Archeologický výzkum pohřebiště v Dolních Věstonicích-Na Pískách

Title in English Archaeological research on the Dolní Věstonice-Na Pískách burial ground


Year of publication 2012
Type Chapter of a book
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

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Description This paper comprises an archaeological overview of the Early Medieval burial ground at Dolní Věstonice-Na Pískách (Břeclav district, South Moravia, Czech Republic), which was located at the confluence of the Dyje and Svratka Rivers on subsoil composed of sand. This graveyard was discovered during sand mining activities in this area some time in the first quarter of the 20th century. Between 1946 and 1959 systematic archaeological research of this burial ground was conducted by the Institute of Archaeology in Brno, which yielded abundant material from 1298 Early Medieval graves. It can be estimated that the cemetery originally comprised around 1500 graves, which places Dolní Věstonice-Na Pískách among the most extensive Early Medieval burial grounds in the Czech Republic. Unfortunately, due to the poor state of preservation of the anthropological material, only long bones or sometimes only teeth or small pieces of skull were preserved from most of the inhumations; some of the skeletons had disappeared completely. In spite of this, the burial ground has provided important material for the study of burial rites, with some graves having multiple occupants or showing evidence of individuals who were laid to rest in a crouched position. From an archaeological point of view, the most valuable information about this cemetery was provided by its grave goods, i.e. jewels, weapons, tools and pottery. First, the jewellery, which was mostly found in female graves, provided us with evidence for dating the burial ground: it was established towards the end of the 8th century, and ceased to be used around the middle of the 11th century A.D. The individuals buried at Dolní Věstonice-Na Pískách probably came from a rural area of the Great Moravian Empire. The constructions of the graves, the simple character of the grave-goods, and the very low frequency of rich graves correspond with other rural burial grounds in Southern Moravia, e.g. Velké Bílovice or Prušánky 2.
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