Avar kori ló, lovas és lószerszámos temetkezések a Duna–Tisza közén — Burials with horse-harness of the Avarian Age in the territory between rivers Danube and Tisza

Balogh C.

in: „In terra quondam Avarorum…” Ünnepi tanulmányok H. Tóth Elvira 80. születésnapjára. Archaeologica Cumanica 2, Somogyvári Á.,V. Székely Gy., Editor, Katona József Múzeum, Kecskemét, Kecskemét, pp.9-42, 2009

  • Publication Type: Book Chapter / Chapter Research Book
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Publisher: Katona József Múzeum, Kecskemét
  • City: Kecskemét
  • Page Numbers: pp.9-42
  • Editors: Somogyvári Á.,V. Székely Gy., Editor


Conclusions drawn from the examination of burials with horse or horse-harness of the Avarian Age in the territory between rivers Danube and Tisza are the following: Burials with horse or horse-harness are not characteristic for this territory. Among Early Avarian sites Csepel-Háros should be mentioned as a cemetery with an outstanding number of graves containing horse. Among Late Avarian ones the Szeged- Makkoserdő cemetery is to be dealt with. The former is related to Transdanubia (Western Hungary) (W-E orientation, graves with posts, Germanic connections of the finds), the latter to the territory east of Tisza (W-E orientation, niche-graves of late type, more animal sacrifices). Both in the Early and Late Avarian Age, graves containing horse are usually found in the narrow zone along the Danube and Tisza. They are situated in one group in the cemetery and all the elements of the burial rite (orientation, shape of the grave, sacrificial animals) suit well to the order of the cemetery. Practice of burying with a complete horse or part of it accompanied only men all along the Avarian Age. Judging from our data, at the territory in question, horse and equestrian graves were in custom only for a short time and only in small, local communities. The earliest graves with horse come from among the early burials of cemeteries Gátér, Csepel-Háros (second quarter of the 7th century) and Ürbőpuszta (mid-third of the 7th century). This custom continued to exist after the mid-7th century in the Csepel-Háros and Ürbőpuszta community. It also appeared in several cemeteries that started at that time: in Apostag, Dunavecse and Szabadszállás (in the western part of the territory between Danube and Tisza), and in the Szeged-Makkoserdő cemetery in the southern part of the Great Hungarian Plain. At the end of the 7th century, the practice of the burial with horse suddenly ceased. We still do not know what was the reason, but the Szeged- Makkoserdő community returned to this tradition together with the niche-grave custom at the end of the 8th century. Territorial distribution of the burials with horse-harness is similar to that of the graves with horse. The appearance of the custom coincided with the earliest graves containing horse in the second quarter of the 7th century. In some of the cemeteries started after the middle of the 7th century this custom sometimes appeared at the end of the century, when in the territory between rivers Körös-Tisza-Maros, Avarians returned to the tradition of burying a complete horse. Early burials with horse-harness, with the exception of the Szeghegy grave, can be connected with male burials. However, in the second half of the Avarian Age this custom was practised mainly in the case of women.