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P-s 265




Centar za balkanoloska ispitivanja
Zcntrum flir Balkanforschungcn '--

Knjiga/Band 30

(]et! en ksc h riji

4 L.____ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Poscban otisak/Sondcrdruck


Multi-headed "Pins"
of the Donja Dolina Type Revisited
Nives Majnaric-Pandiic

This type of pin had been noted from as far back as Truhelka's excavation
at the beginning of the twentieth century of the Donja Dolina pile-dwelling
settlement and the cemetery on terraces "na gredama" .1 Truhelka considered
them "mysterious objects", and, on the basis of one grave, as possible belt
pendants, as will be mentioned later. All later authors, nonetheless, interpreted
them without qualifications as pins, 2 and so we will also treat them here as pins
for clothing or other attire, but we shall also cite problems related to their final
interpretation. In general, they follow the broad taste in pin formation with
multiple heads in the late Bronze and the early Iron Age, but they are quite
distinct, clearly defined typologically, and they appear in only two variants
(fig. 1).
At Donja Dolina, they were found in eight graves and several were also
found outside of the preserved grave units or at the settlement. B. Covic redefi-
ned them and paid great attention to them in his synthesis of the newly distin-
guished cultural group - Donja Dolina - Sanski Most, in a detailed analysis of
the characteristic types of the group. 3 He called them the Donja Dolina type,
which has been entirely confirmed by archaeological evidence to the present,
and emphasized that they were characteristic of warrior graves, that they
usually replaced fibulae in them, and that they were in use in phases 2a and
2b of the Donja Dolina - Sanski Most group, which would be approximately
synchronous with the second half of the 7th century and the first half of the 6th
century BC. They appear sporadically in phase 2a, and in great quantities in
phase 2b. Covic further emphasized that, according to its origins, this type of
pin belonged to the horizon of jewelry made in a combination of bronze (cast
upper section - the head of the pin, most often formed from 7-10 discs) and

1 Truhelka 1904.
2 Covic 1987; Vejvoda Mirnik 1971; Maric 1964.
3 Covic 1987, 232-286, 241, 246.

iron, of which just the shank was made, sometimes as thin as a wire, inserted
into the cast bronze section. It should be added that the specimens are typo-
logically all very uniform, that their discs mainly have the same dimensions,

carefully decorated with incised concentric circles on the lateral sides. Only
the upper surface differs somewhat in form. The only variant noted at Donja
Dolina was an alternation between discs of larger and smaller dimensions. 4
Thus we are faced with a uniform type, most probably produced in a
limited area. Covic suggested that the pins had perhaps not been worn in
pairs, but rather the cast multi-headed sections had been inserted into the 5

iron pin on both the upper and lower ends, i.e. that the "pair" of pins in fact
were the head and stopper of a pin. However, it seems that there are no valid
arguments for such an idea, as the rare graves where pins were documented in 3 4
situ, such as the warrior grave 52 from the terrace" greda" of M. Petrovic Jr. 5
and the grave of the richly outfitted woman with a diadem from the terrace "s Fig. 1. 1-4, Donja Dolina (after Truhelka 1904.);
greda" ,6 have pins placed parallel to one another, in the first grave across the 5 Gogo~u; 6 Ferigile (after Vulpe 1967.)
left thigh, and in the second grave across the left shin. Their position clearly
indicates that the cast sections were placed like heads of pins, but it is not
clear what function they performed in the equipment of the deceased in both
cases. Truhelka thought that these specimens in the female grave represented
pendants on a richly outfitted belt; this, however, is unlikely. It is impossible
today to determine whether these pins arrived in the grave as part of the attire
of the deceased, perhaps threaded through a cloak thrown over the deceased,
or they may have attached the shroud of the corpse. Nonetheless, only one
would be required for the latter. The pins were as a rule found in pairs, except
in warrior grave 38 from the terrace of M. Petrovic Jr., where three specimens
were placed in the grave. 7 There are indications that only one pin was placed in
female graves 8 According to Truhelka's publication of Donja Dolina in WMBH
IX, the pins were discovered at various positions on the deceased.
Other than at Donja Dolina, where by far the largest number of exam-
ples were found, with a total of 19 pins, 1 pair of each were published from
the tumulus cemetery at Kaptol, 9 and from Glasinac- Sokolacko polje.l 0 The
excellently preserved pair from Glasinac was connected by a small bronze
chain, traces of which in the form of small circlets for the attachment can
also be seen on some examples from Donja Dolina. They unfortunately come
from a tumulus with several unpreserved grave units. The reason we wished

4 Truhelka 1904, PI. 75; fig. 1 in this type.

5 Truhelka 1904, PI. 41, 12-22.
6 Truehlka 1904, PI. 40.
Fig. 2. Map ofpins spread: Don}a Dolina, Kap_to_l, Glasinac,
7 Truhelka 1904, PI. 49, 1-12.
Satin, Gogo.Ju, Curtea de Arges, Ferzgzle
8 Truhelka 1904, PI. 42.
9 Vejvoda Mirnik 1971, PI. 10.
10 Fiala 1895, 24-25, Fig. 63.
to reconsider these pins is the discovery of three examples far from this nar- outfitted warrior graves, most often with equipment consisting of two iron
row region of distribution: at the cemetery of Ferigile and another two nearby spears, a dagger, and simple attire elements. The same situation occurred in
cemeteries of the same period and cultural affiliation, at Gogo§U and Curtea the warrior grave at Kaptol, at a site which otherwise does have true princely
de Arge§, 11 and in the Romanian Danube basin, in western Oltenia. graves, both in terms of the finds and the grave structure. A pair of Donja
We have stated that Donja Dolina was the site of the origin and fashion Dolina pins was found in tumulus 7, in cremation grave 1, along with a badly
of this type, as is confirmed by the currently known distribution of the pins. damaged iron spear, three iron axes, and a whetstone, all of which date the
This is not unusual, as Donja Dolina was also the source of other distinctive grave unit to the second half of the 7th century BC, and represents the average
types. This refers primarily to two types of disc fibula, 12 one from the early warrior equipment. 17
Iron Age, and the other from the transition from the early to the late Iron A pair of excellently preserved pins connected by a small chain was found
Age. It is quite natural that such a developed and propulsive trade center, at Glasinac in tumulus II at the site of Sokolacko. The grave units were not
maintaining connections even with far distant regions, 1 3 and located at the distinguished in the tumulus, so the context of the pins remains unknown.l
dividing point between various styles, should create its own individual forms. It is interesting that at Sanski Most, a site closely related to Donja Dolina,
It is interesting that at this trade and communication cent er, through not a single find of multi-headed Donja Dolina pins was discovered in the
which considerable quantities of valuable goods passed, requiring protection earliest graves from the first half of the 6th century. Searching through the
and supervision, no true "princely" graves have been discovered to the present. literature we have not come across other finds of such pins either in Syrmia,
There are very rich warrior graves at Donja Dolina, such as those with Illyrian- Serbia, or at other Bosnian sites.
Grecian helmets, shields of southern Balkan characteristics, and those equip- This makes the finds of pins in Oltenia all the more interesting, from the
ped with effective striking weaponry. Nonetheless, at Donja Dolina there are no Ferigile cultural circle. 1 9 Along with sporadic finds from the cemetery of Feri-
special grave structures, sets with bronze vessels for feasts, golden jewelry, and gile, they were also discovered at the sites of Gogo§U and Curtea de Arge§u. All
similar" princely" grave goods, only individual expensive imported items, such three sites are located in the immediate vicinity of one another, but the finds
as bronze vessels; 14 all of this indicates a different social population structure of pins are entirely undocumented, or unpublished, and are very negligently
of Donja Dolina, different from the social structure common in the other early described in the monograph on the cemetery of Ferigile. 20 Vulpe otherwise
Iron Age "princely" centers, such as those in Lower Carniola, Medimurje, and noted numerous contacts with Donja Dolina in terms of various forms of the
the Drava River basin, as well as in the nearby Pozega basin. 5th and 5th centuries BC. The pins from the Ferigile circle give rise to the very
Covic emphasized that multi-headed pins of the Donja Dolina type belon- interesting question as to how they arrived there from more western areas.
ged to warrior equipment and, in principle, this corresponds to the archaeolo- It has become common to write about the flow of cultural and stylistic
gical evidence. However, the female graves that were published in a pedantic elements, technology, and even peoples from the east towards the west, into
fashion by Truhelka indicate that such pins also belonged to women's attire. the Pannonian Danube basin, while connections in the opposite direction have
This is quite clear in the case of the grave of the woman with a diadem, been neglected. It is highly unlikely that the examples found in Oltenia were
with the general designation "from a terrace- sa greda" ,15 and very probably local products imitating models from Donja Dolina. This was a specific and
also in the case of another two graves that could be female: grave 1 from the very simple form distributed in a limited region.
terrace (greda) of M. Petrovic Jr., and grave 8 from the terrace (greda) of Ivo Many prominent Romanian prehistorians noted currents from the west in
Stipencevic. 16 In the latter two graves, the pins were placed as single examples, this part of the Oltenian region during the discovery of the Basarabi group,
not as pairs. and its earliest appearance at the site of Balta Verde. This was most cle-
Thus, it can be concluded that the multi-headed Donja Dolina pins were arly stated by V. Dumistrescu, who excavated the cemetery at Basarabi. He
placed both in richly and averagely outfitted female graves, and in moderately perceived an Illyrian element in the origin of the Basarabi decorative style,
in the burial ritual, and the basic forms of weapons and attire. His opinions
11 Vnlpe 1967, 90, fig. 33, 3; 58, 19.
12 Covic 1987, PI. 25:5; 27:12; 19:14. 17 Vejvoda Mirnik 1971, 195-196, PI. 10; Covic 1987, 249.
13 Vasic 1975; Chochorowski 1985, 72-73, Abb. 16-17; Vulpe 1967 18 Fiala 1895, 24-25, Fig. 63.
14 Covic 1987, 245. 19 Vulpe 1967, 90, fig. 33, 3; 19, n. 4; 198, PI. 26, 10 (20); fig. 1 in this text.
15 Truhclka 1904, PI. 40.
:?O Vulpe 1967.
16 'Il·uhelka 1904, PI. 42, 1-11; PI. 75, 4-14.
21 Dumistrescu 1968; 1970.

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were later entirely rejected, and insistence was placed on a strong influence of one of these two distant areas, especially now, at a time when absolute dates
from the Basarabi sphere towards the west. The Basarabi Culture and after are being raised significantly into the past in various chronological discussions
. ' (Pare 1998). Gustin himself noted that the relation of the Basarabi group to
it Ferigile, evolved from local roots, through uninterrupted development, but
with strong influences from the east from the Pontic-Lower Danubian areas, the Balkan and southeastern Alpine region had not yet been studied. 28
first from the Cimmerian, and later from the Scythian spheres22 Dumitrescu Ever since the "historical" interpretation of a "Thraco-Cimmerian inva-
introduced his theory in special studies on the distribution, chronology, and sion" became irrelevant. 2 9 as it was established that influences and elements
from the east had long had influence on the Carpathian Danube basin, causing
origin of individual forms present throughout a broad region, such as double
there local production according to eastern models, totally integrated into the
looped bow fibulae and single-bladed curved swords, known as machaira. Thus
local culture, and almost certainly the ethnic milieu. It is difficult to maintain
Illyrian influences seemed convincing to him. Nonetheless, even fundamental
the thesis that the Basarabi and Ferigile complexes were the source and per-
discussions, such as that on double-looped bow fibulae 23 could not on the basis
manent breeding grounds of new forms at the beginning of the early Iron Age
of the current archaeological information answer important questions about
and during its further development. In fact, the archaeological evidence shows
the origin of this type, its further spread, nor determine the area in which
the existence of a large and mutually related area in which at approximately
the basic type was first created. It is visible on Gabrovec's distribution maps
the same time the same basic types appeared with regional typological vari-
that some types, particularly 1, 7, and 8, can be found both in the central ants. This area encompasses the northwestern and central Balkans, southern
Balkans and in the Lower Danubian region, particularly in the framework of Pannonia, and the western part of the Romanian-Bulgarian Danube basin.
the Basarabi and Ferigile groups. "They appear at approximately the same Large movements of peoples, and the conquest and colonization of new areas
time in these areas and it is not possible to point to an area of origin. Several cannot be documented archaeologically either for the 8th or the 7th or the 6th
types appear at the very beginning, and they can barely be either connected centuries BC.30 Even Vulpe himself, the proponent of an autochthonous Thra-
or derived from a single primary type" .24 cian development of the Basarabi and Ferigile cultures, and the expansion of
In terms of the appearance of tumuli with multiple graves, it should be their cultural elements towards the west, emphasizes that the numerous finds
noted that in the western and central Balkans they existed throughout the of Basarabi style decorated pottery in Vojvodina and Serbia do not indicate a
entire Bronze Age and continued into the early Iron Age, but in Oltenia they change of population there, but they should rather be observed and evaluated
replaced the previous cremation burial in fiat graves only at the beginning of in the framework of regional cultural development. 31
the early Iron Age. 25 However, the complicated issue of these relations should In the recent period, we nonetheless can come across successful attempts
be put to the side here. to exhibit the mobility of individuals through archaeological means. Their at-
Gustin distinguished two basic types of machaira that appeared from the tire, complete or merely partial, when it is found at a distant spot from the
very beginning of the early Iron Age: the Basarabi type and the Trzisce-Donja usual area of distribution, indicates the probable presence of a person from
Dolina type. 26 Gustin seemed to suggest that the machaira was a primary another cultural or ethnic milieu. 32 In this sense the three multi-headed pins
form in the Basarabi group, and that from there, together with other eastern of the Donja Dolina type found in western Oltenia seem interesting. Despite
types, primarily Thraco-Cimmerian elements of horse equipment and a stylP. their entirely insufficient archaeological documentation, i.e. lack of knowledge
of pottery decoration, it spread to the west. Nonetheless, fine examples of of the context in which they were found, they are entirely foreign bodies in the
machaira swords of the Basarabi type have been found in Styria and Lower cultural milieu of the Ferigile group. Such a simple piece of jewelry, limited in
Carniola- in a warrior grave from a tumulus at Legen near Slovenj Gradec, and terms of manufacture and use to its limited region, as has been established,
in the "princely grave with a machaira' from Novo Mesto at Kapitelske njive could hardly have arrived in Oltenia as an object imported from the west as
- indicating the approximate contemporaneity of their appearance in the east part of trade or some similar contact. Although it is difficult to compare them
and the west.27 To be specific, we cannot determine the chronological priority because of the major lack of uniformity in the drawings - the excellently illu-
strated examples in WMBH 3 and 9 and the very poorly presented specimens
Vulpe 1965; 1967; 1981.
23 Gabrovec 1970 28 Gustin 1974, 83.
24 Gabrovec 1970, 25 and 32. 29 Kossack 1980; Metzner-Nebelsick 1998
25 Covic 1963; Garasanin 1979; Kosoric 1976. 30 Metzner-Nebelsick 1998.
26 Gustin 1974. 31 Vulpe 1981, 184-185.
27 Stare 1974; Knez 1993. 32 Jockenhovel 1991; Bietti Sestieri 1992; Bouzek 1997; Terzan 1995, 97.

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in the Romanian monograph on Ferigile (Fig. 1) - only such a modest form 14. Jockenhovel A. 1991, Riiumliche Mobilitiit von Personen in der mittleren
of jewelry might well bear witness of three individuals who had arrived from Bmnzezeit des westlichen Mittelev.ropa, Germania 69 (Frankfurt 1991) 49 i d.
the west in Oltenia, or who had jewelry made there in line with their taste 15. Knez T. 1993, Novo Mesto III (Novo Mesto 1993).
and customs. In conclusion, other finds of the so-called Thraco-Cimmerian 16. Kosoric M. 1976, Kulturni, etnicki i hronoloski problemi ilir-skih nekmpola
type from Donja Dolina, such as are known in addition to the Pannonian Podr·inja (Tuzla 1976).
17. Kossack G. 1980, "Kirnmer-ische" Bronzen, Situla 20-21 (Ljubljana 1980)
regions by the Ferigile group, and certain common fibula forms of the 5th
and 5th centuries that exhibit a common orientation towards Macedonia and 18. Maric Z. 1964, Donja Dolina, Glasnik Zemaljskog muzeja 19 (Sarajevo
. 33 b ear witness
Ser b Ia, . to mutual contacts between the Sava River valley and 1964).
the Romanian Danube basin. 19. Metzner-Nebelsick C. 1998, Abschied von den "Thmko-Kimmer-iern"?
Neue Aspekte der Interaktion zwischen karpatcnliindischen Kulturgruppen der spiiten
Bronzezeit und friihen Eisenzcit mit der ostcnropiiischcn Steppenkoine. In: Das Kar-
patenbecken und die Osteuropaischc Steppe, Siidosteuropa-Schriften 20 (Miinchcn
1998) 361-422.
20. Pare C. 1998, Beitriige zurn Ubergang von der- Bronze - zur Eisenzeit in
Mitteleuropa, Tcil I, Jahrbuch RGZM 45 (Mainz 1998) 293-433.
21. Stare F. 1974, Grab starejseieleznodobnega bojevnika iz Legna pr-i Slovenj
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