Beads from the Avar-period cemeteries at Kiskundorozsma-Daruhalom

and Kiskundorozsma-Kettőshatár

Füleki Orsolya

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) 737–762

DOI 10.55722/Arpad.Kiad.2015.3.1_28


download pdf


A tanulmány a Kiskundorozsma határában 2003-ban és 2004-ben feltárt közép és késő avar kori temetők gyöngyanyagát ismerteti. A három temető mind időben, mind térben rendkívül közel áll egymáshoz. Elvégeztük a gyöngyök tipológiai osztályozását, a gyöngyöket tartalmazó sírok, valamint a temetőkön belüli gyöngyviselet elemzését, majd a gyöngysorok és gyöngyviselet alapján vizsgáltuk a gyöngyöket tartalmazó síregyüttesek kronológiai helyzetét, valamint a három temető viszonyát.

Kulcsszavak: Kiskundorozsma-Daruhalom, Kiskundorozsma-Kettőshatár, avar kor, viselet gyöngytipológia


In the three cemeteries a total of 1,620 beads were found. Most of them (1,606 pieces) are made of glass, while a few specimens of amber, chalk, carnelian, bone and coral have also come to light. In the course of typological sorting I identified fourteen main types of beads, primarily based on their material, shape, ornaments and transparency.

As far as shape is concerned, spherical, melon seed-shaped and millet beads dominated. Barell and ring-shaped, cylindrical and conical beads were also numerous. The number of composite pearls was significant too. In addition, a few tubular, prismatic, biconical, and twisted beads as well as truncated prisms were found.

Twenty graves at the site of Daruhalom and seventy at the site of Kettőshatár contained beads. In all three cemeteries graves of males, females and children contained beads. In Kiskun-dorozsma we can observe three ways of using beads. Men used them to close or decorate their bags, and in some cases they kept beads inside their bags as amulets. Women and little girls wore many strings of beads of various compositions and length. In several graves one to three beads were found in the neck of the deceased which refers to an ancient apotropaic magic among the Avars. In the cemeteries at Kiskundorozsma, this phenomenon was equally observed in the graves of males, females and children. Based on their origin, I classified the beads into four large groups. The majority of them were of antique or Roman origin and they had been in use from the Late Antiquity to the end of the Migration period. Another part of the beads are traceable to eastern roots – the Pontus region, the Crimea, the Caucasus region, the Eastern Eurasian Steppes and the Chernyakhov culture. They arrived to the Carpathian Basin in the 7th and 8th centuries through the intermediary of Byzantium. The third group of beads is of West Germanic origin. In the cases of eye-beads and melon-seed shaped beads we have to count with an Avar origin in the Carpathian Basin.

Most bead types of the cemeteries appeared after the mid-7th century or in the Late Avar period. In case they had been in use in the Early Avar period, they became popular around 650‒670. There are only a few exceptions such as eye-beads that had been fashionable in the Early Avar days and survived in small numbers until the end of the Avar period.

Graves at Daruhalom that cointained beads can be divided into three chronological groups: mid-7th century (two graves), last third of the 7th century (fourteen graves) and turn of the 8th–9th centuries (one grave). In Kettőshatár six chronological horizons could be observed: last third of the 7th century (twenty-one graves), turn of the 7th–8th centuries (five graves), first quarter of the 8th century (eight graves), second half of the 8th century (three graves), turn of the 8th–9th centuries (two graves) and the early decades of the 9th century (twelve graves).

The dominant type of the Daruhalom cemetery is the millet bead which appeared in large numbers in the Kettőshatár cemetery too. Here, however, we can observe a decrease in the num-ber of millet beads which only survived in small numbers until the end of the Avar period. From the Daruhalom cemetery only a few specimens of the melon seed shaped beads were recovered. On the contrary, the melon-seed shaped bead was the dominant type in the Kettőshatár cemetery where almost all varieties of this type were present in the graves. Thus, melon seed beads were scarcely used in Avar clothing during the time span of the Daruhalom cemetery, the reason being that the site had ceased to be used before they became widespread. During the period of use of the Kettőshatár cemetery, however, this type of bead was in fashion.

The variety of beads in the Kettőshatár cemetery is also greater than in Daruhalom. In Daru-halom the barell-shaped, prismatic, spherical, flattened spherical and cylindrical beads only appeared in few numbers. In Kettőshatár, these types appeared in more significant amounts and conical, twisted, composite, biconical and foiled beads as well as small-size beads decorated with knots appeared too. Composite, twisted transparent and foiled beads attest that the cemetery had been in use until the end of the Avar period.