Ioan Marian ŢIPLIC / Maria CRÎNGACI ŢIPLIC
Universitatea „Lucian Blaga” din Sibiu, Facultatea de Ştiinţe Socio-Umane “Lucian Blaga” University of Sibiu, Faculty of Social and Human Sciencies / Institutul de Cercetări Socio-Umane din Sibiu, Institute for Research in Social Sciences and Humanities from Sibiu
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4 / 2014
From cremation to inhumation: the (re)Christianization of the Transylvanian area (centuries 7 – 10 A.D.)
The chronological limits (7th – 10th centuries) that were defined are covering the entire “Slavization” and its subsequent Christianization process within the Transylvanian space. Both phases have influenced the shaping of a cultural Transylvanian distinctiveness. Cultural and religious features belonging to the autochthonous population were caught up by those belonging to local ethnic groups. The archaeological research between the 1960’s and 1980’s was interested in finding the necessary tools that were able to force the archaeological object to reveal information about the ethnicity of its “maker” or “master”. This assumed archaeological objects’ ethnic load theory became a postulate of the Romanian history. Therefore, the romans and later on the Daco-Romans are archaeological traceable by means of their holding on to a certain funerary rite “conservatism”. The ancient society was characterized by its bi-ritualism. The latter was documented within the empire’s Danube provinces starting with the 1st century B.C. The bi-ritualism was given up starting with the 3rd century A.D. during the rise of barbarian kingdoms within the former Roman provinces: Moesia Inferior, Dacia and Pannonia. The re-birth of this funerary rite was acknowledged during the rise of the Avars’ authority within the Pannonia plain and the emergence of Slavic populations within central and south-eastern Europe. The proportion of inhumation and cremation burial grounds in Transylvania favors the first ones (the cremation burial grounds). The proportion expresses a different point of view in Moldavia or Wallachia where the number of inhumation burial grounds is higher than the number of cremation ones. Therefore, one can conclude that the political influence of the Byzantine Empire was always of high importance in the Lower Danube region and was emphasized by the religious influence after the 8th century. This century marks the rise of the eastern Christian communities.
Keywords: Transylvania, early Middle Ages, Christianity, cremation and inhumation necropolis.
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