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16Smukumi flat-grave burial site


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Smukumi flat-grave burial site is situated in the southwestern part of the town centre of Grobiņa, on the low elevation near the Rudzukalni (Smukumi) farm. The surrounding landscape of the Smukumi burial ground has been altered by economic activity. 

 

The Smukumi burial ground is flat and shows no visible signs of the burials. Excavations have shown that the deceased were cremated and their ashes buried together with fire-damaged grave goods. The deceased and their grave good were buried in 0.1 - 0.35 m deep pits, evident as darker, round and oval structures, found to be exceptionally rich in charcoal and ash when excavated. At least 117 burials have been unearthed in the course of various excavations. This is a typical Scandinavian cremation burial ground of the 7th - 9th century AD, and it is an example which indicates that Grobiņa was inhabited by Scandinavians orginating from different regions. 

 

Grobiņa archaelogical ensemble consists of several archaelogical monuments of the same period: Grobiņa hillfort (Skābarža hill) and the ancient town, Grobiņa Medieval castle with bastions, Priediens ancient burial site, Porāni (Pūrāni) burial mound site, Smukumi flat-grave burial site, and Atkalni flat-grave burial site, which are located compactly in Grobiņa and its surroundings. These monuments mostly date back to the 7th - 9th centuries and they are related to the impressive Scandinavian settlement, which under the name Seeburg was mentioned in the 9th century written sources.

 

Grobiņa archaelogical ensemble is an authentic and very well preserved set of archaeological sites and structures, mainly from the Viking age. The amount and diversity of materials, gained in archaeological excavations, show that at that time Grobiņa was one of the most important spots of the Viking world in the eastern part of the Baltic Sea. Therefore the sites of Grobiņa archaelogical ensemble are included in the transnational serial nomination "Viking age sites in northern Europe" to UNESCO`S world heritage list.

 

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