UD: July 2019
Over the past century a large amount of epigraphic, numismatic and archaeological material relating to the Celtic Eravisci tribe has been uncovered in the Budapest region of modern Hungary. However, until recently the vast majority of this material has dated to the immediate pre-Roman and Roman periods (i.e. 1st century BC onwards), while little has been known of the earlier Celtic presence in this area.
Clay stove from a Celtic house (#9) at Budapest-Gellérthegy (1st c. BC)
Ceramic from a Late La Tène pottery workshop at Békásmegyer (Budapest – 1 c. BC)
Celtic (Eravisci) denarius from the Budapest area (1st. century BC)
In light of the above, of particular interest have been the systematic excavations carried out over the past decade at the Csepel Island site on the Danube in Budapest. The site, better known as the personal domain of the Hungarian ruler Árpád after the migration of Hungarians into Pannonia in the early 10th century, and which remained a favorite resort of the Hungarian kings into the Middle Ages, has also proved one of the most significant Celtic sites in Eastern Europe.
Ceramic, bronze fibula and hohlbuckelring (bronze anklet) from the Celtic burials at Csepel Island (late 4th-3rd c. BC)
Sword and ceramic kantharos from Celtic warrior burial #149 at Csepel IslandS (3 c. BC)
The Celtic burial complex at Csepel Island was in use from the La Têne B1 – C1 period, i.e. from the 2nd half of the 4th until the late 3rd c. BC, and excavations at the site have uncovered 107 Celtic burials, both inhumation and cremation, dating to this period (Horváth 2012).
Celtic inhumation burial from Csepel Island (late 4th / early 3rd c. BC)
Grave goods from a Celtic warrior burial (#149) at Csepel Island:
1. Fragment of shield boss; 2. Body of shield; 3. Suspension chain; 4. Spearhead; 5. Sword/scabbard
(after Horváth M.A. (2014) A Decorated La Tène Sword from the Budapest–Csepel Island. –
Of particular interest is cremation burial #6 at the site, analysis of which has indicated that the deceased was deposited in a large chamber constructed of timber. Such Celtic burials have been previously recorded in Hungary and Slovakia but, due to practical and environmental factors, have rarely been studied in detail.
Cremation burial #6 at Csepel Island (3rd c. BC)
Graphic reconstruction of the burial based on the archaeological data
( After Horváth 2012 (in Hungarian) – https://www.academia.edu/6969233/S%C3%ADrszerkezet_rekonstrukci%C3%B3s_k%C3%ADs%C3%A9rlet_egy_La_T%C3%A8ne_kori_temetkez%C3%A9s_kapcs%C3%A1n._Versuch_der_Grabrekonstruktion_eines_lat%C3%A9ne-zeitlichen_Begr%C3%A4bnisses._Budapest_R%C3%A9gis%C3%A9gei_XLV_2012._91-110 )
On the transition from inhumation to cremation see:
On Celtic cremation burials from Hungary see also: https://balkancelts.wordpress.com/2013/07/13/celtic-death/