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The Transition To The Afterlife. On The Formation of A Special Sepulchral Culture of The Late Bronze Age Dobova-Velika Gorica Group

In the area of Krško polje, Brežiška vrata, and the valley of the Sava River and Hrvatsko Zagorje the development at the end of the second and in the first two centuries of the first millennium BC is marked by the so called Dobova-Velika Gorica group, which archaeologists understand as a regional variant of the Central European Urnfield culture. One of the basic characteristics of this group are ceramic vessels with one or more perforations in the wall that we encounter, in various morphological variants, exclusively in the Late Bronze Age cemeteries in the area. It is obvious that these represent urns, respectively vessels that were purposely produced to keep the cremated bones of the deceased members of the community, while the perforations probably had a symbolic meaning and are associated with the past understanding of a certain concept of transition from this world to the afterlife. In the present contribution we discuss various issues regarding the use of such urns in the funeral ritual of the late bronze age Dobova-Velika gorica community with respect to analyzes of graves (sex and age of the deceased, accompanying grave goods, etc.) as well as comparisons from other prehistoric sites in Europe and ethnographical parallels. The results of the analyzes will shed a new light on the formation of this special sepulchral culture.

Bine Kramberger
Zavod za varstvo kulturne dediščine Slovenije (ZVKDS), Center za preventivno arheologijo (CPA), Poljanska cesta 40, Ljubljana


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