Three important components mark the problems of glass production in late antiquity and the early medieval period. The first consists of glass finds discovered in excavations of early Christian structures or complexes. The second consists of objects from the settlement strata of a considerable number of excavated medieval sites, some of them with a Roman past (Nin, Bribir…), while the third consists of material from the excavations of early medieval cemeteries. The subject of this discussion is actually the analysis of several exclusive glass items that come from the Early Croatian cemetery at Ždrijac that expand knowledge about late antique and early medieval glass production on the eastern Adriatic coast. The exclusive nature and exceptional value of the objects, as well as the context of the finds as a part of the integral position of Early Croatian prominent families define them as the possessions of elite members of society. The context of the absence of glass finds in the other graves from this period, and the reduced finds in the settlement strata of early medieval sites, suggests that these objects were imported by wealthy members of society, and from this we can indirectly presume a reduction and perhaps a discontinuation of local glass production in the region of ancient Liburnia in the early medieval period. Finds from the cemetery within grave units that can be assigned chronologically on the basis of other luxurious finds to the first half of the 9th century, when elements of Christianization can be noted at this cemetery otherwise characterized by a pagan burial ritual, allow the possibility of interpreting the probable ritual symbolism of these objects. The use of similar typological forms of glass footed goblets as votive lights during the Early Christian period otherwise leads us to consider that in the context of graves 310 and 322 these could perhaps be oil lamps, symbols of the eternal light that accompanies the deceased in the afterlife. In order to establish the possible production provenience and chronological determination for the manufacture of these objects, the reliably dated context of the burials in the first half of the 9th century was set aside, and a deductive analysis was performed of the basic characteristics of the glass grave goods, resulting in the finding that these items represent standard forms of the 6th and 7th centuries. In considering the production origin on the basis of certain analogies with northern Italy, primarily based on the large quantity of related goblets from sites in northern Italy, such as Nocera Umbra, Invilino, Castel Trosino, and also some nearby Slovenian sites, particularly Koper, one cannot a priori reject the previous relating of the glass finds from the Early Croatian cemetery at Ždrijac in Nin specifically to such a northern Adriatic source. However, the analysis of the decorative patterns on the flasks, which are tied to production in eastern Mediterranean workshops, as well as the exceptionally widespread appearance of glass footed goblets throughout the entire Mediterranean, also indicate the relevant possibility of an eastern provenience of these artifacts. The means by which they arrived in the context of the cemetery at Ždrijac are difficult to perceive, but the appearance of these grave goods in grave units from the 9th century shows a renewed interest in glass products, which after the great expansion in the early Imperial period had been greatly reduced in late antiquity and the early medieval period.
A bronze loop (a slot for running the spur strap through) of a spur set was found during the archaeological research of the cemetery near the church of St. George above Kaštel Sućurac. When the results of the research were published, it was not identified correctly. Instead it was interpreted as a gothic buckle in the catalogue. Nevertheless it is undoubtedly a loop of a strap set with a square frame and decorated front plate from the final 8th or the first half of the 9th century. A find that has been identified in this way can be easily interpreted in the context of the Putalj cemetery. Namely a layer of graves from the early 9th century was identified at Putalj. A find from Putalj is particularly important since such finds have not been previously known in the territory of the immediate hinterland of Split i.e. the Solin-Kaštela region, so that this fact was considered as a proof that the remaining late Antique population was still present in the mentioned territory. Besides the Putalj spur loop, there are two more similar finds from the Solin region published recently for the first time which do not speak in favor of this thesis. These are bronze loops belonging to spur sets of early Carolingian provenance confirming once more that presence of one such item at Putalj is not a coincidence. All three early Carolingian finds from the Solin-Kaštela region have direct analogies among the finds from princely graves from Crkvina in Biskupija. When Croatian territory entered Frankish sphere of interest by the end of the 8th century, Slavic population in the hinterland of the Dalmatian coast predominantly lived in a tribal-clan social system. Presence of rich graves testifies to a beginning of social stratification and commencements of feudalism. This process is evident in the entire territory in which the Croatian princedom was about to be formed during the 9th century. More significant concentration of the finds in question is noticable in the regions which were about to become important centers of the Croatian state (Nin, Ravni Kotari, Knin, Livno, and also the Solin Kaštela region). Early Carolingian finds from Putalj and Solin which are related to the original territory of the Trpimirović dynasty additionally confirm this thesis.
This scientific analysis starts from a valuable acquisition of the Archaeological Museum in Zagreb – a very well preserved early medieval winged spear from the vicinity of Dugo Selo, a town twenty kilometers to the east of Zagreb. The spear purchased for the Archaeological Museum in 2007 is of high quality and almost entirely preserved, with damage only on one side of the lower part of the socket (length 473.4 mm; weight 508 g). The spear is characterized by a broad blade, with a visible but not prominent rib, and the greatest span in the middle of the blade (54.4 mm). On both sides of the blade, more on one and less on the other, there are visible traces of double banded spirally twisted damascening with a rosette pattern of the Rosendamast (Rosetendamast) type. The socket of the spear is short (104.4 mm), with a hexagonal section above and a circular section below (28 mm), with a deep (94 mm) but not particularly wide insertion area (23.4 mm). The holes for the nails are located below the low placed wings or lugs, straight on top, and concavely curved below (span 71.8 mm). The ends of the wings are bent horizontally in the shape of the letter L. Each main side of the socket has a pair of elongated grooved bands (90 x 5.3 mm), while each lateral side above the wings has a pair of short grooved bands joined upwards into a point. The spear was brought to the Archaeological Museum in Zagreb and offered for sale by a resident of Dugo Selo, a small town twenty some kilometers east of Zagreb, who noted that it had been found twenty or more years ago on the northern slopes of the hill of Martin Breg during renovation of a nearby vineyard and the lane in the immediate vicinity, next to which the spear was found and handed over to its later owner (perhaps during widening and gravelling of the lane). Hence the location of the find is not certain, and it can be hypothesized, judging from the very good state of preservation, that the spear was actually an aquatic find, and that it came from a riverbed, sand bank, or gravel pit in the vicinity of Dugo Selo (which is near the Sava River). The spear is a typical early Carolingian product, which according to earlier typological-chronological systems would belong to Petersen type B, Paulsen winged spears of the finished type, and Szemeit type A, and accordingly would belong to the early Carolingian period and be dated to the period around AD 800. More recent archaeological research and knowledge acquired in the past twenty years has led to a different consideration and analysis of objects of this type, and the spear from the Dugo Selo vicinity has been analyzed on the basis of this new knowledge (Solberg, Westphal). The analysis was also extended to cover all of the known examples of winged spears in museums and other collections in Croatia (11+1 ex.) and Bosnia and Herzegovina (8 ex.), which for this occasion were subjected to an analysis of their dimensions and proportions, so that they would finally be compared and interpreted in the framework of the morphological postulates and conclusions previously reached by the German archaeologist-restorer H. Westphal. Analysis has shown the existence of several typological groups whose proposed chronological coordinates differ from those parameters used to the present for the investigation and the interpretation of winged spears in the works of Croatian archaeologists. This metrological approach to the analysis of the Croatian finds has confirmed the existence of examples that belong to the earliest tradition of early Carolingian winged spears and has identified several other spears whose morphological characteristics indicate the first half of the 8th century. The remaining spears mainly belong to two main typological groups (Westphal types II and III), i.e. to the period from the second half of the 8th century to within the second half of the 9th century.
The article discusses four early mediaeval hoards of iron items in Slovenia. The most complex is the hoard from Sebenje near Bled, which comprises agricultural implements, wood-carving tools, weapons, equestrian equipment and two bucket handles, while the most uniform hoard is from Gradišče above Bašelj, in which equestrian equipment was found. The hoard find from the Ljubljanica River includes, among various tools, an axe-shaped bar, which is a solitary find in Slovenia, whereas in the territories of the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland, this type of bar has been found in great numbers and in many hoards. In the hoard from Zidani gaber above Mihovo, agricultural implements were predominant (five sickles and a scythe). The hoards from Slovenian sites have been dated to the period from the 8th to the 10th centuries.
Graves in settlement areas during the 9th-10th cent. represent a rare way of inhumation. Analysis of finds provided determining traits of all elements of burial rite. Only when further sources of historical character were added it was possible to determine the reasons for inhumation in settlements.The reasons lie with the exceptionality of the deceased. These persons could get into this position after having broken valid law they died and were not able to amend their failures. This second-rate social status of similar character could have been obtained also by other individuals who had died in uncommon way or under unclear conditions. This way of inhumation does not represent some phenomenon of a crisis, but it is evidence for growing legal consciousness of members of the Great Moravian society.
Referring to the hypothesis about the appearance of three-beaded earrings in Croatia only in the late period of the Middle Ages, which Stjepan Gunjača based on the hoard find of three-beaded earrings and coins of the Angevin king Louis I (1342-1382) in a closed grave unit found during excavations of the cemetery surrounding the ruined church of St. Michael at Brnaze near Sinj, Ljubo Karaman in his article "Two chronological questions of Early Croatian archaeology" in the first section on "The period of appearance three beaded earrings of the socalled Kiev type in Dalmatian Croatia" first questioned and then rejected Gunjača’s claim. As the main argument for confirmation of his opinion about the appearance of the three beaded earrings in the early medieval period, he presented a photograph from the archives of the Museum of Croatian Antiquities, where the grave unit included spurs of the Carolingian type that he dated to the 9th century, along with a three-beaded earring decorated with filigree. Faced with Karaman’s argument, for which he had no proper answer, Gunjača did not further enter into discussions about the chronology of these earrings. Although more than fifty years have passed since then, in which the science of archaeology has greatly evolved through new findings, the fact remains that numerous art historians and archaeologists involved in the typology and chronology of the Middle Ages of Croatia ignore this opinion of Karaman. In fact, they avoid mentioning this article by Karaman and the arguments set forth in it as if it had never even been written. However, until the dilemma presented by Karaman is not solved, all conjectures about the chronology of this type of jewelry are scientifically defective and inconsistent. The author of this contribution, dedicated to the meritorious archaeologist and professor J. Belošević, solves the problem of Karaman’s hypothesis, by discovering that the three-beaded earring should be removed from the grave unit on the archival photograph, as it was placed there by chance. In this manner a serious problem in archaeological science has been removed and a more justified dating of medieval three-beaded earrings is made possible.
The temple of Jupiter at Diocletian’s palace in Split, which at the same time was also the mausoleum of the emperor, was transformed in the early medieval period into a cathedral dedicated to the Virgin Mary, otherwise much better known under the name of St. Domnius, the patron saint of the city. Changes in the function of the structure were reflected in the following:
The panels of the baptismal font in the Split baptistery are in secondary use; they originally functioned as plutei – sections of the altar screen. All the panels are covered by abstract interlaced patterns except for one, which depicts three human figures, one of them a king on a throne. One of the panels, incompletely preserved, broken into two pieces, and embedded into the step in front of the altar of the baptistery most probably originated from the cathedral of Split. One fragment of a panel - pluteus from the Split cathedral would connect to the fragment of the panel from the step in front of the baptistery altar, so they most likely were part of the same unit. The origin of the panels for the baptismal font is unknown (they could be from different places). Nor is it known when they were secondarily used to build the baptismal font. It can be hypothesized with certainty only for one, the fragment built into in the step, that it originally came from the Split cathedral. The greatest attention is drawn to the relief depicting a king. Analysis of this relief has shown that an inscription was removed. It was also noted that the figure next to the king originally held an object in his hands, probably a scroll, which was also subsequently chipped off. The figure of the ruler has been variously identified as a Croatian king (Petar Krešimir IV, Zvonimir…), as a Byzantine emperor, as Charlemagne… The hypothesis seems particularly possible that King Zvonimir was depicted, considering his coronation in Solin in 1075, when he received his royal insignia from the pope. Conjectures are also frequent that this represents the Savior in glory, the figure of Christ, or even some Christian symbolism. A hypothesis was also suggested that the image of a ruler was in fact an illustration of an analogy from the Gospels about a cruel debtor who did not forgive his debtor (Mt. 18, 23-35), so that this would depict a king with the merciless debtor kneeling in front of him. The figure of the king from the story would, however, be an allusion to Christ as the heavenly king. Hence the relief with the figure of a king would not depict some specific secular ruler. Different hypotheses exist about the provenience of the panels: they would originally have been plutei of the altar screens of the Coronation Basilica in Solin (the Church of SS. Peter and Moses, at the site of the Hollow Church), from the monastery church of St. Euphemia in Split, from the Split cathedral … A new hypothesis is presented in this article. Some of the panels from the Split baptistery may have come from the demolished monastery church of St. Peter in Jesenice (sanctus Petrus in Sello/Selle, sanctus Petrus de Gumai, de Gumag…), which was founded by the magnate Petar Črnjin called Gumaj (Petrus Zerni qui et Gumai filus). The monastery church was quite large and three-aisled; many panels could have been in its altar screen. On one of these panels, which originally would have stood in the most prominent place in the church, by the entrance in the altar screen, it is possible that Petar Črnjin, King Zvonimir, and an individual (Streza) who had lost a dispute would have been represented. In fact, Petar Črnjin had a dispute in 1078 documented in Šibenik that was to be decided by King Zvonimir; the quarrel was with Streza – the king’s uncle, who had attempted to grab some land. But it is also possible that it is King Slavac who is depicted, and the prostrated individual could perhaps have been one of the Neretva tribe who had also lost a dispute with Petar Črnjin. After the monastery was closed in the 13th century, when the monastery estates were acquired by the archdiocese of Split, a new church was built at the same place in the 14th century, but to a much smaller scale. It is possible that some of the altar screen panels were then transported to Split, to be used as the panels of the baptismal font. On that occasion, the inscription that may have mentioned a king was probably removed.
The archaeological site of Jalkovec − Police was discovered during construction along the route of the southwestern bypass for the city of Varaždin. Most of the finds were from the late Bronze Age, with some sporadic Roman finds. One damaged pit dated to the Middle Ages was also discovered. Police is the toponym for a gently elevated river bar located north of the Plitvica Stream and south of the Drava River. As throughout history this area was flooded and marshy, the settlements were usually located on similar slightly elevated positions. The partly excavated pit K 12 contained numerous pottery fragments, burnt animal bones, tiny pieces of charcoal, large river pebbles, a piece of iron slag, and a chipped piece of flint. Through C14 analysis, the pit was dated to 1111+54 cal AD. Through the analysis of the typological characteristics of the pottery fragments, the fill of the pit could truly be dated to the 11th-12th century transition, confirming the C14 dating. A considerable presence could be noted of decoration with a toothed wheel, which otherwise appears in the period from the 10th-14th centuries. The pottery production from this period is relatively unknown in Croatia, so the analysis of this pit is offered as a contribution to further research into the beginning of the High Middle Ages in northern Croatia.
I will use the opportunity in the fourth number of the Archaeologia Adriatica journal which is dedicated to my friend and colleague J. Belošević to pay attention to the finds which were found at the sea bottom as a consequence of various shipwrecks or as discarded or lost objects in the Early Middle Ages period when Croatian state developed and existed. Monuments from this period belong to rich scope of the study and research of my colleague J. Belošević. In this case by underwater finds I refer to a specific category of monuments that I have already written about, and which can be dated to the mentioned period on the basis of analogies. Namely these are amphorae which exhibit considerable differences regarding their size, i.e. capacity from the earlier types dated from the 5th to 7th centuries. These Byzantine amphorae, as they are usually referred to, have characteristic massive handles which are usually higher than the vessel's opening whereas base of the amphora is oval in shape, without pointed end characteristic of the earlier amphorae. Forms are usually piriform or ovoid, and their height usually does not exceed 40 cm. Remains of a shipwreck with amphorae of this type were discovered near the island of Mljet in the mid-1970s and the site had already been devastated. I discovered another site with the remains of the Byzantine amphorae and some other objects in the sea in front of the Ždrijac site in the vicinity of Nin when I was working as a curator of a regional archaeological collection in Nin in the 1960s. Byzantine amphorae were also found in 1995 in the Bay of Pijan in Savudrija where rescue underwater archaeological excavations of an important ancient port near Aquileia were undertaken due to building and extending a quay. Great part of the remaining amphorae which I present in this paper are older finds without exact data about the findspot and circumstances of discovery, such as the upper segment of an amphora from Umag or an oblong amphora with large handles which are significantly higher than its opening from Poreč (presently in the Regional Museum in Poreč). Three almost identical amphorae have piriform bodies and massive handles with a triangular cross-section which are higher than the amphora's opening. One of them was found near the island of Žut long time ago, presently it is in the Šibenik City Museum, the second was taken out of the sea in a fishing net between the islands of Silba and Olib, and the third one is from the Trogir port. There are several more amphorae corresponding to these finds: upper segment of an amphora from Ždrijac in Nin and two somewhat larger amphorae, one of which was found near the island of Ošljak near Zadar long ago (presently in the Archaeological Museum in Zadar) and the other from the Kovačić collection on the island of Hvar. A larger segment of a smaller oblong amphora of the similar shape was found in the 1970s near the island of Vela Arta near Murter. An upper segment of an amphora with a distinct neck and opening and large massive handles with triangular cross-section was found in the sea near the cape of Gospa od Gradine in Rogoznica, presently also in the Šibenik City Museum. We also need to mention finds from the port of Hvar found in 1991 and amphorae from the churches of St. Michael in Ston, St. George on the island of Vis and St. Barbara in Trogir. Underwater explorations along the Asia Minor coastline and in the Black Sea brought to light similar examples of amphorae on the basis of which N. Günsenin and Ch. Bakirtzis created a chronology, classifying them into several types dated from the 9th to 13th centuries. For an amphora from the collection of the Franciscan Monastery on the island of Krapanj we can find closer analogies, and probably also production centers on Peloponnesus. Without individual analysis of each of our amphorae, we can easily notice difference in the height of the handles which are often higher than the amphora's opening. Other evident differences include size and forms of amphorae as well as their diversity in relation to amphorae from the same period found in Turkish/Pontic region and the remaing part of the Balkans. These insights about the typological differences between our amphorae and the aforementioned ones in the Asia Minor region open up possibilities for hypothesizing about other, possibly local workshop centers in the area of today's Albanian littoral or the rest of the eastern Adriatic coast. All together, our coast shows the most impressive picture of maritime trade in the early medieval period on the basis of density of finds of the mentioned amphorae. Trade with glass products was also present in this period along our coast as indicated by the remains of a shipwreck near Cape Stoba on the island of Mljet where a certain amount of glass sets was found together with amphorae. Some of complete glass items found on a shipwreck near Serçe Limani can be related to some finds from the terrestrial sites on the basis of analogies, such as a glass flask from the grave (no. 322) at the great necropolis from Ždrijac in Nin which can be related to the workshop centres of the eastern Mediterranean since similar flask was found on the shipwreck from Serçe Limani in Turkey.
Two boats (Nin 1 and Nin 2) were discovered in the 1960s at the entrance to Nin harbor, fifteen km northwest of Zadar. In 1974 the boats were lifted from the sea bed, were preserved in PEG and presented to the public in the Museum of Nin Heritage. According to radiocarbon evidence the boats date to the eleventh/twelfth century. They were about 8 m long and were built in skeleton first technique. The frames and planks were fastened together with nails and treenails. Instead of a central keel they were provided with a keel plank and two parallel bilge keels, which run below the garboards. A wooden base for the mast step was also found. A sampling of the wooden elements to identify wood species was realized in 2008. Sixty-one samples were taken from various elements of the Nin 1 frames, futtocks, stem post, bilge keel, planks and central plank), and 91 samples were taken from Nin 2 (frames, planks, bilge keel and central plank). The majority of the components from both wrecks were made of Quercus petraea. In Nin 1, 43 of 61 samples were of Quercus petraea, and 12 samples were of Quercus cerris. One plank was made of Platanus orientalis, another of Ulmus campestris. Four analyzed components were identified as Abies alba and are probably modern insertions in the reconstruction. In Nin 2, 84 of 91 samples were made of Quercus petraea, 6 of Quercus cerris. One plank was identified as Ulmus campestris. The native distribution area of Quercus petraea and Quercus cerris coincide. Both oak species are very common in Croatia and the Balkans. Anatomical features indicate that both species of oak that were used as construction timber for the Nin boats grew in a region characterized by high mountains and very cold winters, resulting in trees which are better fit for shipbuilding because of their strength and lack of insect and fungal damage. While it is logical to assume that local boatyards building small boats would have exploited local timber sources, or whatever was locally available, it is possible that such timbers were depleted in this region, thus forcing the procurement of timber from mountainous areas.
Late medieval graves in the Kaštela region have been found to contain, in addition to jewelry, decorative-functional elements of clothing and footwear, termed Gothic according to the stylistic period then in fashion. These are finds from graves that were then on the territory of the commune districts of Split and Trogir. Finds are taken into consideration here that belong to remains of footwear, which so far in Croatia have not even been recognized as such, and which can be stratigraphically and typologically placed in the late Middle Ages (14th-15th cent.). These are objects of a utilitarian character that at the same time have clear stylistic traits, and they have been discovered in the past two decades during systematic excavation of medieval cemeteries in Kaštela. These are large parish cemeteries that grew up around early medieval churches; the cemetery around the church of St. George of Putalj and the cemetery around the church of St. George of Radun. The Putalj cemetery was the graveyard for the inhabitants of medieval Sućurac for more than four centuries (12th-16th cent.), and the Radun cemetery belonged to part of the village of Radun and had an even longer continuity of burial (11th-16th cent.). The first examples were found at these sites, some of them in situ, which enabled a more precise functional determination of them through stylistic-typological parallels and also among dislocated finds in graves with multiple burials, as well as parallels at cemeteries in neighboring regions in central Dalmatia. Finds to the present of shoe buckles can be classified to two typological variants (Pl. I:1-3), one of them called the Radun type according to the eponymous site (Pl. I:1, 3). They are all chronologically coherent and belong to those strata of the cemeteries that are dated according to determined parameters (stratigraphy, typology of the finds) to the 14th and beginning of the 15th centuries, when the Gothic style in art was already completely developed. They can thus be attributed as artistic craft products of the artisan workshops in Split and Trogir at that time, which were distributed throughout the area of the urban districts of those communes. Finds of functionally identical objects have been recorded on the territory of Roman Salona and its broader vicinity, but in the period of late antiquity, while in the early modern period (16th-18th cent.) finds of iron hobnails for shoes or boots have been registered at a large number of sites in the hinterland of central Dalmatia. In addition to the rare and generalized tiny depictions of shoe buckles in the artistic sources of the Gothic and Renaissance (paintings, frescoes, sculptures) in Western Europe, references to them can also be found in written sources. One notarial document from the 16th century in Zadar mentions shoe buckles under the term fiube da scarpe. The investigation of this segment of material culture is just beginning, and new data can be expected to be discovered in documents and works of art, and above all in new archaeological finds of buckles for footwear, which will considerably improve our knowledge of this interesting attire detail from the Gothic and Renaissance periods.
Within the archaeological-historical complex at the hillfort of Biranj (Kaštel Lukšić), the ancient church of St. John the Baptist stands out in particular as a cultural entity. Three architectural phases (Romanesque, Late Gothic, and Modern period) can be perceived in its present appearance. The façade of the church bears a group of late medieval inscriptions in Latin: a donative inscription on the lintel, dated 1444 and also by the reign of the Venetian Doge Francesco Foscari (today placed in the interior of the church), as well as four consecratory inscriptions from the same time on the corners of the church. They were placed by donors (church juspatronatus) on the structure of the church on the occasion of the dedication of the thoroughly renovated original church of St. John, which had been built in the Romanesque period, at the end of the 12th or in the early 13th century, as the endowment of the Ostrog free villagers. From the donative inscription on the lintel it is learned that the ruinous Romanesque church was renovated from the foundations up by the juspatronus and plebanus Grgur Nikolin, the archpresbyter and canon of the Trogir diocese, in the name of a personal vow and the vows of all the juspatroni of St. John of Biranj. The four consecratory inscriptions with the text + Christus venit in pace et Deus homo factus est on the corners of the Late Gothic church from the same period are particularly interesting. On the basis of the contents it is hypothesized that they represent some kind of reminiscence of the possible original epigraphic dedications from the period of the construction of the Romanesque church at the end of the 12th century or in the early decades of the 13th century. The inscriptions and the sacred structure to which they belong are considered in the framework of the site as a cultural-historical complex and multi-century religious shrine and are analyzed in terms of the formal and contextual epigraphic traits. Their context is explored in the framework of the historical and religious-spiritual conditions related to the specific area in the period of the developed (12th and 13th centuries) and late Middle Ages (middle of the 15th century).
The archaeological excavations in the very nucleus of the city of Varaždin resulted in numerous and diverse material bearing witness to the manner of existence, trade, customs, and the lifestyle standards of citizens from the 15th to the 19th centuries. The medieval glass, distinguished from several hundred glass finds, comes from various sites in the city. These consists primarily of fragments, while only two bottles were complete, and one beaker was missing the upper section. Glass vessels of various forms and purposes can be assigned according to the typological characteristics to several groups: biconical flasks, bottle of the kuttrolf type, conical smooth beakers and conical optically blown beakers, krautstrunk type beakers, and footed goblets. A special group is composed of window glass, represented by oculi, while for one object the function has not yet been determined. The analysis and dating of the glass from Varaždin are based on typological features and comparisons with similar finds from other contexts, since generally speaking the products of the European workshops cannot be distinguished in terms of form and purpose, rather the quality of the glass and manner of execution are recognizable for given production centers. The stratigraphic position of some of the finds was important for their dating, and hence the krautstrunk beaker found at the vase of the defensive ditch of the castle (Stari Grad) was dated to the 15th century on the basis of the other finds from the stratum. The medieval glass from Varaždin belongs to the period from the beginning of the 15th to the second half of the 16th centuries, and according to the color, the quality of the glass, and its workmanship, its origin can be sought in the glass workshops of Venice (biconical flasks, conical beakers, footed goblets), Budapest (biconical flasks, oculi), and the German forest glassworks (kuttrolf bottles, krautstrunk beakers). It is also possible that high quality products made "a façon de Venise" could have been manufactured in some central European glass production centers.
Numismatic finds recovered during the archaeological research undertaken in 1997 at the cemetery area by the church of St. Peter in Kula Atlagića near Benkovac are published in this paper. There were 19 specimens of coins. The earliest coins can be dated to late Antiquity whereas the latest Venetian soldi were minted in the 17th and 18th centuries for Dalmatia, Albania and Morea. Silver medieval Venetian coins make most of the finds, alongside examples from the cities of Padua, Mantua, Split and Aquileian patriarchate.
Archaeological excavations have been carried out over a series of years in the northwestern-most part of the Hrvatsko zagorje region, at Hum na Sutli, at a castle whose medieval name was Vrbovec. Burg was mentioned in rare historical sources in the period from the second half of the 13th century to the second half of the 15th century. The excavations have resulted in data about its earlier beginnings, as well as its lengthier continuation, in fact a subsequent utilization if the medieval position in the early modern period, i.e. in the 16th century. The remains of a wooden structure, probably a tower destroyed by fire, were found at the site, built on the ruins of the medieval castle (Fig. 1). On the basis of the width of the foundation pit for this wooden structure, it can be concluded that this was a building constructed of massive wooden beams or the structure had several levels. The remains of a demolished tile stove were also found. The stove was covered with three types of tiles – tiles with a solid front decorative panel depicting a hunting scene (Fig. 2, Pl. 1/1), tiles with a perforated front panel decorated with architectural motifs (Fig. 3, Pl. 1/2), and simple bowl-shaped ties with a square opening (Fig. 4, Pl. 1/3). The first type of tile represents a copy of the kind of tiles that were found at the Celje castle, where they were dated to the last quarter of the 15th century and the transition from the 15th to the 16th centuries. On the basis of the stratigraphy of the finds, the typology of the stove tiles, and radiocarbon analyses, the tile stove from Vrbovec is dated to the second half of the 16th century. Although there is no specific mention of this in the historical sources, the early modern period horizon of the ruins at the medieval castle of Vrbovec should be tied to the aristocratic Rattkay family. The burg Vrbovec at Klenovec Humski with this discovery has become not merely an archaeological source for the medieval period, but also an excellent source for investigating the early modern period.
In his contribution, the author strives to evaluate in detail the significance of the archaeological heritage of the early mediaeval cemetery at the Bagruša site near the village of Petoševci near Banja Luka in the Bosnian part of Posavina. Our understanding of this site offers new chronological determinants for both the analysed clan cemetery in rows and also establishing the start of the formation and manifestation of the Bijelo Brdo culture on the southern margins of the central Danube region. In this paper, an interweaving of several cultural circles can be identified.
Over a thousand graves were discovered at the necropolis in Vodoča near Strumica (about 170 km south-east of Skopje). Population of the settlement of Vodica – Vodoča was buried at this site over a long chronological range from the 13th/14th centuries continuously until the 20th century. Jewelry is dominant archaeological material at the Vodoča necropolis, as it is on other Christian cemeteries from the mentioned period in a wider region. Several interesting examples of rings with sphragistic purpose which were studied in this paper can be broadly dated from the second half of the 14th century to 17th century. Besides complete or reduced signs, and heraldic or emblematic ones, over the course of time one can also notice reduction in quality and poor characteristics of workmanship and material. Tendency to preserve traditional traits is noticeable on one hand, and on the other hand there is evident penetration of oriental sphragistics. These signet rings were worn foremost by "baštinari" (heirs) mentioned in Turkish registers. They were the remains of medieval lesser nobility – "pronijari" (pronoiars) and their offspring who inherited property and land. These rings were used to legitimize investitures and membership in a certain social class and profession.
The site of Pakoštane-Crkvina, situated at the position called Košević at the west coast of the Vrana Lake, in the immediate vicinity of the road connecting Pakoštane and Vrana, has been systematically excavated by the Department of Archaeology of the University of Zadar. On this occasion the authors selected numismatic finds which were recovered during the last five research campaigns out of multitude of archaeological objects. Total of 11 coins were found so far, covering wide chronological range from the 4th to 18th centuries. Numismatic finds from the site of Pakoštane – Crkvina were poorly preserved. However after cleaning and conservation it was possible to determine with certainty dating of ten preserved numismatic finds. This numismatic material represents a reflection of historical-commercial activities of the wider Mediterranean region, including the city of Zadar and its wider surrounding which comprises the site of Pakoštane-Crkvina as its inseparable part.
The Eary Croatian cemetery at Ždrijac in Nin is rightfully considered one of the most important archaeological sites in Croatia. The systematic archaeological excavations of the cemetery began in 1969, under the direction of Prof. Dr. Janko Belošević, and continued to 1977. The cemetery is dated to the 8th and first half of the 9th century, and in terms of the archaeological finds and funerary architecture, it can be classified as a settlement cemetery organized in rows. Through study of the horizontal stratigraphy of the cemetery, it is possible to perceive individual groups of graves formed most probably on the basis of family relationships or clan membership. The most obvious example of such grouping can be found in the eastern part of the cemetery, where a certain number of graves was concentrated around grave 332, in which an Early Croatian high ranking family was buried. We received verbal confirmation from Prof. Dr. Janko Belošević that on the basis of the grave goods and the horizontal stratigraphy it is quite logical and justifiable to hypothesize that the individual from grave 312 (a well preserved skeleton of a man aged between 40 and 45) belonged to the same upper social class presumed for the family buried in grave 322. In this text we have compared the presence of various osteological (age, height, indicators of subadult stress, indicators of hard physical labor, and trauma analysis) and dental stress indicators (dental diseases that would indicate the type and quality of food) for the deceased individual from grave 312 with a sample composed of 22 individuals considered on the basis of the archaeological finds to belong to a lower social class. The aim was to establish whether the presence of the analyzed stress indicators correlated to a socially inferior status of the deceased. The results show that in the analyzed sample the above stress indicator were not correlated with social status, which suggests that the living conditions were relatively similar for all men at this Early Croatian site.
The article analyzes two newly discovered original early Romanesque fragments of a pilaster that was long ago reconstructed by Gunjača on the basis of two original pieces, while the other two were replaced. During structural repairs and conservation at the fortress of Tnin in Knin in 2006, the missing two original segments were discovered, which Gunjača had though had been forever lost. They consist of the central part of the pilaster and the base. The fragments are analyzed in catalogue form. In addition to the analysis of the two newly found fragments, other fragments discovered earlier that also have early Romanesque characteristics were also considered. In contrast to the majority of earlier known examples that have an inscription field, fragments are analyzed here that have a characteristic decoration that ties them to the previously noted finds. Through a method of comparison, stylistic decorative traits are noted that characterize one and the other fragment on the kymation. The comparisons were carried out not merely on the early Romanesque fragments from the Knin fortress, but also from the site of Kapitul, and further on one fragment of an architrave beam whose provenience is not known, currently located in the Archaeological Museum in Split. As it has the same stylistic decorative characteristics as the two new Romanesque fragments from Knin, a three-braided ribbon and stylized flowers, it probably came from the same workshop circle or even the same ecclesiastical structure, the Church of St. Stephen in Knin. As arched elements that come from Kapitul are also located in the Archaeological Museum in Split, it is not excluded that several fragments that are kept in the that museum come from the Knin region. The analysis carried out on the two new early Romanesque pilaster fragments has led to results tied to the question of the stonemasonry workshops, or workshop circle in which the carving took place. The emphasis on a workshop circle in Knin again becomes topical, and explanations offered by earlier researchers for this Knin workshop find their confirmation in the discovery of these two new early Romanesque fragments. It can be concluded that the investigation into the past of Knin becomes more interesting everyday in archaeological terms, as it once was long before. This refers primarily to the area of Podgrađa (the suburbium), where excavations have been performed for several years, as well as the Knin fortress itself. The results of such investigation, as well as the conservation works following structural repairs that have been carried out at the Knin fortress for a long time at the northern fortress of Tnin, are particularly valuable, as they are one of the indicators of the development of the medieval city, as indicated by the discovered material, as well as the stone furnishings. Similarly, in this case the confirmation of the existence of an ecclesiastical structure has acquired full meaning though the identification of its interior stone inventory.