Settlement, town, county: Batina, Draž, Osijek-Baranja County
Site type: cemetery from the Late Bronze and Early Iron Ages, Roman necropolis
Period: Late Bronze Age, Early Iron Age, Antiquity
Type of excavation: systematic
Institution: Museum of Slavonia in Osijek in collaboration with the Institute of Archaeology and the Department of Archaeology of the CASA.
Excavation manager: Zvonko Bojčić (2010-2011), Tomislav Hršak (2012-)
In 2008, the Museum of Slavonia in Osijek, in collaboration with the Institute of Archaeology and the Department of Archaeology of the CASA, started the project “Archaeological heritage of the Baranja region” with the aim to record the previously unknown archaeological sites, as well as to document the condition of the already known ones.
The research in Batina started in 1962. Small-scale test excavations in 1970 were carried out by the Museum of Slavonia in Osijek in collaboration with the Smithsonian Institute from Washington. Nevertheless, the majority of finds from Batina were discovered at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. These objects are now kept in several eminent European museum collections.
The area of Batina had been inhabited as far back as the Late Stone Age and the Copper Age. A number of ceramic finds belong to groups of Pannonian Encrusted Pottery from the end of the Early and the beginning of the Middle Bronze Age. However, Batina is synonymous with the end of the Bronze Age and the beginning of the Iron Age, marked by the bearers of the Dalj group. In autumn 2008, fragments of ceramic pots and burnt bones, pointing to the position of a cemetery, were discovered at the site of Sredno, which was later corroborated by excavation in 2010. A contemporary settlement was situated at Gradac. The investigations uncovered flat cremation graves of the Dalj group, although tumuli were documented, too. The most common finds are ceramic vessels, which include various forms of pots and bowls, followed by kantharoi, jugs and cups. As regards decoration, vessels decorated in the Basarabi style stand out. The metal assemblage consists of costume items (fibulae, pins) and jewellery (bracelets, torcs, pendants). Taking into consideration the ceramic and metal finds, the graves at Sredno belong to two horizons of burial: one from the end of the Late Bronze Age (9th century BC) and the other from the beginning of the Early Iron Age (8th-7th century BC).
Tumulus 1, situated at the northern edge of the Sredno site, was partially investigated in 2012. The square pit of grave 2, measuring 4.5 x 4.5 m, was dug into the fill of the tumulus. Traces of a wooden burial chamber were discovered on the base of the pit. The grave yielded a number of ceramic vessels decorated with complex ornamental compositions executed with bronze and tin foil, as well as pieces of horse gear. In view of the rich symposium ceramic set, the princely tomb 2 in tumulus 1 can be dated to the end of the 8th – beginning of the 7th century BC.
Following the Roman conquest of southern Pannonia, a fortification caled Ad Militare was built on Gradac at the beginning of the 1st century AD. The fort yielded bricks with stamps of military units that resided there. V-shaped ditches discovered at Sredno probably belong to temporary military camps. Cremation and inhumation graves discovered at the site belong to the southern necropolis lying adjacent to the road leading towards the fortification. The cremation graves belong to the bustum type with simple rectangular and oval pits. The upper portions of the pit exhibit traces of exposure to high temperatures, while the lower parts are undamaged, meaning that the deceased person was cremated on a pyre positioned right above the pit. The graves contained ceramic vessels, lamps and metal objects dated to the 2nd-3rd centuries.
- Bojčić, Z., Dizdar, M., Hršak, T., Leleković, T. 2009, Terenski pregled područja Batine, Annales Instituti Archaeologici, V, 125-129.
- Bojčić, Z., Dizdar, M., Hršak, T., Leleković, T. 2011, Rezultati probnih istraživanja nalazišta Batina-Sredno 2010. godine, Annales Instituti Archaeologici, VII, 13-19.
- Leleković, T. 2012, Cemeteries, u: The Archaeology of Roman Southern Pannonia, The state of research and chosen problems of the Croatian portion of the Roman province of Pannonia, Migotti B. (ur.), Oxford, 313-358.