Different approaches to management and control of burial in early middle ages (illustrated by the example of stronghold Břeclav-Pohansko)

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Title in English Different approaches to management and control of burial in early middle ages (illustrated by the example of stronghold Břeclav-Pohansko


Year of publication 2015
Type Conference abstract
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description Early medieval stronghold Břeclav-Pohansko with its two suburbs is situated in the southeastern part of Czech Republic. Between years 1958-2014 there were uncovered 1081 graves, which occured in several funeral areas including two Christian church cemeteries. The first stone church in Břeclav-Pohansko was discovered inside the stronghold fortification. Around this church were explored 407 graves. The second church was situated at the northeastern suburb. In the surrounding of this church have been discovered 152 graves. Inside the stronghold and also at the both suburbs were uncovered small burial grounds belonging to the settlement areas. Another type of funeral zones are small groups of graves or just solitary graves dispersed between the settlement objects. Graves belonging to the church cemeteries and from burial grounds kept the equal basic burial customs - bodies lying stretched out on backs, orientation SW-NE. The fundamental difference can be observed in the space organization of the individual kind of cemeteries. The space of church cemeteries was evidently systematic developed. There are defined areas for elite-burials, for childern´s burials and noticed of a reverential manipulation with the disturbed skeleton relicts. For burial grounds we miss clear signs of such space structuring. Significant difference is also in the incidence of precious metal artefacts. These were recorded almost exclusively in the graves from the church cemeteries. It is clear, that in the same time at the same site there were applied two different burial strategies. The space organization and also the burial rites at the church cemeteries were arranged by persons authorized by the local elite supervised by Christian missionaries. Burial grounds evinced another kind of burial management. It appears to be arranged apparently under the auspices of „elders of the families“ means economic unit superiors. The reasons for these different approaches can be seen in the diversity in faith, in social status and perhaps even in dissimilar ethnicity of buried people.
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