ESTONIAN ACADEMY
PUBLISHERS
eesti teaduste
akadeemia kirjastus
PUBLISHED
SINCE 1997
 
Archaeology cover
Estonian Journal of Archaeology
ISSN 1736-7484 (Electronic)
ISSN 1406-2933 (Print)

CHRONOLOGY OF A GROUP OF STONE-CIST GRAVES IN NORTHERN ESTONIA: RADIOCARBON DATES FROM LASTEKANGRUD AT REBALA; pp. 113–139

Full article in PDF format | 10.3176/arch.2021.2.02

Author
Margot Laneman

Abstract

Twenty-two radiocarbon dates of human bone were obtained to clarify the chronology of five stone-cist graves at Rebala, northern Estonia. The calibrated dates of the cist burials mostly span the Hallstatt plateau of the calibration curve, i.e. 800–400 BC. The cemetery was probably present around 600 BC at the latest, but there is no firm evidence to further constrict the date of the cist burials. The results do not overlap with the previously obtained radiocarbon dates of the charcoal from beneath the graves, which indicate the 13th–9th centuries BC. A few radiocarbon-dated burials outside the cists show that the cemetery was still in use after 400 BC, but it remains unclear whether the use was continuous from the Bronze into the Pre-Roman Iron Age or consisted of temporally separate episodes. Whether the latest interments in the Pre-Roman Iron Age coincided with the establishment or use of the block-shaped fields around the graves remains also undecided. The case exemplifies the difficulties in pinpointing the end of the stone-cist burial tradition in Estonia. In addition to the prehistoric burials, grave II contained at least nine infant skeletons, most likely from the 15th century AD, and thus served as an example of the well-known cultural phenomenon of secluded infant burial.


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