A GREAT-MORAVIAN SETTLEMENT IN BRANC (Velkomoravske sidlisko z Branca)
A settlement dated to the Great Moravian period on the right bank of the old Nitra River was a part of a multicultural finding place situated at the south border of Branc village. Four underground shelters, four pit-like farmstead features and three graves were excavated there. In addition to common elements of basic characteristics, differences in types of heating equipment - hearth, stone oven and clay oven - were found in three residential underground shelters. Their inhabitants are assumed to use merits emerging from the chosen type of heating equipment for heating and lighting up the interiors and for cooking as well. A shelter with no heating equipment was probably used for purposes connected with farming and manufacturing. Construction of a shelter's parts over the ground could consist of a roof and timber walls. If there were no walls, a saddlebacked roof rested right on the ground. Subterranean features of different shapes and size were used as a roasting pit, grain storage pit and other storage pits. The grave units excavated were two graves and a deceased individual at the grain storage pit bottom. The graves were not a part of a regular necropolis, since they were scatter about the settlement area. Discovered artefacts are very sporadic and only seven types of finds, among which fragments of pot-shaped vessels are the most numerous, represent them. Information value of this collection of finds is considerably limited and gives no possibility of reliable dating of the settlement that can be hypothetically put to the last third of the 9th cent. This dating corresponds with the number of dwellings and their assumed farming activities. Situating of the features around the area indicates uninterrupted one-phase development of the settlement. Number of permanently inhabitable underground shelters signifies three couples with their descendants could live in the area at the same time. The community could have approximately 15 members. The grain storage pit can support the appraisal, as the grain inside was sufficient for food of the given number of individuals.
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