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Stratum plus. 2005-2009. №5

J. Kalaga (Warsaw, Poland)

Burials with Cremations in Barrows in the Middle Bug River Basin

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Pages: 71-83

The paper analyses early medieval burials with cremation found in barrows studied by Polish archaeologists in the Middle Bug River basin. They discovered 98 burial grounds, digging was done on 25 of them. Anthropologists and archaeozoologists studied every bone fragment. Dating was based on analysis of ceramics and other finds of burial goods. The article focuses on analysis of the following research results: 1) size and plan of burial grounds; 2) construction of barrows; 3) types of burials; 4) burial goods. The author suggests the following conclusions: the Middle Bug River basin housed solitary barrow burials in 7th – 10th centuries. Some small barrow burial grounds consisting of several mounds (4-10) would emerge only by the middle of 11th century, while larger burial grounds (30 mounds) were built from 950 to late 13th century. An essential result of the research is discovery of stone and wooden constructions in barrows, which were previously unknown in the Bug River basin. Diversity of forms of group burials was substantiated. Archaeological studies showed continuous development of cremation rite through the Middle Ages. It evolved in the Middle Bug basin with the first Slavic settlers about the same time as in the neighboring Slavic territories. There is no ground to argue that funeral rites in these lands in the early Middle Ages were underdeveloped compared to the neighboring territories.

Keywords: Burials, Cremations, Barrows, Middle Bug River,  Middle Ages


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