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Forms of burial in the territory of YU in the time of the Roman empire

Forms of burial in the territory of YU in the time of the Roman empire

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Published by Igor Ćirković
Summary from the book"Rimske nekropole na teritoriji Jugoslavije"(legendary Aleksandar Jovanovic)
Summary from the book"Rimske nekropole na teritoriji Jugoslavije"(legendary Aleksandar Jovanovic)

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Published by: Igor Ćirković on Dec 22, 2009
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08/12/2013

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Aleksandar Jovanovic
FORMS OF BURIAL IN THETERRITORY OF YUGOSLAVIA INTHE TIME OF THE ROMANEMPIRE
Summary from the book: Aleksandar Jovanovic, "Rimske nekropole na teritorijiJugoslavije" Centar za arholoska istrazivanja Filozofskog fakulteta,Beograd 1984 (Cyrillic script)
This work discusses the graves from the cemeteries in the Roman provinces in theterritory of modern Yugoslavia. The period surveyed is that from the beginning of the 1stcentury A.D. to the middle of the 3rd century A.D. The main classification is madeaccording to the origin of the grave-form. Thus the basic division is: Roman grave-forms;alien grave-forms of non-Roman origin; and autochthonous grave-forms. Graves have been classified into these groups on the basis of an analysis of the following elements:manner of burial; grave-form; grave-goods; chronology; distribution; origin; and ethno-cultural traits.The autochthonous grave-forms are discussed within the framework of geographic andethnic wholes. This approach has necessitated the introduction and definition of separatesepulchral units, called "horizons of burial".
Roman forms of burial
The Roman forms of burial represent an intrusion in the territory of Yugoslavia as aresult of Romanization. The attribute "Roman" is, in fact, provisional, for some grave-forms included here did not originate in Italy, but were modifications of Greek modelswhich reached the Yugoslav territory in this modified form as a result of the expansion of the Roman military and political power.The Roman forms of burial are: the
dolium,
stone urns, brick-built cists, metal urns andmausolea. The dominant Roman component in the hybrid combinations withautochthonous forms of burial is represented by ash-chests, while pottery urns can beconsidered only provisionally as a part of the Roman sepulchral tradition, for the majorityof the graves of this type are of autochthonous origin.
Dolium
 
The term
dolium
means burial in an amphora or a part of an amphora. Numerous variantscan be distinguished within this general form, and the differences among them are sogreat that the question arises whether it is appropriate to apply the same name to all of them.The ideological and funerary implications are not the same if a part of an amphora is usedas the receptacle for the remains of cremation, as a protective cover for the remains of cremation and grave-goods, or if the upper part of an amphora is used as a tube for libations and as a marker of the location of the grave. What all these forms have incommon is the fact that a part of an amphora is used in the structure of the grave. It is,however, used in a secondary sense, as a material, not as a constant funerary factor.Consequently, the term
dolium
is conventional rather than precise, and it is used as suchhere.In addition to this general problem, which is partly a problem of methodology, too, thereis also the problem of the adequate interpretation of the provenance of this grave-form inthe territory of Yugoslavia. The origin of this form of burial in Pannonia, in some parts of Dalmatia and in Macedonia cannot be explained in the same way. The graves of the
dolium
type are an intrusion and are associated with the Romanized population on amajority of sites in Pannonia (Emona, Poetovio, Stenjevac), in Dalmatia (Salona, Iader,Apsporos, Krk, Hvar, etc) and Moesia Superior. Graves of this type which weresecondarily dug into the mound at Vrelo Cetine are also Roman forms adopted by thenative inhabitants. Who had changed radically their burial rite (from inhumation tocremation) and, in the absence of satisfactory local forms in their own sepulchraltradition, took over the Roman grave-form
(dolium)
without any modifications. Thegraves of the
dolium
type in Macedonia (Stobi) should be considered as the continuationof the earlier Greek funerary tradition in this region, and not as a novel elementintroduced as a result of Romanization.The accompanying material in the graves of the
dolium
type is relatively scant and of arather poor quality. This is an important indicator of the social status of the persons buried in them. The majority of the graves of the
dolium
type belong to the poorestclasses of the (primarily urban) population. The grave-goods consist mostly of Roman provincial products (lamps, pottery and glass vessels, coins); no material withautochthonous features has been found.The graves of the
dolium
type found in the territory of Yugoslavia belong to the periodfrom the beginning of the 1st century to the middle of the 2nd century A.D. The lower chronological limit is determined by the finds of Augustan and Tiberian coins in thegraves in Emona, and the latest horizon of the graves of this type is dated by the coins of Hadrian and Antonius Pius.Graves of this type appear in the cemeteries of large towns (Emona, Poetovio, Salona,Iader, Vegium, Senia, Apsoros, etc.), in suburban settlements (Sv. Jakov, Sv. Juraj,Murter, etc.), settlements along the main communication lines (Skarucna, Velika Gorica,Stenjevac) and along the Limes (Boljetin) (cf. map. 30).
 
The fact that the graves of the
dolium
type are located in the zones of primary andintensive Romanization shows that they belong to the Roman tradition. The Romancharacter of these graves is also indicated by the type of the grave-goods placed in them, by some elements of the burial rite (e.g. the separation of the remains of the cremated body from the remains of the pyre), and by the fact that this grave-form is without precedent in the autochthonous funerary tradition in the territory of Yugoslavia.
Graves - cists - built of bricks and containing cremationburials
This group of graves consists of brick-built cists containing cremation burials. Remainsof cremation were usually laid directly into the cist, which served as the receptacle.Graves of this type which contain a glass or earthenware urn are less common. The cistsare of a standardized form: four bricks set on edge form the sides of the cist, and twohorizontal ones serve as the bottom-and the lid. The absence of the covering brick insome cases is probably due to damage or devastation of the grave.The published material from the northern cemetery of Emona has provided the necessaryelements for a detailed study of this grave-form and for its full typological, chronologicaland cultural analysis. The brick-built graves make,; up about 40 % of the total number of the grave containing cremation burials in the northern cemetery of Emona.
 
Thecemeteries of Poetovio present a similar picture. This fact is important; for it shows thatthese graves are more common in the cemeteries of urban centres. In addition to the sitesin Pannonia Superior (Emona, Poetovio, Neviodunum, etc.), graves of this type areknown from the large urban centres in Dalmatia (Argyruntum, Salona, Iader, Senia, etc.).Apart from the urban agglomerations, graves made of bricks appear in settlements in theneighborhood of towns (Brstje, Komanda, Medvode, Rudnik, etc.), along importantcommunications (Obrez, Stenjevac, Gameljne) and along the northern part of the easternAdriatic shore (Bakar, Novi Vinodolski, Sv. Jakov) (cf. map. 31). Their distributioncorresponds to the regions in which Romanization changed radically the autochthonoustradition.The type and character of the grave-goods found in brick-built cists also corroborate thetheory of the Roman provenance of this grave-form. Graves made of bricks have produced coins, lamps, glass vessels, terra sigillata, pottery with "thin walls". Jewelry israre, while weapons do not occur at all. The grave-goods consist of the material commonin the early imperial tombs throughout the Empire, and finds of an autochthonouscharacter have not been discovered.The burial rite associated with this form of the grave is not fully documented. It has beenestablished that the deceased were cremated on the
ustrinum
and that the remains of cremation were placed into the cist. But it is not clear whether the remains of thecremated body were carefully separated from the pyre (and, perhaps, ritually washed) before being placed into the grave, or whether the remains of the pyre were also buried

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