|Abstract (english)|| |
The lack of a large amount of pottery sherds dating from the 1st to the middle of the 3rd century at the site of Our Lady of the Mountain indicates that the population did not live there permanently during that period. After the establishment of peace and the organization of the Roman administrative authority, the population no longer needed to live on the hilltop and moved to the valley where a settlement with a necropolis was organized. It is not possible to give a precise answer to the question about the function of the hilltop site after the population moved to the valley. The first possibility is that part of the population still remained on the hilltop and lived there in a small, rural settlement of wooden houses, of which almost nothing has been preserved, except perhaps a few post holes that were not destroyed by medieval and modern graves. If, however, the population of the hilltop had completely abandoned their residence there, the possibility of retaining a cult place there remains. There is no evidence that the Late La Tène or perhaps Early Roman building beside the Early Christian complex was used for housing, as no significant amount of pottery was found there. More specifically, regarding the Romanization period, no large amount of pottery was found that could confirm that the hilltop was used as a settlement. Nevertheless, the pottery that has been found and can be dated to that period belongs to fine pots that may not be the pinnacle of Roman pottery, but for a settlement geographically isolated and therefore less connected to the rest of the Romanized part of the Noric-Pannonian border area, those finds are quite significant, even in the fragmented state in which they are. Fragments of thin-walled pottery, slipware, so-called eggshell ware and face pots belong to this period. The complete absence of fragments of coarse pots of the Late La Tène period tradition with a surface combed with vertical, slanted or irregular strokes is also significant, and this situation may indicate that the hillfort was really only a cult area where offerings to pagan deities were brought in fine tableware. This could be confirmed by the face pot fragment that are sometimes associated with pre-Roman beliefs, as well as the positions where earlier Roman pottery was found. All fragments of thin-walled pottery, slipware, face pots, etc. were found in trenches around the present-day church and early Christian church complex, i.e. around a potential earlier pagan sanctuary. Of the coarser pots that can be attributed to the 1st and 2nd century, only very small fragments of a relatively fine fabric can be singled out with certainty, decorated with short strokes with a small comb that sometimes overlap. For the earlier Roman period in Lobor, the find of Trajan's sestertius is also significant, which, together with a bowl of thin-walled pottery of probably Siscian production, is one of the earliest finds at the site of Our Lady of the Mountain, although there is a possibility that it was in later use. If Trajan's coin from Lobor is indeed of a later date, the thin-walled pottery bowl is the earliest confirmed find of Roman pottery in Lobor. Although it is attributed to Siscian production, based on the discovery of one bowl, it cannot be claimed that the process of Romanization arrived from the south, especially since the Lobor area has been connected with the area northwest of it since at least the Late Bronze Age, if not earlier. As it seems according to the current state of research and the analysis of pottery, life returned to the hillfort to a greater extent in the second third or maybe even the second half of the 3rd century. It is possible that the return of the population to the hillfort did not take place during a shorter period, but the findings of pottery suggest that. The number of vessels that can be attributed to the time around the middle of the 3rd century is greater than the number of those dated to the 1st and 2nd century, and in addition, the distribution of fragments of this later ware is no longer concentrated around the present-day church, but extends to the northern plateau and the area along the northern rampart. There are several fragments of relief terrae sigillatae that can be attributed to the Rheinzabern workshops and dated to the second half of the 2nd or the first half of the 3rd century. The only fragment of a Faltenbecher type cup can be dated from the end of the 2nd to the third quarter of the 3rd century. In this later group of early Roman pottery, Pannonische Glanztonware fragments are the most numerous. Although the sherds were not found in a closed context, based on analogies they are dated from the first quarter of the 2nd to the end of the 3rd century. It is indicative that the group of tableware that is dated at the latest is also the most common of the earlier Roman pottery. The largest number of Roman coins found at the site of Our Lady of the Mountain in Lobor can be dated from the middle of the 3rd century onwards. Those include all Roman coins except for the aforementioned Trajan's sestertius and the perforated sestertius of Maximinus I of Thrace, which was obviously in secondary use in a later period. Taking into account the dating of the coins and the group of pottery that appeared in the middle or second half of the 3rd century and whose quantity also increased significantly after that period, primarily glazed pottery, it can be determined with considerable certainty that life returned to the late La Tène hillfort immediately after the middle of the 3rd century and that the Late Antique hilltop settlement in Lobor was established. It is not excluded that the refugial character of the position of the Lobor hillfort was used earlier, perhaps during the Marcomannic Wars, but there is no evidence for this so far. A large amount of tableware cannot be attributed to that time, and certain types, such as unglazed mortars, are completely missing. In addition, there are no finds of Roman coins or other objects that can certainly be attributed to that time and interpreted in favor of a shorter settlement during the uncertain times of the second half of the 2nd century. The significant increase in the amount of pottery and the presence of almost all groups of pottery from the middle of the 3rd century, which are facts that indicate the permanent character of the hilltop settlement in Late Antiquity, could be connected with the turbulent times of the so-called crisis of the 3rd century. The beginning of that crisis period can be connected to the latest dated fragments of tombstones found as spolia at the site of Our Lady of the Mountain, as well as the stelae of Marcus Cocceius Superianus and Valerius Lucilianus found in the center of today's Lobor. It seems that since that time, the deceased are no longer buried in the necropolis of the lower settlement in Lobor, but in a so far unknown location, probably closer to the hilltop settlement, and later next to the early Christian complex in the center of the hilltop settlement. The discovery of graves on the artificially formed elevation north of the shrine of Our Lady of the Mountain did not result in a sufficient amount of pottery fragments that could confirm the position as a Late Antique cemetery, despite the discovery of one bone comb and the foot of a glass cup. The number of pottery fragments is negligible and there are no diagnostic sherds. As it seems so far, the abandonment of the permanent settlement in the valley along the Rieka stream and the establishment of the hilltop settlement was probably not only connected with the threats to the Roman population from the barbarian groups from the other side of the Danube, but also with the general state of insecurity during a greater part of the 3rd century. Late Antique glazed pottery marks the period from the second half of the 3rd to the middle or second half of the 5th century. Although it represents only 2.57% of the Late Antique pottery sherds, which is not an unusual number for sites far from the major workshop centers on the Danube or in northern Italy, glazed pottery represents a group in which almost all basic types and methods of decoration are represented. The bowls, plates, cups, bowls with handles and jugs belong mostly to tableware and mortars to kitchenware. Decorative motifs include grooved single and combed horizontal lines, single and combed undulations, small triangular, rectangular and irregular motifs made by rouletting, notches and oval motifs made with a sharp or rounded object on the rim, notches made using the chattering technique, stamped concentric circles, modeled wavy rim, and sometimes there are combinations of two decorative motifs. The decoration was sometimes carried out by painting with a red slip in the form of flames and flower petals, and the exteriors of several glazed bowls were decorated with burnished horizontal lines. Mortars decorated with slip painting and bowls with burnished horizontal lines, as well as related examples of glazed pottery with an intense olive green or yellow green glaze combined with red slip without a pattern should probably be dated earlier, to the second half of the 3rd and the first half of the 4th century, and glazed pottery of simpler forms, duller glaze and slip color if it was applied, and generally glazed pottery of poor glaze quality could be dated to the later period of the second half of the 4th and the first half of the 5th century. No examples of glazed pottery have been identified that could be could be dated only to the second half of the 5 th or even the 6th century, which is also a problem with other groups of Late Antique pottery from Lobor. Considering the theory about local workshops of glazed pottery, which has not yet been confirmed by field research, it was not possible to determine the workshop origin of the glazed pottery from Lobor, but based on the variety of fabrics, firing techniques, glaze and slip colors and methods of decoration, it is very likely that this glazed pottery originates from several workshops that were probably not located in the immediate vicinity of the hilltop settlement in Lobor. If such a workshop had existed nearby, the glazed pottery from Lobor would have been much more uniform, and there would have probably been fragments of tableware sets that have not been recorded so far. According to that and on the basis of analogies from the NoricPannonian border area, the origin of the glazed pottery from Lobor should be sought at the regional level in several workshop centers or smaller workshops. Unlike glazed pottery, slipware cannot be associated only with Late Antiquity, as is evident from the finds of thin-walled pottery, and rare examples remain almost until the end of late antique hilltop settlement and represent some of the latest late antique objects found in Lobor. In addition to thin-walled pottery, this group of pottery also includes terra sigillata, Pannonische Glanztonware, but also vessels of late antique forms with slip in shades of red and gray, which for the most part correspond to the forms of late antique glazed pottery. Simple oil lamps with a handle also appear in this group. Some of the reduction-fired jugs with a dark gray slip are similar in forms to jugs with burnished decoration and simple reduction-fired jugs without slip or processed surface. Considering the correlation of this group, most of the slipware, apart from the earlier groups of the 2nd and 3rd century, should be dated from the second half of the 3rd to the middle or second half of the 5th century. Here, the group of shallow bowls or deep plates that imitate North African red slipped pottery, specifically the form Hayes 61a and its variant Hayes 61a trans. Although the fabric, firing technique and slip quality are completely different, the orm of some examples is completely identical to North African examples and should be dated from the middle of the 4th to the middle of the 5th century. Although they do not represent original North African products, they appeared in the Noric-Pannonian at the height of North African import to the area in the 4th and 5th century and certainly belong to regional production, probably from the northern Italy that had the most contact with overseas areas such as North Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean. Original North African and Eastern Mediterranean ware was recorded only around the end of the 5th century. An undecorated fragment of an ARSW conical bowl of the Hayes 87 or 88 form and a fragment of a North African oil lamp of the Hayes II/Atlante X form decorated with triangle and palmette motifs, as well as an undecorated fragment of an Eastern Mediterranean LRC form Hayes 3E bowl were found in Lobor. The North African sherds can be dated to the end of the 5th or the beginning of the 6th century, and the Eastern Mediterranean to the last quarter of the 5th and the first quarter of the 6th century. Given the small number of fragments of Mediterranean pottery and the fact that earlier forms, which would belong to the period of more intensive import to the Noric-Pannonian area, were not found, so far it should be assumed that they were personal property that was probably brought to Lobor at the beginning of the 6 th century, and not objects of trade between the Mediterranean and the Lobor area. Perhaps their find in Lobor was connected to the relocation of part of the population from the territory of Poetovio, or it was even connected with the withdrawal of part of the population from Noricum Ripense. If this was indeed the case, it would confirm the gathering and refugial role of the fortified hilltop settlement in Lobor, which at the beginning of the 6th century was obviously an important church center where the early Christian complex with a church and a baptistery and possibly other churches was expanded and renovated. The assumption was that the hilltop settlement in Lobor certainly gathered the population of today’s Zlatar valley in unsafe periods, the population which usually lived on farms and settlements similar to the villa in Gornja Batina. The finds of imported Mediterranean tableware confirm that the settlement in Lobor also received residents of probably higher ranks from the threatened settlements of Noric-Pannonian border area. Although early Christian motifs, which are otherwise common, were not preserved on the mentioned imported pottery due to the high degree of fragmentation, it cannot be ruled out that the pottery was brought as part of the household of the Bishop of Poetovio, who is sometimes associated with the construction of the early Christian complex in Lobor, and perhaps with his stay in to an unexplored building on the south side of the site of Our Lady of the Mountain. As for the later forms of imported Mediterranean pottery, they have not been found in Lobor so far, so the question about the end of life in the hilltop settlement cannot be answered solely on the basis of pottery finds. Burnished pottery and pottery with burnished decoration from Lobor belong to the 4th and 5th centuries. A smaller part of that group of pottery belongs to open-shaped vessels, mostly bowls, decorated exclusively with polished horizontal lines, often on both sides of the vessel, for which the closest analogies were found in the Danube area of the eastern Noricum Ripense. Based on these analogies, the dating of the Lobor specimens of this group is placed from the middle of the 4th to the middle of the 5th century. Another group of the pottery with burnished decoration can be connected with the Pannonian part of the Danube limes, where three groups appear based on technological, typological and decorative characteristics. By analyzing these characteristics, the examples from Lobor were placed in the first two groups and dated from the middle to the end of the 4th century in the case of the first group and to the last quarter of the 4th and the beginning of the 5th century in the case of the second group. No fragments were found that could be attributed to the third group. It is possible that, due to the distance from the Danube, the immediate danger and the influence of barbarian groups, with the presence of which the appearance and popularity of this group of pottery is at least partially connected, the dating of the pottery with burnished decoration from Lobor should be extended and that at least until the end of the 5th in the workshops from which this pottery was procured for the hilltop settlement in Lobor, the proven production technology known from older potters was used. It is certain that one cannot expect exactly the same fabrics as in the workshops on the Danube or other larger production centers in Pannonia, and the situation is similar as with glazed pottery and slipware. The variety of fabrics and firing techniques points to several workshops from which the population of Lobor procured pottery of this group. What is perhaps surprising about this group, which is linked to the influence of barbarian groups, is that in Lobor it was not found in combination with stamped pottery. Not a single fragment with stamped decoration typical for the 6th century has been found so far. According to the current state of research, this should mean that the Lobor area was not under the direct influence of the Lombards, although it is sometimes placed on the eastern edge of the so-called Pólis Norikón. Based on the absence of stamped pottery, it is not possible to determine whether this means that in the middle of the 6th century the hilltop settlement in Lobor was already abandoned or at least that the number of inhabitants was significantly reduced, or whether this only happened in the last quarter of the 6 th century, to which the burned layers in the baptistery and on the late antique rampart were dated. There are only a few items from Lobor that can be dated to the period between the latest dated form of pottery and the date of the burned layer. These are objects from grave 50 and a buckle part from a destroyed grave that can be dated to the first half of the 6th century and an S-fibula of the Várpalota-Vinkovci type dated to the second third of the 6th century. They may also be joined by fragments of imported Mediterranean vessels if they were really transferred from another settlement and remained in use for a longer time. The least amount of information about the late antique community in Lobor was provided by reduction- and oxidation-fired fine pottery. The types are related to those of the groups of glazed pottery, slipware and pottery with burnished decoration. Reduction-fired fine pottery is typologically more closely related to the pottery with burnished decoration, and oxidation-fired fine pottery to glazed pottery and slipware. This group includes interesting and rare examples of stamped pottery, which differ from the 6th century stamped pottery according to their fabrics and decorative motifs and clearly belong to an earlier time. There are two fragments of oxidation-fired jugs or pots with stamped concentric circles, which are a typical late antique motif, while another example is decorated in a more complicated way. It is a fragment of an oxidation-reduction fired vessel of large dimensions, which was decorated on the outside with a combination of a stamped rosette, arc motifs made by double rouletting and an applied twisted band. An analogy for this last example should probably be sought in the area of western Noricum Mediterraneum, but in the group of coarse pottery, which in that area is generally more elaborately decorated. Although one of the assumptions was that the final phase of life in the hilltop settlement in Lobor could be explained using the results of the analysis of coarse pottery, it shows that simple, long-lasting forms of pots, jugs, bowls and plates dominate, and of which no type can be exclusively dated to the second half of the 6th century. Pots with extended rims are by far the most common. The problem with dating and finding analogies is also represented by the fact that a large part of these pots and other vessels is undecorated. Decorated examples are dominated by simple decoration with grooved single and combed horizontal lines and single and combed wavy lines, and other decorative motifs are much less common. Another group of pottery that has not yet been found in Lobor, and is connected to groups of coarse pottery, is the so-called non-Roman pottery. These are biconical pots and deep bowls that are often decorated with wavy lines, and are known from the hilltop settlements of the Noric-Pannonian area. This pottery is also associated with the presence of Lombards in Noricum, so its absence in the hilltop settlement in Lobor is only a confirmation that there was no Lombard influence, at least as far as the production or distribution of pottery is concerned. In view of the found pottery with burnished decoration and typical late antique coarse vessels, one can only speculate about the probably indirect influence of barbarian groups, primarily Goths, from the end of the 4 th century. As for the spatial organization of the settlement based on the comparison of architectural remains and clusters of pottery sherds determined by means of quantitative analysis and calculation of the density of the number of sherds per square meter, it was determined that in Late Antiquity there was still a residential part of the settlement on the northern plateau and on the western plateau at least along the northern rampart. It seems that the Late La Tène earthen rampart on which the late antique wall was built provided sufficient protection from the strong northern wind. Based on the findings of terra sigillata, it can be assumed that the part of the plateau next to the northern rampart was already inhabited in the middle of the 3rd century, and considering the finds of a thin-walled ceramic bowl and an Eastern Mediterranean LRC bowl in the same area of the northern plateau outside of the enclosure wall, it can be assumed that buildings existed there even though they were not preserved. A ruin with Roman tegulae nearby could have belonged to that part of the settlement, where the third cluster of pottery sherds was recorded. As for the early Christian complex and the buildings in the immediate vicinity inside the enclosure wall, no late antique pottery sherds were found that could be attributed to the church inventory, but small remains of the building and the heating channel, which perished in a fire in the middle of the 5th century, were preserved partly located under the early Christian church. The majority of pottery finds in the so-called black layer can probably be associated with this building. The late antique ceramic vessels found in front of the facade of the present church should be connected to the wooden building west of the baptistery, which probably existed for some time together with the early Christian complex because it was bypassed by the drainage channel from the baptistery. The interpretation of the space inside the enclosure wall based on the pottery finds, which would indicate that those two buildings were equipped with a kitchen area, should still be taken with caution. This is the part of the site where the largest construction interventions were undertaken, as well as the most intensive burial of the deceased, and it is quite possible that the pottery finds come from disturbed layers and structures that were completely destroyed by later interventions, and all this especially considering the fact that inside the enclosure wall no significant clusters of pottery sherds were determined, neither in total nor by individual groups. Analyzes of traces of use show that in the hilltop settlement in Lobor, pottery was a valuable asset of the late antique population. The use of glazed mortars long after they were damaged and their original surface covered with grit and glaze was destroyed, as well as the repair of vessels of almost all groups (glazed, fine, rough), and not only the more luxurious products, prove that it was valuable enough and necessary to be used even after it has lost its original properties and quality. The recycling of pottery confirms that, after it’s use was really no longer possible, it was used as an additional resource in the settlement and was not completely discarded. In conclusion, it can be said that the fortified hilltop settlement in Lobor, founded as a permanent settlement around the middle of the 3rd century, according to the findings of late antique pottery, at least partially fits into the system of such settlements in the Noric-Pannonian border area. Despite the fortification, the ratio of pottery and other finds, especially those of a military nature, indicates that it was a civilian-type settlement that was transformed into a church center at the end of Late Antiquity. The representation of almost all groups of local, regional and imported late antique pottery confirms that the settlement was open to influences from other parts of the Roman Empire, especially from the north and west, despite the apparently isolated character of the settlement in Lobor, which was not located on important river or land routes and whose area was not mentioned in historical sources. In the middle of the 6th century, however, the settlement was closed against new influences, and the inhabitants probably practiced increasing self-sustainability and self-sufficiency in the last decades. An already abandoned settlement or a settlement with a significantly reduced number of inhabitants was burned according to analyzes around 580 AD, probably during the Avar-Slavic invasion. There are no more reliably dated pottery sherds from that time. Although the western parts of the Noric-Pannonian area saw the end of antiquity at the beginning of the 7th century, it seems that this end came a little earlier to the fortified hilltop settlement in Lobor.