Archaeological news about the Archaeology of Later Medieval Europe from the Archaeology in Europe web site

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Unusual Medieval Graves Found In Poland

Ten monumental tombs discovered in Sasiny (Podlaskie), initially believed by archaeologists to contain Neolithic burials, were found to be less that 1,000 years old, and made by Christians.

The cemetery in Sasiny is located in the northeastern Poland. In the eleventh through to the thirteenth centuries, the area regularly changed hands between the Piast princes and the Rus princes.

"All members of the local community were buried in the study graveyard - both poor and rich, including the elite. Funeral rites were common to all. Each of the deceased was placed in a large burial structure, the edges of which was marked by big boulders," explained Dr. Michał Dzik from the Institute of Archaeology, University of Rzeszów, who heads the excavations in Sasiny.

The graves examined by archaeologists have almost rectangular outlines. The space surrounded by boulders, some of which weigh over half a ton, was filled with several layers of unworked stone, which covered the deceased, who was placed in a wooden coffin or covered with a shroud. Structures of this type have extensive size - on average 5 by 3.5 m.

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