Settlement, town, county: Dolina, Vrbje, Brod-Posavina County

Site type: settlement, flat cremation cemetery and tumulus cemetery

Period: Late Bronze Age and the beginning of the Early Iron Age, Urnfield culture, Donja Dolina—Sanski Most group

Type of excavation: systematic – field survey, archaeological excavations

Institution: Institute of Archaeology in collaboration with the Nova Gradiška Municipal Museum

Excavation manager: Dr Daria Ložnjak Dizdar, Marija Mihaljević (2009, 2010, 2012 and 2015)

Dolina-Glavičice is a tumulus cemetery adjacent to the Sava river. The present-day village of Dolina occupies the left bank of the Sava, opposite the site of Donja Dolina on the right bank, which was an important centre and river crossing during the Iron Age. The majority of chance finds come from the soil excavated for the reconstruction of the Sava embankment (the so-called borrow pits), occupying several positions to the west of Dolina. The chance finds and tumuli, visible to this day in the landscape (the position of Glavičice), were the initial motivation for the test investigations.

The archaeological investigations at Dolina-Glavičice were carried out in five campaigns (2009, 2010, 2012-2014) in collaboration of the Institute of Archaeology and the Nova Gradiška Municipal Museum. The 2009 and 2010 investigations were funded from the MSES’s project Development and mobility of protohistoric communities in continental Croatia and the Nova Gradiška Municipal Museum, while those in 2012 and 2013 were funded by the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports. A total of five tumuli and a destroyed flat grave were investigated to date. These graves belong to individual persons from the beginning of the Iron Age, combining the cremation rite customary in this area with the new Hallstatt fashion of tumulus burials.

Based on the finds from tumuli it can be concluded that each tumulus contained the burials of 1 or 2 persons in separate graves. The cremated bones and remains of costume in which the dead were cremated were placed in urns or in bags made of organic matter. The cremation burial rite bears witness to the tradition of the Urnfield culture. The finds of costume in the graves bear testimony to the position of Dolina at the crossroads of important routes leading through southern Pannonia at the beginning of the Iron Age, and the community that communicated with its contemporaries in the neighbourhood and further abroad. In addition to the costume items pointing to broader connections and local expressions in the pottery, it may be concluded that the members of the community that inhabited Dolina at the beginning of the Iron Age were open to novelties (e.g. the idea of tumuli), which they applied in their everyday life in their own way (burial with two cremation graves with separate fills in a single tumulus).

East of the tumulus, at the Babine grede site, on a slight elevation in the length of almost 1 km, lay a synchronous settlement, which opens the possibility to study the relationship of the settlement and cemetery of a community living adjacent to the Sava river in the first centuries of the last millennium before Christ. The settlement was explored in 2015, when floors of houses and several horizons of Late Bronze Age settlement were discovered. The research at Dolina contributed to the definition of the material and spiritual culture of the communities inhabiting the central Posavina region at the end of the Late Bronze Age and the beginning of the Early Iron Age, as well as the relationship with the defined Iron Age group Donja Dolina—Sanski Most.



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