Sarmatian cemetery at Makó-Igási járandó (County Csongrád, Hungary)

Balogh Csilla

Hadak útján. A népvándorláskor fiatal kutatóinak XXIV. konferenciája. Esztergom, 2014. november 4–6. Conference of young scholars on the Migration Period. November 4–6, 2014, Esztergom

MŐT Kiadványok 3.1 (2015) 257–320

DOI 10.55722/Arpad.Kiad.2015.3.1_12


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A tanulmány egy Makó határában található, kis sírszámú, teljesen feltárt szar-mata temetővel foglalkozik. A temetkezési szokások elemzésén túl bemutatjuk a temető külön-leges ékszeranyagát, a viseletre vonatkozó megfigyeléseinket. A leletanyag kiemelkedő darab-jai, elsősorban a fibulák, az üveg orsógombok és a változatos gyöngyanyag alapján vizsgáljuk a temető leletanyagának kapcsolatrendszerét. A Kr. u. 2. század második fele és a 3. század első évtizedei közötti időszakban használt, a Maros közelében létesült temető egy olyan szarmata közösség tagjainak temetkezőhelye, akiknek emlékanyagában a Fekete-tenger melléki kapcso-latok mellett a felső-germaniai–raetiai limes menti és a dél-pannoniai, dalmatiai területekkel is szoros kapcsolatok tükröződnek.

Kulcsszavak: Kárpát-medence, Barbaricum, szarmata temető, dobozos csüngő, erősprofilú fibula, csüngős övviselet, üveg orsógomb


On the border of Makó, Igási járandó (SE-Hungary) we excavated a Sarmatian cemetery con-sisting of sixteen graves. Its special finds, i.e. box-pendants worn around the neck, cast bronze lunula and unique strap rings highlight this cemetery, only consisting of a few graves, among Sarmatian cemeteries known to date. Besides, we observed pearl embroidered clothing char-acteristic for Sarmatian women  as well as their special belts and exotic hanging ornaments. Beads, a marine gastropod shell pendant (kauri), glass-amulets and a glass-spindle  were attached to the threads hanging from the belts.

The high quality of the silver “kraeftige profile” brooch (Almgren IV) from Grave 7  is par-ticularly significant. It  can be formally related to the Okorag-type brooches. It may have been manufactured, therefore, in their spread area (i.e. in South-Pannonia, North-Dalmatia, Upper Moesia, Dalmatia, Dacia), and concurrently with them, i.e. between the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD.

he cast bronze cruciform brooche from Grave 7 is a rare type. The parallels of the cross shape can be found among Roman type military harness mounts along the limes in Upper Ger-mania and Raetia and in Dura Europos.

The brooches of the cemetery show a variety of relationships; besides local metalwork, con-tact with South-Pannonia, Dalmatia and the provinces along the Rhine are indicated.

The burial customs observed in these graves show the general rites of the period. The orien-tation of the graves is SW–NE. On the basis of their parameter index they are long and narrow. Some of them, however, are pit graves of medium width. There was a general tendency of cof-fin burials. Apart from those at the feet, we observed vessels placed in the coffin for the jour-ney of the deceased. Bone in meat can be found only in one grave (Grave 3). In this grave we also observed traces of a custom that can be associated with fire cult. Namely, we found traces of organic material and seeds burning at the bottom of the grave.

The gender distribution in the cemetery was uneven. Thirteen women’s and two children’s  graves and an uncertain male grave have been excavated. Most of the buried people belonged to the adultus and maturus age range.

The cemetery was centrally structured. The burials were located around two rich tombs (Graves 4 and 7). The children’s graves were without any goods. Poor burials were located at the edge of the cemetery.

The usage time of the cemetery can be dated on the basis of the archaeological material to the period between the second half of the 2nd century and the first decade of the 3rd century AD. 14C data also support this dating.

Based on the grave goods it was a burial place of the female members of a community who came from the East during the 2nd century AD to the southern part of the Great Plain in today’s Hungary. They preserved the heritage brought from the East in their costumes and burial hab-its and also maintained their eastern relations. They settled down along the Maros River, close to the road connecting Dacia and Pannonia. Due to the frequented nature of the region and the proximity of a commercial and military road, there is a connection between the grave goods of the cemetery and the archeological materials of the remote Roman provinces.