CONTRIBUTIONS MADE TO THE STUDY OF THE BURIAL RITE PERFORMED BY THE COMMUNITIES INHABITING EAST OF THE CARPATHIANS IN 3

Acta Terrae, Septemcastrensis
2007 unpublished
Despite this axiom, the analysis of the funerary rite and ritual known at the communities East of Carpathians in the I millennium BC-the first half of the I millennium AD, represents a special interest as it allows to highlight certain similarities, in some cases up to perfect match, caused probably by some genetic, religious links or traditions characteristic to the historic period. The detailed analysis of the whole ensemble regarding the funerary practices will facilitate establishing
more » ... establishing whether biritualism and other rituals were common phenomena for the communities from the entire Central and SouthEastern Europe or if it was a tradition particular only to certain ethno-cultural groups from this area. According to specialized literature a burial rite presents the most conservative aspect of any ethno-cultural group. A burial rite reflects only those completely formed phenomenon which deeply penetrated in the daily use of a community thus becoming traditions. As a rule practice of most funeral rituals is connected either with the existence of social differences or with penetration of foreign tribes. Most frequently, transfer from an inhumation to an incineration rite and vice versa is caused by the fact that population who changed had other religious views, customs and traditions, etc. It is believed that one single funeral rite is typical of a community irrespective of its population and territory size. Thus, yet in the 20 ies of the past century Vasile Pârvan prestigious Romanian scientist launched the idea that "...incineration as a general rule ..." is typical for the "La Téne Getae", which is in fact "...a continuation of the local Bronze Age IV" 1. Notwithstanding these suppositions, archaeological investigations of the monuments from various regions of the east of the Carpathians space produced a considerable number of material that unambiguously prove the predominance of biritualism in the burial rite in both 2 nd half of 1 st Millennium BC-1 st half of 1 st Millennium AD. Analysis of the materials from the necropolises showed many similarities in some cases identies due to common religious views or certain customs typical of the epoch or historical epochs. Incineration prevails in the early 4 th to 3 rd centuries BC. Out of 72 burials excavated at the necropolis of Hansca, 64 had been performed by incineration and only 8 by inhumation. Out of over than 900 early burials known today, 693 burials which constitute 77,22% had been performed by incineration and 207 burials, i.e. 22,78% by inhumation. In the incineration rite prevails burial in urns with or without cover 2. Necropolises where calcined bones are buried in the bottom of the grave constitute the majority. There are two types of inhumation burials according to the alignment of the deceased: in a horizontal or rare fetal position. In some of the necropolises there are inhumation burials which contain poor or no inventory at all. In others like those from Poieneşti, Agighiol, Peretu, etc. the deceased were accompanied by a rich array of personal possessions such as gold, silver, bronze, weapons, imported vessels, etc. No differences had been found in the way they were interred. Both incineration and inhumation burials were discovered in the tumular necropolises or flat inhumation graves. There are cases when in one tumulus there are both incineration and inhumation burials. It demonstrates that undoubtedly a ritual rite wasn't influenced by the social status of the deceased.
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