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Zsuzsa HegedűsInstitute of Archaeological Sciences, Eötvös Loránd University, H-1088 Budapest, Múzeum körút 4/B

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Symbolic burials are well-known features of the European Neolithic and Copper Age. Contrary to the original interpretation as being the graves of those dying far from home, they are rather means of carrying complex messages within the funerary customs. By analysing 139 features in detail, it proved to be possible to better understand this complexity.

Abstract

A szimbolikus temetkezések az európai neolitikum és rézkor jellegzetes objektumai. Annak ellenére, hogy a kutatás hagyományosan úgy értelmezi őket, mint azon emberek jelképes sírjait, akik az otthonuktól távol lelték halálukat, más értelemzési módok is lehetségesek. Célszerűbb talán úgy tekinteni rájuk, mint a temetkezési szokásrendszerekben létező, komplex üzeneteket hordozó jelenségekre. Összetett szerepük jobb megértésének céljából a cikk 139 szimbolikus temetkezést elemez részletesen.

Introduction

Symbolic burials are rare, but reoccurring features of Late Neolithic and Copper Age excavations in the Carpathian Basin and the Lower Danube region. The word itself usually labels archaeological features that are “although deliberately gravelike in form and/or contents, (…) do not contain human remains”.1 So far there had been no attempt to examine these features in great detail, except for a short study on the Bulgarian Late Copper Age.2 Similarly to other works, this did not stray far from the ‘traditional’ interpretation of symbolic burials as graves for the deceased whose bodies could not have been retrieved and given a proper burial.3 In my opinion, the picture is much more complex, and the meaning and usage of symbolic burials highly exceed the boundaries of the traditional interpretation. Besides being necessary, since the aforementioned interpretation does not seem to stand its ground in every case upon closer inspection, studying symbolic burials can give us precious data on the characteristics of complex prehistoric funerary customs.

A few aspects of the vast study of funerary practices need to be taken into account when it comes to interpreting symbolic burials. It seems trivial to state that the proper treatment of the dead varies highly in space and time,4 and we should examine everything in its own context, but it highly influences the process of evaluating symbolic burials. The norm of body treatment is highly variable, each and every social group can have their own repertoire of customs. The oddities, such as symbolic burials are completely dependent upon these norms.5 Another important thing I want to point out is that we should avoid the classification of data gathered on excavations before a detailed analysis is carried out.6 This is especially important when it comes to symbolic burials, as the lack of human remains can have several explanations.

In the course of the article, after re-defining the term symbolic burial and giving a general overview of the collected data, I present a detailed list of criteria designed for sorting out, and a system for categorising the supposed symbolic burials. Three possible groups are outlined: one for the symbolic burials assigned to an individual, one for those that represent entities, and one for memorials. The examples and the evaluation of data shows how these features appear in different places and times, and how they adapt to each community’s needs of communicating different messages. Overall, as the main goal of the paper, I do not simply summarize what we already know of symbolic burials, but provide new perspectives for their interpretation.

Defining symbolic burial

As previously stated, traditionally the term is used for a feature displaying all the characteristics of a grave, with no human remains inside.7 This definition suggests a kind of equality between symbolic burials and the ‘ordinary’ ones they supposedly replace – but it is not what the data shows. Clearly there can be huge differences between symbolic burials, even the ones coming from the same site. For this reason, the term’s definition should be adjusted, as follows.

The term symbolism refers to a complex phenomenon, widely studied in archaeology – hereby, I only state a few crucial thoughts. Symbols not only represent and in cases, replace something, giving proxies in the course of interactions,8 but also alter their meaning depending on the context.9 The context and the connection between the symbol and what it symbolizes is highly changeable depending on the social behaviour.10 At the same time, symbols, as crucial tools for expression, highly influence said behaviour.11 In the case of symbolic burials, it can be said that their meaning was given to them in the context of a community’s burial rites, with the use of its toolkit, which contained several other symbolic acts in itself. And even then, the same feature could have had several meanings, depending on the observers’ relations to it.

I also find it necessary to explain why I prefer to use the term symbolic burial over symbolic grave. The original raison d’être of a grave is to house a body,12 and even though its creation is a highly complex act,13 the term burial stands for more.14 It colligates the whole process of creating a suitable locus – the grave itself –, the act of placing the dead into it, with all the connected forms of behaviour and rites. The term cenotaph is sometimes also used as a synonym for symbolic burial – however, because of its more Antiquity-related implications,15 I would avoid using it in prehistory.

Based on the above-mentioned, a more fitting definition of symbolic burial can be drawn up. It can be defined as a feature that despite lacking human remains, fits into the context of a community’s burial customs, uses its toolkit in a way that makes the carrying of a highly structured meaning possible. This creates a feature, which is in a few aspects identical to, but still, due to its wide scale of functions, much more complex than an ‘ordinary’ burial. Thus, the symbolic burial’s ability to communicate intended messages exceeds that of other burials. The community’s system of funerary customs is required to be flexible enough to enable a highly manipulative behaviour that can build extra layers of meaning on an empty grave pit. It is also important to note that this requires a strong bond within the community, as its coherence is crucial to the effectiveness of rites.16

The function and the form of the symbolic burials are highly influenced by the needs of the community. As each community had its own funerary customs, we can expect a high variation of symbolic burials, thus it is necessary to examine each feature in its own, original sociocultural context. However, if we accept that there are universal tendencies, it is possible that, amidst the right circumstances, human needs generally create similar phenomena. For example, several communities created symbolic burials fulfilling their purpose as a proxy in the course of the funeral when the body is absent, giving a focal point for the rituals, thus making the social death possible.17 This means that even though each and every symbolic burial was unique, they are still universally used means of expression. Overall, I based my study on examining each symbolic burial in the context of the site that yielded it, and only then attempted to find the meaning by what it can be fitted into a greater picture, based on the common grounds of interpretation.

Geographical and time frame

The Late Neolithic and Copper Age of the Carpathian Basin and Southeastern Europe provides several examples and a wide variety of symbolic burials. My goal by no means was to compare the data from different territories and timeframes, but rather to point out how widely the custom of creating symbolic burials spread, and how complex it was.

In the Carpathian Basin, the Copper Age custom of creating symbolic burials supposedly has its roots in the Late Neolithic.18 This period (5000–4500/4450 calBC) can be defined by the increased connectivity of people, which left its distinctive mark on the landscape, in the form of the tells on the Great Hungarian Plain and the circular enclosures of Transdanubia. Both structures symbolize how the community members worked together in creating locations serving as the scenes of rituals, assemblies. This was also part of the era’s new approach towards the land itself, leading to a more conscious behaviour than that of the pioneer cultivators.19 The complex thinking founded a belief system that did not disappear at the rise of the Copper Age (4500/4450–2800 calBC), even though the life on the tells mostly ceased, as the lifestyle shifted towards a more mobile one. Partially due to the biased research, the Copper Age is defined by the grandiose burial grounds, where the previous era’s burial customs continue, combined with the new ways of expressing status and prestige, namely placing copper and golden objects into the graves. Even still, these scenes served as the tool of bonding people together, and presumably as the place of community rituals.20 Towards the end of the Copper Age era, with the supposedly growing mobility of the communities, mostly connected to cattle herding, the cemeteries became ever so important in forming group identities. With the new, mobile lifestyle came the new ways of expressing social importance, which materialised through cattle, wagons and wagon models being placed into the graves.21

Similar tendencies can be observed at the other studied territory, the Lower Danube region. Here, even though we can pinpoint a few remnant characteristics, from the Late Neolithic (5000–4850calBC) we can see a huge upswing in the complexity of lifestyle, as the emergence of tells shows. Since the people favoured the closeness of water and used its resources like their predecessors, we can find the sites mostly along the Black Sea coast.22 From the Copper Age onward (4850–4250 calBC), communities started using and trading valuable materials such as copper, gold and Spondylus. This formed intense networks, which later catalysed the formation of great cultural complexes. During the Late Copper Age (4600–4250 calBC), more tells with complex inner structures emerged, and the cemeteries became a place of representation and the carrier of complex social messages with the splendidly rich burial assemblages. The metallurgy flourished and its products spread all across the Balkans and Central Europe. By this time, all the means were granted for the communities to express the more complex beliefs, the products of the highly connected and structured world of theirs.23

I collected 36 sites (overall yielding 2970 burials) and studied their features that, based on the literature, were considered to be symbolic burials (Fig. 1). This means 139 features in total.24 In the course of the examination, I used statistical analytical methods, mainly principal component and correspondence analysis to compare the symbolic burials to the other burials yielded by the same site. To do this, first I had to clean the pool of data of disturbed features and graves of different ages to create a sufficient database. For the sake of thoroughness, I only included sites that were published fully and in detail, or at least their general characteristics were made clear and the interpretation of symbolic burials was well-established. As my aim was to introduce a new point of view, it was crucial to be able to examine the data first-hand and not be biased by previous interpretations and opinions. Thus, Varna (No. 33), one of the most iconic sites yielding symbolic burials, was not examined, because it is not yet published in great detail and there are contradicting ideas connected to the features in question. For example, Ivan Ivanov’s morphological classification25 proved to be rather problematic – in connection with the rich, gold-furnished ‘A’ type, Javor Bojadžiev and Vladimir Slavčev came to the conclusion that the features belonging here do not actually have common characteristics.26 I also had to exclude Hajdúböszörmény-Ficsori tó-dűlő (No. 10)27 and Provadia (No. 26)28 as they are not yet fully published. There were only mentions of symbolic burials in the case of Komjatice (No. 14)29 and Pekliuk (No. 20)30 so they were also excluded. However, there were huge and well-documented sites with a great number of symbolic burials even after sorting out the data, which gave me the chance of a more detailed statistical analysis.

Fig. 1
Fig. 1

Map of sites mentioned in the article

1. kép. A cikkben megjelenő lelőhelyek

Citation: Archaeologiai Értesítő 146, 1; 10.1556/0208.2021.00011

The Examination of Symbolic Burials

In the following, I discuss the criteria system for the recognition of symbolic burials, which is crucial before a detailed analysis. Later, three main groups are drawn up, through which the different roles of symbolic burials can be understood.

Criteria for the recognition of symbolic burials

As the first step, I found it necessary to build a system of criteria capable of sorting the data. To accept that a feature is indeed a symbolic burial, the following characteristics must be true:

  1. The feature in question comes from a well-documented excavation with valid and precise observations. This point is crucial, as there is no chance of revision once a site is fully excavated. In some cases – mostly when the excavation happened long ago – the documentation and the published details can be insufficient, or the observations misinterpreted.

  2. The grave pit does not contain any traces of human remains whatsoever. It is possible for the bones to completely decompose due to several factors, like the effect of the flora and the fauna, the work of groundwater, but mostly due to the chemical characteristics of the soil.31 However, even in highly acidic soils where this phenomenon occurs, a faint trace, the “shadow” of the body can still be observed on the ground.32 The phosphate analysis of the soil is capable of detecting the chemical remnants of decomposed organic materials of greater quantity.33 The success of such examinations is highly dependent on the characteristics of the soil, and they are also unable to determine the source of the organic residue.34 This is important, as it cannot be ruled out that dummies made of organic material were used to replace the body in certain cases, as it was customary for the Romans35 and also supposedly happened at Varna.36 Nonetheless, the state of preservation of the anthropological material coming from the site can still give a general idea concerning the possible disappearance of bones. For example, cremated remains can vanish or go unnoticed easily.

  3. The feature is not disturbed at all. Strictness is necessary when it comes to this point, no matter how small the disturbance is, if the feature cannot be considered untouched, we should not accept the interpretation.

  4. The symbolic one fits into the context of other burials. This is important for providing a base for examination, but also because it is almost impossible to interpret lonely features.

Types of symbolic burials

During the examination, I took a bottom-up approach. As the funerary data is very complex,37 this examination based on each feature and building up towards general tendencies can prove to be very difficult. An artefact can have several meanings, depending on, for example, whose grave it was put into – however, if grasping tendencies is possible, it can be used as a basis of comparison. Theoretically, if a symbolic burial contains a similar assemblage as the burials of an identity group (e.g. adult males of a certain status that was expressed via placing boar mandibles and copper axes into the grave), a parallel can be drawn between them and we might assume the feature in question was assigned that certain identity. After examining each feature in its own context, it is possible to group them by the meaning they held, and to find universally shared motifs. For this, it shall be accepted that there are universal structures in human thinking and behaviour, thus the same conditions trigger similar res– ponses.38

Based on the possible interpretations and ideas appearing in archaeological and ethnographical literature in connection with symbolic burials, they can be divided into three groups and interpreted in different ways. The main axis along which they can be divided and grouped is the purpose they were created to fulfil. All of them was used as a form of expression in a given community, with a certain agenda and given characteristics. The intention of creation, which passed through the filter of funerary customs, determined what kind of structure was made and what kind of assemblage was put into it (Fig. 2).

Fig. 2
Fig. 2

Different types of symbolic burials. Symbolic burials assigned to a person contained finds directly linked to a given identity, similarly to “normal” burials. In the cases when the community wanted to create a memorial, the space was arranged as to place the more structured feature in question to the focal point. When the symbolic burial’s goal was to pay respect to an abstract entity, objects of higher quantity and/or quality were placed into it

2. kép. A szimbolikus temetkezések különböző típusai. Az egyéneknek szánt szimbolikus temetkezések olyan leleteket tartalmaztak, melyeket egy „normális” sírban is elhelyeztek volna. Az emlékhelyek készítésekor a térrendezéssel adtak hangsúlyt a jobban strukturált szimbolikus sír különleges funkciójának. Az entitások felé irányuló tiszteletet kimutató szimbolikus sírokban a leletanyag összetétele vagy mennyisége az, ami kiemelkedő

Citation: Archaeologiai Értesítő 146, 1; 10.1556/0208.2021.00011

Symbolic burials assigned to a person

This group is in accordance with the traditional definition of symbolic burials: the purpose of the feature assigned to a person is to replace the missing body,39 when it comes to finding a focal point for the grief40 and the funerary rites.41 In the case of a death that prevents the community’s interaction with the body, a rather critical situation unfolds,42 which makes the grief work43 and social death more difficult, if not impossible.44 In such cases, the proper rituals must be performed to bring forward the emotions and processes linked to mourning, as these can give some sort of solace to the community and also to the soul of the dead. The urge of providing a proper burial to the dead is so great, that in the belief system of several communities we can see examples of the dead coming back and haunting the living because they did not receive the funeral they should have.45

There can be several reasons why a body cannot be retrieved – a tragic death caused by an accident, or one far from home connected to warfare are just a few of them.46 Whatever the reason was, taking into consideration that in prehistoric times there were accidents and violent conflicts, such as today, we should not find it strange that some people’s remains were never returned to their community.47 However, not everyone who died far from home was given a symbolic burial, but the possibility of rite-based selection and body treatments with no archaeological evidence should be taken into account.48 We might accept that the way the symbolic burial was created refers to the one how the person would have been treated if their death had happened in the community.

A symbolic burial belongs to this group if the identity of the dead is reflected through it,49 since the community could link the feature to a specific person.50 This means that the identity was expressed in the same, or in a similar, highly structured way as it would have been if the body had been present.51 From this, we can try to reconstruct the identity given to a symbolic burial – to a certain degree, at least. Putting the belongings of the dead into an empty grave pit is a highly symbolical, but through disposing of the material mementoes of the person, also practical act.52 In this aspect, symbolic burials can be looked at from the perspective of the pars pro toto principle, meaning that the furnishing of the grave was able to carry the same meaning as the ‘complete’ burial would have.53

In almost every case, it was possible to connect an identity with the suggested reconstruction of represented sex to the features. As previously stated, it was done by comparing the symbolic burials’ assemblage to the others of its surrounding, using statistical analysis. This method is, of course, not perfect, as the complexity of identities stays hidden,54 but it still can be used for approximation. I intentionally avoided describing each culture’s ‘typical’ male or female burials, as sex might not have been the most important aspect of the identity represented in the burial.55 A method that creates looser groups based on the correlation between the finds of the grave and the biological sex of the dead might be more sensitive to the nuanced nature of identity representation. In cases, when the individual was too young for the biological sex to be determined, I used the child category. I deliberately refrain from using the term gender, as it is rather a performance and not a ‘measurable’ trait,56 and it was way too complexly structured, experienced and represented than what can be grasped by such a simple analysis of grave goods.57 Instead, I used the term sexed identity, where sex is a biologically determined characteristic, and plays a role in forming one’s identity.58 It was possible to connect the symbolic burials in question to tendencies of sexed identity representation without being misguided by outstanding assemblages. Of course, focusing on general tendencies carries a certain risk, as it is not sensitive towards the ever changing representation of one’s identity. However, as there are no other frames of reference that can be defined when it comes to assigning any type of identities to symbolic burials, this approach is still fruitful.

Symbolic burials representing an entity

This interpretation can be connected to richly furnished, almost hoard-like features.59 In the case of symbolic burials that represent an entity, the assemblage was not meant to belong to a specific person. Instead, the intent was to give a material form to an abstract identity, entity, idea,60 being in the focal point of a community ritual. The finds in the grave, which are mostly rare and valuable items, have a meaning and message of their own,61 detached from their natural scene of funerary display, the human body.62 We can assume that the deposition of artefacts and the creation of the feature is connected to the social interaction of community members.63 It is a metaphorical gesture that this materialisation of an entity and the rites connected to it happened in the context of a space as important in a community’s life as a burial ground.64 The whole act bonds together the members of the community, both in space and time.65

Symbolic burials belonging to this group must contain an outstanding assemblage. In some cases, the finds are gender-neutral, in others, they represent a strongly sexed identity.66 This identity however does not belong to a person, but is a form of representing an entity. These symbolic burials can have a central position in the cemetery, signifying their domination of the space, which also hints at a special purpose.67

Symbolic burials acting as memorials

The main purpose of symbolic burials acting as memorials is to form and manipulate the collective memory of the group.68 In the majority of cases, such features belong to a group of individuals having something in common – mainly the cause of their death. Through receiving a symbolic burial of this type, they are connected to a certain idea or ideology, thus becoming a symbol themselves.69 The function of these memorials is highly subjective. On the one hand, for the relatives of the dead associated with them, the purpose of the structure is to have something to focus their grief on.70 On the other hand, for the wider community, they symbolise the idea reflected through the dead and the message it comes with.71 Even in the case of actual grief, these features have a way of manipulating and changing the attitudes towards the dead. For example grief and sorrow can turn into a positive feeling, such as pride.72 The memorials could have also served as a tool for the manipulation of power, since they are highly capable of bonding people together and focusing their attention on a preferred message.73 Oftentimes these symbolic burials or their surroundings are structured in a specific way, to put a strong emphasis on the features themselves. They might lie in the middle of a vast open space, which could have served as an important location of communal activities.74

Discussion

After describing the different possible forms of symbolic burials, the 139 collected features can be examined in detail. This involves determining whether they are truly symbolic burials, and if so, which group they fit into the most. After this, a greater picture can be drawn, concerning their various usage during the Late Neolithic and Copper Age.

Many, overall 49 features appearing in the literature as symbolic burials, cannot be interpreted as such. Table 1. shows why certain features were excluded from the analysis (Tab. 1.). In some cases, the reason of the exclusion is that the documentation is not detailed enough, or some crucial details were overlooked during the examination. For example, it was not possible to examine Grave 37 and 262 from Zengővárkony-Igaz-dűlő (No. 36),75 because the cemetery’s find material is mixed up and the determination of the biological sex of the uncovered individuals was also problematic.76 In other cases, there were traces of human remains in the gravepit. For example, the faint traces of a fully decomposed body was observed at Poljanica (No. 25),77 and the cremated remains possibly went unnoticed in the case of Grave 4 from Ózd-Center (No. 19).78 Other features, like Grave 11 from Tiszapolgár-Basatanya (No. 32), cut in half by a pit,79 were not fit for examination, as they were disturbed. Similarly, it was impossible to analyse features with no known context, such as the supposed symbolic burial from the settlement at Gyomaendrőd-Ugari-dűlő (No. 9).80

Table 1

Features that cannot be interpreted as symbolic burials

1. táblázat. Objektumok, melyek nem tekinthetőek szimbolikus temetkezéseknek

ID of the excluded feature
No.SiteNot well-documented or misinterpretedSuspected traces of human remainsDisturbedWithout valid contextReference
2BešeňovaFeature 2Novotný 1962, 156;

Szőke–NemeSkéri 1954, 106–107.
3Budakalász-Luppa csárdaGraves 243 and 246Bondár 2009, 124–125.
4Deszk BGrave 9Bognár-Kutzián 1963, 420–421;

Bognár-Kutzián 1972, 31–32.
5DevnjaGrave 24Grave 23 and 25Lichter 2001, 401;

Payeb 2018, 48–50;

ToдoPoba-Cиmeohoba 1971, 14–15.
6DurankulakGrave 103 and 1093Todorova et al. 2002, 35; 82.
7Gelej-Kanális-dűlőGrave 196HegedűS in press;

Kemenczei 1979, 43.
8Goljamo DelčevoGrave 12 and 30Todorova 1982, 106–111;

Toдopoba 1975, 59–64.
9Gyomaendrőd-Ugari-dűlőOne feature with unknown IDGyucha 2015, 94; 200;

Zalai-Gaál 1994, 13.
11Halmeu-VamăGrave M2Grave M1Astaloş–Virag 2007, 76–77.
12Hódmezővásárhely-Bodzáspart-BangatanyaGrave 3Bognár-Kutzián 1972, 37–38.
13Hódmezővásárhely-Kishomok-Lenin TSZGrave 12Bondár–Korek 1995, 26–28.
15Konyár-Kálló érGrave 5Grave 8Bognár-Kutzián 1963, 425;

Sőregi 1933, 90–106.
17LužiankyGraves 3/1956 and 4/1956Novotný 1962, 155.
19Ózd-CenterGrave 4Kalicz 1963, 10.
21Pilismarót-BasaharcGrave 365, 384/a, 401, 405, 415 and 428Grave 402, 424 and 448Grave 339, 353, 406, 419, 445 and 447Bondár 2015, 31–91.
22Polgár-BacsókertGrave 8Patay 1958, 142–148;

Patay 1961, 68–69.
24Polgár-Csőszhalom (the tell)Grave 7Bánffy 2007, 50.
25PoljanicaOne feature with unknown IDLichter 2001, 420;

Todorova 1982,161–165.
28Sárazsadány-AkasztószerOne feature with unknown IDBognár-Kutzián 1963, 415;

Bognár-Kutzián 1970, 129.
29ŠvábyFeature 1Budinský-Krička 1959, 465;

Novotný 1962, 156.
31Tiszabábolna-SzilpusztaGrave 3Hellebrandt–Patay 1977, 43–46.
32Tiszapolgár-BasatanyaGrave 11Bognár-Kutzián 1963, 49–50.
34VillánykövesdGrave 4Dombay 1960b, 62.
35VinicaGrave 43Grave 26Lichter 2001, 437;

Paдyhyeba–Beheдикob 1976, 81.
36Zengővárkony–Igaz-dűlőGrave 37 and 262Dombay 1939, 17–18;

Dombay 1960a, 130;

Zoffmann 1974, 54.

The remaining 90 features, that are truly symbolic burials, were fit for the analysis. Overall 78 of them were created to represent actual individuals, whose sexed identity could be reconstructed in the majority of cases, as Table 2. shows (Tab. 2). This was done by the previously discussed comparative method. For example, at Tiszapolgár-Basatanya (No. 32), the lone Tiszapolgár culture symbolic burial was most likely made for a child. Here, the principal component analysis and correspondence analysis shows that although the sexed identities do not form entirely clear groups (meaning that there were no clear and strict rules of its representation in grave assemblages), there are still tendencies that can be seen. The symbolic burial, yielding copper ornaments, a boar mandible and limestone beads, relates the closest to burials of children. This interpretation might also be supported by the fact that the gravepit is rather small81 (Fig. 3). Most of the individuals assigned a symbolic burial could have been male – here in 33 cases. This aligns with the – somewhat stereotypical – concept that links the possible causes of dying far from home to traditionally male activities.82 Female identities could be reconstructed in the case of 17 burials, and children were given symbolic burials in four cases. The fact that even children got symbolic burials shows a type of democratization, clearly contradicting the traditional picture of the ‘fine fisherman or huntsman dying far from home’83 topos. Instead, it shows that despite the stereotypes, the custom of paying tribute to a dead community member by creating symbolic burials was rather inclusive. The identification was not possible in the case of 24 burials. Since the human remains had been cremated at Pilismarót-Basaharc (No. 21) the vast majority of the graves (21 of them) could not have been assigned a sexed identity.84

Table 2

Symbolic burials assigned to a person with the proposed reconstruction of the sexed identity

2. táblázat. Egyéneknek szánt szimbolikus temetkezések, a nemekhez köthető identitás lehetséges rekonstrukciójával

ID of the symbolic burial assigned to a person
No.SiteMale identityFemale identityChild identityUnknown identityReference
1Aszód-Papi földekGrave 120Siklósi 2013, 113–122.
3Budakalász-Luppa-csárdaGrave 349Grave 160Grave 311Bondár 2009, 92–159.
5DevnjaGrave 9Lichter 2001, 401;

Payeb 2018, 48–50;

Toдopoba-Cиmeohoba 1971, 9.
6DurankulakGrave 18A, 33A, 232, 253, 379, 382, 398, 438, 440, 535, 539, 556, 580, 601A, 609A, 663, 698, 729, 908, 947, 1042 and 1100Grave 239, 255, 361, 518, 534, 560, 577, 901, 1050, 1070, 1103, 1114 and 1122Grave 606A, 540 and 1069Todorova et al. 2002, 32–83.
8Goljamo DelčevoGrave 15Todorova 1982, 106–111; Toдopoba 1975, 61.
16Kunszentmárton-PusztaistvánházaGrave 6Hillebrand 1927, 24–28.
18Orastie-Dealul Pomilor-Punct X2/Platoul RomposGrave M4 and M5Luca 2006, 17–19.
21Pilismarót-BasaharcGrave 341, 344, 360, 386, 389, 397, 421, 431, 432, 433, 436, 437, 438, 439, 440, 444, 449, 452, 457, 458 and 459Bondár 2015, 32–98.
23Polgár-Csőszhalom (the horizontal settlement)One feature with unknown IDRaczky–Anders 2009, 84.
30SvodínGraves 94/79 and 177/82Nemejcová-Pavuková 1986, 148; Zalai-Gaál 1988, 68.
32Tiszapolgár-BasatanyaGrave 29Bognár-Kutzián 1963, 77–79.
35VinicaGrave 14 and 25Grave 24 and 48Grave 13Lichter 2001, 437;

Paдуhyeba–Beheдикob 1976, 75.
Fig. 3
Fig. 3

Principal component and correspondence analysis of Tiszapolgár culture burials from Tiszapolgár-Basatanya (No. 32) (ECA, Carpathian Basin). The symbolic burial is marked with a black star (data after Bognár-Kutzián 1963)

3. kép. Tiszapolgár-Basatanya (32.) (kora rézkor, Kárpát-medence) Tiszapolgár-kultúrába sorolható temetkezéseinek főkomponens és korrespondencia analízise. A szimbolikus temetkezés fekete csillaggal van jelölve (adatok Bognár-Kutzián 1963 alapján)

Citation: Archaeologiai Értesítő 146, 1; 10.1556/0208.2021.00011

The studied sites yielded a couple of symbolic burials designed to pay tribute to an abstract entity, nine of them in total. We know of two gender-neutral burials, Graves 69 and 86 from Aszód-Papi-földek (No. 1).85 One feature from Budakalász-Luppa csárda (No. 3), Grave 177,86 carries a supposedly special meaning thanks to the clay wagon model it yielded and the rich and emphasised child burials it was surrounded by. Wagons allowed auto-mobility and elevated their user above the ‘common folk’, thus served as a widely used tool of expressing importance for the community elite.87

Besides being a unique find, the clay wagon model also signified a great social importance – undoubtedly marking this symbolic grave as outstanding. In connection with Grave 218 of Rákóczifalva-Bivaly-tó 1/c (No. 27) the publishers pointed out that its lavishly rich assemblage carries strongly emphasised male characteristics, which makes it less likely that it could have belonged to a real person. Instead, they interpreted it as ‘the expression of admiration towards a divine male character’.88 Grave 351 at Pilismarót-Basaharc (No. 21) yielded a breast pot,89 which supposedly had strong associations with important female members of the community.90 Thus the feature can be connected to a female entity. From the Copper Age burials at Durankulak (No. 6) four symbolic burials containing anthropomorphic figurines are known, Graves 258 and 453 connected to female and Graves 452 and 653 to male identity.91 With the change of burial customs at Durankulak, during the Copper Age such figurines only appear in symbolic burials and carry a more important meaning than their counterparts from the Neolithic, where they appeared as the part of ‘ordinary’ grave furnishing.92 Based on this, these four Varna culture symbolic burials could have been created with the purpose of representing entities. Durankulak also provides a unique chance of examining a huge quantity of symbolic burials together. As the statistical analysis of Copper Age burials shows, features connected to different sexed identities were distinguished by their furnishing, and the ones representing entities were emphasised by their rich assemblage (Fig. 4).

Fig. 4
Fig. 4

Principal component and correspondence analysis of Copper Age symbolic burials from Durankulak (No. 6) (LN and LCA, Lower Danube region). Identities are marked with white, entities with black (data after Todorova et al. 2002)

4. kép. Durankulak (6.) (késő neolitikum és késő rézkor, Al-Duna vidék) rézkori szimbolikus temetkezéseinek főkomponens és korrespondencia analízise. Az egyéneknek szánt objektumok fehérrel, az entitásoknak szántak feketével vannak jelölve (adatok Todorova et al. 2002 alapján)

Citation: Archaeologiai Értesítő 146, 1; 10.1556/0208.2021.00011

Symbolic burials acting as memorials display a form of structurization, like Grave 186A from Durankulak (No. 6)93 and Graves 31 and 205 from Budakalász-Luppa csárda (No. 3).94 Here, the other burials in the vicinity of the symbolic ones form a circle, putting emphasis on them. A higher level of structurization can be observed in the whole arrangement of the Copper Age symbolic burials at Durankulak (No. 6). This includes Graves 33A, 232, 255, 258, 382, 398, 452, 453, 518, 535, 539, 540, 556, 560, 577, 653, 1050, 1069, 1070, 1100, 1103, 1114 and 1122.95 Here, all 23 symbolic burials frame the whole uncovered site. On the northern side of the cemetery, we mostly find symbolic burials assigned a female, on the southern side ones assigned a male identity. It is also interesting to note that the earlier examples of symbolic burials appear on the southern, the later ones at the norther part of the burial ground (Fig. 5). Meanwhile, the spread of other burials from different time periods is somewhat even. The fact that the communities had a clear strategy in placing the graves to certain places in order to structurize the whole cemetery and put effort into creating a meaningful location, makes it clear that symbolic burials and the ideas they were linked to had great importance, which was resistant to the passing of time. The spatial arrangement signifies that with giving the individuals symbolic burials, the community also gave them a place in the collective memory. The placement of the symbolic burials made it possible to connect these individuals to a common message, which was at utmost importance for the community – and which cannot be reconstructed.

Fig. 5
Fig. 5

The symbolic burials of Durankulak (No. 6) (LN and LCA, Lower Danube region) and the spatial distribution and density of all burials. Features of the Varna culture are marked with colourful (or in cases white, when they were not connected to exact time periods) symbols (data after Todorova et al. 2002)

5. kép. Durankulak (6.) (késő neolitikum és késő rézkor, Al-Duna vidék) szimbolikus temetkezései, az összes sír térbeli elrendeződésével és sűrűségével együtt ábrázolva. A Várna-kultúra objektumai színessel (vagy mikor nem volt lehetséges a pontosabb korszakolás, fehérrel) vannak jelölve (adatok Todorova et al. 2002 alapján)

Citation: Archaeologiai Értesítő 146, 1; 10.1556/0208.2021.00011

Overall, it is possible to draft up a greater picture shown by the use of symbolic burials. Despite the fact that the funerary customs are highly variable, this comparison is possible because of the universal nature of symbolic burials. In the following, I will show how the use of symbolic burials varied in time and space. For a better understanding, my analytical clusters were based on different periods (Middle Neolithic to Late Copper Age) and geological territories (Carpathian Basin and Lower Danube region). A finer geological grouping would not have been possible, as the majority of data congregates on two main territories, namely the Great Hungarian Plain and the Black Sea Coast, and the uneven spread of data could have biased the analysis. It would have also caused problems if the data was grouped by archaeological cultures, as it has become clear recently that the Copper Age chronology and cultural groups of the Carpathian Basin need to be re-evaluated.96 Also, archaeological cultures rather serve as analytical clusters for archaeologists, and do not show real social differences and do not define real social groups.97

As the following diagram shows, in every cluster, there is a rather great amount of features that cannot be considered as symbolic burials, as they failed at the pre-examination stage. This tendency highly affects sites known from smaller and old excavations, such as the ones from the Early Copper Age of the Carpathian Basin. However, if a community indeed had the practice of making symbolic burials, it was sure they paid tribute this way to their members whose bodies could not have been buried properly. The growing complexity of the use of symbolic burials towards the Late Copper Age should be noted (Fig. 6).

Fig. 6
Fig. 6

Different types of symbolic burials of the examined sites within the analysed geographical and time frame. The diagram shows the frequency of different types, in the relation to all examined burials, marked with black circles, and all supposed symbolic burials, marked with black squares

6. kép. A vizsgált terület és időszak különböző típusú szimbolikus temetkezései. A diagram az egyes típusok gyakoriságát jelöli, az összes vizsgált temetkezés és az összes esetlegesen szimbolikus sírként értelmezhető objektum relációjában

Citation: Archaeologiai Értesítő 146, 1; 10.1556/0208.2021.00011

It needs to be kept in mind that the sheer comparison of numbers cannot signify any type of tendencies, as there are a lot of missing factors, for example the actual size of burial grounds, the population size of communities using them, or the frequency of creating symbolic burials. Thus, this comparison has its limits, but a few crucial observations can be made. The symbolic burials assigned to a certain person appear in the case of almost every community with the custom of creating symbolic burials. Here, based on its representation in burials, it was possible to reconstruct one factor of social differentiation, the sexed identity. This proved to be male in the majority of cases, but the fact that women and children were also assigned symbolic burials shows a kind of universal meaning connected to the feature. Belonging to the second type of symbolic burials, we can see several examples with outstanding assemblages used for giving a form of material expression to an entity. This shows that burial grounds were important locations in the life of communities, and freely manipulating one of their elements was a widely used form of expression. There are only a few examples of symbolic burials that can be considered memorials, which is not surprising, as the structuration might go unnoticed in smaller-scale excavations. When a community consciously placed the burials in a way to emphasize a symbolic burial or a group of them, we can suspect the existence of a long-term strategy. This strategy was likely supported by a solid belief system, along with a well-organised social structure.

Symbolic burials assigned to a person appear with various frequency in the examined time and geographical frame. The other two categories seemingly got more wide-used during the Copper Age, which might be related to the greater degree of social structuralisation in the period. Also, the number of symbolic burials compared to others increased in this period. It might be argued that this difference is due to the fact that from the Copper Age we know of larger cemeteries. However, as the case of the Late Neolithic burial ground of Aszód-Papi-földek (No. 1) shows, when we have a bigger pool of data, it is possible to pinpoint more complex structures.98 On the other hand, at Durankulak (No. 6), the use of symbolic burials was more diverse in the Copper Age than in the Neolithic period.

Conclusion

In this article, I drafted up a criterion and clustering system that can be used to interpret symbolic burials from the Carpathian Basin and the Lower Danube region, dating to the Late Neolithic and Copper Age. The new approach was necessary, as the traditional definition (i.e. they were made to replace burials of the dead whose body could not have been retrieved), does not stand its ground in every case. Rather, these features lacking human remains were also used for carrying highly structured meanings, with the use of a community’s funerary toolkit and a highly manipulative, mental and physical behaviour. The study of the aforementioned features with the help of this new methodology is successful, as a lot of falsely interpreted burials were excluded from the cluster of data and the remaining were categorized. In the course of outlining the categories I focused on the possible meanings and usages, rather than carrying out a typological classification. The comprehension of meanings was made possible by the universal nature of symbolic burials, because as we could see, similar structures – and possibly intentions – appeared within a wider time period and geographical frame. Before being linked to greater tendencies, the reconstruction of each symbolic burial’s role was done in the context of the cemetery it came from, serving as the valid source of information of a given community’s burial customs. With all of this, it can be proved that the custom of creating symbolic burials thrived through the examined eras and territories, with the constant change of emphasis on its different forms and the growing complexity of their usage.

When it comes to grasping tendencies, it is also possible to make a few statements. Generally, cultures with smaller sites and earlier excavations yielded fewer features that can truly be considered symbolic burials. It is not because of the absence of the custom, but is rather due to the fact that there were no sufficient grounds for interpretation. If the custom was truly present, it meant the community elected symbolic burials for their members whose bodies could not have been retrieved. In these cases, it was almost always possible to reconstruct the sexed identity represented by the symbolic burials. From this first form of usage, it was seemingly easy to take the next step, with starting to use the features for communicating more structured messages. This is how the features representing entities and ones used as memorials emerged, with rather great frequency during the Copper Age, compared to the Neolithic era, at least. This difference can signify that in the Copper Age, communities took more freedom with the usage of mortuary practices and elements as a form of expression. However, for this, the Neolithic leap of giving meaning to burials without bodies was necessary.

Overall, the analysis of symbolic burials proved to be possible and fruitful, but only after utilising a strict system of provisos to exclude the falsely interpreted features. It was necessary, because as we could see, a big deal of the collected data failed at the pre-examination stage. Concentrating on their possible roles and meanings, it is possible to fit symbolic burials into the rich and colourful spectrum of burial customs of the past. Hopefully, in the future this system will be able to help with the evaluation of supposed symbolic burials. As they are universally present, with the sufficient care and adjustments, the method can also be used to analyse features from other ages, and not just from the Late Neolithic and Copper Age. It would be also important to subject empty graves to soil analysis, further solidifying their interpretation as symbolic burials.99

Table 3

Catalogue of examined features

3. táblázat. A vizsgált objektumok katalógusa

No.SiteGraves in totalSupposedly symbolic burialsNo. of featureAgeCultureDepth (cm)Width (cm)Length (cm)OrientationDescription of the featureCommentClassificationReference
1Aszód-Papi földek224369NeolithicLengyelNo description available.According to the analysis of SiKlóSi 2013 the feature contains grave goods associated with both males and females and also ochre, linked to rich graves. Thus, it most likely belongs to an entity.Entity: gender-neutralSiklósi 2013, 113–122.
1Aszód-Papi földek224386NeolithicLengyelNo description available.According to the analysis of Siklósi 2013, the feature contains grave goods associated with both males and females and also ochre, linked to rich graves. Thus, it most likely belongs to an entity.Entity: gender-neutralSiklósi 2013, 113–122.
1Aszód-Papi földek2243120NeolithicLengyelNo description available.According to the analysis of SiKlóSi 2013, the feature contains grave goods associated primarily with males.Identity: maleSiklósi 2013, 113–122.
2Bešeòova212NeolithicZselizNo skeletal remains were found in the pit. Contained 2 Zseliz-type bomb-shaped vessels, a bowl, and a pedestalled goblet.Due to the bad conditions of the excavation (the majority of the site was destroyed) and the fact that the finds were greatly damaged in the bombings of 1945, the feature’s interpretation as a symbolic burial cannot be accepted.Not a symbolic burial.Novotný 1962, 156; Szõke–Nemeskéri 1954, 106–107.
3Budakalász-Luppa csárda439 (381 fit for analysis)831Copper AgeBaden455060No skeletal remains or finds other than stones were found in the pit.The surrounding graves form a circle around the feature, putting emphasis on it, possibly making it a place of remembrance.Memory: simple structureBondár 2009, 44.
3Budakalász-Luppa csárda439 (381 fit for analysis)8160Copper AgeBaden655565No skeletal remains were found in the oval pit. Contained a scooping vessel, 39 limestone beads and 10 shell plaques.Identity: childBondár 2009, 92.
3Budakalász-Luppa csárda439 (381 fit for analysis)8177Copper AgeBaden80125154No skeletal remains were found in the oval pit. Contained a bowl, a goblet, a wagon model, a stone tool and a pebble.Supposedly has a special meaning thanks to the wagon model found in it and the richly furnished graves of children around it. Thus, it can be connected to an entity.Entity: gender-neutralBondár 2009, 98–99.
3Budakalász-Luppa csárda439 (381 fit for analysis)8205Copper AgeBaden555678No skeletal remains or finds other than stones were found in the pit.The surrounding graves form a circle around the feature, putting emphasis on it, possibly making it a place of remembrance.Memory: simple structureBondár 2009, 110.
3Budakalász-Luppa csárda439 (381 fit for analysis)8243Copper AgeBadenNo skeletal remains or finds other than stones were found in the pit. The human remains have most likely vanished.The (supposedly cremated) human remains might have vanished, as in the neighbouring Grave 244.Not a symbolic burial.Bondár 2009, 124.
3Buda kalász- Luppa csárda439 (381 fit for analysis)8246Copper AgeBadenNo skeletal remains or finds other than stones were found in the pit. The human remains have most likely vanished.The (supposedly cremated) human remains might have vanished, as in the neighbouring Grave 244.Not a symbolic burial.Bondár 2009, 125.
3Budakalász-Luppa csárda439 (381 fit for analysis)8311Copper AgeBaden956896No skeletal remains were found in the oval pit. Contained a pot fragment, a mug and a fragment of a pitcher.Identity: cannot be determined (child or female)Bondár 2009, 145–146.
3Budakalász-Luppa csárda439 (381 fit for analysis)8349Copper AgeBaden68105140SW-NENo skeletal remains were found in the oval pit. Contained animal bones.Identity: femaleBondár 2009, 159.
4Deszk B1519Copper AgeTiszapolgárDisturbed. No skeletal remains were found in the pit. Contained a stone axe, 6 beads, 3 pedestalled jars, 2 bone plaques, 2 jars, 2 cups.The excavator, Ferenc Móra considered Grave 9 to be a symbolic one, but according to Bognár-Kutzián1963 and 1972 it was destroyed. Due to the insufficient observations and documentation, the interpretation as a symbolic burial cannot be accepted.Not a symbolic burial.Bognár-Kutzián 1963, 420–421; Bognár-Kutzián 1972, 31–32.
5Devnja26 (14 fit for analysis)49Copper AgeKodžadermen-Gumelniţa-Karanovo VI195No skeletal remains were found in the narrow pit. Contained an animal bone, a lid, a cup, 2 vessels, a plate.Identity: maleLichter 2001, 401; Payeb 2018, 48–50; Toдopoba-Cиmeohoba 1971, 9.
5Devnja26 (14 fit for analysis)423Copper AgeKodžadermen-Gumelniţa-Karanovo VIDisturbed. No skeletal remains were found in the pit. Contained 2 vessels and a copper axe.Due to being disturbed, it cannot be analysed.Not a symbolic burial.Lichter 2001, 401; Payeb 2018, 48–50; Toдopoba-Cиmeohoba 1971, 14–15.
5Devnja26 (14 fit for analysis)424Copper AgeKodžadermen-Gumelniţa-Karanovo VI1783030No skeletal remains were found in the small circular pit. Contained 4 miniature vessels and a copper axe.Not a symbolic burial, but rather an other form of structured deposition.Not a symbolic burial.Lichter 2001, 401; Payeb 2018, 48–50; Toдopoba-Cиmeohoba 1971, 14–15.
5Devnja26 (14 fit for analysis)425Copper AgeKodžadermen-Gumelniţa-Karanovo VIDisturbed. No skeletal remains were found in the pit. Contained 2 vessels, 2 knapped stone tools, a copper axe.Due to being disturbed, it cannot be analysed.Not a symbolic burial.Lichter 2001, 401; Payeb 2018, 48–50; Toдopoba-Cиmeohoba 1971, 14–15.
6Durankulak1270 (937 fit for analysis)4618ANeolithicHamangia60No skeletal remains were found in the pit without stone packing. Contained a jug and a stone axe.Identity: maleTodorova et al. 2002, 32.
6Durankulak1270 (937 fit for analysis)4633ACopper AgeVarna70No skeletal remains were found in the pit without stone packing. Contained a Spondylus armring, a stone axe, a smoothing stone, a retouched knapped stonetool.Part of a greater memorial structure of the Varna-culture (southern group).Identity: maleTodorova et al. 2002, 32.
6Durankulak1270 (937 fit for analysis)46103NeolithicHamangia100NDisturbed. No skeletal remains were found in the pit with stone packing. Contained a jug, a bowl, 2 knapped stone tools.Due to being disturbed, it cannot be analysed.Not a symbolic burial.Todorova et al. 2002, 35.
6Durankulak1270 (937 fit for analysis)46186ANeolithicHamangia90No skeletal remains were found in the pit without stone packing. Contained 2 Spondylus armrings, a knapped stonetool.The surrounding graves form a circle around the feature, putting emphasis on it, possibly making it a place of remembrance.Memory: simple structureTodorova et al. 2002, 38.
6Durankulak1270 (937 fit for analysis)46232Copper AgeVarna80NNo skeletal remains were found in the pit with stone packing. Contained a copper armring, a pedestalled vessel, an antler axe, 2 jars, 2 miniature vessels, a knapped stonetool, a Spondylus plaque, a Dentalium bead.Part of a greater memorial structure of the Varna-culture (southern group).Identity: maleTodorova et al. 2002, 40.
6Durankulak1270 (937 fit for analysis)46239NeolithicHamangia75No skeletal remains were found in the pit without stone packing. Contained a jug, a lid, a vessel fragment, a knapped stonetool, a stone.Identity: femaleTodorova et al. 2002, 40.
6Durankulak1270 (937 fit for analysis)46253NeolithicHamangia105NNo skeletal remains were found in the pit with stone packing. Contained a potstand, 3 jars, 2 copper armrings, a chalcedone bead, an antler axe.Identity: maleTodorova et al. 2002, 41.
6Durankulak1270 (937 fit for analysis)46255Copper AgeVarna60No skeletal remains were found in the pit without stone packing. Contained the fragments of 5 vessels, 2 copper armrings, 2 smoothing stones.Part of a greater memorial structure of the Varna-culture (southern group).Identity: femaleTodorova et al. 2002, 41.
6Durankulak1270 (937 fit for analysis)46258Copper AgeVarna100NNo skeletal remains were found in the pit with stone packing. Contained an antrophomorphic figurine with a copper ring on its arm, 3 Ezerovo-type bowls.The feature can be assigned a special meaning. It can be connected to an entity thanks to the antrophomorphic figurine found in it. It is also part of a greater memorial structure of the Varna-culture (southern group).Entity: femaleTodorova et al. 2002, 42.
6Durankulak1270 (937 fit for analysis)46361NeolithicHamangia138NNo skeletal remains were found in the pit with stone packing. Contained 2 copper armrings, a copper bead, a fragment of a vessel.Identity: femaleTodorova et al. 2002, 47.
6Durankulak1270 (937 fit for analysis)46379NeolithicHamangia165NNo skeletal remains were found in the pit with stone packing. Contained a potstand, a bowl, a jar.Identity: maleTodorova et al. 2002, 48.
6Durankulak1270 (937 fit for analysis)46382Copper AgeVarna190NNo skeletal remains were found in the pit with stone packing. Contained a potstand, a pedestalled vessel, 2 bowls, a lid, a jar, an antler axe, 2 copper armrings, 2 Spondylus armrings.Part of a greater memorial structure of the Varna-culture (southern group).Identity: maleTodorova et al. 2002, 48.
6Durankulak1270 (937 fit for analysis)46398Copper AgeVarna70No skeletal remains were found in the pit without stone packing. Contained a potstand, 2 pedestalled vessels, 3 jars, a lid, a knapped stonetool, 2 Spondylus armrings.Part of a greater memorial structure of the Varna-culture (southern group).Identity: maleTodorova et al. 2002, 49.
6Durankulak1270 (937 fit for analysis)46438NeolithicHamangia197NNo skeletal remains were found in the pit with stone packing. Contained a potstand, a pedestalled vessel, 2 jugs, a knapped stonetool, 2 bowls, 2 jars, 2 lids.Identity: maleTodorova et al. 2002, 51.
6Durankulak1270 (937 fit for analysis)46440NeolithicHamangia150N/NENo skeletal remains were found in the pit with stone packing. Contained a potstand, a pedestalled vessel, a jar, a lid, a knapped stonetool, an antler axe, a jug.Identity: maleTodorova et al. 2002, 51.
6Durankulak1270 (937 fit for analysis)46452Copper AgeVarna260NNo skeletal remains were found in the pit with stone packing. Contained an anthrophomorphic figurine in the middle of the pit, with its head oriented to the North, a potstand, 2 pedestalled vessels, 3 lids, an antler axe, 9 Spondylus beads, fragments of 2 vessels, 2 jugs, a retouched knapped stonetool, a bone awl, 3 Spondylus plaques, 3 bone beads.The feature can be assigned a special meaning. It can be connected to an entity thanks to the antrophomorphic figurine found in it. It is also part of a greater memorial structure of the Varna-culture (southern group).Entity: maleTodorova et al. 2002, 52.
6Durankulak1270 (937 fit for analysis)46453Copper AgeVarna240NNo skeletal remains were found in the pit with stone packing. Contained an antrophomorphic figurine with a copper ring on its arm, with its head oriented to the North, a bowl, 3 jars, 2 lids, a knapped stonetool, a smoothing stone, a bone awl, 6 malachit beads.The feature can be assigned a special meaning. It can be connected to an entity thanks to the antrophomorphic figurine found in it. It is also part of a greater memorial structure of the Varna-culture (southern group).Entity: femaleTodorova et al. 2002, 52.
6Durankulak1270 (937 fit for analysis)46518Copper AgeVarna233NNo skeletal remains were found in the pit with stone packing. Contained a pedestalled vessel, 2 smoothing stones, 2 bone awls, 2 jars, 2 lids, 2 bowls.Part of a greater memorial structure of the Varna-culture (southern group).Identity: femaleTodorova et al. 2002, 56.
6Durankulak1270 (937 fit for analysis)46534NeolithicHamangia223NNo skeletal remains were found in the pit with stone packing. Contained a pedestalled vessel, a lid, a knapped stone tool, a smoothing stone, a shell, a small pot.Identity: femaleTodorova et al. 2002, 57.
6Durankulak1270 (937 fit for analysis)46535Copper AgeVarna230NNo skeletal remains were found in the pit with stone packing. Contained a potstand, 2 bowls, 2 lids, fragments of 2 vessels, an antler axe, 3 malachit beads, 2 lignit beads, 7 Dentalium beads.Part of a greater memorial structure of the Varna-culture (southern group).Identity: maleTodorova et al. 2002, 57.
6Durankulak1270 (937 fit for analysis)46539Copper AgeVarna202NNo skeletal remains were found in the pit with stone packing. Contained 2 potstands, 2 jars, 2 knapped stone tools, a smoothing stone, an antler axe, a malachit bead, a Dentalium bead.Part of a greater memorial structure of the Varna-culture (southern group).Identity: maleTodorova et al. 2002, 57.
6Durankulak1270 (937 fit for analysis)46540Copper AgeVarna194NNo skeletal remains were found in the pit with stone packing. Contained a bowl, 3 jars, 2 lids, a bone awl.Part of a greater memorial structure of the Varna-culture (southern group).Identity: childTodorova et al. 2002, 57.
6Durankulak1270 (937 fit for analysis)46556Copper AgeVarna230NNo skeletal remains were found in the pit with stone packing. Contained a potstand, 2 pedestalled vessels, a bowl, 4 jars, an antler axe, a knapped stone tool.Part of a greater memorial structure of the Varna-culture (southern group).Identity: maleTodorova et al. 2002, 58.
6Durankulak1270 (937 fit for analysis)46560Copper AgeVarna204NNo skeletal remains were found in the pit with stone packing. Contained 4 jars, animal bones, 2 lids, a knapped stone tool.Part of a greater memorial structure of the Varna-culture (southern group).Identity: femaleTodorova et al. 2002, 58.
6Durankulak1270 (937 fit for analysis)46577Copper AgeVarna230NNo skeletal remains were found in the pit with stone packing. Contained a jar, a lid, a retouched knapped stone tool, a smoothing stone, a bone awl, a shell, a bowl.Part of a greater memorial structure of the Varna-culture (southern group).Identity: femaleTodorova et al. 2002, 59.
6Durankulak1270 (937 fit for analysis)46580NeolithicHamangia235No skeletal remains were found in the pit with stone packing. Contained a potstand, a bowl, fragments of a vessel, a lid, an antler axe.Identity: maleTodorova et al. 2002, 59.
6Durankulak1270 (937 fit for analysis)46601ANeolithicHamangia60No skeletal remains were found in the pit without stone packing. Contained an antrophomorphic figurine and a Spondylus bead.Identity: maleTodorova et al. 2002, 61.
6Durankulak1270 (937 fit for analysis)46606ANeolithicHamangia80No skeletal remains were found in the pit without stone packing. Contained 2 Spondylus armrings, a Spondylus bead.Identity: childTodorova et al. 2002, 61.
6Durankulak1270 (937 fit for analysis)46609ANeolithicHamangia40No skeletal remains were found in the pit without stone packing. Contained an antrophomorphic figurine, a Spondylus armring.Identity: maleTodorova et al. 2002, 61.
6Durankulak1270 (937 fit for analysis)46653Copper AgeVarna180NENo skeletal remains were found in the pit with stone packing. Contained an antrophomorphic figurine with its head oriented to the North-West, a bowl, 2 jugs, a lid, a knapped stonetool, 2 bone awls, a shell, a Spondylus bead.The feature can be assigned a special meaning. It can be connected to an entity thanks to the antrophomorphic figurine found in it. It is also part of a greater memorial structure of the Varna-culture (southern group).Entity: maleTodorova et al. 2002, 64.
6Durankulak1270 (937 fit for analysis)46663NeolithicHamangia168NENo skeletal remains were found in the pit with stone packing. Contained a pedestalled vessel, a jug, an antler axe.Identity: maleTodorova et al. 2002, 64.
6Durankulak1270 (937 fit for analysis)46698NeolithicHamangia100No skeletal remains were found in the pit without stone packing. Contained 2 pithoi, 2 bowls, a smoothing stone, an Equus hydruntinus tooth, an Ovis/Capra bone.Identity: maleTodorova et al. 2002, 66.
6Durankulak1270 (937 fit for analysis)46729NeolithicHamangia160NENo skeletal remains were found in the pit with stone packing. Contained a potstand, a pedestalled vessel, 3 jugs, a jar, a lid, an antler axe.Identity: maleTodorova et al. 2002, 67.
6Durankulak1270 (937 fit for analysis)46901NeolithicHamangia65No skeletal remains were found in the pit without stone packing. Contained 2 pithoi, 3 bowls, a jug, a tooth of a ruminant.Identity: femaleTodorova et al. 2002, 75.
6Durankulak1270 (937 fit for analysis)46908NeolithicHamangia35No skeletal remains were found in the pit without stone packing. Contained a bowl, a jug, bones of two Equus germanicus transilvanicus, skulls and teeth of 2 Ovis/ Capra, skull of a Bos taurus, teeth of 4 Equus hydruntinus, skull of a Capreolus capreolus, skull of a Cervus elaphus.Identity: maleTodorova et al. 2002, 75.
6Durankulak1270 (937 fit for analysis)46947NeolithicHamangia20No skeletal remains were found in the pit without stone packing. Contained a bowl, a pithos, teeth of a Bos taurus and an Equus hydruntinus.Identity: maleTodorova et al. 2002, 76.
6Durankulak1270 (937 fit for analysis)461042NeolithicHamangia70No skeletal remains were found in the pit without stone packing. Contained a Sava-type lid, a lid, a pithos, fragments of a vessel, bones of a Bos primigenius, a tooth of an Equus hydruntinus.Identity: maleTodorova et al. 2002, 80.
6Durankulak1270 (937 fit for analysis)461050NeolithicHamangia88ENo skeletal remains were found in the pit with stone packing. Contained a bowl, a jug, fragments of a vessel, a tooth of a ruminant.Identity: femaleTodorova et al. 2002, 81.
6Durankulak1270 (937 fit for analysis)461057Copper AgeVarna70No skeletal remains were found in the pit with stone packing. Contained 2 lids, a miniature pithos, a knapped stonetool, 4 bowls, a jar.Part of a greater memorial structure of the Varna-culture (northern group).Identity: femaleTodorova et al. 2002, 81.
6Durankulak1270 (937 fit for analysis)461069Copper AgeVarna65NNo skeletal remains were found in the pit with stone packing. Contained 2 knapped stonetools, a Copper awl.Part of a greater memorial structure of the Varna-culture (northern group).Identity: childTodorova et al. 2002, 81.
6Durankulak1270 (937 fit for analysis)461070Copper AgeVarna41No skeletal remains were found in the pit without stone packing. Contained a lid, a bowl, a miniature pithos, a smoothing stone.Part of a greater memorial structure of the Varna-culture (northern group).Identity: femaleTodorova et al. 2002, 81.
6Durankulak1270 (937 fit for analysis)461093Copper AgeVarnaDisturbed. No skeletal remains were found in the pit without stone packing. Contained 2 bowls, a miniature pithos, a jug, a bone tool.Due to being disturbed, it cannot be analysed.Not a symbolic burial.Todorova et al. 2002, 82.
6Durankulak1270 (937 fit for analysis)461100Copper AgeVarna93No skeletal remains were found in the pit without stone packing. Contained 2 miniature pithoi, a bowl.Part of a greater memorial structure of the Varna-culture (northern group).Identity: maleTodorova et al. 2002, 83.
6Durankulak1270 (937 fit for analysis)461103Copper AgeVarna132NNo skeletal remains were found in the pit with stone packing. Contained an Ezerovo-type vessel, a bone awl, fragments of a vessel, a lid.Part of a greater memorial structure of the Varna-culture (northern group).Identity: femaleTodorova et al. 2002, 83.
6Durankulak1270 (937 fit for analysis)461114Copper AgeVarna105No skeletal remains were found in the pit without stone packing. Contained a lid, 2 bowls, a miniature pithos, a knapped stone tool.Part of a greater memorial structure of the Varna-culture (northern group).Identity: femaleTodorova et al. 2002, 83.
6Durankulak1270 (937 fit for analysis)461122Copper AgeVarna140NENo skeletal remains were found in the pit with stone packing. Contained a lid, 2 bowls, a miniature pithos.Part of a greater memorial structure of the Varna-culture (northern group).Identity: femaleTodorova et al. 2002, 83.
7Gelej-Kanálisdûlõ11196Copper AgeTiszapolgár60W/ NW-E/ SENo skeletal remains were found in the pit. Contained 6 jars, 3 pedestalled vessels.As a lonely feature, it cannot be interpreted as a symbolic burial, due to lacking any type of context.Not a symbolic burial.Hegedűs in press; Kemenczei 1979, 43.
8Goljamo Delcevo30 (22 fit for analysis)312Copper AgeKodžadermen-Gumelniþa-Karanovo VI7080No skeletal remains were found in the pit. Contained 2 cups, fragments of a vessel, 2 bowls, a lid.Not a symbolic burial, but rather an other form of structured deposition.Not a symbolic burial.Todorova 1982, 106–111; Toдopoba 1975, 59–64.
8Goljamo Delcevo30 (22 fit for analysis)315Copper AgeKodžadermen-Gumelniþa-Karanovo VINo skeletal remains were found in the pit. Contained 2 bowls and a lid.The identity cannot be determined, due to lack of sufficient finds.Identity: cannot be determinedTodorova 1982, 106–111; Toдopoba 1975, 59–64.
8Goljamo Delcevo30330Copper AgeKodžadermen-Gumelniþa-Karanovo VINo skeletal remains were found in the pit. Contained only a huge vessel, an antler and a stone axe. The whole deposition was sprinkled with ochre.Not a symbolic burial, but rather an other form of structured deposition.Not a symbolic burial.Todorova 1982, 106–111; Toдopoba 1975, 59–64.
9Gyomaendrõd-Ugari-dûlõ11Copper AgeTiszapolgárNo skeletal remains were found in the pit. Contained 2 vessels.As a lonely grave on a settlement site, it cannot be interpreted as a symbolic burial, due to lacking any context.Not a symbolic burial.Gyucha 2015, 94; 200; Zalai-Gaál 1994, 13.
10Hajdúböszörmény-Ficsori tó-dûlõThe site was not analysed as it has not yet been fully published.Kovács–Váczi 2007.
11Halmeu-Vamã22M1NeolithicTisza-Herpály-Csõszhalom96237S/ SE-N/ NWDisturbed. No skeletal remains were found in the pit. Contained a piece of burnt wood, animal bone fragments and teeth, 2 stone axes, 16 knapped stone tools, 2 grinding stones, 2 smoothing stones, a vessel, 2 wild boar mandible pendants.Due to being disturbed, it cannot be analysed.Not a symbolic burial.Astaloş–Virag 2007, 76–77.
11Halmeu-Vamã22M2NeolithicTisza-Herpály-Csõszhalom65140SE-NWThe feature contained cremated bones of unknown origin (maybe they belonged to an animal), 3 pots, a stone axe, 9 knapped stone tools, lumps of ochre.The presence of cremated remains (even though its origins are unknown) excludes the feature from the group of symbolic burials.Not a symbolic burial.Astaloş–Virag 2007, 76–77.
12Hódmezõvásárhely-Bodzáspart-Bangatanya313Copper AgeTiszapolgárThe skeletal remains might have gone unnoticed. Contained a bowl, a pedestalled vessel, 2 jugs.Due to the insufficient observations and documentation, the interpretation as a symbolic burial cannot be accepted.Not a symbolic burial.Bognár-Kutzián 1972, 37–38.
13Hódmezõvásárhely-Kishomok- Lenin TSZ13112Copper AgeBodrogkeresztúrN-SMost likely disturbed. Contained a vessel and several animal bones.Due to the insufficient observations and documentation, the interpretation as a symbolic burial cannot be accepted. The feature most likely have been disturbed.Not a symbolic burial.Bondár–korek 1995, 26–28.
14KomjaticeWe only know of this site from mentions in the literature. Due to the lack of inromation, it was not analysed.Novotný 1958, 37; Novotný 1962, 156.
15Konyár-Kálló ér1725Copper AgeBodrogkeresztúr508080Circular pit. Contained animal bones.Not a symbolic burial, but rather an other form of structured deposition.Not a symbolic burial.Bognár-Kutzián 1963, 425; Sőregi 1933, 90.
15Konyár-Kálló ér1728Copper AgeBodrogkeresztúrContained human remains and a vessel.The feature contained human remains, thus is not a symbolic burial.Not a symbolic burial.Bognár-Kutzián 1963, 425; Sőregi 1933, 105–106.
16Kunszentmárton-Pusztaistvánháza15 (12 fit for analysis)16Copper AgeBodrogkeresztúrE-WNo skeletal remains were found in the pit. Contained 6 aligned vessels, a knapped stone tool, a copper awl.Identity: maleHillebrand 1927, 24–28.
17Lužianky1623/ 1956NeolithicLengyelNo description available.Due to the insufficient observations and documentation, the interpretation as a symbolic burial cannot be accepted. The two symbolic burials of the site seemed to be one feature on the surface layer.Not a symbolic burial.Novotný 1962, 155.
17Lužianky1624/ 1956NeolithicLengyelNo description available.Due to the insufficient observations and documentation, the interpretation as a symbolic burial cannot be accepted. The two symbolic burials of the site seemed to be one feature on the surface layer.Not a symbolic burial.Novotný 1962, 155.
18Orastie-Dealul Pomilor-Punct X2/Platoul Rompos52M4NeolithicTurda°N-SNo skeletal remains were found in the oval pit. Contained fragments of a vessel, animal bones, charcoal and ochre lumps. The feature is oriented perpendicularly to the others.Identity: maleLuca 2006, 17–19.
18Orastie-Dealul Pomilor-Punct X2/Platoul Rompos52M5NeolithicTurdaşE-WNo skeletal remains were found in the oval pit. Contained fragments of a vessel, animal bones, charcoal and ochre lumps.Identity: maleLuca 2006, 17–19.
19Ózd-Center7 (4 fit for analysis)14Copper AgeBaden90200No skeletal remains were found in the feature. Contained a broken vessel scattered amongst stones.Due to the insufficient observations and documentation, the interpretation as a symbolic burial cannot be accepted. It is likely that the human remains were placed in an urn, which shattered later and the scattered human remains were not observed.Not a symbolic burial.Kalicz 1963, 10.
20PekliukWe only know of this site from mentions in the literature. Due to the lack of inromation, it was not analysed.Lichter 2001, 418–419.
21Pilismarót-Basaharc127 (106 fit for analysis)37339Copper AgeBoleráz160Disturbed. No skeletal remains were found under the stone packing. Contained 4 bowls, a mug, a pot.Due to being disturbed, it cannot be analysed.Not a symbolic burial.Bondár 2015, 31–32.
21Pilismarót-Basaharc127 (106 fit for analysis)37341Copper AgeBoleráz1058080No skeletal remains were found under the stone packing. Contained 2 bowls, a cup, a fragment of a vessel.The identity cannot be determined, as the dead of the community were cremated, making the determination of biological sex impossible in most cases.Identity: cannot be determinedBondár 2015, 32–33; Köhler 2015, 322.
21Pilismarót-Basaharc127 (106 fit for analysis)37344Copper AgeBoleráz14010080No skeletal remains were found under the stone packing. Contained a bowl, a mug, a pot.The identity cannot be determined, as the dead of the community were cremated, making the determination of biological sex impossible in most cases.Identity: cannot be determinedBondár 2015, 34; KöhLer 2015, 322.
21Pilismarót-Basaharc127 (106 fit for analysis)37351Copper AgeBoleráz125200250No skeletal remains were found under the stone packing. Contained an amphora, 13 bowls, a breast pot, a jug, a pot.Due to being one of the cemetery’s the richest funerals, it belongs to an entity. The breast pot gives this entity a strong female identity. The feature might have been the form of materialising a female entity.Entity: femaleBondár 2015, 37–39.
21Pilismarót-Basaharc127 (106 fit for analysis)37353Copper AgeBoleráz130300350Disturbed. No skeletal remains were found under the stone packing. Contained 3 bowls, 2 mugs, 2 pots, a jug, a vessel fragment.Due to being disturbed, it cannot be analysed.Not a symbolic burial.Bondár 2015, 39–40.
21Pilismarót-Basaharc127 (106 fit for analysis)37360Copper AgeBoleráz140150150No skeletal remains were found under the stone packing. Contained a bowl, 2 pots, a mug, a mussel.The identity cannot be determined, as the dead of the community were cremated, making the determination of biological sex impossible in most cases.Identity: cannot be determinedBondár 2015, 34; Köhler 2015, 322.
21Pilismarót-Basaharc127 (106 fit for analysis)37365Copper AgeBoleráz145400Uncovered in two instances. No skeletal remains were found under the stone packing. Contained 3 bowls, 2 pots, a cup, a mug, a jug.The feature was uncovered in two instances, thus the observations are not trustwothy.Not a symbolic burial.Bondár 2015, 37–42.
21Pilismarót-Basaharc127 (106 fit for analysis)37384/aCopper AgeBolerázIt cannot be determined if the feature is a separate one or belongs to Grave 384. Contained a jug and a pot.The statigraphic relations of the feature are not clear, thus it cannot be subjected to analysis.Not a symbolic burial.Bondár 2015, 52.
21Pilismarót-Basaharc127 (106 fit for analysis)37386Copper AgeBoleráz147100100No skeletal remains were found under the stone packing. Contained a mug, 4 bowls, 2 jugs, a knapped stone tool.The identity cannot be determined, as the dead of the community were cremated, making the determination of biological sex impossible in most cases.Identity: cannot be determinedBondár 2015, 53; KöhLer 2015, 322.
21Pilismarót-Basaharc127 (106 fit for analysis)37389Copper AgeBoleráz2007060No skeletal remains were found under the stone packing. Contained a mug, a jug, a pot.The identity cannot be determined, as the dead of the community were cremated, making the determination of biological sex impossible in most cases.Identity: cannot be determinedBondár 2015, 55; Köhler 2015, 322.
21Pilismarót-Basaharc127 (106 fit for analysis)37397Copper AgeBolerázNo skeletal remains were found under the stone packing. Contained a bowl.The identity cannot be determined, as the dead of the community were cremated, making the determination of biological sex impossible in most cases.Identity: cannot be determinedBondár 2015, 61; Köhler 2015, 322.
21Pilismarót-Basaharc127 (106 fit for analysis)37401Copper AgeBoleráz139250200Uncovered in two instances. No skeletal remains were found under the stone packing. Contained 2 bowls, a jug, a pot, 5 rollers.The feature was uncovered in two instances, thus the observations are not trustwothy.Not a symbolic burial.Bondár 2015, 63–64.
21Pilismarót-Basaharc127 (106 fit for analysis)37402Copper AgeBoleráz13010050No skeletal remains or stone packing was found. Contained a jug, 3 pots, a mug, 2 bowls, a vessel fragment.There was no stone packing on the grave, thus the cremated human remains could have easily disappeared, making the interpretation as a symbolic burial not possible.Not a symbolic burial.Bondár 2015, 64–65.
21Pilismarót-Basaharc127 (106 fit for analysis)37405Copper AgeBoleráz104Uncovered in two instances. No skeletal remains were found under the stone packing. Contained 2 bowls, 2 pots, a rhyton.The feature was uncovered in two instances, thus the observations are not trustwothy.Not a symbolic burial.Bondár 2015, 66–67.
21Pilismarót-Basaharc127 (106 fit for analysis)37406Copper AgeBolerázDisturbed. No skeletal remains were found under the stone packing. Contained a mug, a jug, 2 bowls.Due to being disturbed, it cannot be analysed.Not a symbolic burial.Bondár 2015, 67.
21Pilismarót-Basaharc127 (106 fit for analysis)37415Copper AgeBoleráz200Uncovered in two instances. No skeletal remains were found under the stone packing. Contained 2 bowls, a jug, a jar.The feature was uncovered in two instances, thus the observations are not trustwothy.Not a symbolic burial.Bondár 2015, 72.
21Pilismarót-Basaharc127 (106 fit for analysis)37419Copper AgeBolerázDisturbed. No skeletal remains were found under the stone packing. Contained a cup, 2 bowls, a pot, a jug.Due to being disturbed, it cannot be analysed.Not a symbolic burial.Bondár 2015, 74–75.
21Pilismarót-Basaharc127 (106 fit for analysis)37421Copper AgeBoleráz165No skeletal remains were found under the stone packing. Contained an amphora and a bowl.The identity cannot be determined, as the dead of the community were cremated, making the determination of biological sex impossible in most cases.Identity: cannot be determinedBondár 2015, 76; Köhler 2015, 322.
21Pilismarót-Basaharc127 (106 fit for analysis)37424Copper AgeBoleráz182No skeletal remains or stone packing was found. Contained an amphora, 3 bowls, a jug.There was no stone packing on the grave, thus the cremated human remains could have easily disappeared, making the interpretation as a symbolic burial not possible.Not a symbolic burial.Bondár 2015, 77–78.
21Pilismarót-Basaharc127 (106 fit for analysis)37428Copper AgeBoleráz230Not fully excavated. No skeletal remains were found under the stone packing. Contained 2 bowls, an amphora, 2 jugs.The feature was not fully excavated, thus the observations are not trusthworthy.Not a symbolic burial.Bondár 2015, 79.
21Pilismarót-Basaharc127 (106 fit for analysis)37431Copper AgeBoleráz103100200No skeletal remains were found under the stone packing. Contained a mug.The identity cannot be determined, as the dead of the community were cremated, making the determination of biological sex impossible in most cases.Identity: cannot be determinedBondár 2015, 80; Köhler 2015, 322.
21Pilismarót-Basaharc127 (106 fit for analysis)37432Copper AgeBoleráz1055060No skeletal remains were found under the stone packing. Contained a pot, 3 bowls.The identity cannot be determined, as the dead of the community were cremated, making the determination of biological sex impossible in most cases.Identity: cannot be determinedBondár 2015, 81; Köhler 2015, 322.
21Pilismarót-Basaharc127 (106 fit for analysis)37433Copper AgeBoleráz205300200No skeletal remains were found under the stone packing. Contained 2 amphorae, 2 jugs, a cup, 2 bowls, a pot.The identity cannot be determined, as the dead of the community were cremated, making the determination of biological sex impossible in most cases.Identity: cannot be determinedBondár 2015, 81–82; Köhler 2015, 322.
21Pilismarót-Basaharc127 (106 fit for a nalysis)37436Copper AgeBoleráz200200250No skeletal remains were found under the stone packing. Contained a pot, a bowl, a jug.The identity cannot be determined, as the dead of the community were cremated, making the determination of biological sex impossible in most cases.Identity: cannot be determinedBondár 2015, 84; Köhler 2015, 322.
21Pilismarót-Basaharc127 (106 fit for analysis)37437Copper AgeBoleráz175No skeletal remains were found under the stone packing. Contained an amphora.The identity cannot be determined, as the dead of the community were cremated, making the determination of biological sex impossible in most cases.Identity: cannot be determinedBondár 2015, 84; Köhler 2015, 322.
21Pilismarót-Basaharc127 (106 fit for analysis)37438Copper AgeBoleráz220170200No skeletal remains were found under the stone packing. Contained pot fragments.The identity cannot be determined, as the dead of the community were cremated, making the determination of biological sex impossible in most cases.Identity: cannot be determinedBondár 2015, 84–85; Köhler 2015, 322.
21Pilismarót-Basaharc127 (106 fit for analysis)37439Copper AgeBoleráz213150200No skeletal remains were found under the stone packing. Contained 3 bowls, a mug, a jug, 4 rollers, antler fragments.The identity cannot be determined, as the dead of the community were cremated, making the determination of biological sex impossible in most cases.Identity: cannot be determinedBondár 2015, 85; Köhler 2015, 322.
21Pilismarót-Basaharc127 (106 fit for analysis)37440Copper AgeBoleráz220200200No skeletal remains were found under the stone packing. Contained a jug.The identity cannot be determined, as the dead of the community were cremated, making the determination of biological sex impossible in most cases.Identity: cannot be determinedBondár 2015, 85–86; Köhler 2015, 322.
21Pilismarót-Basaharc127 (106 fit for analysis)37444Copper AgeBoleráz110250250No skeletal remains were found under the stone packing. Contained 2 bowls, a jug, 2 mugs, an amphora, a knapped stone tool fragment.The identity cannot be determined, as the dead of the community were cremated, making the determination of biological sex impossible in most cases.Identity: cannot be determinedBondár 2015, 88; Köhler 2015, 322.
21Pilismarót-Basaharc127 (106 fit for analysis)37445Copper AgeBoleráz220300350Disturbed. No skeletal remains were found under the stone packing. Contained 3 bowls, a wagon model, 4 amphorae, a pot, a jug.Due to being disturbed, it cannot be analysed.Not a symbolic burial.Bondár 2015, 88–89.
21Pilismarót-Basaharc127 (106 fit for analysis)37447Copper AgeBoleráz150300300Disturbed. No skeletal remains were found under the stone packing. Contained 4 bowls, a pot, a jug, a suspension vessel.Due to being disturbed, it cannot be analysed.Not a symbolic burial.Bondár 2015, 90.
21Pilismarót-Basaharc127 (106 fit for analysis)37448Copper AgeBoleráz155No skeletal remains or stone packing was found. Contained a mug, 4 bowls, a pot, a jug.There was no stone packing on the grave, thus the cremated human remains could have easily disappeared, making the interpretation as a symbolic burial not possible.Not a symbolic burial.Bondár 2015, 90–91.
21Pilismarót-Basaharc127 (106 fit for analysis)37449Copper AgeBoleráz55No skeletal remains or stone packing was found. Contained 5 bowls, an amphora.The identity cannot be determined, as the dead of the community were cremated, making the determination of biological sex impossible in most cases.Identity: cannot be determinedBondár 2015, 91–92; Köhler 2015, 322.
21Pilismarót-Basaharc127 (106 fit for analysis)37452Copper AgeBoleráz95150150No skeletal remains or stone packing was found. Contained a bowl, a pot, a jug, charcoal fragments.The identity cannot be determined, as the dead of the community were cremated, making the determination of biological sex impossible in most cases.Identity: cannot be determinedBondár 2015, 93–94; Köhler 2015, 322.
21Pilismarót-Basaharc127 (106 fit for analysis)37457Copper AgeBoleráz85150200No skeletal remains or stone packing was found. Contained 2 bowls, 2 jugs, 2 miniature pots, a miniature lid, an amphora, a pot.The identity cannot be determined, as the dead of the community were cremated, making the determination of biological sex impossible in most cases.Identity: cannot be determinedBondár 2015, 96–97; Köhler 2015, 322.
21Pilismarót-Basaharc127 (106 fit for analysis)37458Copper AgeBoleráz260150150No skeletal remains or stone packing was found. Contained a jug, vessel fragments, an amphora.The identity cannot be determined, as the dead of the community were cremated, making the determination of biological sex impossible in most cases.Identity: cannot be determinedBondár 2015, 97–98; Köhler 2015, 322.
21Pilismarót-Basaharc127 (106 fit for analysis)37459Copper AgeBoleráz137150150No skeletal remains or stone packing was found. Contained 2 bowls, 2 jugs.The identity cannot be determined, as the dead of the community were cremated, making the determination of biological sex impossible in most cases.Identity: cannot be determinedBondár 2015, 98; Köhler 2015, 322.
22Polgár-Bacsókert1418Copper AgeBodrogkeresztúrNo skeletal remains were found in the pit. Contained a pot, a jug, a knapped stone tool.Every grave of the cemetery was disturbed to a certain degree, most likely Grave 8 too.Not a symbolic burial.Patay 1958, 142–148; Patay 1961, 68–69.
23Polgár-Csõszhalom (horizontal settlement)1241?NeolithicTisza-Herpály-CsõszhalomNo skeletal remains were found in the pit. Contained a stone axe and a wild boar mandibula.Even though the site is not yet fully published, the reports are to be trusted and according to rAczky-ANderS 2009, the burial belonged to a male.Identity: maleRaczky–Anders 2009, 84.
24Polgár-Csõszhalom (tell)717NeolithicTisza-Herpály-Csõszhalom38050Disturbed. No skeletal remains were found in the pit. Contained a boar mandible, a stone axe.Due to being disturbed, it cannot be analysed.Not a symbolic burial.Bánffy 2007, 50.
25Poljanica251?Copper AgeKodžadermen-Gumelniþa-Karanovo VINo description available.According to Lichter 2001 there was a symbolic burial found on the site, but Todorova 1982 claims that in some cases, the skeletons completely disappeared, only leaving behind faint traces on the ground. Thus, Lichter’s interpretation must be dismissed.Not a symbolic burial.Lichter 2001, 420; Todorova 1982, 161–165.
26ProvadiaThe site was not analysed as it has not yet been fully published.Hикoлob et al. 2014; Payeb 2018, 50.
27Rákóczifalva-Bivaly-tó 1/c.791218Copper AgeBodrogkeresztúrNo skeletal remains were found in the pit. Contained 3 vessels, animal bones, a copper axe, a copper awl, 11 knapped stone tools.Even though the site is not yet published in detail, the observations and primal analysis of the finds are trustworthy. According to Csányi et al. 2010, this feature belongs to an entity, bearing a strong male identity. The feature was located in the middle of an empty area between two grave rows, further implying that it belonged to an entity.Entity: maleCsányi et al. 2010, 261.
28Sárazsadány-Akasztószer61?NeolithicTisza-Herpály-CsõszhalomNo description available.The feature appears in the literature as a disturbed grave and as a symbolic burial too. These contradictions make its interpretation as a symbolic grave impossible.Not a symbolic burial.Bognár-Kutzián 1963, 415; Bognár-Kutzián 1970, 129.
29Šváby111NeolithicBükk30No skeletal remains were found in the pit. Contained vessel fragments, a bowl, 2 amphorae, a jug, a knapped stone tool.Due to the insufficient observations and documentation, the interpretation as a symbolic burial cannot be accepted. The feature could have been disturbed, and even though the literature refers to it as a symbolic burial, also as to one where the human remains disappeared. It was unearthed on a settlement site with 3 other features, which also contradicts its interpretation as a symbolic grave.Not a symbolic burial.Budinský-Krička 1959, 465; Novotný 1962, 156.
30Svodín1612177/ 82NeolithicLengyelOnly a brief description is available. No skeletal remains were found in the pit. Contained vessels, lumps of ochre.Based on the brief description of Nemejcová-Pavuková 1986, the feature is richly furnished with finds suggesting male identity.Identity: maleNemejcoVá-Pavuková 1986, 148; Zalai-Gaál 1988, 68.
30Svodín161294/ 79NeolithicLengyelOnly a brief description is available. No skeletal remains were found in the pit. Contained 10 vessels, lumps of ochre.Based on the brief description of Nemejcová-Pavuková 1986, the feature is richly furnished with finds suggesting male identity.Identity: maleNemejcová-Pavuková 1986, 148; Zalai-Gaál 1988, 68.
31Tiszabábolna-Szilpuszta713Copper AgeTiszapolgár64No skeletal remains were found in the pit. Contained a pedestalled vessel, 2 pots, 3 jugs, a vessel fragment.The feature cannot be considered a a symbolic burial, as the human remains most likely fell victim to the site’s disturbance.Not a symbolic burial.Hellebrandt–Patay 1977, 43–46.
32Tiszapolgár-Basatanya167 (122 fit for analysis)211Copper AgeTiszapolgár6055W-EDisturbed. No skeletal remains were found in the pit. Contained stone beads, a pot, a cup, a pebble, animal teeth.Due to being disturbed, it cannot be analysed.Not a symbolic burial.Bognár-Kutzián 1963, 49–50.
32Tiszapolgár-Basatanya167 (122 fit for analysis)229Copper AgeTiszapolgár7045200W-ENo skeletal remains were found in the pit. Contained stone beads, 2 copper rings, a pedestalled vessel, Ovis aries bones, 3 jars, 2 cups, domestic boar mandible and wild boar tusk, bones of Bos taurus and Bos primigenius, antler fragments, animal teeth.Identity: childBognár-Kutzián 1963, 77–79.
33VarnaThe site was excluded from the analysis, as it has not yet been fully published and there are contradicting ideas in connection with its symbolic burials.Bojadžiev–Slavčev 2011; Ivanov 1978.
34Villánykövesd2814NeolithicLengyel73NW-DEContained 3 pedestalled vessels, a vessel, animal bones, a pot, 2 vertebrae of a child.According to Dombay 1960b the vertebrae found in the pit belonged to another burial, but there is no evidence to back this assumption up. The interpretation of the feature as a symbolic burial must be dismissed.Not a symbolic burial.Dombay 1960b, 62.
35Vinica53 (42 fit for analysis)713Copper AgeKodžadermen-Gumelniþa-Karanovo VI50No skeletal remains were found in the pit. Contained 3 vessels and 3 knapped stone tools.Identity: cannot be determined (child or male)Lichter 2001, 437; Paдуhyeba–Beheдикob 1976, 75.
35Vinica53 (42 fit for analysis)714Copper AgeKodžadermen-Gumelniþa-Karanovo VI40No skeletal remains were found in the pit. Contained 4 vessels.Identity: maleLichter 2001, 437; Paдуhyeba–Beheдикob 1976, 75.
35Vinica53 (42 fit for analysis)724Copper AgeKodžadermen-Gumelniþa-Karanovo VI30115115No skeletal remains were found in the pit with stone packing. Contained a vessel and a shell.Identity: femaleLichter 2001, 437; Paдуhyeba–Beheдикob 1976, 80.
35Vinica53 (42 fit for analysis)725Copper AgeKodžadermen-Gumelniþa-Karanovo VI65No skeletal remains were found in the pit. Contained 4 vessels.Identity: maleLichter 2001, 437; Paдуhyeba–Beheдикob 1976, 80.
35Vinica53 (42 fit for analysis)726Copper AgeKodžadermen-Gumelniþa-Karanovo VIDisturbed. No skeletal remains were found in the pit. Contained fragments of 5 vessels.Due to being disturbed, it cannot be analysed.Not a symbolic burial.Lichter 2001, 437; Paдуhyeba–Beheдикob 1976, 81.
35Vinica53 (42 fit for analysis)743Copper AgeKodžadermen-Gumelniþa-Karanovo VI30No skeletal remains were found in the pit. Contained a huge vessel, animal bones, a knapped stone tool.Not a symbolic burial, but rather an other form of structured deposition.Not a symbolic burial.Lichter 2001, 437; Paдуhyeba– beheдикob 1976, 90.
35Vinica53 (42 fit for analysis)748Copper AgeKodžadermen-Gumelniþa-Karanovo VI40No skeletal remains were found in the pit. Contained animal bones, a vessel, a knapped stone tool, a bone awl.Identity: femaleLichter 2001, 437; Paдуhyeba– beheдикob 1976, 91.
36Zengõvárkony-Igaz-dûlõ368237NeolithicLengyel25No skeletal remains were found in the pit. Contained 4 vessels, a stone axe, a wild boar mandible, a bone awl.The site’s analysis is impossible because the cemetery’s findmaterial is mixed up and the determination of the biological sex of the uncovered individuals was also problematic. Thus there is no context in which the symbolic burials can be examined.Not a symbolic burial.Dombay 1939, 17–18; Zoffmann 1974, 54.
36Zengõvárkony-Igaz-dûlõ3682262NeolithicLengyel40No skeletal remains were found in the pit. Contained 2 vessels, a bone awl.The site’s analysis is impossible because the cemetery’s findmaterial is mixed up and the determination of the biological sex of the uncovered individuals was also problematic. Thus there is no context in which the symbolic burials can be examined.Not a symbolic burial.Dombay 1960a, 130; Zoffmann 1974, 54.
2

Payeb 2018.

11

Hodder 1987, 11–12.

19

Raczky 2018, 24–26; Raczky 2019, 272–279.

24

For the catalogue of analysed features, see Table 3. In the article, the sites are numbered accordingly.

28

Никoлob et al. 2014; Payeb 2018, 50.

29

Novotný 1958, 37; Noovotný 1962, 156.

30

Lichter 2001, 418–419.

31

Forbes 2008, 213–214.

38

Kobylinski 1989, 123.

57

Bickle 2019, 209–214.

59

Chapman 2000, 127; Payeb 2018, 51.

63

Payeb 2018, 52.

64

Price 1997, 154–156.

69

Danilova 2015, 11–14.

72

Low 2011, 3–8.

75

Dombay 1939, 17–18; Dombay 1960a, 130.

77

Lichter 2001, 420; Todorova 1982, 161–165.

81

Bognár-Kutzián 1963, 77–79.

85

Siklósi 2013, 113–122.

86

Bondár 2009, 98–99.

89

Bondár 2015, 37–39.

90

Bondár 2002, 84–86.

92

Vajsov 2002, 364–365.

94

Bondár 2009, 44–110.

98

We will hopefully have more information on the Late Neolithic use of symbolic burials – and funerary customs in general – after the detailed publication of the 2300 burials of Alsónyék-Bátaszék (Osztás et al. 2013).

99

This work was supported by the ÚNKP-19-2 New National Excellence Program of the Ministry for Innovation and Technology (grant number: ÚNKP-19-2-I-ELTE-577).

Testek nélküli temetkezések. A Kárpát-medence és az Al-Duna vidék szimbolikus temetkezései a késő neolitikum és a rézkor idején

Hegedűs Zsuzsa

A cikk a Kárpát-medence és az Al-Duna vidék rézkorának, és ezzel szoros összefüggésben késő neolitikumának szimbolikus temetkezésként meghatározott objektumait tekinti át. Mivel ezen a területen még nem született részletes, összefoglaló munka, így fontos volt az adatok összegyűjtése mellett egy olyan módszertani rendszer kialakítása, mely alkalmas az ilyen típusú objektumok szűrésére és értelmezésére. A kialakított kritériumrendszer elősegítette azt, hogy a felgyűjtött adatokból csak a hiteles elemek kerüljenek részletes, elsősorban statisztikai módszereken alapuló elemzés alá. Alapvetően három értelmezési kategória jelenik meg: az egyénekhez köthető szimbolikus temetkezések, az entitásokhoz köthető szimbolikus temetkezések és az emlékhelyként szolgáló szimbolikus temetkezések. Ezek nem élesen elváló tipológiai egységek, hanem inkább az értelmezést megkönnyítő gondolati keretrendszerek, melyek mentén feltárható, hogy milyen szerepet tölthettek be a szimbolikus temetkezések az egykori közösségek szokásrendszerében.

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