Current advances in science allow us to survey and investigate archaeological sites without destroying them. This article presents the results of integrated archaeological research in the Eketė locality. The object of study is the Iron Age/Early Medieval hill-fort and ancient settlement complex. The aim of the research is to recreate the development of the formation of the hill-fort and settlement using widely applied non-destructive remote sensing methods of landscape archaeology: the analysis of aerial photographic images and geophysical prospecting research data.
New data from archaeological, zooarchaeological and palynological studies of the archaeological sites around Lake Kretuonas (in eastern Lithuania) show that environmental conditions had a great influence on the formation of the economy, settlement and cultural life of its inhabitants. This paper analyses the causes of the changes in environmental conditions and their influence on the population in the Lake Kretuonas area in the Stone Age and Bronze Age.
Lake dwellings are a well-known phenomenon in European prehistory. Two submerged sites in Lake Luokesai (Luokesai I and Luokesai II) are the only known lake dwellings from the Bronze Age and Early Iron Age in Lithuania. Soil analysis methods aimed to answer some crucial questions connected with Lake Luokesai’s inhabitants during the period of the occupation of Luokesai I.
Factors which suppress or interfere with the deciphering of aerial photography whilst searching for traces of ancient habitations are called noises. The main kinds of noises currently identified in Lithuania are land improvement or land reclamation, woods, urbanisation and reservoirs. Altogether, they make a fair level of noise, thus the search for traces of habitations based solely on aerial photography in Lithuania is not possible.
In this article, a Neolithic anthropomorphic clay figurine from the Ģipka dune settlement in the littoral of Northern Kurzeme is examined as a versatile source of knowledge, forming an idea of the activities of the ancient individual in the field of ideology. This original figurine is analyzed by discovering the many-sidedness of its informative content, which lies not only within the originality of this find, but also in its significance in the examination of so far unsolved questions in the archaeological literature of the Eastern Baltic. These are questions concerning the role of the rite in the everyday life of the Neolithic individual. The scientific significance of the examined figurine is emphasised by the conditions of its finding at the fortified dune settlement, which was visited only during a particular season due to the yearly performance of an undertaking of a ritual character. The special conditions of the finding of this anthropomorphic clay figurine are dealt with in this article (the placement in the pit dug under the palisade), its gender affiliation and time of manufacture have been determined, as well as the possible cultural source, the character of the modelling of the figurine, the manufacturing technique, the design and style, decoration, its symbolism, the fragmentation (breakage) of the figurine, and the aim of its usage within the common procedure of the performance of the ritual action. The originality of the find is also stressed among other Neolithic anthropomorphic figurines that have been found so far in Northern Kurzeme and among Neolithic anthropomorphic finds of a similar style in the Åland Islands (Finland) found at the beginning of the 20th century. Attention is paid to the fact that for the first time in the field of Neolithic research of the Eastern Baltic there is a situation when the spatial context of religious (mythological) or cult practice can be perceived. It is characterised by five interrelating zones or elements: place, where the cult (rite) was practised, imagery that is connected to the cult practice, devices, participants in the cult and the actual action of the cult. The examined figurine from the Ģipka A site is only one of 20 found here in the dune settlements of Northern Kurzeme. These settlements are places for the performance of rites, where specially manufactured anthropomorphic figurines can personify the spirits of ancestors of different generations, for the cult of ancestors, was among the most evident cults practised by aborigine communities. The “shadows of the ancestors” were those that could give descendants different benefits, or take them away. Here at the Ģipka dune settlements, and in no other place, these figurines were broken and placed in specially dug pits, where big and small fireplaces were also burnt. This was carried out by particular persons, the elder or the soothsayer of the community, and these procedures were regulated strictly during the performance of the rite, when a contingent of other interested
Iron metallurgy in Lithuania has been a little-researched theme so far. More attention has been paid to smithery (Stankus) and iron smelting technologies (Navasaitis), but not much is known about the archaeological finds of iron smelting equipment, their functions, and interconnectedness. Archaeological research of the last few decades in the Kereliai hill-fort (Kupiškis district), Lieporiai (Šiauliai), Kernavė (Širvintai), Bakšiai (Alytus), Žardė (Klaipėda) and Virbaliūnai (Kaunas) settlements, as well as the Lazdininkai (Kretinga) cemetery, has afforded much new data to investigate the iron smelting occupation, and has provided the opportunity to examine more broadly and deeply the problem of iron metallurgy in Lithuania. Iron metallurgy’s research objective includes iron smelting equipment, tools, and the products of manufacture. The sources of research are the iron smelting archaeological finds stored in museums, archaeological research documentation, and reference as well as scientific publications. Part 1 of this article is devoted to an analysis of the archaeological finds related to the preparatory stage of iron smelting and the making of charcoal. Iron ore has been found in Baitai (Klaipėda district), Lieporiai, Norkūnai (Prienai), Lavoriškės (Vilnius) and Krūminiai (Varėna). Roasted ore was additionally found in Varnupiai (Marijampolė) and Lieporiai. Ore washing equipment, roasting pits and crushing tools were found only in Lieporiai. It was established that the hydrated ore in Lieporiai was mined in an open fashion, washed with well water on a wooden flooring, and roasted in open fires in shallow pits. Flat rocks and ground stone were used for crushing and grinding it (comminution). Charcoal for the iron smelting was made in round pits or stacks (Lieporiai, Žygmantiškės).
The Ėgliškiai-Anduliai cemetery is the largest Curonian burial site ever researched. However, during the Second World War this cemetery’s artefacts and archival material were scattered throughout museums, archives and various institutions in several countries. In this article, the authors present an intricate reconstruction of this burial monument based only on the surviving archival material of the research by German archaeologists, and only on a small collection of artefacts, as well as the research by Lithuanian archaeologists in recent years.