Deviant Burials of Wietenberg Culture at Miceşti–Cigaş (Alba County, Romania)


The site from Miceşti – Cigaş is on the right terrace of Ampoi River tributary to Mureş. The archaeological excavations carried out since 1999, revealed the existence of a complex site with settlements which can be dated to the Copper Age (Coţofeni culture), Early Bronze Age (GorneaOrleşti/Iernut group), Middle Bronze Age (Wietenberg culture), Late Bronze Age (Cugir-Band group), First Iron Age (Gáva and Basarabi cultures), Second Iron Age (the 1st century BC – 1 st century AD) and Early Medieval Age (the end of 9th – first half of the 10th centuries). In this paper I present three features dated in Middle Bronze Age, Wietenberg culture, discovered during rescue excavations in 2009 and 2012. On the bottom of these features (C.7/2009, C. 56/2009 and C.11/2012) were inhumed skeletons in crouched position. In these pits, near the skeletons, cups dated to the IVth phase of the Wietenberg culture were discovered as grave goods. In the pit deposit of feature C.7/2009 we found many sherds typical for the last phase of this culture. Many burials in Wietenberg settlements are known: Derşida, Bernadea, Miceşti – Valea luncii, Obreja, Păuleni, Tureni (inhumation burials), Derşida, Aţel, Sânnicoară – Lab, Laslea – Cariera de nisip, Sântimbru, Rotbav – La pârâuţ, Mihai Viteazul and Uioara de Jos (incineration burials). Burials in settlements were also practiced in other neighbouring Bronze Age cultures: Monteoru, Otomani, PeriamPecica (Mureş) and Verbicioara. This type of burial behaviour was included by scholars in the so - called deviant burial / atypical burial / Sonderbestattung / Irregulärre Bestattung. All these terms refer to the same kind of features.

deviant burial, inhumation burial, Middle Bronze Age, Wietenberg culture, settlement