Vlad-Andrei Lăzărescu
Vlad Turcu

Anotimpuri ale mortii. Date despre o metoda arheologico-astronomica pentru studierea riturilor funerare antice / Seasons of Death. Towards an Archaeological-Astronomical Method for Studying Ancient Burial Rites

Jan. 1, 2013

orientarea mormintelor
practici funerare
metoda și teoria arheologiei
landscape archaeology
epoca migraţiilor
grave orientation
mortuary practices
archaeological method and theory
colecţia Muzeului Naţional al Banatului
great migration period



e paper focuses on the many problems occurring while analysing mortuary discoveries, emphasizing and reviewing the main aspects that should be taken into consideration while dealing with such material. Right from the start we would like to stress that such an approach is strictly conditioned by a thorough excavation technique and documentation in order to produce enough data to study how ancient communities conceptualized death. e orientation of the tomb can offer us a great deal of information following the idea that no such action was in fact random. We can then suppose that the orientation of the tombs was performed according to inner cosmologies and rules of each structured community being thus the result of a conscious and self-assumed way of thinking. Following this idea and based on the hypothesis that some religious cardinal points should exist in every community whether they refer to geographical, religious or cultural aspects we tried to establish the “seasons of death” in two Gepidic necropolises – Vlaha (Cluj County) and Fântânele (Bistriţa-Năsăud County) – based on the slight deviations of the axis of the tombs.