Marija Ljuština

Rediscovering old finds? Notes on the Bronze Age graves with amber in Western Serbia

Jan. 1, 2019

Western Serbia



e study is the result of rechecking details of funerary practices in the Bronze Age of Western Serbia. Potential presence of amber in grave inventories provided an impetus to examine burial contexts and ways how exotic goods reached the innermost parts of the Balkan Peninsula. Arrival of the first amber artefacts at the territory of Serbia is connected with the Middle Bronze Age, which is later than the earliest finds of the Baltic amber in south Europe and the Mediterranean. e sites with amber artefacts are neither numerous nor with even spatial distribution. e region of Western Serbia stands out from the rest of the broader zone because of its early excavated and early dated amber finds. In all of the cases, the amber finds have funerary context. Focal point of the study is on the rediscovered amber find from the necropolis in Stapari and its context. Based on the data from the documentation and publications, it is not very likely that the necropolis in Stapari can be defined as a flat one. All regional characteristics of synchronous funerary practices must be taken into consideration along with the state of preservation of the site in the 20th century. Consequently, the necropolis can be added to the large group of tumular necropolises, which comprised necropolis in Vranjani, which was analysed as well, due to a problematic amber find. Recent analyses confirmed the Baltic provenance of the amber from the West Morava basin, but contribution to at least partial reconstruction of regional routes which brought the material to this part of the Central Balkans has additional importance. e region settled by the bearers of the Belegiš culture, which was suspected to have served as a starting point for regional trade southwards, provided the first amber find with settlement context.