RURALIA XI

RELIGION,
CULTS & RITUALS
IN THE MEDIEVAL RURAL ENVIRONMENT
The study of belief, faith and religious practices can provide a deep insight into historical
societies, whether Christian, Muslim, Jewish or pagan. They form a constant of human

IN THE MEDIEVAL RURAL ENVIRONMENT
RELIGION, CULTS & RITUALS
behaviour. Through religion, cult and rituals, multi-layered and complex cultural norms
are expressed, demonstrating group affiliation. However, popular devotion and belief in
a rural environment can include practices that are out with those of the official religion.

Some of these practices discussed in this book can be investigated through archaeology.
Important religious sites like churches, monasteries, mosques and synagogues as well as
caves, holy wells and hermitages are discussed. Furthermore burials of children, revenants
and the condemned are analysed, as they often deviate from normal practice and shed
light on particular communities and their beliefs. Rituals concerning the protection of
buildings and persons which focus on objects attributed with religious qualities are another
area explored. Through archaeological research it is possible to gain an understanding of
popular religion of medieval and early modern times and also to draw conclusions about
religious ideas that are not written in documents. By bringing together these topics this
book is of particular interest to scholars working in the field of archaeology, history and
cultural anthropology.

The addressed subjects were the theme of an international conference of the RURALIA
association held in Clervaux, Luxemburg, in September 2015. Ruralia promotes the archaeology
RELIGION,
of medieval settlement and rural life. Current research questions in rural archaeology are
discussed in an European wide context. The aim is to strengthen the exchange of knowledge
in, and the development of, archaeologically comparable studies, and to make archaeological
CULTS & RITUALS
results available to other disciplines. IN THE MEDIEVAL RURAL ENVIRONMENT

Religion, Kulte und Rituale in der mittelalterlichen bäuerlichen Umgebung
Réligion, cultes et rituels au milieu rural médiéval

ISBN 978-90-8890-486-8 edited by CHRISTIANE BIS-WORCH & CLAUDIA THEUNE
Sidestone Press
Sidestone

ISBN: 978-90-8890-486-8

RURALIA XI 9 789088 904868
RURALIA XI

. C.) 2017: Religion. (eds. C. cults & rituals in the medieval rural environment. Ruralia XI. – Theune. Leiden: Sidestone Press.Source reference: Bis-Worch.

SIDESTONE. WWW.SIDESTONE PRESS This is a free offprint – as with all our publications the entire book is freely accessible on our website.COM . where you can also buy a printed copy or pdf E-book.

com Imprint: Sidestone Press Academics Lay-out & cover design: Sidestone Press Photograph cover: Saint Marys oak-tree of Altrier-Hersberg (© CNRA. Published by Sidestone Press. image credits). Centre National de Recherches Archéologiques. Leiden www.sidestone. Grand-Duché de Luxembourg) ISBN 978-90-8890-486-8 (softcover) ISBN 978-90-8890-487-5 (hardcover) ISBN 978-90-8890-488-2 (PDF e-book) .© 2017 Individual authors The authors are responsible for the content of the papers (incl.

the monastery and a settlement without written history Edit Sárosi & Szabolcs Rosta The Byzantine settlement of Shivta in the Negev Desert and its  115 churches: An analysis of their spatial arrangement within the settlement and its social implications Constanze Röhl Réflexions topologiques sur les églises antérieures à 1050 dans  129 l’ancien diocèse de Tongres-Maastricht-Liège Philippe Mignot & Frédéric Chantinne . Observations by a modern pilgrim Bert Groenewoudt Courtyard sites and their cultic context 25 Frode Iversen Anomaly or myth? Sami circular offering sites in medieval  39 northern Norway Marte Spangen Livs’ offering cave (Latvia): new discoveries 53 Juris Urtāns Les gravures de « la Table des Bergers » 61 Frédéric Surmely Struell: bathing at midsummer and the origins of holy wells 69 Finbar McCormick Medieval hermit caves and rock-cut hermitages in Great Britain 79 James Bond Klostergründungen – In mystischen Wäldern oder an  91 urbaren Feldern? Miriam Steinborn Privately founded Benedictine Monasteries in medieval Hungary  103 – a case study: Pétermonostora.Contents Foreword9 Claudia Theune Introduction to the conference papers 11 Christiane Bis-Worch Past and present meet: contemporary expressions of faith along  13 the Camino Frances.

France) : 141 un nouvel exemple d’édifice religieux/funéraire alto-médiéval en contexte d’habitat rural Cyrille Ben Kaddour Le phénomène de pierres antiques incorporées dans des  153 édifices chrétiens au Grand-Duché de Luxembourg – état de recherche et nouvelles questions Estelle Michels Rural mosques and settlements: some reflections from the  165 archaeology of al-Andalus (11th-13th centuries) Jorge A. Jahrhunderts Paweł Duma . 900-1900 AD Nico Arts The identity of the community and the identity of the individual:  253 the burial of the deceased within the settlement in the Middle Ages in Northern Croatia Siniša Krznar & Tatjana Tkalčec A village is cleared – the pilgrimage with stillborns to the  263 Holy Shrine of the Virgin Mary in Oberbüren (Canton of Berne.Le site de Sainte-Catherine-de-Fierbois (Indre-et-Loire. the lack of ritual. Switzerland) Daniel Gutscher Deviant burials in rural environment in the High Middle Ages –  271 ritual. Geschichte und  175 Archäologie Hans-Peter Süss Priest houses in rural settlements of medieval Hungary 189 Tibor Ákos Rácz Sépultures des marges et sépultures marginales : sur quelques  201 exemples médiévaux de la moitié sud de la France Yves Gleize Rock-cut graves and cemeteries in the medieval rural landscape  215 of the Viseu region (Central Portugal) Catarina Tente A place for the ancestors: early medieval burial sites in the  227 central area of the Iberian Peninsula Iñaki Martín Viso Mortuary archaeology and variation in death culture in eastern  241 North-Brabant (The Netherlands). bis 18. Eiroa Landjudentum im nordbayerischen Franken. c. or just another kind of it? Mária Vargha Der würdige und der unwürdige Tod im schlesischen Dorf  281 des 13.

The investigation of traces of religious cults and practices in the  291 medieval rural archaeology of Hungary Miklós Takács Lay devotion in rural and urban contexts in medieval Sweden 303 Elisabet Regner Brabantian fields. blessed land – a study about the origins of  315 artefacts found in arable land Johan Verspay Building sacrifices and magical protection: a study in canton of  325 Grisons (CH) Iris Nießen Votive offerings in buildings from rural settlements – folk beliefs  337 with deeper roots Morten Søvsø Archéologie des pratiques apotropaïques entre Lorraine  347 et Luxembourg Jean-Marie Blaising Zauberbohrungen. magische Zeichen und „Hexenbriefe“ –  357 Spuren von Alltagsmagie in Bauernhäusern aus Nordwestdeutschland Heinrich Stiewe Magical dwelling: apotropaic building practices in the New World  373 Dutch Cultural Hearth Walter Richard Wheeler .

The burials of two men can be dated to the 8th century. There are burials of three men. Ruralia XI. RÉSUMÉ * Institute of Archaeology. medieval northern Croatia. mais en dehors du sol béni des ttkalcec@iarh. The identity of the community and the identity of the individual The burial of the deceased within the settlement in the Middle Ages in Northern Croatia Siniša Krznar & Tatjana Tkalčec * ABSTRACT Burying the deceased within the settlement area but outside of consecrated ground of the cemetery that belonged to the community was considered as unusual throughout the Middle Ages. and one individual of unknown sex and age. they emphasise the need for a special consideration of similar cases in subsequent periods when Christianity was fully established. cemetery.) 2017: Religion. 253-262. C.hr L’inhumation des défunts au sein-même des cités. Only within the well- known archaeological context can we discuss with more certainty specific relationships between the particular identity of the deceased and community identity. – Theune. était un acte rare tout au long du Moyen in: Bis-Worch. but for other age categories these historical sources mostly remain silent. pp. Identité de la communauté et identité de l‘individu: l’inhumation des défunts au sein des Zagreb. one to the 14th century. Although there a number of interpretations offered by Western and Central European archaeologists for such burials during the early Middle Ages. C. 253 . a foetus to the second half of the 14th century and the new-born in a pot to the period from the 15th – 17th century. A relatively small number of burials within settlements were found in Northern Croatia. Archaeology may provide a large contribution by defining whether the burial took place within the village on a private household plot or on the communal village property. Croatia cités du nord de la Croatie au Moyen Âge skrznar@iarh. Keywords: Unusual burials. cults & rituals in the medieval rural environment. Sidestone Press (Leiden). This paper presents possible interpretations of these unusual burials that occur within the settlement but outside of regular cemeteries.hr cimetières appartenant à la communauté. Some historical sources testify to cases of hidden burials of small children within the settlement or settlement structures – in such cases it usually occurred because of infanticide. two very small children (a foetus and a new-born). (eds.

and were associated with the Slavic within which the deceased was buried. From the 12th 254 religion. were recorded A common form of burying the deceased in the Middle at the Vinkovci – Duga ulica site and Belišće site in the Ages in northern Croatia depends on the time period north-eastern Croatia. eines Haushaltes oder auf dem Gemeinschaftsgrund des Dorfes ereignet hat. Inhumation was the only burial rite practised the same period. deposited in Croatia during the so-called Bijelo Brdo culture. le troisième du XIVème siècle. Erst dann können wir über die spezifischen Verhältnisse zwischen der Identität ZUSAMMENFASSUNG des jeweiligen Verstorbenen und der Identität der Gemeinschaftsidentität und Einzelidentität: Gemeinschaft diskutieren. jedoch außerhalb des geweihten mittelalterliches Nordkroatien. The so-called population (Sekelj Ivančan – Tkalčec 2006. de deux enfants en bas âge (un fœtus ein unüblicher Akt. Privlaka (without the church) in the graves properly lined up – Gole Njive. Während témoignent de cas d’inhumations secrètes d’enfants en für solche Bestattungen aus dem Frühmittelalter bas âge au sein de l’agglomération ou de structures de eine Reihe von der west. als das Christentum schon völlig in enterrements d’individus plus âgés. Otok – Gradina and Nuštar inhumation next to each other. the deceased´s cremated remains. La contribution de der Gesellschaft etabliert war. Jh. Im Beitrag werden de l’Ouest et Centrale. Bestattungen von Kleinkindern innerhalb von un débat sur les rapports spécifiques entre l’identité d’un Siedlungen oder Siedlungsobjekten.Âge.und mitteleuropäischen peuplement. Cette étude fournit les interprétations possibles für zwei Männer auf das 8. les sources historiques Betracht kommt. Jh. and organised in regular rows. aber im Großen défunt donné et l’identité de la communauté sera possible und Ganzen schweigen sie in Bezug auf sonstige seulement dans un contexte archéologique bien défini. Between the late 7th and mid-8th in the later centuries of the Middle Ages in Northern century. Jh. indem sie definiert. dating urns or directly in grave-pits which were usually formed from the mid-10th – late 11th century. jedoch außerhalb von regulären processus de christianisation. Alterskategorien. und für das in einem Gefäß cas d’inhumations constatés au haut Moyen Âge ont été bestattete Neugeborene auf die Periode vom 15. war während des gesamten Mittelalters de trois hommes. Introduction as ordinary pits of circular or oval layout. cimetières. für den Fötus auf der zweiten dehors des cimetières prévus à cet effet. le fœtus dans Männer.. il conviendrait de se pencher tout mögliche Interpretationen dieser ungewöhnlichen. Zwar zeugen die où elle pourrait permettre de définir si l’inhumation est historischen Quellen vereinzelt von Fällen heimlicher. En outre. die Notwendigkeit l’archéologie pourrait ici s’avérer cruciale dans la mesure besonderer Überlegungen betont. Siedlungsareals. peu de tombes ont été Bodens eines zu einer Gemeinschaft gehörenden identifiées au sein des agglomérations. Certaines sources historiques Friedhöfen erfolgten Beerdigungen erörtert. festlegen. ob sich die Mots-clés : inhumations inhabituelles. where the deceased were buried in the burial places Avar-Slavic cemeteries in Stari Jankovci – Gatina. ein Neugeborenes) und eine Person unbekannten né a été inhumé dans un pot entre le XVème et le XVIIème Geschlechtes und Alters. Friedhöfe. intervenue sur la parcelle privée d’un ménage au sein-même sich meistens infolge Neonatizides zugetragener du village ou sur les terres collectives du village. Dans le nord de la Croatie. cependant. Auf dem Gebiet Nordkroatiens et un nouveau-né) et d’une personne de sexe et d’âge wurde eine relativ geringe Anzahl von Beerdigungen inconnus ont été identifiées. für den dritten de telles inhumations inhabituelles au sein du village. Filipec 2009).. qui étaient la plupart du temps consécutifs Archäologie angebotenen Interpretationen in à des infanticides. Die Datierung lässt sich siècle. wird für derartige Fälle aus späteren ne fournissent généralement pas d’explication pour les Zeiträumen. The was practised continuously (Sekelj Ivančan – Tkalčec 2006. cemeteries in rows are characteristic of the Early Middle On the other hand. particulièrement sur les cas de ce type constatés à l’issue du in Siedlungen. le Bestattung innerhalb des Dorfes auf der Privatparzelle nord de la Croatie médiévale. Es handelt sich um drei VIIIème siècle. zwei ganz kleine Kinder (einen Fötus und la deuxième moitié du XIVème siècle alors que le nouveau. cults & rituals in the medieval rural environment . Jh. cremation practice is also present at several sites during 196-197). en Mann auf das 14. Deux des hommes datent du in Siedlungen vorgefunden. Die Archäologie kann einen großen Beitrag leisten. at the same time at nearby Avar and Ages. Alors que de tels Hälfte des 14. bis zum 17. Siedlungsbestattungen im mittelalterlichen Nordkroatien Die Beerdigung eines Verstorbenen innerhalb des Schlagwörter: Irreguläre Bestattungen. interprétés à plusieurs reprises par l’archéologie d’Europe Jh. Ainsi les tombes Friedhofes.

So far. Stari Perkovci – Sela. Čepinski Martinci – Dubrava. Drava River valley. Torčec – Prečno Pole I. fig. Other examples are only mentioned in historical sources do not mention these occurrences.26 m2. Church organisation significantly strengthens were found. these types of burials were extremely rare. there are deviations from the usual rite. The archaeological context indicates that and several such unusual burials within the settlements the site was inhabited throughout the medieval period. 4. Novak – Krznar 2010. Seven excavations on the motorway routes and roads. Medieval settlements with burials in Northern Croatia: 1. 5. This paper is the archaeological evidence shows several examples of first attempt to present them all in one place and to try non-usual funeral practice where the deceased were to discuss their meaning in the context of the medieval not buried at the holy place (graveyard or cemetery) settlements of Northern Croatia. 2. Cemeteries were formed in those the site of the Zagreb City Museum and the discovery of churchyards as the only licenced funeral places. Donji Miholjac – Đanovci. occupying the total area of number of medieval village excavations has also increased 1. due to certain circumstances. The excavations have been conducted Since 2005. the preliminary archaeological reports. 3. 36. Stari Perkovci – Debela šuma. with the increased number of archaeological by the Institute of Archaeology from 2005 to 2008. 1. or where the manner of the burial practice itself has no correspondence to the accepted burial rites and regulations. century. Although the 28. Zagreb – Zagreb City Museum (© Siniša Krznar. the trenches were investigated.635. a grave of an older man in the rural settlement in Torčec Sometimes. (Mašić 2002. As Torčec – Prečno Pole I the archaeological research of medieval rural settlements The archaeological site of Torčec – Prečno pole I is located in Croatia in the past was occasional and of a quite north of village Torčec in the western part of the Croatian small extent. however. there are six examples of such burials. and a network of parishes develops with a number of Only two have been published – a child found in a pot at churches being built. krznar & tkalčec 255 . Tatjana Tkalčec). 5). Sekelj Ivančan 2010.Fig. One of these unusual ways of funeral practice Archaeological evidence is the occurrence of the burials within the settlement.

79). More detailed information on The deceased was a man aged between 50 and the context of the findings. fig. most probably during the phase fracture had healed well. Retz-Gajary and Stari Perkovci – Sela Baden cultures) settlements. the skeleton of an adult male was discovered. 220. which is dated with minor deviations to the north. A grave was found on the presumed north- eastern part of the pit and placed along its northern edge. Schmorl´s nodes on several vertebrae indicate calibrated result: Cal  AD 660 to 810). was a man aged between 35 and 50 years at the time of 12-13). as well as settlements from the Late Antiquity highway 5C. 36. 8th/9th century is around 80 m away from the grave. Eneolithic (Lasinja. The deceased an intense physical activity during his life (Šlaus 2006. the right knee and probably a wedge (Janeš et al. A well that the deceased was laid on his back with the legs bent preserved male skeleton. Now. osteoarthritis is recorded on the hips. indicating that the burial burial was found at the site. recorded on several vertebrae. and the close to the settlement. In that case it is also an unusual example of a solitary grave so close to the village. The later covers an area of 40. it was oriented west – east. pits. 2 Sigma left shin. dated to the 12th century. dates from the 12th to the 16th century. On the northern part. On the eastern side to the period from the first half / mid-7th to the first half in the area of the elbow. whose age at the time of death over at the knees. Based on the findings and 14C dates it was wells. 75. Sopot and Lasinja cultures) as well the surrounding soil. During the cleaning of the skeleton as early and late medieval settlements were discovered. 165-177. dating and the sex and age 60 years at the time of death. The high and late medieval settlement dated to the mid-8th century using (SU 47 – cal AD 776. It was of Archaeology of the University of Zagreb in 2006. 309-330). and The excavations were conducted by the Institute of traces of the 12th century settlement were found already Archaeology in 2007 and 2008. 4 cm tall. eastern edge of the medieval settlement. we can think of several vertebrae. found next to the skeleton dates the burial to the late 7th The arms of the deceased were extended and placed on the and the 8th century (Laboratory number: Beta-278778. Moderate degenerative osteoarthritis was according to the primary investigator. 5). no other items were found except a fragment of pottery Early medieval settlement is dated to the 8th and the beside the left foot of the deceased. However. Here we Čepinski Martinci – Dubrava must highlight that the features and structures from the The site is located on the route of the highway 5C which 14th century were widespread all around the grave. A medieval Sekelj Ivančan 2010. So the question remains open. Krešimir Filipec. Radiocarbon analysis of the charcoal was estimated at 20 to 25 years. The site and the Early Middle Ages have been excavated. He also thinks that it is possible physical labour) were recorded on several thoracic that the individual was not buried in the settlement. there was no damage 256 religion.000 m2 and it was investigated by the settlements were situated in two locations of the excavated Croatian Conservation Institute in 2006. established that the medieval settlement existed during It was found in an elongated pit of an irregular shape. It was a shallow Although the skeleton was quite damaged. item in a given context.000 m2 and it was investigated by the Department pit-structure (Sekelj Ivančan 2010. Two pottery shards were found in the grave death. was found in the grave. one runs through Croatia from Beli Manastir and Osijek to of the pits cutting the very grave.Five settlement phases spanning from the second half Stari Perkovci – Debela šuma of the 6th century to the beginning of the 14th century Like the previous site this one is also located on the route were distinguished based on the findings and radiocarbon of the highway 5C. 2016). fig. Traces of a severe infection were observed on the Conventional radiocarbon age: 1280±40 BP.). The site covers an area of 40 m from the grave. the skeleton was cut by a pit / middle of the 8th century. The settlement from the Svilaj. Schmorl’s nodes (skeletal indicators of hard or to the 8th/9th century. 6-10). etc. took place at the end of the Torčec II phase. The bone sample was 9th century. on determinations (Sekelj Ivančan 2010. dated to the 14th century. respectively on the Osijek – Đakovo route section. fig. The site covers an area A human skeleton was found next to the burial of a of 59. the Đakovo – Sredanci section. but vertebrae. Bronze Age settlement and The Stari Perkovci-Sela site lies also on the route of the cemetery. were found. He was about 170 ± of the deceased have not yet been published. Indicators of rheumatoid arthritis have some intriguing possibilities for the interpretation of that also been implicated (Vyroubal –Bedić 2015. it was obvious burial (c. 10 cm) oriented northwest – southeast. both hips. the 14th and the beginning of the 15th century (Haraša stretching west-east (SU 6283). on the Đakovo – Sredanci section. knees and the grave could be dated either to the 12th/13th century shoulders. It was buried in the – Bekić 2007). He was about 171 cm tall. pelvis. further south to the river Sava. Moderate degenerative backfill as well as one iron object next to the right foot. 28. However. cults & rituals in the medieval rural environment . in and Roman settlements as well as the medieval settlement the surrounding of settlements features (dwellings. not possible to differentiate the backfill of the grave from Prehistoric (Starčevo.000 m2 and includes several lowland settlements from different periods. The prehistoric area (Kalafatić 2009. The deceased broke his left fibula. 1). 22.

The similarities are related to Miholjac and covers an area of 6.de). social consciousness of wider to this context. This then buried in the pit on the edge of the village. we should also take into consideration the mutual relationships and intertwining of these two identities. 36. The foetus found inside the shallow preserved pit at Donji Miholjac – Đanovci site was between 30 and 32 weeks old at the time of death. radiocarbon age: 560±18 BP (DeA-7936. moreover inside the feature or a dwelling. their A specific example of the child burial was found in spatial organization is still not well known. the latter is more similar to the much bones and charcoal were also found in the backfill of the younger burial found at Stari Perkovci – Sela. an individual became a member of sterile soil. Burials of children in settlements from Croatia belong The bones of a new-born were placed in a ceramic vessel to the late medieval and early modern period. Boris of the society from their very birth developed much later.15 m and a depth of 25 the settlement. which was quite an horizontal stratigraphy where the Eneolithic. dimensions 2. 211-220). both male burials dated to the 8th century have some route of the south ring road around the town of Donji similarities and differences. but mostly in the was overlain by the convent of the Poor Clares. and of a community that has decided to that the wedge served as some kind of a protective object bury a certain individual in such an unusual way. a partially preserved skeleton of a foetus aged 30-32 while the deceased from Torčec was buried within the weeks was unearthed (Tkalčec 2015. However. individual University of Zagreb from 1990 to 1995. There were no indications of pathological changes on the 14th century. This was certainly a Discussion premature birth. cm). The main medieval settlements were found (Tkalčec 2015). This is a site with a wide and the other between 50 and 60.600 m2. Maybe this way of burial raises many questions about the reasons was a still-born child who did not manage to be baptised leading to it and questions concerning the identity of and did not have the right to be buried in the churchyard. It is a multi. The collapse of to bury the unbaptised children at the cemetery. In the first half of the 17th century the entire area appeared in the High Middle Ages. According Late Middle Ages. in the the building can be dated to the beginning of the 15th church or at least next to the cemetery. Of which should prevent the dead to leave the grave. settlement area but outside of any facility. one was between 35 and 50 years old during the spring 2015.calpal-online. According to Vyroubal – Bedić 2015. course. Isotoptech Zrt. 39. The effort as a drainage pit for the surrounding area. The deceased from Stari Perkovci – Sela the foetal bones. for example boundaries of villages. Since the settlements where these skeletons were found Zagreb – Zagreb City Museum have yet not been fully investigated or published. Within difference between these two burials lies in the fact that the late medieval settlement at the bottom of a shallow the deceased from Čepinski Martinci was buried inside pit (SU 60. yards or residential buildings. and b) analysis of the child’s bone resulted with conventional the presence of a metal object in the grave. The excavation of sex and age at death – in both cases the buried individual the site has been conducted by the Institute of Archaeology was an adult man. This former cellar has later functioned with funeral rites practised by the community.. animal this characteristic. Archaeological excavations at the site were the deceased and some significant boundaries in the conducted by the Department of Archaeology of the landscape. Mašić believes that this act is a cover-up of infanticide of along with the development of the secular civil society an unwanted child. murder were observed on any of the three male skeletons. at Zagreb in the area where today the Zagreb City Museum the moment we cannot discuss the relationship between is situated. of town was an ideal place to hide the act (Mašić 2002). Calendaric age 1365±38 AD (calibration: diseases or any traces of violence indicating a possible http://www. Donji Miholjac – Đanovci Of the small number of such burials discovered to The site of Donji Miholjac – Đanovci is located on the date. and one could be buried basement belonged. had already century. Silt and mud have been deposited during the the community only after baptism. krznar & tkalčec 257 . 4-5). dated to pit. a drainage pit on the edge (Unger 2007. eg.to the foot bones which would certainly occur in case the deceased. fig. In this case. the pot and the infant in it can be dated to social classes about the acceptance of children as members the period between the 15th and the 17th centuries. 45-46. Pottery shards. Therefore. The pit and the burial of the child can differs from the two previously mentioned in two aspects: be dated to second half of the 14th century. daub. Radiocarbon a) a much lower age-at-death of only 20 – 25 years. It was perhaps put into a pot (the bones The burial of a deceased individual within settlement were found on the fragment of the bottom of a pot) and during the Middle Ages is not a usual occurrence. In Catholic in a layer of mud which has filled the basement dug into societies of that time. Then the community period after the collapse of the building to which the was taking care of one’s soul. Roman and advanced age for the period of the 8th century. No specific pathological changes indicating severe Debrecen).5x2. layered site inhabited from prehistoric times until today.

Did the community separation of the community inside the boundaries from have a special relationship to this premature infant or those outside them (Sofild 2015. as marking spots for the still-borns at that time was very high. There are a large number of ‘special or placed deposits’. no Furthermore.But the question is why it was not buried where the other (the house walls. 383-384). so they were buried within activities are much more oriented to the identity of the or at the edge of the village. or indeed such burials might have had a buried on the consecrated Christian cemeteries. so it is very likely that the women attempted has already been established we have even more explicit to conceal such crime by throwing and hiding the dead written evidence on those who were considered not to children bodies in the drainage or waste pits. status within the community. the community did not want to reject them completely. However. was it just a case of a hidden pregnancy and deliberate While previously mentioned theories refer to burials abortion? The circumstances of the burial of a new-born in settlements in a very early medieval period in the in Zagreb are clearer. There are foreigners. valid norms and laws of the society. because the death rate of new-borns and but also conceptual boundaries. number of papers and several synthetic studies showing committers of serious crimes. interpreted as graves of ‘founding fathers’. unbaptized children were buried? There must have been they have probably served to highlight certain physical a lot of them. These graves are scattered around the village. infanticide was punishable the common cemetery. Anti- community and confirm their land rights (Theuws 1999). 2010b). and often differently oriented. features and they are mainly associated with certain spatial boundaries dwellings. suicides. For the period when Christianity by death. ditches and fence yards or village fences). those who have died in the mortal two basic approaches to the issue: the burials in the sin. In medieval Slavonia. Apart from being buried in have marked some crucial events and milestones such as graves within the settlement. As were buried in the very settlement structures. the burials within the settlements in such other objects and findings except the skeleton were found an early medieval period are discussed in context of (Hanuliak 2010a. In these cases. and practitioners of magic. drowning. Sofield 2015). pagans. painful death or death in Ages has been discussed by European scholars in a childbirth. due to for their bad actions (Hanuliak 2010a). cults & rituals in the medieval rural environment . and death prevented These historical examples suggest that the most common them from making repentance and making amendment victims of infanticide were illegitimate children. have been full members of Christian community or Although this topic has yet not attracted the whose death was considered as ‘unclean’. vampire activities were often observed. the isssue of of such ‘unclean deaths’ are rapid and unexpected deaths burials outside the regular graveyards in the Middle due to an accident. neutral or we could even say a positive connotation. and the (Hamerow 2006. The graves of adult men in Merovingian buried in a common cemetery and hence some of them settlements dated to the 7th century are sometimes might have been buried in the settlement area. people of other faiths. away the settlement and whose role is now to protect the from each other. In the latter aspect the interpretations of such funeral and there was no fear of them. Furthermore. Karbić they could not have been buried in consecrated ground of 2002). usurers. Its dead body was deposited in area of Western Europe. In most cases. Here we can agree with the opinion concerned with the identification of the deceased buried in of Boris Mašić that this was most probably a cover-up of a settlement as outcasts who have gained an uncommon. These A large number of burials inside the settlement area individuals were not necessarily the actual heads or were recorded in south-western Slovakia and date back founders of the communities. on 14 sites 43 deceased the establishment or abandonment of the settlement. heretics. This opinion is also confirmed by historical mostly negative. 379-380). excommunicated individuals. Central European scholars take the pot at the edge of the settlement and thrown into a into consideration these possibilities but they are more muddy drainage pit. 134. as can be seen on the examples children in this group probably because of the fact that of Anglo-Saxon graves from the 5th to the 9th century they have not yet become full members of a society. The burials (Hanuliak 2006. As we can see there were many community while the buried individual itself had no categories of people who were not allowed to have been crucial role. but settlement had a sort of negative connotation to the also unbaptised children were not allowed to have been community. It is proposed that the child mortality rate was high due to sickness and accidents very act of deposition had an important role. infanticide. these were mostly adults of both 258 religion. What matters is the ritual to the 9th and the 10th century. Some examples attention of Croatian archaeologists. There were 194 such of the burial and creating a common identity and memory burials (mainly children and adult men) found on 35 of a common ancestor who was directly connected with sites. Another possible a mother´s fear of social condemnation and material reason is the unusual death or unclear circumstances of problems associated with the maintenance of a child born the death of the deceased that have led to the fact that outside legitimate marriage (Horvat 1942. These were evidences on court proceedings that took place in Zagreb the individuals who in some way had blemished and violated and Varaždin against a women accused for such a crime. all the complexity of possible interpretations.

who was buried just in time of the of a burial within a certain private household or yard. The reasons for these later unusual latter. And while for pre-Christian populations and Burials found within early to high medieval period communities in whom the Christian doctrine still was settlements were also in the focus of academic research not fully stabilised we could apply almost all provided in Moravia and Bohemia (Tomková 2010. If the identity of the deceased. traces of lethal violence on his skeleton and because of his 372-380). and the borders of private and common plots. However. as they rarely or ones who have buried his dead body have had a reflect the marginalised and risky manner of burial of the negative perception of him. (Hanuliak 2006. but could not have been buried in the hallowed ground of rather to the fate of the poor and unfortunate. which one should not connect to the elite. marked the abandonment.sexes. and the violent and criminal acts (Unger burials within settlements were probably public events 2010). outside the village burial of an individual in the settlement area but often boundaries? Is it perhaps that the strong emotional ties it is very difficult to make confident conclusions and to of living family members with the deceased caused them determine why the community have buried this particular to want to bury the deceased within their household? deceased at that particular place. the burials in settlements in later periods 2010). his way of life and and the Middle East. krznar & tkalčec 259 . we may assume that it was a death the area of the present-day Slovakia have become rarer. For the men from Čepinski Unfortunately. religious or the dead body. Krupičková interpretations. ritualistic aspects. especially for the early modern periods. allow that burial to take place within the village and There are indeed many reasons that could lead to the not somewhere else in the landscape. the Mediterranean with. hidden burials due to infanticide or. Burials in settlements occur from prehistory to the which the whole village community was acquainted Middle Ages in a wide area of Europe. deliberate abortion. For the burials of small children from but occasionally they occur also in the late medieval and Donji Miholjac – Đanovci and Zagreb. 377-378). As there were no been buried inside settlement features (Hanuliak 2006. and only exceptionally children. there is not enough dead within the settlement area. in the the edge of the village. according to the irregular or non. a man buried at the edge the burial from Stari Perkovci-Debela šuma. the question is why did the community for the later periods (Bozuek 2010). especially the cemetery. abandonment of the settlement (the end of the second In cases of burials on common land in the village or at phase of the settlement in the 8th century). The pit we could perhaps consider the option that the one situation is no better with historical sources. After the 10th century such unusual burials in age of 20 to 25 years. social. and it is also doubtful if the burial took place in Dubrava. and in general they represent an the circumstances of death led to the fact that the person anomaly. provide enough insight about the infrastructure of the standard position of the deceased´s body in the elongated village. With the within the settlement areas were examined from different exception of cases that conceal the murder by burying viewpoints: chronological aspects. information about the stratification and the settlement infrastructure so that deeper reflections on the internal reasons of the community to bury the deceased in that Acknowledgments specific manner couldn´t have been set out. Dangerous century when the Christian identity of the community people (in the eyes of the community) such as victims of certainly was entirely established and it is unlikely that he conflicts and also hidden victims of murders could have was buried in terms of special deposits. due to an infection. Some possible reasons for the occurrence of burials leave us with even more unanswered questions. The strong emotional bond between the living and the Perhaps we could perceive the case of burial of dead becomes more prominent particularly in the case a man in Torčec. for example in the basement or in a pit. we would like to thank Krešimir the early Middle Ages or in the 12th century. while to the time of the 14th and at the beginning of the 15th other finds and objects in graves are also rare. we could think of the perception context of the theory of special or placed deposits that of the general community regarding the deceased. In the case We wish to thank our colleague Hrvoje Kalafatić for of the individual from Stari Perkovci-Debela šuma site we providing us with the unpublished radiocarbon data and lack even basic information about the age and sex of the all information about the burial from Čepinski Martinci- deceased. in the case of Donji often caused by unsafe state of war or criminal activities Miholjac. In contrast Filipec for his oral communication about the context of to the burial of the 8th century. Furthermore. we can assume with great probability that they were burials usually refer to various epidemics or violent deaths. archaeological information often does not Martinci-Dubrava. In these burials of the settlement at the Stari Perkovci – Sela site belongs anti-vampire activities are also frequently found.

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Jewish or pagan. Rituals concerning the protection of buildings and persons which focus on objects attributed with religious qualities are another area explored. faith and religious practices can provide a deep insight into historical societies. cultes et rituels au milieu rural médiéval ISBN 978-90-8890-486-8 edited by CHRISTIANE BIS-WORCH & CLAUDIA THEUNE Sidestone Press Sidestone ISBN: 978-90-8890-486-8 RURALIA XI 9 789088 904868 RURALIA XI . Kulte und Rituale in der mittelalterlichen bäuerlichen Umgebung Réligion. Through religion. CULTS & RITUALS IN THE MEDIEVAL RURAL ENVIRONMENT The study of belief. as they often deviate from normal practice and shed light on particular communities and their beliefs. of medieval settlement and rural life. holy wells and hermitages are discussed. in September 2015. Luxemburg. multi-layered and complex cultural norms are expressed. Through archaeological research it is possible to gain an understanding of popular religion of medieval and early modern times and also to draw conclusions about religious ideas that are not written in documents. The addressed subjects were the theme of an international conference of the RURALIA association held in Clervaux. popular devotion and belief in a rural environment can include practices that are out with those of the official religion. whether Christian. Muslim. and to make archaeological CULTS & RITUALS results available to other disciplines. RURALIA XI RELIGION. By bringing together these topics this book is of particular interest to scholars working in the field of archaeology. Ruralia promotes the archaeology RELIGION. archaeologically comparable studies. Furthermore burials of children. monasteries. cult and rituals. revenants and the condemned are analysed. They form a constant of human IN THE MEDIEVAL RURAL ENVIRONMENT RELIGION. Some of these practices discussed in this book can be investigated through archaeology. Important religious sites like churches. CULTS & RITUALS behaviour. However. Current research questions in rural archaeology are discussed in an European wide context. demonstrating group affiliation. mosques and synagogues as well as caves. and the development of. The aim is to strengthen the exchange of knowledge in. history and cultural anthropology. IN THE MEDIEVAL RURAL ENVIRONMENT Religion.