CHILD INDIVIDUALS IN THE GREAT MORAVIAN MILIEU BASED ON CEMETERY SOURCES FROM THE TERRITORY OF SLOVAKIA
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Analyses of the cemetery material have been aimed in bringing the image of the child individuals status in the Great Moravian society. The obtained information have proved notion of the children's lowest position in a real life. This was caused by their high mortality and lacking usefulness for the remaining social groups. On the other hand, the changes in archaeological material from the burial sites show that the affiliation of these individuals with the sexless group of the family relationships is not constant. The adult's attitude to children advanced in accordance with the particular stages of their biological and physical development. It gradually passed from the form of compulsory acceptance through the tolerated cohabitation stage to the phase of the initial creation of the natural bindings in the relevant spheres of the life. The activities of the adults that were carried on in accord with the standards of the early medieval consuetudinary law were the parts of this process. They included the vitality tests of the newborn children as well as applying of selective principle in intaking of the children into the family unions. These have their roots in the utilitarian needs of an economic character. Their influence has been expressed in rituals burying of certain groups of the individuals out of a community necropolis. Grave of another children were dug in less respectable marginal parts of the grave groups. However, we cannot fail to notice raising expressions that are documenting a positive change in adult's relation to children. As child's age grew, we meet more frequently with the manifestations of the respect, attention and performed work in size and adjustment of the grave pits, or arranging of the dead bodies into a ritual position. In material culture this trend presented itself in increasing number of the graves with a burial inventory, while its structure changes and numbers of the artifact types grows. This is the reason why we meet artefacts connected with working activities more frequent. Exemplars placed to buried individuals for emotive reasons are lesser. Another indications are more frequent graves with higher number of artifacts and their determination according to the deceased's sex. The information given here is treating the problem under study in the generalizing way. This accounts the results in global to be valid for the whole Slovakia, but not at every burial site. This situation was caused by the fact that the items of the Great Moravian funeral rite were not adjusted by any written standards or repression for their non-keeping. The practical side of their content was developed in a spontaneous way. Its final shape varied in the connection with giving more preference to the economic, social or cultic and the ritual reasons.
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