Bronze hoards and tumulus tombs in north-western Romania. The bronze hoard from Aghireș (Sălaj county, Romania)
by Ioan Bejinariu 1
1 – Sălaj County Museum for History and Art (MJIAZ), Zalău, Romania
In: M. S. Przybyła, K. Dzięgielewski (eds.), Chasing Bronze Age rainbows. Studies on hoards and related phenomena in prehistoric Europe in honour of Wojciech Blajer, Prace Archeologiczne 69, Kraków: Institute of Archaeology, Jagiellonian University / Profil-Archeo, 2019, pp. 257-271.
Abstract: In 2016, a bronze deposit was discovered in the Aghireş area, located southeast of Zalău, Sălaj county. According to the discoverer, bronze sickles were placed in a circle, and in the middle were fragments of raw material (bronze). Field research showed that the deposit was buried in the area of a group of three tumuli located right on the forested ridge of a hill. The deposit of metal pieces was possibly meant to emphasize the special character of that place. The deposit consisted of four sickles of the hooked type and several pieces of bronze lumps. The finished pieces (sickles) amount to 577 g, and the remaining pieces of raw material weigh 2767.6 g. Associations like the Aghireş deposit (sickles + raw material) are extremely rare in the eastern part of the Carpathian Basin. In the Transylvanian area, hooked sickles appear mainly in deposits situated in the southern and central areas, often in combination with the Transylvanian type celts (Ruginoasa-Cara hoards-type considered contemporary with Uriu-Ópályi hoards-type and dated in Transylvania Late Bronze Age 2 – early Late Bronze 3 = Br D – early Ha A). These deposits are linked to Noua culture communities. The Aghireş deposit can be classified as Ruginoasa-Cara, but it is located in an area inhabited by Cehăluţ-Hajdúbagos communities. To the west of the Transylvanian space, the frequency of hooked sickles decreases significantly.
Key words: N-W Romania, bronze hoards, tumulus tombs, bronze sickles, bronze raw material