„Страва“ и „тризна“ в контекста на ранносредновековните езически некрополи (археологически данни за поменалните обреди)
„Strava“ and „trizna“ within the Context of the Early Mediaeval Pagan Cemeteries (Archaeological Evidence for Funerary Rituals)
The article presents the studies of a phenomenon documented during the archaeological excavations of the early medieval pagan cemeteries in present-day Bulgaria – material remains of activities performed during the process of the burial or a certain period after it. They comprise mainly fragmented ceramic vessels and animal bones. Between 1970s and 1990s these remains were referred to using various terms, but the most commonly used terms were “strava” and “trizna”. As neither word is part of the Bulgarian language vocabulary, a detailed study of their origin and meaning in the Russian language was made. The terms were studied in details by A. Kotlyarevskii (1868). He believed that “trizna” meant the performing of military demonstrations (horse racing, imitation of duels, exercises with arms), and “strava” – a rich funerary feast.
His conclusions about the terms’ meaning were used by L. Niederle as well as by other researchers. However, the semantics of the concepts have changed over the time.
The observations during the archaeological excavations show that fragmented ceramic vessels and separate animal bones were found in different contexts – on the bottom of the grave, in the filling of the grave pit or at the level of the ancient surface. The interpretation of these artifacts is related to commemorative rituals and practices at the time of the burial or sometime after it. Such artifacts have been found in ca. ¼ of the burials in Balchik and Topola – two of the large pagan cemeteries in present-day Northeastern Bulgaria. They were recorded in the contexts in which their presence could not be regarded as a coincidence.
When processing artifacts yielded by earlier and, more importantly, future archaeological excavations, special attention should be dedicated to this understudied practice of the daily life of the Early Medieval people.