International Union for Prehistoric and Protohistoric Sciences (UISPP) – Commission: Prehistoric and Protohistoric Mortuary Practices

Study Center of Dacica Foundation (SCDF)


Association for Studies of Funerary Arhaeology - Romania  (ASFA)


Brăila Museum ”Carol I”



Funerary Practices at the Thracians and the Celts in the Second Iron Age


Alun, Hunedoara County (Romania)

 11th-14th May 2017


Organizing Committee:

Prof. dr. Valeriu Sîrbu


30th Commission UISPP and ASFA 

Dr. Aurora Pețan








This is the 16th International Colloquium of Funerary Archaeology organized in the past 24 years, one of them was in Bulgaria (Kazanluk, 1993) another in Serbia (Čačak, 2015), and the rest, in Romania: Tulcea-Brăila-Slobozia-Călărași (1995), Tulcea (1997, 2000 and 2008), Brăila and Tulcea (2003), Brăila (2010, 2016), Buzău (2004, 2009 and 2012), Sibiu (2005 and 2007) and Bistrița (2008). These scientific events had participants from many parts of Europe and, sometimes, even from other continents.

So far, we have published 11 volumes of the funerary colloquia proceedings, all of them with excellent graphics and in languages used internationally, which had conferred a particular prestige to our scientific event; three other colloquia – with varied topics - were organized and three volumes were published under the aegis of the Commission Prehistoric and Protohistoric Mortuary Practices.

To these we can add the two sessions organized at the Congresses of the International Union of Prehistoric and Protohistoric Sciences (UISPP). Namely, the session named ”Tumuli Graves – Status Symbol of the Dead in Bronze and Iron Ages in Europe”, organized in Florianopolis (Brazil), is already published in Actes du XVIe Congrès Mondial UISPP (Florianopolis, 4-10 Septembre 2011), Volume 2. ISBN 9781407309897, 2012, by the prestigious British Archaeological Reports (BAR), while the presentations of the Session A16a - “Aegean-Mediterranean imports and influences in the graves from continental Europe – Bronze & Iron Ages”, organised on the occasion of the XVII UISPP Congress, Burgos (Spain), August 31st - September 7th 2014, have recently been published, together with the proceedings of Session A3c, by Archaeopress Archaeology, volume 9 (2016).

These colloquia took place under the aegis of the 30th Commission of the UISPP - Prehistoric and Protohistoric Mortuary Practices, and of the Association for Studies in Funerary Archaeology – Romania (ASAF).

The activities of the 30th Commission can be found on the website:

The participants at this colloquium are well-known professors and researchers from prestigious European universities and institutes, which will provide a high level of analyses and debates, as well as good international visibility.

The programme of the colloquium includes 14 presentations, with 18 authors, from 10 countries: Romania, Rep. of Moldova, Bulgaria, Hungary, Slovenia, Slovakia, Poland, Italy, Switzerland, and Spain.

Undoubtedly, the presentations and the debates on the topics in question will generate new data and interesting interpretations on the phenomena of ”Funerary Practices at the Thracians and the Celts in the Second Iron Age

I would like to thank Dr. Aurora Pețan, director of Study Centre of Dacica Foundation, and to Mr. Marian Norman Coman for their financial and logistic efforts necessary to organize this colloquium.

The volume of the colloquium is scheduled to be published in 2017, by the financial support of the Museum of Brăila ”Carol I”.


 Prof. dr. Valeriu Sîrbu


- 30th Commission: Prehistoric and Protohistoric Mortuary Practices of UISPP

- Association for Studies of Funerary Archaeology 






THURSDAY, 11 May 2017


10.00-15.00 - Welcome and registration of the participants

13.00 – 14.30  - Lunch

16.00 – Official Opening Ceremony of the 16th International Colloquium. Speakers: officials, organizers and participants



SESSION: 17.00-19.00


-Dr. Dan Ștefan (Romania), Funerary models and changes at the end of the Early Iron Age between Southern Carpathians and the Danube

-Prof. dr. Valeriu Sîrbu, Dr. Maria-Magdalena Ștefan (Romania), Tumuli in Lower Danube Area

-Prof. dr. Ion Niculiţă, Dr. Aurel Zanoci (Rep. of Moldova), Burial practices at Thraco-Getae in the Prut-Dniester Region


 19.30 – Dinner



FRIDAY, 12 May 2017


SESSION: 9.00-13.00



-Prof. dr. Diana Gergova (Bulgaria), Dr. Jordan Anastassov (Switzerland). Thracians and Celts in the Religious and Political centre of the Getae in Sboryanovo. La Tène finds in Getic context

-Dr. Manuel Fernández-Götz (Spain), Late Iron Age Burials in the Middle Rhine-Moselle Region: Aristocratic Graves and Local Communities

-Dr. Tomasz Bochnak (Pologne), Les changements du rite funéraire de la culture de La Tène en Pologne

10.30-10.45. Coffee break


- Prof. dr. Valeriu Sîrbu, Dr. Diana Dăvîncă (Romania), Hunedoara-Grădina Castelului: hildren necropolis or cult place?

- Dr. Aurel Rustoiu, Dr. Sándor Berecki, Dr. Iosif Vasile Ferencz (Romania), Funerary practices in Transylvania during the Celtic horizon (LT B1/B2 – C1)

- Dr. Sándor Berecki, Dr. Lucian-Dan Vaida (Romania), Late Iron Age Double Burials in the Eastern Part of  the Carpathian Basin

- Dr. Aurel Rustoiu, Dr. Iosif Vasile Ferencz (Romania), Funerary Practices in Banat in the Late Iron Age. Mobile communities, changing identities

- Discussion

 13.00-14.30. Lunch





- Dr. Petra Goláňová (Slovakia), Funerary Practices of the "Celts" from Bohemia and Moravia in the  Late Iron Age/La Tène period

-Prof. dr. Mitja Guštin (Slovenia), Celtic chariot graves from the area between south-west Pannonian plain and eastern Alps

-Dr. Katalin Almássy (Hungary), The funerary practices of the La Tène period in Eastern Hungary

-Dr. Davide Delfino (Italy), La Tène funerary practices in Italy (North and Center-North). Various  tribal contexts and different mutual acculturation level with Italic world


17.00. Coffee break

17.00. General discussions

19.00 – Dinner


SATURDAY, 13 May 2017


 9.00-17.00. Documentary trip in the area of the impressive Dacian residential centres in Orăştiei Mountains, including the capital of pre-Roman Dacia - Sarmizegetusa Regia.


 SUNDAY, 14 May 2017


 ROUND TABLE: 08.00-09.00


International Union for Prehistoric and Protohistoric Sciences (UISPP) - Prehistoric and Protohistoric Mortuary Practices

-Past, Present and Future-


18th UISPP World Congress  Paris, 3-9 June 2018          

Session – one day – with the topic:  Interdisciplinary Methods of Research for Bronze and Iron Ages Funerary Monuments (3rd-1 Millennia BC)


Official closing ceremony of the International Colloquium

09.00 – 12.00 – Documentary trip: Piatra Roșie – Dacian fortress

12.00-13.00.   Lunch

Departure of the participants







Dr. Katalin ALMÁSSY (Hungary)


In the present study, I discuss the funerary practices of the Carpathian Basin’s part east of the Danube in the La Tène Age. My study is based on published materials of LT cemeteries found on the territory of present-day Hungary, supplementing them with the most important sites of related geographical regions (Ier Valley, Satu Mare, Transcarpathian Region, Košice Basin.

The first step of my work was to cataloguise the sites. The site list shows that even this relatively small territory has better and worse studied parts. While we have at our disposal several modern and large excavations from the North Hungarian Mountains (Mátraszőlős, Ludas, Besenyőtelek, Radostyán, Kistokaj, Muhi, Bodroghalom), we know much less sites in the larger part of the Great Hungarian Plain (Jászberény, Orosháza, Szőreg), and in many cases their material has not been published (Gyoma–Egei halom, Csárdaszállás, Békéssámson–Erdőháti halom). New important parts of cemeteries were only partly ‒ except for the one from Szeged ‒ published from Arnót, Hejőpapi, Császárszállás and Szeged–Kiskundorozsma.

It is important to make it clear, that in the LT Age a more or less mixed population existed on the territory in question. Different Celtic groups bringing LT culture with them, met here the population of the Middle Iron Age that in itself consisted of different ethnic groups. This explains the extremely varied burial customs of the examined period. Practically all kinds of rites (dead in stretched out or contracted position, ashes in urns or dispersed in the grave-pit) were met. At the same time, some tendencies still can be outlined. The custom of unurned cremation clearly dominates the cemeteries of the northern regions. The small number of inhumations contains relatively early types of objects or got uncharacteristic material if any. Somewhat to the south, the cemeteries of Jászberény, Körösszegapáti (or the one from Pişcolt used as a comparison), show different character: number of stretched out corpses is much higher. At the same time, in Orosháza graves certainly belonging to LT Age are again consist of only cremations.

An important task of the funerary customs’ analysis is the examination of mutual impacts produced by the autochthonous population and that of the newcomers. In the material under study, burial in contracted position, the placing of pieces of mill or grinding stones into the grave or use of ceramic spindle whorls can be the tradition of the Middle Iron Age. There are several pottery types that in some way show the connections between the two populations.

For we connect the beginning of the LT Age to Celtic groups arriving from the west, number of warriors is of special importance. Both in the case of the Mátraszőlős and of the Ludas cemetery, dead supplied with weapons made a third or quarter of the total number of burials. At the same time, in Pişcolt only a lower number of graves included weapons. In Jászberény and Körösszegapáti only one or two warrior graves were unearthed, and no warriors were found in Orosháza. Of course, we should not forget that only a smaller part of the sites was uncovered in the case of the latter ones. 

There are further elements of the burial rite to examine and we have to compare or complete them with the results of new excavations (e.g. with the one from Kiskundorozsma the find material of which was previously unknown from the territory of the Great Hungarian Plain!). 



 Dr. Sándor BERECKI –Dr. Lucian-Dan VAIDA (Romania)


During the second half of the fourth century BC the eastern part of the Carpathian Basin was colonized by groups of population set out from Central Europe. While in this region the newly established settlements from the fourth–second centuries BC reveal an agrarian world, the cemeteries of the period indicate a more complex society with well-defined representation of individual and collective identity through the structure, inventory and funerary rite of the graves.           
Placed in a landscape with numerous early and middle La Tène sites, the Late Iron Age cemetery from Fântânele–Dealul Iuşului / La Gâţahas been systematically investigated since 1999. Starting from a burial discovered in 2014 (grave 46), the present paper brings into discussion the ‘deviant’ funerary customs of the Late Iron Age cemeteries from Transylvania and beyond, focusing on the double burials of the Late Iron Age from the eastern part of the Carpathian Basin.



 Dr. Tomasz BOCHNAK (Pologne)


Sur le territoire de la Pologne actuelle, la culture de La Tène se développait dans quatre régions situées dans la partie méridionale du pays – Basse Silésie, Plateau de Głubczyce, Petite Pologne (Małopolska) et du haut bassin de la rivière San. Ces groupes de la culture celtique sont proches des centres situés au sud des Carpates, ce qui peut expliquer pourquoi le mobilier de la Basse Silésie rappelle les ensembles de la Bohème, et celui du Plateau de Głubczyce trouve des analogies en Moravie. Les objets laténiens provenant du haut bassin de San sont proches du mobilier du bassin de la haute Tisa, tandis qu’en petite Pologne, l’horizon de la culture celtique « pure » est remplacé par un groupe culturel syncrétique avec les éléments de la culture de La Tène et celle de Przeworsk, mais on peut discerner aussi les influences caractéristiques pour le cercle dace et pour la culture de Pùchov.

A partir de la phase LT B1, jusqu’à la fin de la phase LT D, la population de la culture de la Tène pratiquait l’inhumation, l’incinération et le rite qui ne se laisse apercevoir avec les méthodes scientifiques actuelles. Pourtant, on peut considérer certaines découvertes récentes en Petite Pologne comme des prémisses pour reconstruire les éléments de ce rite.



 Dr. Davide DELFINO (Italy)


To the La Tène presences in Italy, according with the historical Latin’s sources and the archaeological evidence, it is possible to identify some tribal areas: Salassi (Valle d’ Aosta), Insubri (central-western Lombardy), Cenomani (Eastern Lombardy- Western Veneto), Boi (Emilia-Romagna) and Senoni (Marche). From the funerary evidence is possible to understand three characteristics transversal at the Celtic tribes: 1) preservation/adoption customs, 2) difference/uniformity of funerary ritual and 3) warfare. Each area is characterized in funerary contexts by different evidence in preservation of their traditions, or in different level of cultural opening to the local custom. Looking to the funerary goods, it seems clear that some Celt tribes suffer many local acculturation, like Senoni between IV and III cent BC, while others retain strictly their traditions, like Cenomani between IV and II cent BC. In Insubri area, also during the Romanization (II- I cent BC), grave goods present a cultural resistance with the presence of the weapons, above all the latenian sword, and then disappear completely after the Romanization (half of I cent BC). The funerary rite marks a difference between some tribes: for example, only inhumation in the Senoni area and mixt rites inhumation/incineration in the Insubri area. The warfare is evidently different between Senoni, Cenomani and Insubri to one hand and Boi to the other and.



Dr. Manuel FERNÁNDEZ-GÖTZ (Spain)


The Middle Rhine-Moselle region has one of the most important burial inventories – both in quantity and quality – of Iron Age Europe. In the Late La Tène period, this includes isolated aristocratic burials, elite cemeteries and large community necropoleis with dozens or even hundreds of graves. The present paper will provide an overview of this rich funerary evidence, analysing both elite graves such as those of Clemency and Goeblingen-Nospelt, and large cemeteries such as Wederath, Horath, Hoppstädten-Weiersbach, Lamadelaine and Feulen. Among the aspects considered are vertical and horizontal status differences, ancestor worship, wine consumption, and the transition between the Late Iron Age and the Gallo-Roman period.



 Prof. dr. Diana GERGOVA (Bulgaria)


The diversity of burial structures and rites at the Getic necropolises of Sboryanovo raise the questions both  about their  social and ethnical   identification.

The increasing number of objects and structures of Celtic origin in Sboryanovo   provokes the further   investigations of the essence of the Thraco- Celtic relationships during the Early Hellenistic period.
Several categories of Celtic types of monuments can be enumerated: pottery fragments at the Hellenistic town of Helis; female ornaments of different types in the tumuli and in the town; weapons and   a chariot; a Celtic type of sanctuary; art presentations.
The context of the Celtic structures and materials  in Sboryanovo  suggests  that  a process of   peaceful infiltration  and integration  of the newcomers   in the  local Getic milieu.



 Dr. Petra GOLÁŇOVÁ (Slovakia)


The paper deals with La Tène burial practices in Bohemia and Moravia based on graves from LT A  and LT B-C1 periods (half of the 5th- beginning of the 2nd century BC), as there are no regular „Celtic“ graves identifiable by archaeological means in the LT C2-D period.
During the 5th century BC, a continuity of the Early La Tène (LT A) with the preceding Late Hallstatt period  is obvious – also in burial activities. The cremation rite is predominant, although inhumation graves appear as well. Barrow burials are still practised in south and west Bohemia, joined by flat cremation cemeteries, rarely distinguished also in central and nortwest Bohemia. In Moravia, the single graves (both inhumation and cremation) are rarely known in the Early La Tène period. Graves of a „princely“ character (known especially in south and west Bohemia) with wooden and stone chambers, the monumental dimensions of some barrows, the selective deposition of wagons, horse harnesses and imported goods, are completely missing in Moravia.
Completely new flat cemeteries begin to appear at the very beginning of the 4th century BC (in LTB1a – the pre-Duchcov/Dux horizon) both in Bohemia and Moravia. Inhumation is the dominant burial rite now, although cremation burial rite was used as a minor element (in Moravia already from the beginning, in Bohemia from the end of the 4th century BC). Although the inhumation rite was practised until the end of burial at the flat cemeteries (until LTC1), cremation rite becomes predominant (in some Moravian cemeteries exclusive) in LTC1.
Cemeteries contain mostly dozens of graves, reaching more than 120 graves in Jenišův Újezd in Bohemia and more than 80 graves  in Holubice and Brno-Maloměřice in Moravia. In south Bohemia and east Moravia, only isolated graves or small groups of graves occur.
Although some differences are visible between Bohemia and Moravia in the LT B-C1 period (e.g. the presence of pottery and animal bones in the graves in Moravia), both areas are lacking the category of graves with „luxurious“ grave goods and exceptional grave layout, equivalent to earlier „princely“ graves -  the „upper class“ grave goods  is  represented in the male graves by swords, spears and shields, in the female graves by torcs, anklets and belt-chains. „Poor“ graves or burials without grave goods are no exception. Intentional damaging of grave goods has been observed, especially in the cremation graves.
There is no archaeological evidence for burials in the subsequent LTC2-D period.



 Prof. dr. Mitja GUŠTIN (Slovenia)


In Burgmuseum Deutschlandsberg (Austria) between amounts of archaeological finds from Late Iron Age there are also remains of few chariots with two or four wheels coming from the necropolises of the wider region of the south-west Pannonian plain. To these, not yet published chariots, we know from the region the chariot from Brežice (Slovenia) published in 1984 and we have from the same graveyard a new one, excavated few years ago. 
The funeral practise to bury the battle chariot with driver or warrior is in the area between the south-west Pannonian plain and eastern Alps surprising present in the stable period of the Celtic population. It reflects the global Celtic funeral practise from previous periods in which the burring of chariots has they roots in West Hallstatt elites and Early La Tène prince’s graves.
The presented chariots and graves inventories belong to the Celtic settlers living in the agricultural plains of the rivers terraces on the south-eastern edge of the Alps. Although they are buried with their attire and complete weapon equipment we have still to deal with the agricultural Celtic populations, mainly little farmers. The classical weaponry (sword, lance and shield) put beside deceased in graves was in the Middle La Tène period sign of tradition from the passed migration period of Celtic tribes.



 Prof. dr. Ion NICULIŢĂ – Dr. Aurel ZANOCI (Republic of Moldova)


As a result of archaeological investigations, surveys and fieldwork in the Prut-Dniester Region about 300 sites were identified (fortifications, open settlements, graves), which were attributed to Thracian-Getae communities of the 6th-3rd centuries BC. Graves represent only 3.5% of these sites, being found in the cemeteries (Dănceni, Hansca “Lutărie”, Orlovka, etc.) and individual burials (Poiana I, Moleşti “Râpa Adâncă”, etc.).
The degree of investigation of graves in the Prut-Dniester Region is different. For example, the cemeteries of Hansca “Lutărie”, Dănceni, and Orlovka were almost exhaustively investigated. On some (Giurgiuleşti, Maşcăuţi, etc.) several graves have been excavated, the others (Cigârleni “Dealul lui Gavril”) are known only from field research. Regardless of this, it appears that both cemeteries and isolated graves are flat and located in the high places in the immediate vicinity of settlements.
Funerary rite practiced by Thracian-Getae communities in the Prut-Dniester Region in most cases was cremation. But some cemeteries also have inhumation burials (Dănceni – 15 graves of 42; Hansca “Lutărie” 8 graves of 71 examined).
In cases of cremation, calcined bones were deposited in urns or directly on the bottom of the pit, proportionality ranging from a cemetery to another Hansca “Lutărie” (39 in urns, 24 in pits), Dănceni (5 in urns, 22 in pits), Orlovka (2 in urns, 22 in pits).
Burial pits used for cremation burials are usually simple, cylindrical, like in the cemeteries of Hansca “Lutărie”, Dănceni, Măşcăuţi “Livada Boierului”, etc. Rarely there were practiced square, oblong-oval or rectangular pits with rounded corners. Sometimes (Pârjolteni) a burial chamber presents a wooden construction braided with twigs and smeared with clay that was leaning on pillars, vertically dug into the bottom of the funeral pit.
For inhumation burials oval or rectangular pits with rounded corners were used. In the cemetery of Dănceni some of them have additional facilities in the form of access holes (on the type of the catacombs).
Grave goods in the Thracian-Getae burials of the Prut-Dniester Region are relatively modest, consisting in most cases of handmade pottery, tools, weapons, and adornments.
Thus, after studying the funerary rite and ritual of the communities from the Prut-Dniester Region we can say that they are broadly similar to those practiced by the Thracian-Getae throughout the territory of their residence.



 Dr. Aurel RUSTOIU – Dr. Sándor BERECKI – Dr. Iosif Vasile FERENCZ (Romania)


Chronologically, the Celtic horizon from Transylvania encompasses the LT B1/B2-LT C1 period. Using absolute dates, this horizon starts in the ca. 350 BC and ends in the ca. 175 BC. The most important phenomenon of this period is the Celtic colonization of the regions inside the Carpathians range. This had happened in successive stages and was carried out by groups originating from different Central and Western European region. The colonists encountered various indigenous communities in Transylvania, the resulting interactions differing from one community to another. The cohabitation of the newcomers and the local people contributed to the hybridization of material culture and the appearance of new collective identities which were different from those of the colonists’ homeland and also from those characteristic to the indigenous communities. The manner in which the colonists and the indigenous people interacted can be observed in, among other things, the funerary practices from Transylvania. The scope of this paper is to identify and discuss the funerary rites and rituals which characterised the colonist groups and have analogies in their homeland, the manner in which ancestral elements were manipulated and transformed in the colonized regions, and the ways in which the indigenous people preserved (or not) their own identity within the funerary environment.



Dr. Aurel RUSTOIU – Dr. Iosif Vasile FERENCZ (Romania)


Funerary practices are among the most important strategies used by human communities to express various collective identities. At the same time, these were also used to display the power relationships established within the respective community and also with other communities. From this perspective, the grave goods are usually interpreted as symbols of the attitudes of the mourners in the face of death, but they may also underline the communal perception of the self-representation of the deceased. At the same time, the funerary rituals are validated by specific values and beliefs that are shared by the entire community, and contribute to a sense of belonging which connects the living with their ancestors and the gods. These practices are also political events at which the status of the deceased and the mourners were negotiated, so the artefacts used as offerings were part of an active process of social manipulation.

Therefore, the paper is going to discuss the manner in which various individual and collective identities were constructed and affirmed within the communities from Banat during the Late Iron Age. The region in question is relevant for this topic because it experienced several population movements that contributed to a series of changes in the local ethnic and political configuration during the aforementioned period. Among other things, these changes can be observed in the evolution of funerary practices from some representative cemeteries in the aforementioned region.



Prof. dr. Valeriu SÎRBU – Dr. Maria-Magdalena ȘTEFAN (Romania)


Tumuli graves represent the most consistent and spectacular data source for the understanding of the social and political changes affecting the North-Thracian communities during the 5th-3rd centuries BC, as peripheries of the early state-like polity - the Odrysian and Macedonian Kingdoms. In the lower Danube area, second Iron Age tumuli landscapes represent a layered mix of former funerary traditions of the late Hallstatt tumular cemeteries, North-Pontic elements, influences coming from the South-Thracian elite graves and the later developments towards monumental funerary architecture - typical for the early Hellenistic period. In the vicinity of the Black Sea shore, the situation is even more complicated, as the burial in tumuli was widely used in the neighboring Greek colonies at the Black Sea and the scholarly interpretation in terms of crisp ethic identity of the deceased is not implicit.

Taking in account this mixed cultural background, the study aims to explore, on one hand, the spatial organization of funerary areas (in selected representative sites) as reflector of social order and memory of ancestors, analyzing the relations of cemeteries and tumuli with the general natural environment, contemporaneous settlements and roads. And, on the other, will quantify the main geomorphological features of embankments (size, shape, structure, and stratigraphy) in order to inquire for any chronological, geographical or social trends embedded in the tumuli landscapes of the Lower Danube, during the early second Iron Age. Special emphasis will be placed on presenting tumuli as complex constructive assembles in which the grave is only one of many elements.



 Prof. dr. Valeriu SÎRBU, Dr. Diana DĂVÎNCĂ (Romania)


An archaeological, anthropological and interdisciplinary detailed analysis of the finds could point out the fact that these remains are the expression of remarkable changes in the mortuary practices as far as the gender, the age and the social status of the deceased are concerned.

In all, one has identified, in 34 deposits with human bones, 57 individuals, 48 inhumed and only 9 cremated, dated in 300 BC – 101/106 AD. 38 of the 48 inhumed were chidren under seven years old, 20 of which were even younger than one year! On the other hand, all the cremated, but one, were adults.

No rule could be seen in the deposit or the orientation of the inhumed bodies, no matter the gender or the age. In a deposit the number of individuals varies from one to six deceased, no matter the rite, the age or the condition of skeletons.

Out of the 48 inhumed children, only for 25 were found bones from all the skeleton, one of them was missing the skull, and for 22 only isolated bones!

We need to mention that deposits of objects (such as on the southern and western sides) might have delimited the human bones, as well as animal offerings (such as on the north-eastern side); the other sides have been highly destroyed, consequently we could not know their situation.

Two main directions of interpretation could be settled if we take into consideration all the information at our disposal.

a) It is a necropolis where the Dacian community has applied, for four centuries, a strict „filter” for the gender, age, and social status of the deceased in order to establish the right rite or ritual performed for each. If it was an ordinary necropolis, then, in the first stage, they practiced the cremation only, and the deceased were warriors (including an Infans I), it followed a transition stage, when cremation and inhumation were practiced, for adults, teenagers and children; during the last stage, only little children were all inhumed.

b) In the last stage of functioning, that is the first century AD, it has become a sacred area where only children were inhumed, after having been, for a while, exposed/decomposed. We are not aware, so far, of a similar discovery – a necropolis just for children, inhumed or cremated, at the Thracians or the Celts from the central-eastern Europe. But, such discoveries are well known in the Greek-Roman world and other areas.

This main funerary change might have taken place by the middle/third quarter of the first century BC: if, for a century/century a half (150 -50/25 BC), almost all the deceased have been cremated, and they were warriors, all along the other century and a half (50/25 BC -106 AD), all the dead have been inhumed and almost all of them were children! We could not say, for both situations, what happened to the women and children in the first period and, with the adults, in the second period!

The deceased belonged to the surrounding communities, because, on one hand, the Dacian fortress was in the vicinity and, on the other hand, the inventory found here and considered very particular, belong to the local population.



  Dr. Dan ȘTEFAN (Romania)


Many of the features of the Second Iron Age between Carpathians and the Danube are set merely on the foundation of the immediately preceding period. That is expressed by some groups of funerary discoveries, mainly under the mounds of small tumuli clustered along the upper to mid coursers of the major rivers in the hilly region but also in some areas close to the Danube.

A careful analysis of this period reveals specific patterns some of them original and a number of influences from other areas (from the east, west and south). The models are far from being static. There is a certain chronological evolution between the middle of the 7th century BC and the 5th century BC.

This presentation seek to explore different patterns and changes of the distribution models revealed by the archaeological finds from the end of the Early Iron Age communities between Southern Carpathians and the Danube interpreting them as possible social models, individual identities and exchange strategies.



  PARIS, 3-9 JUNE 2018


Session – one day – with the topic:

Interdisciplinary Methods of Research for Bronze and Iron Ages Funerary Monuments (3rd-1 Millennia BC)


Organize by the Commissions “Prehistoric and Protohistoric Mortuary Practices” and “Archaeological Methods and Theory: Formalization, quantification, mathematics and computerization”


Organizers: Valeriu Sîrbu (Romania), François Djindjian (France), Dan Ștefan (Romania)



- Archaeology of construction;

- Funerary rituals;

- Inventory;

- Offerings;

- Funerary anthropology;

- Paleopathology;

- Gender;

- Social structures, status of the dead;

- Genetics;

- Religious interpretations;

- Taphonomy of bone remains;

- Statistics (sampling, descriptive statistics, spatial statistics, seriation, exploratory multivariate analysis, hypothesis testing);

- Survey (geophysical techniques, lidar, satellite teledetection, etc.);

- 2D and 3D acquisition;

- Landscape analysis;

- Heritage management.       



 Ediția a III-a
6-8 mai 2016
Sat Alun, jud. Hunedoara
Centrul de Studii al Fundației Dacica, în parteneriat cu Muzeul Național al Carpaților Răsăriteni și cu colectivul de cercetare al proiectului Limes Transalutanus (cod proiect: PN-II-PT-PCCA-2013-4-0759), organizează în perioada 6-8 mai 2016, la sediul din satul Alun, jud. Hunedoara, Simpozionul Național din Valea Alunului, ediția a III-a, cu tema





Fortificațiile care au suferit transformări, la temperaturi ridicate, sub acțiunea focului, sunt o prezență constantă în peisajul cercetării arheologice din România. Aceste transformări , mai mult sau mai puțin intense, sunt cunoscute într-o largă varietate, din epoca bronzului și până în perioada medievală, fiind cel mai adesea explicate cu ajutorul ipotezei distrugerii intenționate provocate de actori inamici comunităților care au edificat respectivele fortificații. Cu toate acestea, nu sunt puține cazurile în care transformările structurale vizibile cu ochiul liber, dar  și a celor intime, puse în evidență prin determinări și analize fizico-chimice, au fost atât de intense și/sau la o scară atât de mare încât au ridicat evidente semne de întrebare referitoare la paradigma interpretativă mai sus enunțată. Este oare posibilă atingerea și menținerea de temperaturi foarte mari doar prin incendierea suprastructurii din lemn? Aceste temperaturi au depășit, de la caz la caz, pragul transformărilor magnetice (peste 6500C) sau chiar nivelul termic specific unor metamorfoze profunde, așa cum sunt sinterizarea, calcinarea sau chiar vitrificarea compoziției valurilor cercetate (în jur de și peste 11000C). Este acceptabilă și suficientă ipoteza incendierii tactice a fortificațiilor, în timpul asediilor, pentru a explica o anvergură ciclopică a efectelor, așa cum au fost ele observate, pentru a da doar două exemple din epoci și condiții diferite, la marile cetăți de pământ de la sfârșitul epocii bronzului din Banat sau cele cunoscute în sectorul sudic al graniței imperiale romane în Dacia (Limes Transalutanus)?

Întrebările de mai sus, și multe altele, au fost deja formulate de către unii dintre arheologii români, dar ecoul general nu a fost suficient pentru a consolida o direcție de cercetare distinctă în favoarea problemelor aflate în discuție. De fapt, fortificațiile de acest tip descoperite pe teritoriul României, denumite adeseori (restrictiv) cu miez ars sau cu miez vitrificat, fac parte dintr-un ansamblu mult mai larg. Manifestările din această categorie, denumite, în general, vitrified forts sau vitrified walls în literatura engleză ori schlackenwall in literatura germană, sunt întâlnite în numeroase situri, răspândite pe întregul continent, din epoca bronzului, epoca fierului, epocă romană și din perioada feudală.

Scopul întrunirii este acela de a stabili un cadru de prezentare și dezbatere prin care specialiști interesați sau arheologi care au participat nemijlocit la cercetări în situri arheologice fortificate să aducă la un loc idei, informații și studii de caz și să formuleze ipoteze de interpretare referitoare la utilizarea focului în structuri fortificate din România. Un domeniu de discuție important va fi reprezentat de efectele fizico-chimice observate, asociate transformărilor structurale ce au loc la temperaturi înalte. În strânsă legătură cu acest domeniu va fi analizată necesitatea și posibilitățile practice de completare a cercetărilor arheologice tradiționale prin noi cercetări interdisciplinare (investigații geofizice, geo-arheologice, determinări și analize de laborator etc.). Vor mai fi discutate și analizate, cu acest prilej,  o serie de aranjamente practice care să fundamenteze viitoare activități de arheologie experimentală. Nu în ultimul rând, vor fi aduse în discuție, în cadrul unei scurte mese rotunde,  necesitatea și oportunitățile de construire a unui cadru comun de lucru prin intermediul unor viitoare proiecte de cercetare.

Fiind vorba despre un simpozion național, dorim ca studiile de caz prezentate să reprezinte, în primul rând, cercetările, mai vechi și mai noi, din România. Aceste studii de caz nu vor fi limitate doar la fortificațiile cu miez ars, organizatorii fiind interesați într-o dezbatere mai largă referitoare la acțiunea și efectele focului asupra fortificațiilor.  Totodată, propunem participanților o scurtă serie de prezentări asupra cercetărilor și a principalelor concluzii referitoare la acțiunea focului asupra fortificațiilor din Europa de Vest, Europa Centrală, dar și din țările din spațiul ex-sovietic. Va fi posibilă, în acest fel, observarea comparativă a metodologiei de cercetare și a principalelor rezultate și interpretări din arheologia din România și din Europa.

Organizatorii și-au propus realizarea unui experiment arheologic, chiar în timpul desfășurării lucrărilor simpozionului. Detalii despre acest experiment vor fi disponibile in următoarea circulară.

Cazarea și masa vor fi asigurate de către Fundația Dacica, în colaborare cu Pensiunea Dacica.

Vă rugăm să confirmați participarea și să ne comunicați titlul prezentării dumneavoastră până la data de 15 Aprilie 2016.





Comitetul științific

Dr. Dan Ștefan

Dr. Maria-Magdalena Ștefan

Dr. Valeriu Cavruc


Comitetul de organizare

Aurora Pețan

Raluca Eliza-Bătrînoiu

Marian Coman






Centrul de Studii al Fundației Dacica
Sat Alun nr. 1, com. Boșorod,  jud. Hunedoara
Tel. 0354-086162