Medieval Transylvanian Church Burial Patterns and Demographics


This is an abstract from the "SAA 2019: General Sessions" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

The Papdomb archaeological site is located immediately outside the village of Văleni (Hungarian: Patakfalva), Romania in the historic region of Transylvania. Papdomb comprises the ruins of a medieval Székely church and its associated cemetery. Human interment within the walls of the church started in the second half of the 12th century and extended to the early 17th century with most the burials interred during the 14th and 15th century. Analysis found that 147 individuals were buried within the church and ranged in age from perinate to old adult. Males outnumbered females by nearly 2:1. Individuals were typically interred in an extended, supine position within a wooden coffin and rarely contained grave offerings. Evidence of ad sanctos, near the saints, burial was evident in that 38% of the burials were placed near the altar space at the front of the church. Additionally, the noble family crypt was near the pulpit area, also at the front of the church. In contrast. four examples of multi-person burial were recovered from the back of the church. This paper will highlight these specific examples while also offering general demographics and patterns.

Cite this Record

Medieval Transylvanian Church Burial Patterns and Demographics. Katie Zejdlik, Jonathan Bethard, Nyárádi Zsolt, Andre Gonciar. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 449522)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: 19.336; min lat: 41.509 ; max long: 53.086; max lat: 70.259 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 24676