Signs of domestic protection in a hillfort from the Hallstatt period in Smolenice-Molpír, South-western Slovakia. On two fragments of the daub with Z-shaped decoration
The hillfort of Smolenice-Molpír on the eastern slope of the Malé Karpaty is undoubtedly one of the most important settlement sites of the northeast alpine Hallstatt culture. A multilateral fortification system, more than 60 house floors, a “cult place” and a cistern were excavated from 1963 to 1971 by M. Dušek. The lack of attention for this site can be traced back to the problematic publication of its features and finds. However, recent revisions of the selected materials provided promising new insights into the different topics regarding the settlement. The article deals with two fragments of burned clay from the house 46 and 54 of Smolenice-Molpír. Both clay fragments show partly destroyed decoration of Z-shaped and round elements. The pattern on the piece from house 54 could have been created by pressing a pendant, similar to the one published by N. Sándorfi, in the wet clay. The examination of artifacts from the Molpír settlement highlights the rare usage of the Z-shaped decoration; it can be observed, for example, on one of the two dense decorated loom weights from the house 17. The Z-shapes were also put on one of the famous bronze hands and cist lids from barrows of Kleinklein. Water bird headed pendants in Z-shape as well as depictions of the goddess with triangulate body and angular arms suggest an interpretation of the Z-shape as stylized water bird. Ornamenting the house wall with this pattern can be understood as a communication with the supernatural sphere to prevent mischief from the house and its inhabitants.
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