Alexandra Comșa

The interrelations between burial orientations and astronomy in the balkan region

Jan. 1, 2006

burial orientations and astronomy
Balkan Region



The paper is trying to point out the existence of a possible correlation between the position of the skeletons in the Neolithic time of Romania and the Balkan region and the Sun. Most of the large cemeteries considered here, with numerous skeletons, were excavated some decades ago (in the 50’s and 60’s of the 20th century) so that, the only instrument employed in the measurements was a simple compass. It means that no precise figures could be given, with regard to the orientation of the individuals under study; this is why some biases could appear. Even today, we have very few possibilities to determine the exact position of the skeletons in a necropolis; some of the possible causes being also the pressure of the earth upon the bones, which could somehow modify their initial position. In certain cases, some disturbances could be also determined by the landslides, floods or earthquakes, being known, for a long time, that Romania is situated into a region with high seismic risk. None at the least, the subsequent human intervenes, plundering for instance, have changed the initial situation. That’s why there are some controversies regarding the issue of the skeletons orientation to the Sun. Some scholars considered it as a true fact (Cantacuzino Gh., Morintz S., 1968), while others were reluctant to this hypothesis (Bacvarov K., 2002, 260). Yet, in Central and Eastern Europe, the mentioned issue is considered to be very topical today (Lichter C., 2001).