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

NEW DATA ON JAANI STONE GRAVES AT VÄO, NORTHERN ESTONIA; pp. 110–137

Full article in PDF format | doi: 10.3176/arch.2015.2.02

Authors
Margot Laneman, Valter Lang, Martin Malve, Eve Rannamäe

Abstract

The article presents the results of osteological analysis and radiocarbon dating of the bones from Jaani stone grave(s) at Väo, excavated in 1982. The study of human bones revealed the remains of at least 38 individuals of various age groups. Due to heavy fragmentation and intermingling of bones, it was possible to reconstruct only one skeleton in cist A, while the distribution, location and details of burial mode for other inhumations remain questionable. Zooarchaeological analysis revealed a pattern generally compatible with other contemporary sites, but unexpectedly, a radiocarbon date of a sheep bone turned out to be recent, suggesting caution in interpretation and need for more frequent 14C-dating of animal remains. Radiocarbon dates of the human remains show that stone-cist grave B was present in the Late Bronze Age, but grave A probably originates from the Early Pre-Roman Iron Age (5th c. BC) and may thus be one of the latest stone-cist graves in Estonia. We were unable to radiocarbon-date the original bone deposit of the ship grave, but it is nevertheless likely that the ship is (one of) the oldest structure(s) at the site. The site also includes interments from Roman, Migration and Pre-Viking periods, when it was probably reserved for pre­dominantly child and infant burials. A few deposits of burnt human bone from at least three individuals perhaps also date from this use-phase.


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