Einige Bemerkungen zu den Elitenbestattungen mit Wagen und Pferdegeschirr in der frühen und älteren Urnenfelderzeit
by Mária Novotná 1
1 – Lehrstuhl für klassische Archäologie der Trnava-Universität, Trnava, Slowakische Republik
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. 419-430.
Abstract: Remarks on elite burials with carts and horse harness in the early and older phase of Urnfield cultures. The funeral ceremony of the late Bronze Age community in Central Europe is sometimes compared with younger images on the Greek vases of the Late Geometric period and partly the Archaic period. These depictions, in turn, may have older roots in the Greek tradition. A review of the graves from the late Helladic and late Minoan graves (1435–1060 BC), however, shows that they have little to do with Central Europe, both in terms of the funeral ritual and the nature of the gifts. In the Geometric period, there were changes in the ritual: inhumation was supplemented by cremation, the set of grave gifts changed, with the mentioned vases with scenes of mourning the deceased (prothesis) and a four-wheeled cart (ekphora). In the Mycenaean and Minoan cultures it was not customary to assemble a cart or part of a horse harness with the deceased. The privilege of the elites and warriors, however, was to sacrifice horses (without harnesses). In Central Europe, graves with carts and sometimes horse equipment are concentrated in the western part (Bavaria, Upper Austria, Switzerland). In the east, this phenomenon reaches to a burial from Bratislava-Rusovce, Čaka, Kolta and Očkov. These are the elite graves of representatives of Central Danube Urnfield culture, Čaka and Velatice cultures. Despite some common features, the graves of important members of the Late Bronze Age society in Greece differ from the contemporary graves of Central Europe, mainly by the presence of four-wheeled carts in the latter area. The differences also concern the custom of sacrificing horses, which in Central Europe were only symbolized by the offering of harness components.
Key words: elite burials, carts, horse harness, social stratification, Central Europe, Greece