years old (maturus I–II).
Inventories:
1. Belt-hole guard. Found behind the skull. Cut out of a bronze plate, folded in half, rounded at both ends. Half of the
folded plate was bent at 90° to make space for the thick rivets on the other side of the plate, which were hammered
at their ends, and were mounted to the plate side by side. The surface of the plate was decorated with an incised X
and with two incised lines at its end. This pattern was repeated twice. Length: 4.7 cm; width: 0.8 cm–1.0 cm; length
of the rivets: 0.6 cm. Weight: 6.33 g (Pl. 6/1; pl. 228/1.a–b).
2. Pressed, hemispherical shaped silver ornament. Found at the wing of the left ilium. Pierced in the middle –
probably the place of a rivet, which came of. Diameter: 1.0 cm; height: 0.4 cm. Weight: 0.32 g (Pl. 6/2; pl. 228/2).
33 th For a theoretical viewpoint, see: EffroS 2003, 122. In a local context, an illustrati-century eve 19 xample is Gâmbaș, where there were
two big cemeteries (of the Calvinist and the Orthodox communities), but there was also a separate graveyard for members of the Zeyk
family, with only a few graves.
34 Gáll 2013a, Vol. I: 594, 870.
35 MArthon 2005, 2.
36 TArde 1902, 13–15.
193. Hemispherical shaped sterling silver ornament. Found at the wing of the right ilium. Preserved in good condition.
The object was fastened to the cloth by a bronze rivet, as indicated by a greenish discoloration in the middle.
Diameter: 1.0 cm; height: 0.6 cm. Weight: 0.51 g. Metallic composition: Au – 0.96%; Cu – 11.27%; Ag – 86.05% (Pl. 6/3;
pl. 228/3).
4. Hemispherical shaped silver ornament. Found at the wing of the right ilium. The object was fastened to the cloth
by a bronze rivet, as indicated by a greenish discoloration in the middle. Diameter: 1.0 cm; height: 0.52 cm. Weight:
0.45 g (Pl. 6/4; pl. 228/4).
5. Pressed, hemispherical shaped ornament. Found at the left femur. The object was fastened to the cloth by a bronze
rivet, as indicated by a greenish discoloration in the middle. A tiny fragment of the rivet also preserved. Diameter:
1.0 cm; height: 0.5 cm. Weight: 0.51 g (Pl. 6/5; pl. 228/5).
6–7. Fragment of a pressed, hemispherical shaped ornament. Found between the two femurs. Most probably
fastened to the cloth by a bronze rivet. Diameter: 0.9 cm; height: 0.6 cm. Weight: 0.22 g. Length of the rivet: 1.0 cm.
Weight: 0.21 g (Pl. 6/6–7; pl. 228/6–7).
8. Fragments of a prped sterling silver ornament. Found between the two femurs. The
bronze rivet fastening the object to the cloth also preserved. Weight: 0.17 g. Length of the rivet: 0.9 cm. Weight: 0.21 g
(Pl. 6/8; pl. 228/8).
9. Pressed, hemispherical shaped silver ornament. Found between the two patellae. The object was fastened to the
cloth by a bronze rivet, as indicated by a greenish discoloration in the middle of it. Diameter: 1.0 cm; height: 0.5 cm.
Weight: 0.28 g. Metallic composition: Au – 9.2%; Cu – 9.6%; Ag – 77.8% (Pl. 6/9; pl. 228/9).
10. Prped silver ornament. Found between the two patellae. It was fastened to the cloth by
a bronze rivet, as indicated by a greenish discoloration in the middle of the object. Diameter: 1.0 cm; height: 0.5 cm.
Weight: 0.56 g (Pl. 6/10; pl. 228/10).
11. Pressed, hemispherical shaped silver ornament. Found between the two patellae. Its size is smaller than that of
the two others mentioned above. It was fastened to the cloth by a bronze rivet, as indicated by a greenish
discoloration in the middle of the object. Diameter: 0.7 cm; height: 0.35 cm. Weight: 0.20 g (Pl. 6/11; pl. 228/11).
12. Prped silver ornament. Found to the right of the skull. It was fastened to the cloth by a
bronze rivet, as indicated by a greenish discoloration in the middle of the object. Diameter: 1.0 cm; height: 0.5 cm.
Length of the rivet: 1.2 cm. Weight: 0.42 g (Pl. 6/12; pl. 228/12).
13. Fragment of a pressed, hemispherical shaped silver ornament. Found at the femur. Diameter: 0.9 cm. Weight:
0.23 g (Pl. 6/13; pl. 228/13).
14. S-shaped bronze clip with a square cross section. Found under the wing of the right ilium. Length: 1.1 cm. Weight:
0.21 g (Pl. 6/14).
15. S-shaped bronze ce cround under the wing of the right ilium. Length: 0.9 cm. Weight:
0.19 g (Pl. 6/15).
16. End fragment of a bronze object. Found under the wing of the right ilium. Length: 1.0 cm. Weight: 0.21 g (Pl. 6/16).
17abject. Fgen0 eight: 0.21 g (Pl. 6/17).
18. Fragments of an iron buckle. Found above the last vertebra and the wing of the left ilium. Thickness of the buckle
ring: 0.8 cm (18).
Grave 2 (Pl. 6; pl. 132)
Inhumation. Orientation: NNE–SSW (18°). Rectangular grave pit. Dimensions: 175 × 55 cm. Depth: 20 cm.
The mature skeleton was found lying on its back – with bones in anatomical positions. Arms stretched alongside the
body, of which only the left arm, the phalanges of the right arm, the lower limbs, the pelvis, the ribs and the skull
preserved. The skull was tilted to the west.
Sex: indeterminable. Age: 30–50 years old (maturus I–II).
Inventory:
1. A little iron object was found between the pelvis and the right arm. Function is unknown.
Grave 3 (Pl. 8)
Inhumation. Orientation: ESE–WNW (107°). Oval shaped grave pit. Dimensions: 204 × 76 cm. The grave was robbed,
the skeleton was disarticulated and the bones scattered in diferent layers of the grave. In the frst layer, two ribs and
pelvic bone fragments, in the second layer 7 ribs, one scapula, skull fragments, and two femur bones were found.
The third – lowest – layer of the fll contained some skull fragments, a jaw, two forearm bones, 6 ribs, a collar bone,
and some vertebral bone fragments.
Sex: indeterminable. Age: maturus I–II.
Inventories:
1. Fragment of an earring with a pyramid-shaped pendant. Found in the lowest layer, in the western part of the fll.
(It must have escaped the attention of the graverobbers.) It was made of two parts: an oval ring, decorated with a big,
pressed, hollow sphere, soldered to the inner side of the ring, and with a pyramid-shaped pendant on the external
20side. Only the triangle-shaped base plate of the pyramid remained attached to the ring, while the side plate was
missing. On the side of the base plate, facing the earring, the pendant was decorated with granulations, which also
continued around the body of the ring, converging towards the point where the sphere was soldered to the inner side
of the ring. Soldering points are also visible on the base plate of the pyramid. The granules ftted to the big sphere
are also hollow – i.e. were made of pressed plates. Height: 3.2 cm; diameters of the ring: 2.0 × 2.4 cm; thickness of
the ring: 0.2 cm. Weight: 3.74 g (Pl. 8/1; pl. 229/1).
Grave 4 (Pl. 6; pl. 133)
Inhumation. Orientation: ESE–WNW (102°). Oval-shaped pit. Dimensions: 102 × 23–33 cm. Depth: 80 cm.
The bones did not preserve – possibly a child’s skeleton, which decomposed more easily.
Food ofering:
1. Clay pot, found in the north-eastern part of the grave (1).
Without inventories.
Grave 5 (Pl. 7; pl. 133)
Inhumation. Orientation: ESE–WNW (102°). Rectangular-shaped pit. Dimensions: 100 × 39 cm.
Only skull fragments, parts of the left arm, and tarsals preserved.
Without inventories.
Grave 7 (Pl. 7; pl. 134)SE–WNW (104°). Oval-shaped pit. Dimensions: 205 × 57–46 cm. Depth: 28 cm.
Contained the skeleton of maturusa individual, lying on its back. Only the skull, the jaw, two clavicles, two humeri,
a radius, fragments of the right and left ulnae, the pelvis, femuri, and two tibiae preserved. Arms were stretched
alongside the body. Skull was displaced in a north-eastern direction. Length of the skeleton: approximately 135.0 cm.
Sex: indeterminable. Age: 11–13 years old (infans II).
Inventory:
1. Iron object (of unknown function). Its position was not recorded.
Grave 8 (Pl. 7; pl. 134)
Inhumation. Orientation: E–W (94°). Dimensions of the pit: 139 × 54 cm. Depth: 28 cm.
The skeleton of a maturus individual, lying in anatomical position, on its back. Arms are stretched, alongside the
body. The shin bones are missing. The skull is tilted to the right.
Sex: indeterminable. Age: 30–50 years old (maturus I–II).
Without inventories.
Grave 9 (Pl. 7; pl. 135)
Inhumation. Orientation: E–W (97°). Oval-shaped pit. Dimensions: 200 × 63–47 cm. Depth: 50 cm.
Arms are stretched alongside the body. Length of the skeleton: approximately 135 cm.
Sex: female. Age: 30–50 years old (maturus I–II).
No grave goods.
Grave 10 (Pl. 9; pl. 136)
Inhumation. Orientation: ESE–WNW (108°). Oval-shaped pit. Dimensions: 168 × 61 cm. Depth: 10 cm.
Skeleton is laid in anatomical position, on its back. The left arm was stretched, the right was bent (at right angles)
over the pelvis. Fragmentarily preserved (bones from the skull, the jaw, the upper and lower limbs, the pelvis and
from the chest). Length of the skeleton: approximately 141.0 cm.
Sex: female. Age: 30–50 years old (maturus I–II).
Without inventories. There is a green discoloration on the skull – perhaps from an earring.
Grave 11 (Pl. 9; pl. 136)
Inhumation. Orientation: E–W (86°). Oval-shaped pit. Dimensions: 124 × 50 cm. Depth: 13 cm. The skeleton of a
child, found in anatomical position, lying on its back. Only the long femurs, the hand bones, two ribs, two clavicles,
the jaw, and the back part of the skull preserved.
Sex: indeterminable. Age: 4–5 years old (infans II).
Without inventories.
213.1.2. Analysis of burial practices (Pl. 4–5)
The graves can be divided into three groups: graves 1 and 2 belong to the frst one, graves 3, 4, 5, and 7 to the
second one, and graves 8, 9, 10, and 11 form the third group. Graves 5, 7, and 10 were apparently also disturbed,
but grave 3 was robbed in the most brutal way – the grave pit was cut by a robbing pit.
The orientations of the graves were diferent. Graves 1 and 2 in the frst group were orientated N–S and
NNE–SSE, the second group and grave 10 were orientated ESE–WNW, whereas graves 8, 9, and 11 were
orienth thtated E–W. Based on the earring found in grave 3, the burials are dated to the 6–7 centuries (see below). It
is to be noted, however, that the ESE–WNW orientation (that is the second group) is not characteristic as far
as this geographical area is concerned – surrounded by the Mureș, Criș, and the Tisza. G. Lőrinczy has already
37tackled this interpretive problem, pointing out that the ES–WN orientation is quite rare, as he knew only
38three examples.
The N–S and NNE–SSE orientation of grave 1 and 2 is also rare: according to G. Lőrinczy, examples are known
39from 14 sites in the region east of the Tis Sza.uch burials (together with W–E oriented ones) were considered
th 40as representing Transdanubian population migrating to this region in the second quarter cof enturythe 7.
41According to D. Csallány, N–S oriented burials chronologically follow the E–W and NE–SW orient This ed ones.
should not be considered as a rule, however, that applies automatically for Nădlac, but the poor survival of fnds
does not allow to refect on this. I. Bóna argued that characteristic trends in the orientation of burials did not yet
42 43form during the early period of Avar settlement and this point has been ad, vocated also by B. Gulyás In our .
opinion, the diferent orientations of the Nădlac graves represent heterogeneous burial customs.
Most of the graves had sub-rectangular or oval shapes, as is common in the Avar Period. The depth range
th thwas between 40 and 100 cm, however, this does not refer to original conditions (in the 6 –7 centuries), as the
surface level of the topsoil could have been altered to a great extent due to various reasons. The length of the
pits varies between 102–210 cm, and the width between 22 and 60 cm, which gives a 3:1 length-width ratio, that
44is also commonly observed in the region east of the River Tisza.
Traces of cofns or of other containers have not been found, however, in 4 out of the 10 graves there were
post-depositional disturbances, which could have destroyed such traces. As for the position of the bodies, the
positions of arm bones in graves 7, 8, and 9 suggest that the bodies were wrapped in some organic material,
such as cloth. In grave 10, the right arm bone was placed on the pelvis at right angle, which L. Bende explains
45as a sign that there was not enough space next to the bod The use of a cy. ofn or of a cloth was also possible
in this case. Apart from the above points, no other inferences can be drawn from the positions of the bodies.
3.1.3. Analysis of grave goods
Except three graves, there were no grave goods found at the site. The function of the iron object in grave 7
is unknown, and this, and the clay pot in grave 4 cannot be dated exactly.
In grave 3, an earring was found, but unfortunately in a deformed shape (Pl. 8/1; pl. 229/1). This piece of
jew46 47ellery belongs to a group described and analysed by J. Ormánd and by Csy, . Balogh. Balogh’s survey included
48altogether 37 sites Amon. g them, geographically the closest to Nădlac is Csanádpalota-Országhatár-M43 Site
4956, where a cast earring with glass inlay was found as a stray fnd. At Makó-Mikócsa-halom (grave 17) a
50similar earring – with a pyramid-shaped pendant – was found. According to the classifcation system
presented by Balogh, this group of objects (i.e. earrings with pyramid-shaped pendants) had four types (or
var51iants): the Szegvár type (Szegvár-Oromdűlő graves 1–2, Szegvár-Sápoldal gr [Pavl. e 1 255]), the Oroszlány
37 On the geographical situation of the area enclosed by the Mureș–Criș–Tisza: zy 198Lőrin7–1989C , 161–169.
38 LőrinCzy 1998, 352.
39 LőrinCzy 1987–1989, 164. There are also two, unpublished N–S oriented graves at the Nădlac-1M site.
40 LőrinCzy 1998, 351.
41 CSAllány 1968, 63.
42 BónA 1979, 23.
43 GUlyáS 2015a, 503.
44 LőrinCzy – RáCz 2014, 172; GUlyáS 2015a, 503.
45 Bende 2003a, 313.
46 Ormándy 1995, 151–155.
47 BAlogh 2014, 106–136, 3–10. táb.
48 BAlogh 2014, 18. kép.
49 BAlogh 2014, 97, 3. kép 2, 2. táb. 3.
50 BAlogh 2014, 111., 5. táb. 4.
51 LőrinCzy 1984–1985, 128, III. táb. 4; Bón A 1979, 5. kép 2–3; BónA 1980, Abb. 7.
2252 53type (Makó-Mikócsa-halom grave 1), the Des7 zk type (Gyula-Szentbenedek ), and the Szentendre type
(Hód54mezővásárhely-Szabadságtér grave 3, Szegvár-Oromdűlő graves 866 and 870, Szentes-Sárg). All four apart
types were often decorated with small spheres (granules), yet, not one of them had big spheres. As the design
55of the Nădlac fnd does not seem to ft in neither Ormándy’s, nor Balogh’s classifcation s it rystem,epresents
an unparalleled, truly unique fnd in Carpathian Basin. The closest parallels to this object were found in
Hlo56dosy (catacombe grave 29) and Kelegen (catacomb grave 28).
Figure 1. Earrings with pyramid-shaped pendants from the region of the Mureș–Criș–Tisza (afBter alogh 2014):
1. Csanádpalota-Országhatár-M43 Site 56; 2. Gyula-Pusztaszentbenedek; 3.
HódmezővásárhelySzabadságtér grave 3; 4. Makó-Mikócsa-halom grave 17; 5. Nădlac-9M grave 3; 6–8.
SzegvárOromdűlő graves 866 and 870; 9. Szegvár-Sápoldal grave 1; 10. Szentes-Sárgapart
On the other hand, one has to emphasize that the four variants of the type refect the local variety of
57craftsmanship quality, and probably intense trade connections as w At Kell. unszentmárton, there was a press
mould with the form of a pyramid shaped pendant, found in a goldsmith’s grave. This fnd suggests that such
58earrings could be produced locall The manufacturiny. g technique of the Nădlac earring is actually similar to
what could be evidenced in case of other rings with pyramid shaped pendants. The distribution map of such
fnds – covering the micro-region surrounded by the Mureș, Criș, and Tisza rivers, with sites located mostly
along the rivers –, reveals that it was most probably the big rivers – the Tisza and the Mureș –, which
functioned as the main arteries of trade.
Based on typology, the Nădlac earring cannot be dated with precision, but only to a broad period between
th ththe late 6 century and the frst half of the 7 century. This date may apply for the other two grave groups of
the site too.
The function of the belt-hole guard – found behind the skull in grave 1 – is uncertain (Pl. 6/1–17; pl. 228/1–13).
52 BAlogh 2014, 111, 5. táb. 4.
53 MogyoróSSy 1870, 280–282; LiSkA 1997, 5–7.
54 CSAllány 1933–1934b, 226, LXVIII. táb. 6; G ArAm 1993, 52, Abb. 2/1–2; LőrinCzy – SzAlontAi 1996, 276–277, 18. kép 1; LőrinCzy –
StrAUb 2004, 314–315, 15. kép 1–2.
55 The geographically close Csanádpalota stray fnd does not have a typological connection to it either.
56 AtlAS 2013, Tab. 24/1, 3.
57 Szenthe 2012b, 57–75.
58 BAlogh 2014, 120, 5. táb. 1; RáCz 2014, 84, Taf. 46/8.
2359Its most similar counterpart, made of a bent bronze plate, is known from Kecskemét-Sallai datin str g .,from
ththe Early Avar Period. Pressed hemispherical shaped ornaments were used in the frst half of the 7 century to
decorate belts, and there are also similar fnds, made of high quality silver, which were identifed as harness
60decoration. In our case, these decorative items surely had a diferent function – hemispherical shaped
orna61ments decorating a belt are known also from Zamárdi-Rétiföldek (grav e 738).
Apparently, the function of these objects needs to be assessed in relation to the burial context. The belt
hole guard and the hemispherical silver ornaments were found along the axis of the grave, which suggests
that the belt was placed lengthwise on the body. This would also explain the position of the belt hole guard,
which could have fallen behind the skull – together with a round ornament (no. 12), which was found next to
the skull. As all the other ornaments lined up downwards from the pelvis, one can assume that the belt was
not placed in the grave the same way as it was worn. Examples of this practice were identifed at
Gyoma-Ugari62 63 64tanyák-dűlő grave 3, Szegvár grave 165, Szekszárd-Bogyiszlói út grave 314, which confrm that this feature
represents a ritual element, spreading well beyond the region of the Mureș–Criș–Tisza. Since all the above
referred graves were female, one may put forward a working hypothesis that this ritual might be connected not
only to a “cultural”, but to a “biological” network (e.g. of a clan or extended family). This could be possibly
answered through archaeogenetic analysis.
3.1.4. Summary
The ESE–WNW orientation and the relatively poor furnishing of graves (e.g. with no partial animal
sacri65fces) difer signifcantly from the examples described by G. Lőrinc The zy. only considerable fnd from this site
was the earring in grave 3, decorated with a pyramid shaped pendant (which was already broken of). Since no
parallel fnd is known in the Carpathian Basin, the burials cannot be dated with precision, but taking into
conthsideration that the other site (3M-N) was used from the middle third of the 7 century, this site most probably
thdates from the early decades of the 7 century as well.
The diferent orientation of the frst and second groups (i.e. ESE–WNW and E–W in one, and N–S and NNE–
SSE in the second) most likely implies that they represent diferent periods of use. Thus, graves 1 and 2 (two
adults) date from a diferent period than graves 3–5, and 7–11 (including two children and four adults). This can
14only be corroborated by C dating, and it would not make sense to guess about the chronological relationship of
66these groups at this point. However, if we accept D. Csallány’s theory –, the N–S and NNE–SSE oriented graves
1 and 2 are later than the other graves. Both were situated in the southern section of the burial ground.
The archaeology of the 9M site fts only partially into the scheme drawn up by G. Lőrinczy, who pointed
out that similar burial grounds – only with a few graves, and dating from the frst century of the Avar Period
– were characteristic in the area east of the Tisza in the Early Avar Period (see Annex 1 and Map 1). Examples
67 68are known from all over the Mureș–Criș–Tisza region (Békéssámson, Doboz-Hajdúírtás,
Hódmezővásárhe69 70 71ly-Vásártér/Szabadságtér K, unszentmárton-Habranyi telep Mak, ó-Mikócsa-halom, Mezőkovácsháza-Új
72 73 74Alkotmány Tsz., Öcsöd-MRT 96a, Szegvár-Sápoldal/1–2, Jószai Bálint tanya/ S7zent, es-Dónát, Kórógypart,
75 76Balogh J. földje, Tarhos-Tarhospuszta). Lőrinczy assumed that such sites must have been used by small
communities. Since the archaeological fnds from these sites indicated that a migration process took place in
59 H. Tóth 1980, 134, Abb. 9/4, Abb. 28/b.
60 Zamárdi-Rétiföldek graves 18, 348, 511, 580, 637, 663, 770, 828, 1003, and 1093: BárdoS – GArAm 2009, 14, 55, Abb. 55, 75, 85, 92, 95,
107, 114, 142, Taf. 2/18: 3–4, Taf. 39/348: 2–5, Taf. 63/511: 1–11, Taf. 75/580: 3–12, Taf. 81/637: 1–6, Taf. 85/663: 7–13, Taf. 96/770: 1–3, 5–12,
Taf. 100/828: 1–4, Taf. 113/1003: 1–4, Taf. 124/1093: 7–45; Szegvár-Sápoldal: BónA 1979, 5. kép 1–2.
61 BárdoS – GArAm 2009, 104, Taf. 92/738: 2–4.
62 Somogyi 1997, 97–116, Abb. 1–6.
63 LőrinCzy 1998, 350, 14. kép.
64 RoSner 1999, 44, Abb. 6, Taf. 22/1, 5.
65 LőrinCzy 1998, 351–355.
66 CSAllány 1968, 63.
67 Z. Rózsa’s excavation.
68 4 graves. KovAlovSzki 1989, 130–131, 9–10. kép; ADAM 2002 , Vol. I: 114.
69 6+?+1 graves. LőrinCzy – SzAlontAi 1996, 275–276, 10. kép 22, 18. kép 6; ADAM 2002 , Vol. I: 164–165.
70 10 graves. CSAllány 1933, 1–55, Taf. I–VII; ADAM 2002 , Vol. I: 220.
71 251 graves. BAlogh 2016b, 111.
72 16 graves . T. JUháSz 1973, 101–108, II–V. táb.; ADAM 2002, Vol. I: 239.
73 12 graves. ADAM 2002, Vol. I: 276; M AdArAS 2004, 339–363.
74 1+9 graves. Bón A 1979, 3–32; BónA 1980, 31–95; LőrinCzy 1994, 328; ADAM 2002 , Vol. I: 338.
75 12 graves and possibly another 7 graves: CSAllány 1900, 393–398; HAmpel 1905, Vol. II: 753–757, Vol. III: Taf. 447 AD; AM 2002 , Vol. I: 353.
76 6 (?) graves. ADAM 2002, Vol. I: 371.
24th th the late 6and early 7 centuries, Lőrinczy also argued that these communities have used one area at a time for
77no longer than 5–15 years.
The two points do not necessarily contradict each other. Small communities – each comprising just a few
78people – could, however, form larger groups/communities, and DNA tests could perhaps confrm, if they had
79biological (genetic) connections, which would point to the problem of their kinship (its social c Toont ext).
this date, however, no genetic tests were carried out, and we have to leave this question open.
Based on the analysis of burial practices and grave fnds, two suggestions can be made:
1.) There were various social and economic diferences among these individuals and communities.
2.) Variations in the funerary rituals of these communities can be explained by diferences of their
horizontal identities.
In the author’s opinion, the frst point is more feasible, since burials from the Mureș–Criș–Tisza region
have many common characteristics, despite that there is also a certain degree of heterogeneity. Most graves
are simple or niche graves, and there are also burials with horses. However, the furnishing of the graves –
the quantity and quality of grave fnds – refect striking diferences in terms of social status. Burial grounds
consisting of only a few graves usually included male graves furnished with remarkable weapons (e.g. in
Békéssámson, Kunszentmárton-Habranyi telep, Szegvár-Sápoldal). Clearly, certain individuals must have had
80very transparent vertical identities .
Burials from diferent burial grounds also show considerable diferences. There are horse burials and
goldsmiths’ burials in Békéssámson, Kunszentmárton-Habranyi telep, Makó-Mikócsa-halom, and burials
with swords were found in Hódmezővásárhely-Vásártér/Szabadságtér, Öcsöd-MRT 96a, Tarhos-Tarhospuszta.
These were defnitely people whose social status was special within their communities. In these
areas/communities, however, community identity might have been stronger than e.g. in Doboz-Hajdúirtás, or Nădlac, where
scarcely any grave was furnished with grave goods. On the other hand, poorly furnished or empty graves were
81found almost everywhere. One may conclude with L. M. Friedmann’s observation, that grave goods rather
refect the variety of social layers, than the materialisation of horizontal identities.
3.2. Site 3M-S
Sites excavated in the area of the access road to the Nădlac–Pecica highway date from diferent periods,
between the Bronze Age and the Middle Ages. Site 3M-S (excavated in the summer of 2014) is dated to the Late
Avar Period, and it is situated north-east of present-day Nădlac. It is the most important among the three sites
discussed here, as it consists of 72 graves (with 73 skeletons) in total. The site plan shows that the burial ground
was almost completely excavated – its boundaries were identifed to the south, east, and west (Pl. 10–12), only
at the northern limit of excavation did it extend beyond that. To the north, judging from the topographical
features of the area, some graves might have remained underground, but their number must be small. Therefore,
the site can be considered mostly excavated.
As has been already described, there was also an N–S oriented ditch (Cx220–221) observed 10 meters to the
west of the burial ground and east of the stream Blezanyica-ere (Pl. 10). It was possibly a feature associated
with the burial ground, but this could not be confrmed during the excavation, as there were no fnds in the fll
of the ditch (Pl. 1–2; pl. 10–12).
3.2.1. The graves
Grave 135 (Pl. 13; pl. 137)
Inhumation. Orientation: WNW–ESE (298°). At the identifcation, the grave pit had a rectangular shape. Dimensions
of the pit: 220 × 83–77 cm. Depth: 66 cm.
77 LőrinCzy 1996, 185. See also Annex 1 and Map 1.
78 G. Lőrinczy’s argument is not clear in this case, but he most likely thought of small families of people. zy 1996 Lőrin , 18C5.
79 The concept of kinship is mainly sociological and not biological construct, as illustrated perfectly by a proverb: “Meeting once is
only a meeting, the second meeting is friendship, the third meeting is kinship.” (told by A. Kanaev, Deputy Chief Prefect of Neftekumsk
Oblast, Russia, October 29, 2016, Caucasian Archaeological Expedition: Gabriella Lezsák, Dávid Kara Somfai, Ákos Avar, Erwin Gáll).
The problem has been extensively researched in anthropological literatures, however, it has not been mentioned in reference to Avar
Period societies.
80 Notably, L. M. Friedman argues that social relations and identities in traditional societies were strictly layered, therefore, horizontal
th thidentities must have been very volatile and relative. Social systems were vertically “constructed and 7” in the 6 centuries. FriedmAnn
1999, 11–12.
81 FriedmAnn 1999, 11–12.
25The mature skeleton is in anatomical position, lyin g on its back. The arms of the skeleton, which is in an
outstretched position, are lying alongside the body. Length of the skeleton: approximately 161.0 cm.
Sex: male. Age: 30–40 years old (maturus I).
Inventories:
1. Fragmented iron knife on the left costal cartilage and true ribs, almost at the scapula. Length of the blade: 6.0 cm;
width of the blade: 1.7 cm (Pl. 13/1).
2. Trapeze shaped iron buckle on the right-hand side right next to the skull. Diameters: 3.3 × 2.9 cm (Pl. 13/2).
3. The fragment of an iron knife next to the left femur, with its edge directed towards the pelvis. Length of the blade:
13.3 cm; width: 1.9 cm (Pl. 13/3).
Grave 136
Inhumation. Orientation: WNW–ESE (292°). The shape of the pit: rounded quadrant, narrowing, and shortening.
Dimensions: 151 × 64 cm.
20 centimetres deep from the layer covered by humus, on the NW side of the pit, a few bones belonging to a child
skeleton could be identifed. 55 centimetres deep, there is a child skull. Probably the rest of the bones were absorbed.
Sex: indeterminable. Age: 2–4 years old (infans I).
The grave pit interfered with an object from the Sarmatian age.
Without inventories.
Grave 137A–B (Pl. 14; pl. 138)
Double grave. Orientation: WNW–ESE (300°). At the identifcation, the grave pit had a rectangular shape.
Dimensions of the pit: 240 × 99 cm. Depth: 60 cm.
Skeleton B was placed in an opposite orientation above skeleton A which was buried in E–W direction. In our
opinion, the burials took place on two diferent occasions, as it can be clearly seen that the WNW–ESE orientated
skeleton has interfered with and afected the ESE–WNW orientated skeleton. The left hand of skeleton B is stretched
beside his body, while his right hand is bent in a 45 degrees angle on the pelvis. The positioning of the hand bones
of skeleton A – due to the interference – cannot be documented. Length of the Skeleton B: 174.3 cm.
Inventories:
Skeleton A
Sex: indeterminable. Age: 15–20 years old (juvenis).
1. Square-shaped iron buckle at the lower part of the skeleton’s pelvis. Diameters: 2.7 × 2.7 cm (Pl. 14/1).
Skeleton B
Sex: male. Age: 35–45 years old (maturus I–II).
1. Rectangle shaped iron buckle was found on the lower part of the skeleton’s spine, at the right-hand side.
Diameters: 2.4 × 2.1 cm (Pl. 14/2).
2. Trapeze shaped iron buckle at the lower part of the skeletons pelvis, between the two ilia. Diameters: 4.0 × 3.2 cm
(Pl. 14/3).
3. Unshaped, amorphous iron fragment right next to the right pelvis. Length: 3.0 cm (Pl. 14/4).
Grave 138 (Pl. 15; pl. 139)
Inhumation. Orientation: WNW–ESE (300°). The shape of the grave: rounded quadrant, narrowing and shortening
downwards. Dimensions of the grave pit: 252 × 90 cm. Depth: 80–84 cm.
The skull of the skeleton laid on his back fell at the right-hand side, his hands were stretched alongside his body. The
skull fell forwards slightly to the north. Length of the skeleton: 156.9 cm.
Sex: male. Age: 25–35 years old (adultus–maturus I).
Inventories:
1. Fragmented disc-shaped bronze mount between the two pelvic wings. Probably it ornamented the belt. Diameter:
2.2 cm. Weight: 0.43 g (Pl. 16/1).
2. A fragmentary bronze strap end right next to the metacarpals of the right hand. It has been part of the belt.
Diameters: 1.3 × 1.2 cm (Pl. 16/2; pl. 230/1).
3. Smooth, trapezoidal, fragmented steel iron buckles with pins between the two ilia. Diameters: 3.5 × 2.8 cm (Pl. 16/3).
4. An iron knife, together with the wooden scabbard right next to the left femur and in front of the pelvis. The traces
of the wood fbres can be clearly seen. Length: 19.7 cm; length of the blade: 15.0 cm; width of the blade: 2.5–0.9 cm
(Pl. 16/4).
5. Fragmented piece of iron right next to the iron knife. Length: 4.3 cm; width: 2.4 cm (Pl. 16/5).
Grave 139 (Pl. 17; pl. 140)
Inhumation. Orientation: NW–SE (303°). At its identifcation, the grave pit’s shape was rectangular. The biggest
dimensions of the pit: 242 × 113 cm. Depth: 40–61 cm.
26The fnal shape of the grave pit was a result of two steps: at the frst step, a larger pit was dug (40 centimetres) which
was deepened further (61 cm) from two lengthwise berms. The lowest level of the pit has an uneven rectangular
shape, but in a form that widens around the skull. The skull of the skeleton laid on his back fell at the left-hand side,
the hands were stretched alongside his body. Length of the skeleton: 166.1 cm.
Sex: male. Age: 45–55 years old (maturus II–senilis).
Inventory:
1. A fragment of an iron object between the right humerus and the south part of the grave pit. It is not excluded that
it was a fragment of a buckle.
Grave 140 (Pl. 18)
Inhumation. Orientation: WNW–ESE (298°). At the identifcation, the shape of grave pit was rectangular. On its two
longitudinal sides, there were formed berms, one in both sides. Dimensions of the pit: 244 × 125 cm. Depth: 116 cm.
The skull of the supine-laid skeleton fell to the right, his hands were laid beside the body, but his feet were placed
on each other, in a way that the right leg crossed the left leg from above. Based on the position of the skeleton, it was
wrapped in some kind of organic matter. Length of the skeleton: 159.1 cm.
Sex: female. Age: 33–42 years old (maturus I–II).
Animal sacrifce, symbolic role, and food ofering:
821. At the end of legs, on an upper layer than the layer of the skeleton, depth 87 cm, animal bones .
1.a. A quasi-complete sheep (Ovis aries) skeleton of a young individual (<8 months). The missing elements consist of
the left pelvis, left ulna, and several phalanges. Butchery marks are present, indicating beheading, dismembering
and defeshing of the carcass.
1.b–c. In the same place were also found a sheep or goat (Ovis aries/Capra) radius and a cattle cranial fragment
displaying a diferent taphonomical stage, most probably not related with the sheep deposition event.
Inventories:
1.1–7. A string of beads around the neck:
1.1. Globular, black bead (I/1–1). Diameter: 0.3 cm (Pl. 18/1; pl. 230/1).
1.2–3. Two globular brownish beads (I/1–1). Diameters: 0.7 × 0.6 cm (Pl. 18/2; pl. 230/2).
1.4–5. Two cylindric, spindle-shaped black beads (II/3–1). Diameters: 0.8 × 0.5 cm (Pl. 18/3; pl. 230/3).
1.6. Cyped bead with corrugated decoration (II/4–2). Diameters: 0.7 × 0.6 cm (Pl. 18/4; pl. 230/4).
1.7. A fragmentary melon seed-shaped white bronze tubular bead.
Grave 141 (Pl. 19; pl. 141)
Inhumation. Orientation: WNW–ESE (290°). The shape of the grave pit: small, rounded rectangle. Dimensions:
147 × 75 cm.
Sintered skeleton laid on its left side. Length of the skeleton: approximately 158.0 cm.
Sex: female. Age: 30–50 years old (maturus I–II).
Without inventories.
Grave 142 (Pl. 19; pl. 141)
Inhumation. Orientation: NW–SE (323°). The shape of the grave pit: small, rounded rectangle. Dimensions:
147 × 75 cm.
Sintered skeleton laid on its right side. Length of the skeleton: 150.1 cm.
Sex: female. Age: 20–23 years old (adultus).
Food ofering:
1. Bones of a bos taurus (one adult individual, >2.5 years old) at the tibia.
Without inventories.
Grave 143 (Pl. 19; pl. 141)
Inhumation. Orientation: WNW–ESE (296°). The shape of the grave pit: at the identifcation, the shape of the grave
was rectangular, widening at the legs. Dimensions: 180 × 69 cm.
The skull of the supine-laid skeleton fell to the right. The arms of the skeleton, which were in an outstretched
position, are lying alongside the body. Length of the skeleton: approximately 108.0 cm.
Sex: female. Age: 30–50 years old (maturus I–II).
Without inventories.
82 A rodent skull was also recovered, better preserved then the other bones, possibly with a post-depositional origin, from animal
intrusive activities.
27Grave 144 (Pl. 19)
Orientation: WNW–ESE (291°). Dimensions: of the pit: 80 × 50 cm. At the identifcation the shape of the grave was
rectangular.
83Without skeleton. Perhaps a symbolic burial?
Grave 145 (Pl. 20; pl. 142)
Inhumation. Orientation: WNW–ESE (293°). At the identifcation, the shape of the grave was rectangular and
gradually narrowed. Dimensions: 215 × 62 cm. Depth: 36 cm.
The skull of the supine-laid, outstretched skeleton fell forwards. Based on its position, initially it may have been
supported by some kind of an organic material – a pillow maybe? The right arms of the skeleton are lying alongside
the body in an outstretched position. The left hand is missing, along with several ribs. Similarly, the leg bones and
the phalanges are also missing. Length of the skeleton: 159.6 cm.
Sex: female. Age: 30–50 years old (maturus I–II).
Animal sacrifce:
1. Parts from the skull, mandible, a left metacarpal, and two phalanxes 1 from a young sheep (Ovis aries).
Inventory:
1. Curved iron sickle placed on the lower part of the right hand, right next to the pelvis. Length: 30.0 cm; width:
2.8–2.3 cm (Pl. 21/1).
Grave 146 (Pl. 22; pl. 143)
Inhumation. Orientation: WNW–ESE (294°). At the identifcation, the shape of the grave was rectangular and
gradually narrowed. Dimensions: 318 × 100 cm. Depth: 70–52 cm.
The traces of the cofn – mostly its wooden fbres – could be identifed in a smaller part of the grave, a surface of a
220 × 60 cm quadrilateral. The skull of the supine-laid, outstretched skeleton fell forwards, the jaw moved out of its
place. The right arms of the skeleton are lying alongside the body in an outstretched position. Length of the skeleton:
161.0 cm.
Sex: male. Age: 26–36 years old (adultus–maturus I).
Animal sacrifce:
1. The head (skull and mandibles) and elements of distal limbs (metacarpals, metatarsals and phalanxes, except
phalanx 3) of a young sheep (Ovis aries) in an upper layer of the grave.
Inventory:
1. Fragmentary iron knife right of the right arm. Length of the fragmentary blade: 6.0 cm; width: 2.0–1.0 cm (Pl. 22/1).
Grave 147 (Pl. 23; pl. 144–146)
Inhumation. Orientation: WNW–ESE (296°). Niche grave. The grave widens in the shape of a pear and after 70 cm, it
begins to deepen at an angle of 18–19°. Size of the grave: 450 cm. The grave widens from 72 cm to as far as 228 cm of
length, and then it becomes wider (it is the widest, 228 cm, at the length of 330 cm), but as it deepens, it is becoming
narrower and narrower. Depth: 40–62 cm (pit), 120–170–196 cm (niche).
The skeleton was placed on the last section of the steep niche of the grave at an angle of 45°, stretched out. The skull
of the skeleton slightly fell forward, the arms were stretched out alongside the body. As the legs were registered
tightly alongside each other, it cannot be excluded that the corpse was rolled in some organic material, or its legs
were tied together. Length of the skeleton: approximately 169.1 cm.
Sex: male. Age: 25–35 years old (adultus–maturus I).
Food/drink ofering:
1. Fragmentary brick-red clay pot, approximately 55 cm away from the skull, at an angle of 45°, which fell with its
mouth pointing towards the skull. It has a grained material with mica and a rough surface. Its body was decorated
with wavy lines. Height: 17.2 cm; diameter of the mouth: 5.1 cm; diameter of its belly: 11.8 cm; bottom diameter:
8.0 cm (Pl. 24/1; pl. 230/1).
Inventory:
1. A square-shaped iron buckle without a spike. Diameters: 3.2 × 3.1 cm (Pl. 24/2).
Grave 148 (Pl. 25; pl. 147–148)
Inhumation. Orientation: WNW–ESE (296°). A long square-shaped niche grave. The grave was deepened at an angle
of 20°, and the deceased person was placed at its lowest point, the niche. In the niche, a hole was dug. Length of the
grave: 414 cm; width of the grave: 108–110 cm. Depth: 30–45 cm (pit), 135–140 cm (niche).
Cofn burial. 1. U-shaped iron cofn clamp next to the right shin bone, at the knee. Length: 9.5–2.5 cm; width: 2.2 cm
(Pl. 26/5); 2. The fragments of an iron cofn clamp behind the skull. Length: 5.0 cm; width: 2.0 cm (Pl. 26/6); 3. An
83 It cannot be excluded that it was the grave of a child whose bones have not been preserved, and who had no teeth.
28iron cofn clamp behind the skull, to the left. Diameters: 6.5 × 4.6 cm (Pl. 26/7); 4. U-shaped iron cofn clamp next to
the right shin bone. Length: 6.5 cm; width: 1.6 cm (Pl. 27/8); 5. L-shaped iron cofn clamp at the end of the left foot.
Length: 4.5–4.1 cm; width: 1.8 cm (Pl. 27/9); 6. L-shaped arched iron cofn clamp next to the left shin bone, at the
edge of the grave. Length: 6.5–2.8 cm; width: 1.7 cm (Pl. 27/10); 7. The fragments of an iron cofn clamp, north-west
of the cofn, at the entrance of the niche. Width: 1.3 cm (Pl. 27/11).
The skull of the skeleton fell to the right, the arms were stretched out alongside its body. Length of the skeleton:
172.1 cm.
Sex: male. Age: 30–50 years old (maturus I–II).
Symbolic role:
1. Right behind the skeleton, 5–6 cm to the north, a cluster of four juvenile sheep or goat vertebrae (under 2–3 years).
Food/drink ofering:
1. An elongated pot with reddish, brown and black spots, standing upright, north-west from the skull. Badly
cremated, feels rough when touched. Height: 17.9 cm; diameter of the mouth: 7.9 cm; diameter of its body: 10.8 cm;
bottom diameter: 7.5 cm (Pl. 28/13; pl. 232/1).
2. U-shaped mount of the porringer, made of a bronze strap behind the skull, approximately 10 cm to the west.
Originally, a fat pressed bronze plate was bent into a U-shape and the two ends of it were attached by two rivets.
In a secondary position, which leads us to suppose that the grave was disturbed partially. Diameters: 2.2 × 1.8 cm;
thickness: 0.6 cm; length of the rivets: 0.7 cm. Weight: 2.56 g (Pl. 25/1; pl. 231/1).
Inventories:
1. A bronze hole for the strap with curled end at the upper part of the left pelvic blade. Length: 2.6 cm; height: 0.9 cm.
Weight: 3.46 g (Pl. 25/2; pl. 231/2).
2. Trapeze-shaped bronze buckle at the end of the vertebrae, in the middle of the pelvic bone. Width: 2.6–2.2 cm;
length: 2.2 cm. Weight: 5.22 g (Pl. 25/3; pl. 231/3).
3. A small square-shaped bronze plate attached to an iron plate. In the middle of the small pressed bronze plate,
there is a square-shaped decoration, which is surrounded by small square-shaped decorations after being grooved.
The parameters of the iron plate: length: 5.1 cm; widest part: 3.8 cm. Weight: 14.50 g. Parameters of the bronze plate:
diameters: 1.9 × 1.5 cm. Weight: 0.48 g (Pl. 26/4; pl. 231/4).
4. A fragmentary iron buckle with a spike right next to the bronze buckle. Diameters: 3.5 × 3.5 cm (Pl. 28/12).
4. The fragment of a bronze object next to the right upper hand (14).
6. The fragment of a little bronze plate in front of the pelvic bone, in the middle (15).
7ae between the right ribs (16).
Grave 149 (Pl. 19; pl. 141)
Inhumation. Orientation: WNW–ESE (302°). At the identifcation, the shape of the grave was oval-rectangular and
gradually narrowed. It slightly widened towards the leg bones. Dimensions of the pit: 148 × 58 cm. Depth: 25 cm.
Only the parts of the skeleton were found, the jawbone fell to north, the skull fell backwards. The right humerus,
both femora, and a few ribs and a vertebral bone are not in anatomical position either.
Sex: indeterminable. Age: 2–3 years old (infans I).
Inventory:
1. Iron knife at the right fragmentary femur, 15 centimetres higher than the bottom of the grave pit. Length: 10.8 cm;
length of the blade: 7.1 cm; width of the blade: 1.7–0.9 cm (Pl. 19/1).
Grave 150 (Pl. 29; pl. 149)
Inhumation. Orientation: WNW–ESE (292°). At the identifcation, the grave had a rectangular shape, which
gradually narrowed. After the uneven digging, which can be traced back exactly, a ledge was created on the right side of
the grave. In our opinion, it cannot be explained with some kind of custom, it can be traced back to practical
reasons. Dimensions of the pit: 234 × 110 cm. Depth: 75–52 cm.
The skull of the skeleton lying on its back fell back, its jaw was displaced northward. The arms of the skeleton, which
is in an outstretched position, are lying alongside the body. Length of the skeleton: 173.2 cm.
Sex: male. Age: 40–50 years old (maturus II).
Animal sacrifce:
1. Below, next to the left femur, almost at the knee, the head (skull and mandibles) of a young sheep (>8 months),
and at the end of the left foot, on the left side, the elements of distal limbs (metacarpals, metatarsals and phalanxes).
Inventory:
1. A square-shaped bronze buckle with an iron spike, on the inner side of the left pelvic bone. Diameters: 2.7 × 2.7 cm;
length of the spike: 3.0 cm. Weight: 8.57 g (Pl. 29/1; pl. 232/1).
Grave 151 (Pl. 30; pl. 150–151)
Inhumation. Orientation: WNW–ESE (294°). At the identifcation, the shape of the grave was rectangular. After 20
29centimetres of depth, there were formed berms at the two longitudinal sides and at the foot of the grave pit, and
after that, they dug a N–S orientated oval pit, for a part of a cattle. After this, they formed another berm, and after
that, they dug the fnal grave pit for the dead. Dimensions of the grave pit: 327 × 278, 210 × 70 cm. Depth: 100–70 cm.
The jawbone of the supine-laid outstretched skeleton fell forwards. The arms of the skeleton, in an outstretched
position. Length of the skeleton: approximately 160.0 cm.
Sex: female (?). Age: 18–20 years old (juvenis–adultus).
Animal sacrifce:
1. An adult cattle, at a depth of 20 cm, on the berm at the feet.
2. The head (skull and mandibles) and elements of distal limbs (a proximal radius, metacarpals, metatarsals and
phalanxes [except phalanx 3]) of a young sheep (6–8 months) were found under the bones of the cattle.
Food/drink ofering:
1. A yellow clay pot with a big diameter, 17 cm to the north-west of the skull. Its material is grainy with mica, it feels
rough. Its surface is made up of bunches of wavy lines. Height: 16.5 cm; diameter of mouth: 5.7 cm; diameter of body:
16.3 cm; bottom diameter: 7.5 cm (Pl. 31/5; pl. 233/3).
Inventories:
1. The fragment of an iron object 15 cm to the south-west of the skull. Its original function cannot be determined.
Length: 2.5 cm (Pl. 31/1.a–b).
2. A bronze earring between the pot and the cofn. The earring, which has been preserved only in fragments, was
decorated with small granulations followed by a globe and a bead ornamentation. The globe and the bead of the
fragmented earring were strung on a bronze wire. The big and the small beads were pierced when they were attached
to the object. Above the big sphere, a wire was put with beads in two braids illustrating pseudo-granulation. Two
beads were strung on a wire folded in two. The ring of the earring has a rhomboid cross section. The two paste beads
of diferent sizes at its end are brownish-greyish. Its parameters: Height: 3.1+0.8+0.95 cm; ring diameter: 2.2 cm;
diameter of the big bead: 1.6 cm; diameter of the small bead: 0.4 cm. Weight: 2.35 g (Pl. 31/2; pl. 233/1).
3. A bronze earring next to the right forearm. Only half of its lower bead and the bead holding it have been
preserved. The brownish-black upper paste bead and half of the lower bead, which is also brownish-black, have been
preserved. Therefore, we managed to observe that the beads were pierced before they were strung and the bronze
wire strung on the ring of the earring was folded in half. A bronze wire was soldered above the upper bead to cover
the wire holding the beads. The ring of the earring has a rhomboid cross section. Height: 2.8 + 0.9 cm; ring diameter:
2.9 cm; diameter of the upper bead: 0.5 cm; diameter of the lower bead: 0.4 cm. Weight: 2.48 g (Pl. 31/3; pl. 233/2).
4.1–315. A string of beads around the neck: a string of beads consisting of globular, cylindrical, conical and melon
84seed-type beads (Pl. 32/6.1–41; pl. 234/4.1–42; pl. 235).
5. A small round bronze ornament, an ear of a piece, was soldered on its back, which span over the whole backside
of the object. It might have functioned as a button. Its position in the grave is near the wall of the grave pit. Diameter:
1.1 cm. Weight: 1.12 g (Pl. 31/4).
6. There is a small bronze ear among the beads which used to hold the bead that was pierced in the middle (7).
Grave 153 (Pl. 33; pl. 152)
Inhumation. Orientation: WNW–ESE (297°). The shape of the grave pit: was rectangular at its identifcation.
Dimensions of the grave pit: 210 × 63 cm. Depth: 44 cm.
The grave had been disturbed, a part of the skull could be identifed from the skeleton, as well as the jaw bone, the
right tibia, respectively the coccyx. The skull was not in anatomical position.
Sex: indeterminable. Age: 30–50 years old (maturus I–II).
Without inventories.
Grave 154 (Pl. 33; pl. 152)
Inhumation. Orientation: WNW–ESE (301°). The shape of the grave pit was rectangular at its identifcation.
Dimensions of the grave pit: 206 × 78 cm. Depth: 20 cm.
The skull of the supine-laid, outstretched skeleton fell to the right, but based on its strange position (the legs were
slightly pulled up to the right) we must think that it was strongly wrapped in some kind of organic material. The right arm
bone was outstretched while the left arm bone was placed on the pelvis. Length of the skeleton: approximately 140.0 cm.
Sex: female. Age: 30–50 years old (maturus I–II).
Without inventories.
Grave 155 (Pl. 34; pl. 153)
Inhumation. Orientation: WNW–ESE (293°). The shape of the grave pit was rectangular at its identifcation.
Dimensions of the grave pit: 240 × 95 cm. Depth: 55–61 cm.
84 Beside these, in grave 151, a great number of bead fragments were documented. Altogether about 350 beads were in these graves.
30The legs of the supine-laid, outstretched skeleton were pulled up to left. Length of the skeleton: approximately
135.0 cm.
Sex: female. Age: 30–50 years old (maturus I–II).
Animal sacrifce:
1. Parts of a young sheep at the end of the left leg: scapula, humerus and metatarsal, all from the right limb, with
flleting cut marks on the scapula. Four fragmented ribs, two of them exhibiting cut marks.
Inventories:
1. Fragmentary cast bronze earrings with a pendant forming a bunch of grapes were found near the right forearm.
Height: 2.2 cm; ring diameter: 2.0 cm; bunch of grapes height: 1.4 cm. Weight: 1.62 g (Pl. 34/1; pl. 236/1).
2.1–36. 36 pieces of globular, cylindric, prismatic and melon seed-shaped beads on the left chest bone together with
a little bronze pipe (Pl. 35/2.1–36; pl. 236/2.1–36).
3. A small bronze tube among the beads. Length: 0.8 cm; width: 0.3 cm.
Grave 157A–B
Grave 157A (Pl. 36; pl. 154)
Inhumation. Orientation: WNW–ESE (288°). The shape of the grave pit: was rectangular at its identifcation. The pit
was very large. There were formed a kind of small (3 to 20 cm wide) berms at the north, south, and west side of the
grave pit at the same level with the skeleton. Dimensions of the grave pit: 217 × 139 cm. Depth: 48–60 cm.
Almost the middle of the pit the traces of the cofn could be registered. The dimensions of the traces of the cofn is
about 180 × 75 cm. The lower jaw of the supine laid, outstretched skeleton has dropped. The arms of the skeleton are
lying alongside the body in an outstretched position. Length of the skeleton: 169.7 cm.
Sex: male. Age: 40–50 years old (maturus II).
Animal sacrifce and symbolic role:
1. Parts of two juvenile sheep or goat (under one year old) under the human skeleton.
Inventory:
1. A fragmented iron knife in the eastern edge of the cofn. Length of the blade: 15.2 cm; width of the blade: 2.8 cm
(Pl. 37/1).
Grave 157B (Pl. 38; pl. 155–156)
Inhumation. Orientation: W–E (280°). Niche grave. The grave pit was registered under grave 157A, which was
dug on the former square shaped elongated niche grave. The grave was gradually dug at an angle of 20°, and the
deceased person was placed at its deepest point, the niche, in a tilted position. The dimensions of the grave pit:
386 × 70–100 cm. Depth: 24–39 cm (pit), 88–134 cm (niche).
The skeleton that was lying on its back fell to the right. The arms of the skeleton, which is in an outstretched
position, are lying alongside the body. Length of the skeleton: approximately 154.0 cm.
Sex: indeterminable. Age: 13–16 years old (infans II–juvenis).
Animal sacrifce:
1. The head: fragmented skull (it preserves one of the horns) and mandibles of a juvenile sheep (over one year old).
The place where it was found is not documented.
Inventories:
1. The fragments of an iron knife at the end of the left hand, next to the left femur. Length: 13.1 cm; length of the
blade: 11.8 cm; width of the blade: 2.1–1.8 cm (Pl. 39/1).
2. A rectangular iron buckle next to the right femur. Diameters: 2.8 × 2.6 cm (Pl. 39/2).
3. The fragment of a massive iron object at the end of the vertebrae. Diameters: 4.0 × 3.6 cm (Pl. 39/3).
4. A small trapeze-shaped iron buckle. Diameters: 4.2 × 3.7 cm (Pl. 39/4).
5. Perhaps the fragments of the hinge of a wooden bucker. Length: 9.1 cm; width: 3.2 cm (Pl. 39/5).
Grave 158 (Pl. 40; pl. 157)
Inhumation. Orientation: WNW–ESE (296°). Niche gravA square. e shaped elongated niche grave. The grave pit
was dug shallow, only 30 cm deep, then it was deepened below 90 cm at an angle of 18°, and the deceased person
was placed at the deepest point. Only the ends of the feet were in the niche. Dimensions of the grave: 427 × 130 cm.
Depth: 27 cm (pit), 75–124 cm (niche).
The grave was robbed, as the hole dug by the raiders was observed in the northern side of the grave (Object 159).
Only the knuckles of the left hand and the foot bones have been preserved of the skeleton, the upper part of the body
and the pelvis were lifted out (?) of the grave. Length of the femur and shin bones of the skeleton: 88 cm.
Without inventories.
Grave 161 (Pl. 41; pl. 158)
Inhumation. Orientation: NW–SE (306°). The shape of the grave pit: was rectangular at its identifcation. A berm
31was formed in the north, south, and west sides of the grave pit at the same level with the skeleton. Dimensions of
the grave pit: 242 × 118 cm. Depth: 71–97 cm.
The arms of the skeleton are lying alongside the body in an outstretched position. Length of the skeleton: 152.9 cm.
Sex: female. Age: 25–30 years old (adultus).
Symbolic role:
1. A nasal bone, the last lumbar vertebra, the sacrum, and a highly corroded metatarsal of an adult sheep in an upper
layer of the grave.
Inventories:
1.1–32. A string of beads around the neck: various melon seed shaped beads (Pl. 42/1.1–5; pl. 236/1.1–5).
2. An iron knife under the right arm. Length: 7.6 cm; length of the blade: 5.4; width: 1.1–1.6 cm (Pl. 42/2).
3. Fragments of a spindle whorl between the right ribs and the right elbow. Its surface is decorated in a zig-zag shape.
Height: 1.8 cm (Pl. 42/3).
Grave 162 (Pl. 43; pl. 159)
Inhumation. Orientation: WNW–ESE (292°). The grave pit has a rectangular shape at its identifcation. On the upper
level of the grave pit, approximately 15 centimetres deep, a berm had been formed. The dimensions of the grave pit:
319 × 177 cm. Depth: 32–76–116 cm.
The skeleton remains – mostly the bones of the bust – were found in very bad condition. The skull fell backwards.
The two hand bones somehow came under the pelvic bone. There are question marks whether this positioning is
because the skeleton was wrapped into organic matter. Length of the skeleton: 151.8 cm.
Symbolic role and food ofering:
1. One radius and two vertebrae of an adult sheep in an upper layer of the grave.
2. A single tibia diaphysis of a goose in an upper layer of the grave.
Sex: female. Age: 25–35 years old (adultus–maturus I).
Inventory:
1. Trapezoid iron buckle from under the pelvis. Diameters: 3.2 × 2.2–2.0 cm (Pl. 43/1).
Grave 163 (Pl. 44; pl. 160)
Inhumation. Orientation: WNW–ESE (299°). The shape of the grave pit: was rectangular at its identifcation. On the
upper level of the grave pit, approximately 15 centimetres deep, a berm had been formed. The dimensions of the
grave pit: 250 × 95 cm. Depth: 63 cm.
The skeleton was laid supine, the skull forwards at the right-hand side. The arms of the outstretched skeleton were
outstretched alongside the body. Length of the skeleton: 158.9 cm.
Sex: female. Age: 40–50 years old (maturus II).
Animal sacrifce, symbolic role, and food ofering:
1. Animal bone parts above the skeleton, buried in a separately dug pit. The animal bones were registered above the
legs, at approximately 15 centimetres depth.
1.a. The mandibles of a juvenile sheep.
1.b. Forelimb elements of an adult sheep.
1.c. Right scapulae of a juv.
1.d. Rigpulae of an adult sheep.
Inventories:
1. Fragments of a slightly curved iron object (hernia truss?), beside the left femur and the left pelvis headed towards
the bottom of the pit. Length: 26.0 cm; width.: 2.3 cm. (Pl. 45/3)
2. Trapezoid iron buckle with pin, between the femur and the left part of the pelvis. Diameters: 2.4 × 2.5 cm (Pl. 44/1).
3. Fragmented spindle whorl from the flling of the pit (Pl. 44/2).
Grave 164 (Pl. 46; pl. 161)
Inhumation. Orientation: WNW–ESE (294°). The shape of the grave pit: was rectangular at its identifcation, it
gradually narrowed. In the process of digging the pit it was gradually deepened (on the northern and western part of the
pit) but at the same time they narrowed the pit. The dimensions of the grave pit: 258 × 119 cm. Depth: 90 cm.
The skeleton was laid supine, the state of its maintenance is very poor. The right arm of the skeleton is lying
alongside the body in an outstretched position. The left arm bone is missing as well as a part of the ribs, the phalanges of
the right leg, and partially the phalanges of the left leg. Length of the skeleton: 159.5 cm.
Sex: indeterminable (probably woman). Age: 30–50 years old (maturus I–II).
Animal sacrifce and food ofering:
1. Parts of animal bones above the skeleton, in the southeast part and in the top layer of the pit (10–12 cm deep).
1.a. The head (skull and mandibles fragments) and the forelimbs (one scapula, two humeri, two radii and two
metacarpals) of a juvenile sheep.
321.b. One right humerus of an adult sheep.
1.c. One tibia of a chicken (Gallus domesticus).
Inventories:
1. Cast bronze earrings near the right leg. Height: 4.2 cm; diameter of the ring: 2,1 cm. Weight: 5.5 g (Pl. 46/1; pl. 236/1).
2. Fragmentary bronze object, unknown function, right beside the end of the right tibia. Diameters: 1.7 × 1.4 cm.
Weight: 0.63 g (Pl. 46/2).
Grave 165 (Pl. 47; pl. 162)
Inhumation. Orientation: W–E (280°). The shape of the grave pit: oval at its identifcation and it gradually narrowed
at its north, west, and south sides. The dimensions of the grave pit: 255 × 135 cm. The length of the bottom of the
grave: 215 cm. Depth: 90 cm.
The skeleton maintenance was poor, it was laid supine. The lower jaw fell forward. The arm bones were found only
partially (the right upper arm is missing, as well as one part of the humerus and the distal phalanges of the hand),
but it could be observed that the arms were outstretched alongside the body. Similarly, the ribs and a part of the
vertebrae are missing, as well as the breastbone. Also, the outstretched leg bones are incomplete: only fragments
have remained of the right femur, right tibia and fbula. The calcaneus, the tarsal, the metatarsal, the phalanges
are completely missing. The incomplete skeleton and the various positions in which the objects from the burial had
occurred, show that the grave was disturbed. Length of the skeleton: 158.1 cm.
Sex: male. Age: 55–60 years old (senilis).
Inventories:
1.a. The casted bronze buckle was found next to the left shin bone. The buckle has a trapezoid ring and rectangular
bronze folded sheet metal plate. The leather enclasped between the sheet plates was tightened (clamped) with fve
rivets. The rectangular plates were cut from sheet metal.Length: 6.4 cm; length of the rectangular plate: 4.1 cm;
diameters of the trapezoidal buckle: 3.1 × 3.0 cm. Weight: 11.25 g (Pl. 48/1.1; pl. 237/1.1).
1.b. Plated bronze belt ornament on a strap. On both edges of the object there are traces of rivets which were used
to fx it to the strap. The rivet on the left side fell out. Diameters: 1.1 × 2.0 cm. Weight: 0.78 g (Pl. 48/1.2; pl. 237/1.2).
1.c. Plated bronze belapgbject there are traces of rivets which were used
to fx it to the strap. The two rivets were stabilized with two plates used as washers. Diameters: 1.3 × 0.7 cm. Weight:
0.65 g (Pl. 48/1.3; pl. 237/1.3).
1.d. A small rectangular bronze plate on a strap with two rivets. Diameters: 0.7 × 1.3 cm (Pl. 48/1.4; pl. 237/1.4).
2. Next to the buckle, there is a wide articulated cast shield-shaped/oval pendant made of copper alloy. Its pattern
has a fat surface. It is decorated with a simple palmette with diverging fat tendrils, in the middle of the ornament
a rhomboid decoration can be observed with a simple pending palmette with diverging motifs. There is a rivet hole
on either side of the ornament with a rivet in each. There is a low frame around the back side, the back side of the
ornament is fat. Height: 3.6 cm; width of the ornament: 2.5 cm; width of the pendant: 1.4 cm. Weight: 7.04 g (Pl. 48/2;
pl. 237/2).
3. Big strap end between the big femur and the northern side of the grave. The two plates were attached by rivets. The
frames are embossed rising from the feld of the object. In the feld of one plate, three animal fgures can be seen:
a predator in the middle is chasing a rabbit, respectively the predator is followed by the other rabbit. On the other
plate, a dynamic fat half palmette was made by the goldsmith whose fowers cover the surface of the object. Length:
10.6 cm; width: 2.2 cm. Weight: 45.64 g (Pl. 48/3; pl. 239/7).
4. A small strap end next to buckle no. 1. The inside of the only cast item is hollow so that the strap could ft in. Part
of the opening for the strap leather is attached by a rivet. Between the two cast items, there is the end of the strap.
After the high frame of the item, there is a deep groove. This side rises from the feld of the item with a decoration
in the middle. On the other side of the feld, there is a dynamic S-shaped tendril ornament, at the end of the item a
bump-shaped ornament can be seen. Length: 3.7 cm; width: 1.2 cm. Weight: 7.13 g (Pl. 48/4; pl. 238/6).
5. Between the two pelvic blades, there is a rectangular bronze ornament with two rivets that are thick at the ends.
Diameters: 2.0 × 1.0 cm. Weight: 0.83 g (Pl. 48/5; pl. 237/1.5).
6. A corroded fragment of a round iron buckle on the right pelvic blade. Diameter: 3.0 cm (Pl. 49/6).
7. Between the right femur and the southern edge of the grave, there is a wide articulated shield-shaped/oval
ornament with a pendant cast of copper alloy. Its pattern is fat. It is decorated with a simple diverging palmette of fat
tendrils, in the middle of the ornament, a rhomboid decoration can be seen. On the pendant, there is a simple
diverging palmette. At each end of the ornament, there is a rivet. The backside is surrounded by a low frame, the
back of the ornament is fat. Height: 3.6 cm; width of the ornament: 2.5 cm; width of the pendant: 1.4 cm. Weight:
7.67 g (Pl. 49/7; pl. 238/3).
8. Between the right femur and the southern edge of the grave, next to the other ornament, there is a wide articulated
shield-shaped/oval ornament with a pendant cast of copper alloy. Its pattern is fat. It is decorated with a simple
diverging palmette of fat tendrils, in the middle of the ornament, a rhomboid decoration can be seen. On the
pendant, there is a simple diverging palmette. At each end of the ornament, there is a rivet. The backside is surrounded
33by a low frame, the back of the ornament is fat. Height: 3.6 cm; width of the ornament: 2.5 cm; width of the pendant:
1.3 cm. Weight: 7.35 g (Pl. 49/8; pl. 238/4).
9. A long iron knife next to the right femur, almost at the knee. Length of the blade: 17.0 cm; width of the blade:
2.6–1.5 cm (Pl. 49/9).
10. There is a propeller-shaped cast ornament depicting the head of a predator at each end with a round hole in the
middle, in the northern part of the grave, opposite the left femur. Length: 4.6 cm; width in the middle: 1.1 cm; width
at the end (animal heads): 1.2 cm. Weight: 4.63 g (Pl. 49/10; pl. 238/5).
11.a. A round bronze ornament at the upper end of the left femur, next to the pelvis. Diameter: 1.0 cm. Weight: 0.21 g
(Pl. 49/11.2; pl. 237/1.7.a).
11.b. A fragmentary rectangular bronze ornament with two wide-headed rivets at the upper end of the left femur,
next to the round ornament. Diameters: 1.2 × 1.0 cm. Weight: 0.38 g (Pl. 49/11.1; pl. 237/1.6).
Grave 166 (Pl. 50; pl. 163)
Inhumation. Orientation: WNW–ESE (294°). The shape of the grave pit was rectangular at its identifcation, and
gradually narrowed at its west side. The dimensions of the grave pit: 135 × 57–59 cm. Depth: 60 cm.
Only a minor skull has been found at 55 cm depth.
Sex: indeterminable. Age: 4–6 years old (infans I).
Without inventories.
Grave 167 (Pl. 50; pl. 163)
Inhumation. Orientation: WNW–ESE (294°). The shape of the grave pit was rectangular at its identifcation. The
western part of the grave pit was widened. The dimensions of the grave pit: 225 × 83 cm. Depth: 58 cm.
The weakly maintained skeleton was laid supine. The skeleton is fragmentary, the right humerus is missing, as well
as the clavicles and a part of the vertebrae and the ribs. Originally, the arms of the outstretched skeleton were
outstretched alongside the body. Length of the skeleton: 143.4 cm.
Sex: female. Age: 19–24 years old (adultus).
Without inventories.
Graves 168B/169 (Pl. 51; 164–166)
A double niche grave system forming a V-shape starting from the niches of the graves. Rectangular connected niche
graves, stretching in a long distance. The grave pits were dug gradually at an angle of 8°. In the niche of grave 169 a
big hole was dug. The burials must have taken place at diferent times, as the skeleton in grave 168B was buried in
a layer above the person in grave 169, and it was looted. The hole dug by the grave raiders can clearly be observed.
Perhaps that was the reason why the skeleton in the other grave was disturbed by the raiders.
Grave 168B: length of the grave pit: 482 cm; width of the grave: approximately 92 cm. Depth: 50 (pit); 110 cm (niche).
Grave 169: length of the grave: 458 cm; width of the grave: 90 cm. Depth: 50 (pit); 160 cm (niche).
Grave 168B (Pl. 51; pl. 164–165)
Inhumation. Orientation: WNW–ESE (298°). The grave was raided, and a considerable section of the upper part of
the skeleton is missing. Only a few ribs, a vertebra, the right radius and ulna, some knuckle bones from the right
hand, two from the left hand, and the fragments of the pelvis have been preserved. The raid is indicated by the fact
that some fragments of the ribs, a vertebra, and a radius were registered at the entrance of the niche. Length of the
skeleton: 157.9 cm.
Sex: female. Age: 30–50 years old (maturus I–II).
Without inventories.
Grave 169 (Pl. 51; pl. 164–166)
Inhumation. Orientation: W–E (272°). The skeleton is supine and relatively well preserved. The arms of the skeleton,
which is in an outstretched position, are lying alongside the body. The knuckles on the hands and the right foot are
missing. Length of the skeleton: approximately 160.0 cm.
Food ofering:
1. A complete humerus, a pelvis fragment, both from the right side, and two fragmented lumbar vertebrae of an adult
sheep on the left side of the skull (3.5–4 years).
Sex: male. Age: 33–42 years old (maturus I–II).
Inventories:
1. An iron ring between the two femurs. 1. Diameters: 3.7 × 3.8 cm (Pl. 52/1).
2. The fragmented iron knife next to the upper part of the right femur. Only a small part of its sheath has been
preserved. Length: 14.0 cm; length of the blade: 11.5 cm; width of the blade: 2.6–2.0–1.4 cm (Pl. 52/2).
3. A massive iron ring next to the end of the left femur. Diameters: 4.4 × 4.2 cm (Pl. 52/3).
344. A fragmentary rectangular iron buckle on the left wing of ilium. Diameters: 2.9 × 3.2 cm (Pl. 52/4).
5. The fragment of an iron object next to the lower part of the right femur (Pl. 52/5).
6. Iron fragments under the right wing of ilium. 1. Length: 3.0 cm; diameters: 2.2 × 1.4 cm (Pl. 52/6).
Grave 170 (Pl. 53; pl. 167)
Inhumation. Orientation: WNW–ESE (290°). The shape of the grave pit was rectangular at its identifcation and
it gradually narrowed. It slightly widens at its west side. The dimensions of the grave pit: 219 × 68–59 cm. Depth:
50 cm.
The child’s skeleton was laid supine, his skull tilted to the left. The skull was only partially preserved. A part of the
chest bones is missing. The arms of the outstretched skeleton are lying alongside the body. Length of the skeleton:
approximately 136.0 cm.
Sex: indeterminable. Age: 14–18 years old (juvenis).
Inventory:
1. Simple earring or lock ring inside the skull. Metal components: Cu – 42.35%; Pb – 39.99%; Sn – 15.08%; Fe –
2.33%; Zn – 0.19%. Diameters: 1.9 × 1.8 cm (Pl. 53/1).
Grave 171 (Pl. 54; pl. 168–169)
Inhumation. Orientation: WNW–ESE (296°). Niche grave. At the end of the grave pit, where the niche of the grave
had been arranged, it widens in a pear-shape, respectively at the mouth of the niche it begins to deepen in a 15°
angle. The dimensions of the grave pit: 466 × 180–76 cm. The diameter of the niche: 200 cm. Depth: 40–60 cm (pit),
108–154 cm (niche).
The skeleton was laid outstretched on the steep berm of the niche in a 45° angle. The grave was robbed in such a
manner, that a part of the skeleton upper body was not preserved. On the level of the robber pit which overlapped
the grave pit, the clavicles, four vertebrae, a humerus, and a bone of the arm were found. Despite this, it was
successfully registered, that the arms were outstretched alongside the body. Length of the skeleton (without the skull):
approximately 121.0 cm.
Sex: indeterminable. Age: 14–15 years old (juvenis).
Symbolic role:
1. The vertebrae of an adult sheep or goat (younger than four years old).
Inventories:
1. Large rectangular iron buckle, with pins next to the vertebrae at the upper part of the right ilium. Diameters:
4.9 × 4.5 cm (Pl. 55/1).
2. Small rectangular iron buckle at the lower part of the pelvis. Diameters: 3.2 × 3.0 cm. (Pl. 55/2)
3. Fragmented iron knife at the left ilium. Length of the blade: 11.2 cm; width of the blade: 2.0 cm (Pl. 55/3).
Grave 173 (Pl. 56; pl. 170)
Inhumation. Orientation: WNW–ESE (292°). Niche grave. At the end of the grave, where the niche was created, it
becomes wider, shaping a pear, and at the entrance of the niche, it starts to deepen at an angle of 17°. Dimensions of
the grave: 406 × 70 cm. Diameter of the grave: 193 cm. Depth: 60–80 cm (pit), 126–168 cm (niche).
The skeleton in the grave was raided and completely destroyed. A stone was also found in the grave, its function is
not clear. Length of the skeleton: 154.3 cm.
Sex: indeterminable. Age: 30–50 years old (maturus I–II).
Animal sacrifce or symbolic role:
1. In the robber pit (cx174), one left side mandible of an adult Bos taurus (cow).
Inventory:
1. The fragment of a rectangular iron buckle among the bones. Diameters: 2.2 × 1.2 cm (Pl. 56/1).
Grave 176 (Pl. 57; pl. 171)
Inhumation. Orientation: WNW–ESE (297°). At the identifcation, the grave had a rectangular shape. Dimensions of
the pit: 250 × 105 cm. Depth: 51 cm.
The skeleton is lying on its back, relatively well preserved, the skull tilted to the right. The arms of the skeleton,
which is in an outstretched position, are lying alongside the body. Some vertebrae are missing. Cofn burial: the
wooden parts of the cofn are partly preserved. Length of the skeleton: 164.8 cm.
Sex: male. Age: 25–30 years old (adultus).
Symbolic role and food ofering:
1. Right at the end of the left foot, poultry bones were found: elements of the right foot (pelvis, femur and tibia) and
a rib fragment from one adult bird.
2.a. Hen eggshells at the right knee.
2.b. There are hen eggshells right next to the right knuckles.
35Inventories:
1. An iron knife next to/below the right side of the abdomen and between it and the right arm. Length: 17.0 cm;
length of the blade: 13.0 cm; width of the blade: 2.5–0.8 cm (Pl. 58/1).
2. Shreds of an iron piece are next to the left femur. 1. Length: 6.0 cm; width: 3.0 cm; 2. Length: 6.0 cm; width: 3.5 cm
(Pl. 58/2).
Grave 177 (Pl. 59; pl. 172)
Inhumation. Orientation: WNW–ESE (295°). The shape of the grave pit: only its eastern part could be observed, as
pit 180 had been dug over it. The dimensions of the grave pit: 240 × 70–72 cm. Depth: 50.0 cm.
The skeleton is laid supine, its maintenance is good, the skull tilted to the right. The arms of the outstretched
skeleton were outstretched alongside the body. The western part of the grave has disturbed the pit of object no. 180.
Length of the skeleton: 148.0 cm.
Sex: female. Age: 40–50 years old (maturus II).
Food ofering:
1. Between the wall of the grave pit and the left leg, an adult sheep’s bones: two elements from the forelimb, scapula
and humerus from the right side.
Inventory:
1. Rectangular steel iron buckle with pin, on the left ilium. Diameters: 3.4 × 2.9 cm (Pl. 59/1).
Grave 178 (Pl. 60; pl. 173)
Inhumation. Orientation: WNW–ESE (302°). The shape of the grave pit: it has rounded edges, it widens at the skull,
it narrows at the legs. The grave pit is very shallow, because it was covered with humus. The dimensions of the grave
pit: 190 × 70–55 cm. Depth: 20 cm.
Length of the skeleton: 155.6 cm.
Sex: male. Age: 35–45 years old (maturus I–II).
Without inventories.
Grave 179 (Pl. 61; pl. 173)
Inhumation. Orientation: WNW–ESE (300°). The grave pit had a rectangular shape at its identifcation, which
gradually narrowed. The dimensions of the grave pit: 191 × 69 cm. Depth: 57 cm. On its western side, the pit interfered
with the pit of grave 180.
The skeleton is laid supine, its maintenance is good, the skull fell forwards to the right. The arms of the outstretched
skeleton are lying alongside the body. Length of the skeleton: approximately 150.0 cm.
Sex: female. Age: 38–40 years old (maturus I).
Animal sacrifce:
1. Right above the legs (depth: 10 cm), in an upper layer of the grave pit: a juvenile sheep’s skeletal parts.
Inventory:
1. Spindle whorl beside the left humerus. Diameter: 3.5 cm; height: 2.2 cm (Pl. 61/1).
Grave 183 (Pl. 60)
Inhumation. Orientation: WNW–ESE (300°). At the identifcation, the grave had a rectangular shape. Dimensions of
the pit: 200 × 80 cm. The grave cut through a house dating from the Sarmatian Age. Depth: 43 cm.
The skeleton was lying on its back, it has been well preserved, the skull was tilted to the right. The arms of the
skeleton, which is in an outstretched position, are lying alongside the body. Some of the knuckle bones are missing from
the left arm. Length of the skeleton: approximately 162.4 cm.
Sex: male. Age: 25–35 years old (adultus–maturus I).
Symbolic role or food ofering:
1. Eggshells under the body, near the chest.
Inventories:
1. Iron fragments between the right upper arm and the body. Their function cannot be defned. Perhaps they are the
fragments of a knife. One of them is rectangular. Diameters: 2.0 × 1.5 cm (Pl. 60/1).
2. A fragmented black bead in the shape of a melon seed near the neck. Height: 1.3 cm (Pl. 60/2).
3. Spindle whorl with zigzag decoration in the flling of the grave pit. Diameters: 1.9 × 2.4 cm (Pl. 60/3).
4.a–c. Three fragmentary pieces of iron with unknown function in the flling of the grave pit. 1. Diameters: 1.
1.6 × 1.6 cm; 2. 2.0 × 1.3 cm; 3. 2.0 × 1.5 cm (Pl. 60/4.a–c).
5. A round fragmentary iron awl, one end of it is pointed between the pelvis and the right forearm. Length: 9.1 cm;
width: 0.9 cm (Pl. 60/5).
6. A small, barrel-shaped black bead at the sixth vertebra. Diameters: 0.6 × 0.4 cm (6).
36Grave 185 (Pl. 62; pl. 174)
Inhumation. Orientation: WNW–ESE (296°). At the identifcation, the grave had an elongated rectangular shape.
Dimensions of the grave: 300 × 87 cm. Depth: 44 cm.
The four rectangular holes under the skeleton are testimony to it being a burial with a cofn. The dimensions of the
holes: 1. 20 × 21 cm; 2. 38 × 20 cm; 3. 32 × 22 cm; 4. 35 × 22 cm. The big area behind the skull must have been dug so
that a cofn could be placed there. The skeleton was lying on its back, it is well preserved and the skull is tilted to the
right. The position of the arms, which were placed on the pelvis, seems to show that the person was probably rolled
in some organic material. Length of the skeleton: 152.6 cm.
Sex: female. Age: 35–45 years (maturus I–II).
Animal sacrifce:
1. Three fragments from the skull, pelvis, and metatarsal of an adult cattle (Bos taurus) on an upper layer than the
layer of the skeleton. The last two with carnivore tooth marks.
Inventories:
1. A spindle whorl on the right chest bone.
2. The fragments of two iron objects in the flling of the grave.
Grave 186 (Pl. 63; pl. 175–178)
Inhumation. Orientation: WNW–ESE (288°). Niche grave. Dimensions of the grave: 470 × 122 cm. Diameter of the
niche: 170 cm. Depth: 75–100 cm (pit), 118–196 cm (niche).
In the passage leaning towards the mouth of the niche, a horse skeleton was found orientated opposite to the human
skeleton. The horse was lying on its stomach, its hind legs were on either side of the pelvis, its leg bones were
alongside its spine and ribs on either side. The head of the horse was twisted in an unnatural way to the south-east. At the
end of the grave pit, where the niche was made, it slightly widens. After the mouth of the niche, it began to deepen
approximately at an angle of 18°. The skeleton in the grave was partly destroyed during a looting, or it must have
been thrown out of the grave. The skull, the jaws, the collarbones, the toe and fnger knuckles, vertebrae and ribs
are missing. Length of the skeleton: 168.4 cm.
Sex: male. Age: 40–50 years old (maturus II).
Horse burials, type V: a 3 years old stallion (Equus caballus) (Pl. 63; pl. 175; pl. 177–178).
Symbolic role:
1. A metacarpal and a phalanx 1 from an adult sheep.
Inventories:
1. On the inner side, next to the elbow, there is a shield-shaped belt end made by attaching two plates. The two
plates were attached by a rivet in the middle of the upper part of the object. The edges of both plates were bent at
90°. A striped rim ornament was attached to the upper rim of one of the plates. A shield shaped wooden object was
ftted between the two plates to stabilize them. Diameters of the plate: 3.9 × 2.6 cm; diameters of the wooden object:
2.6 × 1.9 cm (Pl. 64/1; pl. 240/1.1–4).
2. A pressed shield-shaped bronze strap end comprising several components next to the left shin bone of the
ransacked skeleton. The edge of the outer foreplate was bent at 90°, thus creating the space for the other big outer
plate. There is a round hole on the upper part of the outer foreplate, where it was attached to the other big outer
plate, on which the rivet can be observed. Small rivets were driven into the inner part of the object, and there is a
shield-shaped wooden object between them to stabilize the ornament. Diameters of the frst outer plate of the strap
end: 4.8 × 3.1 cm; diameters of the second outer plate of the strap end: 4.7 × 2.9 cm; diameters of inner plate No. 1:
3.9 × 2.4 cm; diameters of inner plate No. 2: 3.7 × 2.4 cm; diameters of the wooden insert between the bronze plates:
3.2 × 2.1 cm. Total weight: 9.36 g (Pl. 64/2.1–6; pl. 240/2.1–5).
3. A pressed shield-shaped bronze strap end comprising several components next to the left shin bone of the
ransacked skeleton. The edge of the outer foreplate was bent at 90°, thus creating the space for the other big outer plate.
There is a round hole on the upper part of the outer foreplate, where it was attached to the other big oute, on
which the rivet can be observed. Inside the object, two plates were ftted with two shield-shaped wooden objects
between them for stabilization. Diameter of the outer plate of the strap end (fragmentary): 4.0 cm; diameters of outer
plate No. 1 of the strap end (fragmentary): 3.6 × 2.6 cm; diameters of outer plate No. 2 of the strap end (fragmentary):
3.9 × 2.5 cm; diameters of inner plate No. 1: 3.5 × 2.5 ers of insert bronze plate No. 2: 4.1 × 2.4 cm; diameters
of wooden insert No. 1: 2.9 × 1.7 cm; diameters of wooden insert No. 2: 2.5 × 1.5 cm. Total weight: 6.61 g (Pl. 65/3.1–3;
pl. 240/3.1–3; pl. 241/3.4–6).
4. A fragmentary rectangular pressed bad quality bronze mount. There are 5 round ornaments rising from the plane
of the object. Diameters: 2.8 × 2.6 cm. Total weight: 1.80 g (Pl. 65/4).
5. The fragments of an iron buckle around the ribs and the lower vertebrae. Diameters: 1. 1.0 × 1.5 cm; 2. 1.0 × 1.4 cm
(Pl. 66/5).
6. A square-shaped iron buckle, fragmentary, next to the left femur, inside. Diameters: 2.6 × 2.5 cm (Pl. 66/6).
377. A fragmentary iron knife next to the left shin bone. Length: 14.1 cm; length of the blade: 11.3 cm; width: 2.0–0.7 cm
(Pl. 66/7).
8. An unidentifed iron object. Diameters: 6.7 × 4.2 cm (Pl. 66/8).
The inventories of the horse:
1.1–18. 18 round pressed gilded bronze rosettes. The surface of the convex objects was divided into two sections:
in the depression behind the bulging centre, there are 23 ornaments in bead string pattern, behind which 10
petal-shaped sections were created by the goldsmith, which rise from the plane of the object forming its edge.
Therefore, it can be stated that the object shows a special structure: “hills” (central core and the 10 symbolic petals) and
“valleys” (23 decorations symbolizing rows of beads) are alternating. The objects were attached to the strap of the
harness by a twisted hook soldered to the back.
1.1.a. Gilded bronze, pressed strap end, decorated with striped grooved ornamentation, found on the right pelvic
bone of the horse skeleton along with the rosette. Widest part: 1.3 cm (Pl. 66/1.1.1; pl. 241/1.1.1).
1.1.b. A fragmentary rosette, 4 of the row of cells forming the edge of the object were broken. The ornament was
found in the right pelvic bone of the horse skeleton. Diameter: 2.1 cm. Weight: 0.45 g (Pl. 66/1.1.2; pl. 241/1.1.2).
1.2.a. Fraosette, found on the right side of the horse skull, along with two small ears. Diameter: 2.1 cm.
Weight: 0.48 g. Height of the ear: 0.8 cm (Pl. 66/1.2.1; pl. 241/1.2.1).
1.2.b. Gilded bronze, eight fragments of a pressed strap end, decorated with striped grooved ornamentation, found
on the right side of the horse skull. Widest point: 1.3 cm.
1.3.a. A rosette was found in the middle of the horse skull. Diameter: 2.1 cm. Weight: 0.41 g (Pl. 66/1.3.1; pl. 241/1.3.1).
1.3.b. A little more than half of the rosette has been preserved. It was found in the middle of the horse skull.
Diameter: 2.1 cm. Weight: 0.33 g (Pl. 66/1.3.2).
1.3.c. Fragmentary rosette. Diameter: 2.1 cm. Weight: 0.33 g (Pl. 66/1.3.3).
1.3.d. Fraer: 1.9 cm. Weight: 0.24 g (Pl. 66/1.3.4).
1.3.e. Fraosette. A little more than half of the rosette has been preserved. Diameter: 2.1 cm. Weight: 0.33 g
(Pl. 66/1.3.5).
1.4. A fragmentary rosette. It was found under the horse skeleton. Diameter: 2.2 cm. Weight: 0.65 g (Pl. 67/1.4;
pl. 241/1.4).
1.5.a. A fragmentary rosette found under the right foreleg of the horse. Diameter: 2.5 cm. Weight: 0.42 g (Pl. 67/1.5.1).
1.5.b. A rosette found under the right foreleg of the horse. Diameters: 1.2 × 1.0 cm. Weight: 0.10 g (Pl. 67/1.5.2).
1.6. A fraosette found under the horse skeleton. A little more than half of the object has been preserved.
Diameter: 2.1 cm. Weight: 0.21 g (Pl. 67/1.6).
1.7.a. A fragmentary rosettse skull, on the right side. Diameter: 2.2 cm. Weight: 0.38 g (Pl. 67/1.7.1).
1.7.b. A frase skger: 2.2 eight: 0.28 g (Pl. 67/1.7.2).
1.8.a. A little fragmented rosette found under the horse skull, on the left side. Diameter: 2.2 cm. Weight: 0.46 g
(Pl. 67/1.8.1; pl. 241/1.5.1).
1.8.b.1–2. Two small ears under the horse skull, on the left side. Height: 0.8 cm (Pl. 67/1.8.2; pl. 241/1.5.2).
1.8.c. Fragments of a rosette under the horse skull, on the left side. Weight: 0.46 g.
1.9. A fragmentary gilded bronze strap end on the right scapula, next to the right femur. Width of the biggest
fragment: 1.5 cm (Pl. 67/1.9).
1.10. Fragmentary rosette. It was found under the horse skeleton. Diameter: 2.2 cm. Weight: 0.65 g (Pl. 67/1.10;
pl. 241/1.6).
1.11. A rosette from the grave. It wse skeleter: 2.3 cm. Weight: 0.58 gram (Pl. 67/1.11).
1.12. A fragmentary rosette. It wse skeleton. Diameter: 2.3 cm. Weight: 0.37 g (Pl. 67/1.12;
pl. 241/1.7).
1.13. A fraosette. It was found under the horse skeleton. Diameter: 2.2 cm. Weight: 0.49 g (Pl. 67/1.13).
1.14. A little fragmented rosette from the grave. It was found under the horse skeleton. Diameters: 2.3 × 2.1 cm. Weight:
0.66 g (Pl. 67/1.14; pl. 241/1.8).
1.15.a. A fragmentary gilded bronze, pressed strap end, decorated with striped grooved ornamentation, found
approximately 50 cm away from the horse skull. Diameters: 3.6 × 2.0 cm. Weight: 0.43 g (Pl. 67/1.15.1; pl. 241/1.9).
1.15.b. Fragments of a rosette under the horse skull, on the left side (15.2).
1.16. Six fragments of a gilded bronze, pressed strap end decoratooved ornamentation. They were
found under the horse skeleton (16).
1.17. Six fraonze, pressed strap end decorated with striped groovy were se skeleton (17).
1.18. Five fraonze, pressed strap end decoratoovy were
found under the horse skeleton. Widest part: 1.1 cm (18).
2. The fragments of a colt bit in the mouth of the horse. Only one of the bit rings has been preserved. Length of the
bit parts: 1. 11.5 cm; 2. 8.5 cm; diameter of the bit ring: 5.0 cm (Pl. 68/2).
38Grave 187 (Pl. 69; pl. 179)
Inhumation. Orientation: WNW–ESE (300°). The shape of the grave: at the identifcation, the grave had an
elongated rectangular shape. Dimensions of the grave: 218 × 80 cm. Depth: 20 cm.
The skeleton was lying on its back, it is well preserved, and the skull fell back. The position of the arms, which were
placed on the pelvis, seem to show that the person was probably rolled in some organic material. Length of the
skeleton: approximately 140.0 cm.
Sex: female. Age: 40–50 years old (maturus II).
Inventory:
1. A fragmentary spindle whorl next to the left pelvic bone. Its surface was decorated with parallel incised zigzag
lines. Diameters: 3.2 × 4.1 cm (Pl. 69/1).
Grave 189 (Pl. 70; pl. 180)
Inhumation. Orientation: WNW–ESE (297°). Niche grave. A square-shaped elongated niche grave. The grave was
deepened at an angle of 17° and the deceased person was placed at its lowest point, the niche. The niche type grave
was created by digging at a point, and then a bigger cave was formed. Length of the grave pit: 243 cm; width of the
grave: 74; diameter of the grave: 120 cm. Depth: 19–23 cm (pit), 42–88 cm (niche).
The skull of the skeleton fell to the left, the arms were stretched out alongside the body. Length of the skeleton:
159.7 cm.
Sex: female. Age: 59–71 years old (senilis).
Symbolic role and/or food ofering:
Animal bones in the grave (in an upper layer of the grave):
1.a. Adult cattle bone (two carpal bones and two phalanges).
1.b. Adult sheep (<3.5 years) bones (scapula, humerus, ribs, and vertebrae).
1.c. Gallus domesticus L. (poultry): one femur fragment.
Inventories:
1. A round-shaped bronze ornament on the upper part of the left side of the chest. A pressed round bronze ornament
with open-work in three places in the middle in small triangle forms. Its edge is broken. Diameter: 2.0 cm. Weight:
0.60 g (Pl. 71/1; pl. 242/1).
2. A fragmentary round, pressed bronze ornament, with open-work in the middle, at the bottom of the left ribs.
Diameter: 2.0 cm. Weight: 0.63 g (Pl. 71/2; pl. 242/2).
3. A round pressed bronze ornament pierced in the middle. It was in the pelvis, between the two pelvic blades.
Diameter: 2.0 cm. Weight: 0.64 g (Pl. 71/3; pl. 242/3).
4.1–3. Parts of a fragmentary iron buckle, on the last vertebra. It seems that a belt plate was attached to the buckle
ring. Diameters: 3.8 × 3.5 cm (Pl. 71/4.a–c).
5. A fragmented iron knife next to the left thigh bone. Length of the blade: 15.9 cm; width of the blade: 2.3–1.5 cm
(Pl. 71/5).
6. A bronze strap end was on the frst vertebra towards the pelvis. The object was made by riveting three pressed
plates together. To stabilize it, two pressed plates with their edges bent at an angle of 90° were put together, and then
they were riveted together with a fat pre at the straight edge of the objects. The foreground of the object
was decorated with a bronze cover embossed from the plane of the object. Diameters: 2.6 × 1.6 cm. Weight: 1.42 g
(Pl. 71/6; pl. 242/5).
7. A fragmentary round pressed bronze ornament, similar to the above-mentioned ones, probably belonged to this
grave. Diameters: 2.0 × 1.7 cm. Weight: 0.51 g (Pl. 71/7; pl. 242/4).
Graves 191/198 (Pl. 72; pl. 181–185)
Two niche graves.
Grave 191 (Pl. 72; pl. 181–184)
Niche grave. The grave was dug on the already existing niche of grave 198. Inhumation. Orientation: WNW–ESE
(286°). Dimensions of the grave: 400 × 100 cm. Depth: 19–58 cm (pit), 84–90 cm (niche).
The skeleton lies on its back, well preserved, the skull fell to the right. The right arm is stretched alongside the body,
whereas the left fell to the right at 20°. Length of the skeleton: 152.9 cm.
Sex: female. Age: 33–46 years old (maturus I–II).
Inventories:
1. An arched trapeze shaped iron buckle on the inner side of the right wing of the ilium. Diameters: 4.0 × 3.3 cm
(Pl. 72/1).
2.1–19. 19 beads at the neck: three globular ones, one consisting of two parts, a pressed globular shaped one, one
made of shell in the shape of a short corrugated cylinder, and a big irregular melon seed-shaped bead (Pl. 72/2.1–14;
pl. 73/2.15–19; pl. 243/1–6).
393. Fragmented earring inside the skull. Metal components: Ag – 90.77%; Au – 2.41%; Bi – 2.10%; Cu – 0.66%; Zn –
0.46%; Ni – 0.20%; Pb – 0.20%. Diameters: 2.1 × 2.0 cm (Pl. 73/3).
Grave 198 (Pl. 72; pl. 181–182; pl. 185)
Inhumation. Orientation: W–E (279°). Niche grave. After the upper layer of the soil was stripped, the shape of a
rounded rectangular pit was identifed, and in its upper layer, an animal burial was registered. Grave 191 was dug in
the anterior section of the niche grave. A long rectangular niche grave. The pit was deepened at an angle of 25–30°
in a way that the dead person was placed at its lowest point, the niche. In the niche a bigger pit was dug. As the soil
is full of sand, the original length of the pit could not be detected, but it seems that the whole body was placed in the
grave (155 cm). Length of the grave: 329 cm; width of the grave: 72–76 cm. Depth: 84–100 cm (niche).
The skull fell forward, the arms were stretched alongside the body. The jaw was registered on the chest bone. The
legs were pulled up towards the right leg, placing the left leg on the right. Length of the skeleton: 153.2 cm.
Sex: female. Age: 59–71 years old (senilis).
Animal sacrifce:
1. A complete adult cattle (Bos taurus) was placed in the rectangular pit. Under the animal bones, a cattle’s skull was
placed along with the horns.
Food/drink ofering:
1. A small yellowish pot with an ear and a spout made of coarse material with big grains, 50 cm north-west of the
skull, at the entrance of the niche. Height: 11.6 cm; diameter of the pot: 12.5 cm; diameter of the belly: 13.8 cm;
diameter of the bottom: 8.2 cm; length of the spout: 4.3 cm (Pl. 73/1; pl. 243/1).
Inventories:
1. A rectangular iron buckle. Diameters: 2.5 × 2.2 cm (Pl. 73/2).
2. The parts of a wooden structure (?) next to the right femur (Pl. 73/3).
3. A black-greyish biconical spindle whorl from the flling of the grave. Diameters: 2.5–4.5 × 2.9 cm (Pl. 73/4).
4. An iron nail next to the right upper arm. Length: 2.2 cm.
Grave 193 (Pl. 74; pl. 186)
Inhumation. Orientation: WNW–ESE (301°). The shape of the grave: at the identifcation, the grave had a rectangular
shape. The dimensions of the grave pit: 223 × 82–80 cm. Depth: 50 cm.
The skeleton is lying on its back, well preserved, with its skull fallen to the right. The arms of the skeleton, which is
in an outstretched position, are lying alongside the body. The right femur has been moved from its original position.
Length of the skeleton: 165.4 cm.
Sex: male. Age: 45–55 years old (maturus II–senilis).
Animal sacrifce, symbolic role, and food ofering:
1. In the upper layer, above the deceased person, there are animal bones of one or several animals, scattered around
on the whole surface of the grave.
1.a. An almost complete skeleton of an adult cattle (Bos taurus).
1.b.1. A metatarsus fragment of a juvenile sheep or goat (Ovis aries or Capra hircus).
1.b.2. Two vertebrae of a juvenile sheep or goat (Ovis aries or Capra hircus).
1.c. A humerus of an adult sheep or goat (Ovis aries or Capra hircus).
1.d. A fragment of the right maxilla and a tibia from a very young pig (new born) (Sus domesticus).
Without inventories.
Grave 194 (Pl. 75; pl. 187)
Inhumation. Orientation: W–E (274°). Niche grave. A square-shaped elongated niche grave. The grave was deepened
at an angle of 13°, and the deceased person was placed in a tilted position at its lowest point, the niche. The niche
grave was created by digging at a point, and after 230 cm, a bigger cave was formed. The grave was completely
raided, and all that has been preserved of the skeleton are the leg bones from the knee. Various bone parts were
found in the flling of the raided grave. The dimensions of the grave pit: 233 × 100 cm. The robbers’ trench can be
seen quite clearly. Depth: 12–33–48 cm (pit), 50–66 cm (niche).
Sex: female. Age: 35–45 years old (maturus I–II).
Symbolic role or food oferin g:
1. At the entrance of the niche, there are animal bones.
Inventory:
1. An iron unidentifed object in the flling of the grave pit. Diameters: 1.6 × 1.5 cm (Pl. 75/1).
Grave 195 (Pl. 76–77; pl. 188–189)
Inhumation. Orientation: WNW–ESE (284°). Niche grave. A square-shaped elongated niche grave. The grave was
deepened at an angle of 18–19°, and the deceased person was placed in a tilted position at its lowest point, the niche.
40The niche grave was created by digging at a point, and after 160 cm, a bigger cave was formed. Length of the grave:
290 cm; width of the grave: 91–132 cm; length of the pit of the niche: 226 cm. Depth: 28–57 cm (pit), 92–148 cm (niche).
The skeleton is lying on its back, it is well preserved, with its skull fallen to the right. The arms of the skeleton, which
is in an outstretched position, are lying alongside the body. Length of the skeleton: 150.2 cm.
Sex: male. Age: 35–45 years old (maturus I–II).
Animal sacrifce and symbolic role:
1. The skull and the bones (the vertebral column, with heavy blade chop marks on the axis [beheading] and lumbar
region [reduction of the column]; numerous rib fragments; the forelimbs [one humerus, two radii, two metacarpals,
phalanxes]; the hind limbs [one pelvis, one femur, one tibia, two metatarsals and phalanges]) of an adult cattle in a
pit with the dimensions of 170 × 85 cm, which were documented in front of the niche.
2. In the same place, sheep (Ovis aries) bones from two individuals:
2.a. The head (skull and mandibles) and distal limbs (metacarpals, metatarsals, and four phalanxes 1) of a juvenile
sheep (<6 months).
2.b. Left humerus, two vertebrae (lumbar), and one metapodial fragment of an adult sheep.
Inventories:
1. The fragments of a rectangular iron buckle on the left side of the pelvis. Diameters: 3.1 × 2.5 cm (Pl. 77/1).
2. An iron knife with traces of wooden scabbard, under the right upper arm, towards the thigh bone. Length: 18.0 cm;
length of the blade: 15.1 cm; width: 2.0–1.1 cm (Pl. 77/2).
3. A fragmentary iron object next to the skull, on the right side. Its function is unknown. Diameters: 4.1 × 1.8 cm
(Pl. 77/3).
Grave 196 (Pl. 78; pl. 190)
Inhumation. Orientation: WNW–ESE (292°). Shape of the grave: at the identifcation, the grave had a rectangular
shape. The dimensions of the grave pit: 220 × 70 cm. Depth: 30–40 cm.
Cofn burial: in the layer below the skeleton, there are two rectangular pits of diferent sizes behind the skull,
testifying that it was a burial with a cofn. This assumption is confrmed by the two cofn clamps found at the end of the
left leg. Diameters: 1. 2.2 × 1.1 cm; 2. 3.0 × 1.0 cm.
The skeleton was lying on its back, well preserved, the skull leant to the left forward. The arms of the skeleton, which
is in an outstretched position, are lying alongside the body. The knuckles, the chest bones, and some vertebrae are
missing. Length of the skeleton: approximately 160.0 cm.
Sex: male. Age: 43–55 years old (maturus II–senilis).
Without inventories.
Grave 197 (Pl. 78; pl. 191)
Inhumation. Orientation: WNW–ESE (290°). Shape of the grave: at the identifcation, the grave had a rectangular
shape. The dimensions of the grave pit: 190 × 80 cm. Depth: 50 cm.
The skeleton was lying on its back, relatively well preserved, the skull leant back. The arms of the skeleton, which
is in an outstretched position, are lying alongside the body. Some bones of the upper body have not been preserved.
Length of the skeleton: approximately 160.0 cm.
Sex: male. Age: 48–55 years old (maturus II–senilis).
Inventory:
1. The fragment of an iron object on the left pelvic blade. Length: 2.9 cm (Pl. 78/1).
Grave 202 (Pl. 79; pl. 192)
Inhumation. Orientation: WNW–ESE (282°). Shape of the grave: at the identifcation, the grave had a rectangular
shape, which gradually narrowed. The dimensions of the grave pit: 225 × 78–72 cm. Depth: 50–59 cm.
The skeleton was lying on its back, and was very well preserved. Both arm bones were on the pelvis, which might
indicate that the body was wrapped in some organic material. Length of the skeleton: 167.3 cm.
Sex: male. Age: 19–21 years old (juvenis–adultus).
Inventory:
1. A rectangular iron buckle with a spike. We have no data on its position in the grave. Diameters: 3.0 cm. (Pl. 79/1).
Grave 203 (Pl. 80; pl. 192)
Inhumation. Orientation: WNW–ESE (288°). Shape of the grave: at the identifcation, the grave had a rectangular
shape, which gradually narrowed. Dimension of the grave pit: 198 × 72 cm. Depth: 35 cm.
Two ribs, the fragment of a humerus, and a shin bone were found.
Sex: indeterminable. Age: 8 years old (infans II).
Without inventories.
41Grave 204 (Pl. 80; pl. 192)
Inhumation. Orientation: WNW–ESE (292°). Shape of the grave: at the identifcation, the grave had a rectangular
shape. Dimensions of the grave pit: 122 × 57 cm. A fragment of the skull, and some bits of the left and right thigh
bones were found. The infant skeleton was lying stretched.
Without inventories.
Grave 205 (Pl. 80; pl. 193)SE (293°). Shape of the grave: the rectangular, long grave is widening towards the
feet. Dimensions of the grave pit: 220 × 68 cm. In its eastern section, the grave disturbed pit house no. 217.
The skeleton was lying on its back, and was very well preserved. The arms of the skeleton, which is in an
outstretched position, are lying alongside the body. The knuckles on the left hand and the bones of the sole are missing.
Sex: indeterminable. Age: 14–15 years old (juvenis).
Symbolic role or food ofering:
1. An egg next to the left femur.
Without inventories.
Grave 209 (Pl. 81; pl. 194)
Inhumation. Orientation: WNW–ESE (296°). Shape of the grave: at the identifcation, the grave had a rectangular
shape, which gradually narrowed. Dimensions of the grave pit: 188 × 65 cm. Depth: 42 cm.
The arms of the well-preserved skeleton were on the pelvis, its position leads us to think that it must have been
wrapped in some organic material. Length of the skeleton: approximately 170.0 cm.
Sex: indeterminable. Age: 18–20 years old (juvenis–adultus).
Without inventories.
Grave 210 (Pl. 82; pl. 195)
Inhumation. Orientation: NW–SE (304°). Niche grave. A long rectangular niche grave. After 140 cm, the grave was
deepened at an angle of 28°, placing the body at its deepest part. The niche was created by digging a pit in the
ground after 344 cm. The robbers’ pit is a testimony to the fact that the grave was ransacked. Length of the grave:
400 cm; width of the grave: 90–95 cm. Depth: 63 cm (pit), 90–203 cm (niche).
The lower part of the skeleton, which was lying on its back, was disturbed, the legs were not found in their
anatomical position. The robbers must have stopped digging, because no valuable items were found. The arms of the person
seem to have been stretched alongside the body. Length of the skeleton: 152.9 cm.
Sex: female. Age: 40–50 years old (maturus II).
Food ofering:
1–4. Skeletal elements from four fully grown sheep were recovered: a. four right side humeri; b. one right side
scapula; c. eight ribs.
Inventories:
1. A black spindle whorl in the place of the left pelvic blade. Its surface was decorated with zig-zagged
ornamentation. Height: 2.7 cm; diameter: 3.6 cm (Pl. 82/1).
2. The fragment of a rectangular iron buckle in the place of the ribs. Diameters: 3.6 × 2.0 cm (Pl. 82/2).
In the upper layer of the grave, some human bones were found. They are not likely to have belonged to the Avar Age
burial ground.
Grave 211 (Pl. 81; pl. 196)
Inhumation. Orientation: NW–SE (306°). Shape of the grave: at the identifcation, the grave had a rectangular shape,
which gradually narrowed. Based upon the U-shaped cofn clamps found not far from the left knee, it must have
been a cofn burial. Length of the cofn clamp: 10.1 (4.7 and 5.4) cm; width: 1.3 cm (Pl. 81/3). Dimensions of the grave
pit: 274 × 75 cm. Depth: 30 cm.
The skeleton was lying on its back, it was relatively well-preserved. The arms were registered on the pelvis, which
leads us to assume that it was wrapped in some organic material. Length of the skeleton: 158.0 cm.
Sex: male. Age: 39–41 years old (maturus I–II).
Inventories:
1. Fragments of an earring, which originally must have been cast, with white bead pendant next to the left knee.
Height: 3.2 cm; diameters of the ring: 2.2 × 2.3 cm (Pl. 81/1; pl. 243/1).
2. Fragmentary item, originally, it must have been an earring, found on the mouth. Only its ring part remained, and
the decoration strung on the ring. Diameters: 2.2 × 2.1 cm. Weight: 0.91 g (Pl. 81/2; pl. 243/2).
Grave 212 (Pl. 83; pl. 197)
42Inhumation. Orientation: WNW–ESE (292°). Shape of the grave: widening rectangular. Dimensions of the grave:
200 × 65 cm. Depth: approximately 10 cm under the stripped layer of soil.
The skeleton was lying on its back, preserved in a very good condition, the skull leant towards the left. The arms of
the skeleton, which is in an outstretched position, are lying alongside the body. The knuckles on the right hand and
the ends of the right legs are missing. Length of the skeleton: 168.9 cm.
Sex: male. Age: 39–41 years old (maturus I–II).
Inventories:
1. The fragments of a small iron knife under the skeleton. Only a part of the hilt has been preserved. Length: 9.6 cm;
length of the blade: 8.3 cm; width: 1.7–1.3–0.6 cm (Pl. 83/1).
2. A distorted iron fragment under the skeleton. Its function is unknown. Length: 3.7 cm; width: 2.5 cm (Pl. 83/2).
The grave pit disturbed pit house 217 (Sarmatian/Post-Roman period).
Grave 219 (Pl. 83; pl. 197)
Inhumation. Orientation: WNW–ESE (298°). Shape of the grave: at the identifcation, the grave had a rectangular
shape. Dimensions of the grave: 207 × 73 cm. Depth: 65–75 cm.
The skeleton was lying on its back, well preserved, its skull was leaning towards the left. The arms were registered
on the pelvis, which leads us to think that it may have been rolled in some organic material. It is the skeleton of a
child. Length of the skeleton: approximately 130.0 cm.
Sex: indeterminable. Age: 12–14 years old (infans II).
Inventory:
1. A rectangular iron buckle on the pelvis. Diameters: 3.3 × 3.0 cm (Pl. 83/1).
Grave 226 (Pl. 84; pl. 198)
Inhumation. Orientation: WNW–ESE (296°). It was registered in the flling of pit house no. 127. Shape of the grave:
cannot be identifed.
The skeleton was lying on its back. The skull was destroyed when the upper layer of the soil was stripped. The arms
of the skeleton, which is in an outstretched position, are lying alongside the body. Length of the fragmented
skeleton: approximately 151.3 cm.
Sex: female. Age: 20–30 years old (adultus).
Symbolic role or food ofering:
1. Fragmented elements from one adult cattle (Bos taurus): mandibles, atlas, four ribs, pelvis, ulna, and tibia. The
pelvis and tibia are afected by carnivores.
Without inventories.
Grave 227 (Pl. 84; pl. 198)
Inhumation. Orientation: WNW–ESE (302°). The shape of the grave could not be identifed.
The grave was disturbed, the bones have been preserved in a very bad condition. The biggest part of the skull and
a substantial part of the chest bones are missing, and the legs have also been dislocated. Length of the fragmented
skeleton: approximately 80.0 cm.
Sex: indeterminable. Age: 30–50 years old (maturus I–II).
Without inventories.
Grave 228 (Pl. 90; pl. 198)
Inhumation. Orientation: WNW–ESE (295°). Shape of the grave: the pit is rounded at the head, whereas it has a
rectangular shape at the feet. Dimensions of the grave: 170 × 60 cm. Depth: approximately 10 cm under the stripped
layer of soil.
The skeleton was lying on its back, it is well preserved, and its lower jaw fell forward. The arms of the skeleton,
which is in an outstretched position, are lying alongside the body. Length of the skeleton: approximately 152.0 cm.
Sex: indeterminable (juvenis).
Inventory:
1. Next to the right pelvic bone, there is a small iron knife with wooden handle. Length: 7.9 cm; length of the blade:
7.1 cm; width: 1.6–0.7 cm (Pl. 90/1).
Grave 229 (Pl. 85; pl. 199)
Inhumation. Orientation: WNW–ESE (298°). Shape of the grave: at the identifcation, the grave had a rectangular
shape. Dimensions of the grave: 260 × 72–77 cm. Depth: 65–75 cm. Cofn burial. The skeleton was lying on its back,
it is well preserved, and the skull was leaning towards left. The arms of the skeleton, which is in an outstretched
position, are lying alongside the body. Length of the skeleton: approximately 142.0 cm.
Sex: female. Age: 42–55 years old (maturus II–senilis).
43Inventories:
1.1–7. Seven beads at the neck.
1.2. A brick-coloured long prismatic bead with a hexagonal cross section. Diameters: 1.0 × 0.4 cm (Pl. 86/1.1; pl. 243/1).
1.1. A ruby coloured lonxagonal crers: 0.9 × 0.3 cm (Pl. 86/1.2; pl. 243/2).
1.3. A small black barrel-shaped bead. Height: 0.4 cm (Pl. 86/1.3; pl. 243/3).
1.4. A cylindrical barrped brown bead. Height: 1.0 cm (Pl. 86/1.4).
1.5. A spindle-shaped cylindrical white bead. Height: 1.2 cm (Pl. 86/1.5; pl. 243/4).
1.6. A fat drop-like silver coloured bead in the shape of a melon seed. Height: 1.2 cm (Pl. 86/1.6; pl. 243/5).
1.7. A drop-like silver coloureight: 1.1 cm (Pl. 86/1.7; pl. 243/6).
2. A spindle whorl next to the right upper arm. Its surface was decorated with four deep lines. Height: 2.5 cm;
diameter: 4.4 cm (Pl. 86/2).
3. The fragments of a rectangular iron buckle with a spine. Diameter: 3.8 cm (Pl. 86/3).
Grave 230 (Pl. 87; pl. 200)
Inhumation. Orientation: WNW–ESE (294°). Shape of the grave: trapeze-shaped, narrower at the head, widening
towards the feet. Dimensions of the grave: 234 × 65–100 cm. Depth: 90 cm. The skeleton was lying on its back, well
preserved, the skull was leaning towards the right. The arms of the skeleton, which is in an outstretched position,
are lying alongside the body. Length of the skeleton: approximately 138.0 cm.
Sex: indeterminable. Age: 33–42 years old (maturus I–II).
Food ofering:
1. Sus domesticus (one individual, older than 3.5 years): one humerus. The place where it was found is not documented.
2. Gallus domesticus: pelvis, lumbosacral, femur, and tibia from one chicken. The place where it was found is not
documented.
Inventory:
1. Rectangular iron buckle. Diameters: 2.9 × 2.4 cm (Pl. 87/1).
Grave 231 (Pl. 84; pl. 198)
Inhumation. Orientation: ENE–SWS (108°). Shape of the grave: at the identifcation, the grave had a rectangular
shape, which was gradually narrowing. Dimensions of the grave: 212 × 60 cm. Depth: 65–75 cm.
The skeleton was lying on its back, only its upper body has been preserved, without the pelvic and leg bones.
Sex: indeterminable. Age: 11–13 years old (infans II).
Inventory:
1. Fragmented iron knife near the right elbow. Length of the blade: 1.9 cm (Pl. 84/1).
Grave 233 (Pl. 88; pl. 201)
Inhumation. Orientation: WNW–ESE (302°). Shape of the grave: trapeze-shaped, narrow at the head and widening
towards the feet. The pit is gradually narrowing into the ground. Dimensions of the grave: 220 × 80–100 cm. Depth:
50 cm.
The skeleton was lying on its back, well preserved, and the skull was leaning to the right side. The arms of the
skeleton, which is in an outstretched position, are lying alongside the body. Length of the skeleton: 149.9 cm.
Sex: female. Age: 33–42 years old (maturus I–II).
Symbolic role:
1. Fragments of the skull, mandibles, and one phalanx of a juvenile sheep or goat in the north-eastern corner of the
grave, north of the left shin bone.
Inventory:
1. A greyish-black spindle whorl next to the left upper arm. Height: 2.0 cm; diameter: 2.6 cm (Pl. 88/1).
Grave 234 (Pl. 89; pl. 202)
Inhumation. Orientation: WNW–ESE (296°). Shape of the grave: trapeze-shaped, narrow at the head and widening
towards the feet. The bottom of the grave is uneven, and a digging can be observed at the skull, which makes us
think that it was a cofn burial. Dimensions of the grave: 260 × 74–88–94 cm. Depth: 45 cm.
The skeleton was lying on its back, well preserved. The arms were registered on the pelvis, which leads us to think
that it may have been rolled in some organic material. Length of the skeleton: approximately 170.0 cm.
Sex: male. Age: 35–45 years old (maturus I–II).
Animal sacrifce and food ofering:
1. Ovis/Capra (less than one year old) bones in the south-eastern corner of the grave, south of the right shin bone.
2. Chicken, adult hen bones in the south-eastern corner of the grave, south of the right shin bone.
Without inventories.
44Grave 235 (Pl. 90; pl. 203)
Inhumation. Orientation: WNW–ESE (299°). Shape of the grave: at the identifcation, the grave had a rectangular
shape. The pit was gradually narrowing as it became deeper. The dimensions of the grave pit: 200 × 69–76 cm.
Depth: 42 cm.
The skeleton was disturbed. Originally, its arms were stretched out alongside the body.
Sex: indeterminable. Age: 13–15 years old (infans II–juvenis).
Food ofering:
1. Gallus domesticus (one adult individual): the ri ght femur and tibia. The place where it was found is not documented.
Without inventories.
Grave 236 (Pl. 90; pl. 200)
Inhumation. Orientation: WNW–ESE (283°). The shape of the grave cannot be identifed.
The skeleton was lying on its back, only some parts of its upper body and the left thigh bone have been preserved. It
is the partially preserved skeleton of a child. Length of the fragmented skeleton: approximately 59.0 cm.
Sex: indeterminable. Age: 2–2.5 years old (infans I).
Without inventories.
Grave 238 (Pl. 80; pl. 200)
Inhumation. Orientation: WNW–ESE (294°). The shape of the grave cannot be identifed.
The skeleton was lying on its back, only parts of its upper body have been preserved. Length of the fragmented
skeleton: approximately 98.0 cm.
Sex: male. Age: 54–64 years old (senilis).
Without inventories.
Grave 240 (Pl. 91; pl. 204)
Inhumation. Orientation: WNW–ESE (300°). The shape of the grave cannot be identifed, as it was dug in object no.
237. The dimensions of the grave pit: 153 cm. Depth: 35 cm.
The skeleton was lying on its back, only its upper body and the thigh bones have remained in their anatomical
positions. It has been preserved in a poor condition. It was disturbed by rodents. Length of the fragmented skeleton:
approximately 69.0 cm.
Sex: indeterminable. Age: 4–5 years old (infans I).
Inventory (?):
1. A rectangular iron buckle, approximately 25 cm away from the left shoulder, it is in doubt whether it belonged to
the grave. Diameters: 3.2 × 3.0 cm (Pl. 91/1).
3.2.2. Analysis of burial practices
3.2.2.1. The structure and size of the burial ground (Fig. 2; pl. 11–12)
The burial ground extended to about 130 meters in S–N direction, in the shape of a fan. Its eastern and
western parts have been excavated completely, and probably its southern section too. To the north, it extended
beyond the limit of excavation, but it is uncertain how far. The micro-topography of the area suggests that
presumably only a few graves remained. Graves were arranged in four irregular rows, each oriented N–S, and
there were altogether fve clearly distinguishable grave groups:
Group 1: graves 135, 136, 137A–B, 138, 139, 140, 141, 142, 143, 166, 167, 168B/169, 170, 171, 173, 176, 177, 178,
179, 183, 185, 186, 193, 229, 230, 231, 233, 234, 235, 236, 238, and 240. In this group, graves were arranged in
2–3–4 irregular rows, but graves 176, 177, 179, and 193 formed a smaller group. In one of the rows, there were
four niche graves, which were followed by graves 138, 140, and 236 to the north. Grave 186 was a niche grave,
(of a 30–50-year old man), in which a complete horse (a 3-year old stallion) was found (Type V accor ding to
A. Kiss). In grave 193, the skull and the long bones of a cattle were found, scattered in the upper layer of the
grave, above the skeleton.
Group 2: graves 144, 145, 146, 147, 148, 149, 150, 151, 155, 157A–B, 161, 162, 163, 164, 165, 187, 202, 203, 204,
219, 226, and 228. These graves were arranged in three irregular rows, and in their southern sections, there were
three niche graves. In grave 151, there was a juvenile female with an almost complete skeleton of a cattle. Grave
165 (of a 55–60-year old man with a belt mount) also belongs to this group.
Group 3: graves 154, 205, 209, 210, 211, 212, and 227. This group was an irregular row of graves with grave 211
a little of the side (a stand-alone grave).
Group 4: graves 153 and 158. One of the two graves was a niche grave.
45Figure 2. Grave groups (Nădlac-3M-S)
46Group 5: graves 189, 191/198, 194, 195, 196, and 197. This was the southernmost line of graves, almost
straight. The frst four graves in the list were all niche graves, lined up beside each other.
3.2.2.2. Grave robbings (Fig. 3)
(Graves 136, 143, 149, 153, 155, 158, 162, 164, 165, 167 [?], 168B, 169, 171, 173, 186, 189, 194, 198, 210, 231, 235, 240,)
85Grave robbing seems to have occurred quite frequently in the Avar Period, particularly in its sec ond half.
This site is no exception to this either, as 21 or 22 graves were robbed altogether, out of the 72 (29.16% or
30.55%). As there were no signs of robber trenches, one may assume that graves could be still easily identifed
when they were looted. Hypothetically, niche graves could remain identifable for at least 100–150 years. They
were bigger than other graves, and they must have drawn the attention of grave robbers. Notably, only 4 out of
the 15 niche graves remained intact.
Most of the robbing pits were dug exactly on top of the graves (graves 136, 143, 149, 153, 155, 165, 186,
189, 194, 197, 198, 210, and 235). In case of graves 158, 168, 171, and 173, they were a little ofside, not right
above them. The secondary position of human bones suggests that in some cases (graves 149, 153, and 155),
body parts (limbs) were still intact (i.e. they did not fully decompose), when they were removed from their
86original position. In case of graves 158, 168, and 171, whole parts of the skeletal materials were thrown out
of the graves. These observations suggest that only a short time passed – perhaps only decades – until the
graves were robbed. As for grave 165, the position of the bones suggests that robbers were only concerned
about fnding the waist of the body. Similarly, in case of grave 197, only the upper part of the body was
robbed.
In grave 165, the fnds – a belt buckle with a bronze plate (?), a cast iron set of belt mounts, and a
pro87 thpeller-shaped belt mount decorated with animal fgur – c es ould be dated to the middle of the 8 century or
th thlater. On the other hand, niche graves usually represent the earliest phase (the lat and earl e 7y 8 century)
of burial sites, as one can infer from – as has been revealed by earlier research (concerning the region of the
88Mureș–Criș–Tisza), based on the topography of graves and the chronology of grave fnds In case of Sit. e 3M-S,
this dating is confrmed e.g. by the pressed belt mounts found in grave 186, a niche grave, with a horse burial,
which was also robbed, most probably shortly after the grave was dug, and while the burial ground was still
in use.
The above described chronological diferences imply that lootings did not take place at once, but some
89graves were robbed much earlier than other and prs, obably by diferent groups or communities of people.
Perhaps the site was used by two diferent communities, who were not related, and those people who came
later, started looting those niche graves, which were still visible, while they were also using the place to bury
their own dead. Another possibility is that members of the same community robbed their own graves.
3.2.2.3. The orientation of graves (Fig. 4)
The orientation of graves is one of the most discussed topics in funerary archaeology. It is thought to have
been an important element of the ritual, refecting the religious views of communities. When diferent
orienta90tions can be observed at one site, it is regarded as a proof of diferent funerary traditions .
At this site, the orientation of graves was consistently W–E, W/NW–E/SE, and NW–SE, which hints on a
continuing tradition. There were fve W–E oriented graves (graves 157B, 165, 169, 194, and 198), including grave
169, which was oriented exactly at 272°. NW–SE oriented graves formed a similarly small group, consisting of
only 4 graves (graves 142, 161, 210, and 211). As for W/NW–E/SE oriented graves, there were 62 of them in total,
and their orientation varied on a broad scale, between 272°–323°. Most of them were oriented at 282–303°, and
the orientation of 32 graves fell between 290°–296°, i.e. the mean value. In summary, WSW orientation was not
85 The lengthy literature of grave raids was summarized by K. Bakay more than 40 years agyo 19(B7A3k, A35, 38, 43, 51, 53–55, 58–61,
72–82, 84–85). The last analyses of this kind were carried out by Cs. Szalontai, A. Benedek, L. Károly, and A. Samu with Cs. Szalontai.
SzAlontAi – Benedek – Károly 2014, 170–173; SAmU – SzAlontAi 2016, 763–811.
86 The bones usually fall apart in fve years. ByA 1k973A , 78.
87 The belt mounts represent Szenthe’s “Geometrical Circular Lobe Style”, which corresponds to Zábojník’s Phase Zábojník SSIII 1991.  ,
Abb. 1; Szenthe 2013, 314, 316, Fig. 3. However, the cast bronze buckle found in Nădlac is known for example from grave 236 in
Székkutas-Kápolnadűlő, where it was found together with much earlier mounts (the so called “Late Avar Animal Style” or SSI). Szalontai
classifed them into “the group of graves dating from the early phase of the Late Avar Age”. ASiz 2A003lon , 400t . Therefore, the Nădlac
items can be classifed into the category of the transitional age, when cast and plated objects were used together.
88 For example: Bende 2003a, 322; Bende 2017, 270–274.
89 JUháSz 1995b, 426.
90 On grave orientations, see: Kovrig 1963, 89–102; StmárizA 1969, 166; TomkA 1975, 5–90; LőrinCzy 1987–1989, 161–171.
47