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Coins from early Croatian graves

The Zagreb Archaeological Museum
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Many Early Croatian cemeteries have been explored and excavated and among many simple graves there were also princely graves with abundant grave-goods (jewellery, weapons, pottery, buckets). The earliest and most interesting stratum of coin-dated graves in the coastal region is represented by the graves dated with gold coins (Biskupija near Knin, Nin near Zadar, Trilj near Sinj). The coins in question are always the solidi of the Byzantine emperors Constantine V. Copronymus (741–775), his son Leo IV., the Khazar (from 751.) and his father Leo III., the Isaurian (717–741. These solidi were found as obols of the deceased Croatian princes in the graveyard surrounding St. Mary's basilica at Biskupija – Crkvina indicating the still strong pagan tradition of placing an obol into the grave. The burial of these princes is usually dated to the late 8th and/or early 9th c. A well-preserved denar of Lothar I. (840–855) of the Christiana Religio type was found in the grave No. 62 with double inhumation at Nin-Ždrijac near Zadar. Almost a hundred coins dating from between the 12th and the 15th centuries have been unearthed in graves of some cemeteries in the wider coastal area: Biskupija, Begovača, Bisko, Brnaze, Galovac Grborezi, Maljkovo, Putalj, Radun, Vrh Rika (Holy Saviour/ Sv. Spas) and Vrpolje.The situation in the continental part of Croatia (Kindgom of Slavonia) is entirely different, as there were indeed small quantities of Byzantine money in circulation. One thrice pierced and extremely worn solidus of Constantine VII. Porphyrogenitus and Romanus II. (948–959) was found by Z. Vinski in a child's grave (No. 2) in the Lijeva Bara cemetery in Vukovar. At Bijelo Brdo, there were denars of Peter (1038–1041, 1044–1046, one specimen), Andrew I. (1046–1061, five specimens), and Béla I. (1060–1063, two specimens). In the somewhat later graves of the same Early Croatian Bijelo Brdo Culture at Svinjarevci there were coins of Béla I. and Ladislaus I.(1077–1095, five specimens).

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