Archaeological Ensemble

16Smukumi burial ground


About:

Smukumi 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. 20th century industrial buildings are located along the western border of the Smukumi burial ground, whereas the remaining parts of the property are bordered by drained agricultural land. Located in close proximity to Grobiņa hillfort, it shares a buffer zone with this site.

 

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 goods were buried in 0.1-0.35 m deep pits, evident as darker round and oval structures, found to be exceptionally rich in coal and ash when excavated. At least 117 burials have been unearthed in the course of various excavations; however, B.Nermans, one of the supervisors of the archaeological excavations, had suggested that the total number of burials in this burial ground could be around 1000.

 

This is a typical Scandinavian cremation flat burial ground of the 7th – 9th century AD, and it is an example which indicates that Grobiņa was inhabited by Scandinavians originating from different regions. Consequently, besides the coexistence with the local Curonian community, Grobiņa was settled by Scandinavians originating from various regions and having different cultures who each buried their deceased on their own side of the river.

 

Grobiņa archaelogical ensemble consists of several archaelogical monuments of the same period: Grobiņa hillfort (Skābarža hill) and the ancient town, 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 are included in the nomination "Grobiņa archaelogical ensemble" to UNESCO`S world heritage list.

 

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