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Burials within the boundaries of ancient Cibalae

Anita Rapan Papeša orcid id ; Gradski muzej Vinkovci

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 4.227 Kb

str. 7-57

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Rescue excavations in Vinkovci, primarily in the area of Roman Cibalae, generated a series of finds that were in contradiction with all findings regarding the ancient cultural heritage. These are graves that are located within the inner part of the city area. From 1954 to 2007, a total of 51 graves in 13 locations were examined in this area, out of which 18 graves contained finds. The detailed analysis of the finds confirmed that the burials within the raster of Roman Cibalae belong without doubt to the Gepid cultural circle, since parallels in well examined Gepid graveyards in the area of present–day Hungary and Serbia can be found for all finds. Since there is no indisputable evidence for the age determination of even one single moveable find from the burials in the Cibalae area, the dating was done on the basis of similar or identical finds from the area that historically belonged to the Gepids. Analogies to our finds were discovered at site Kormadin near the village Jakovo (Syrmia, Serbia) that dates to the period from 535 to 567, further at site Kamenovo (northeastern Serbia) dated to the period from 55 0 to after 567, at site ”Više grobalja” in Stari Kostolac (eastern Serbia) that dates to the time around the mid–6th century, at site Szöreg– Téglagyár (eastern Hungary) dating to the middle third of the 6th century until 567, at site Magyarcsanád– Bökény (eastern Hungary, at the border with Romania) dated to the last third of the 5th century to the middle third of the 6th century, at site Szolnok–Zagyva–Part– Alcsi (eastern Hungary) dated to the second half of the 6th century, at site Hódmezövásárhely–Kishomok (south–eastern Hungary) dated to the second half of the 5th century to the middle third of the 6th century, at site Szentes–Kökényzug (southeastern Hungary) dated from 480–568, at site Szentes–Berekhát (south–eastern Hungary) dated from 472 to 568, at site Szentes–Nagyhegy (south–eastern Hungary) dated from 472 to 568, at site Csanád–Bökény (south–eastern Hungary) dated from 480 to 600, at site Hódmezövásárhely–Gorzsa (south–eastern Hungary) dated from 472 to 568, at site Kiszombor (southeastern Hungary) dated from 472 to 620. The afore–mentioned age determinations confirm the assumption that the Gepids lived in the area of Cibalae in the second phase of the domination, which lasted from 535 to 567 according to the sources. Although most of the burials were not accompanied by grave goods, those graves containing grave goods presented a picture of a rural community with no particularly pronounced military component. This fact is actually quite surprising, if taking into consideration the prominent position of Cibalae within the scope of the Second Gepid Kingdom and the battles that took place in its vicinity (Volcaian marshes in 489 and Asfeld 54 9). By analyzing the grave finds and burial customs, we can get the frames of a picture that illustrates a typical resident of Gepidic Cibalae. The fashion of wearing a belt is substantiated by finds of belt buckles. Additionally, the position of the individual finds indicate to the fact that clothes was worn on a string which was attached to the belt. This also indirectly proves the fashion of wearing a belt. Jewellery finds, although modest, are testimonies of how the Gepidic women adorned themselves. The lack of more luxurious finds of fibulae and buckles that was noticed in the graves of Gepidic women leads to the assumption that the population living in Cibalae belonged to the poorer social layer. Finds of bone combs and (?) scissors are indicators of personal hygiene, i.e. they indicate to the fact that the people were taking care of their hair and beards. The analysis of finds leads indisputable to the conclusion that the finds belong to the Gepidic cultural circle. However, there are already doubts arising regarding the ethnicity of the person wearing those items. Because of the more modest finds, one can also assume that the persons wearing them belonged to the late ancient population who were following the fashion of that time or possibly also Germanic peoples in general. At this moment, there is no precise answer to this question. Some future research might however help to clarify these issues.

Ključne riječi

Cibalae, Gepids, graves, finds

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