The graves of more than 300 former inhabitants of the Nitra area were found in early November during research connected with construction of the new R1 dual carriageway between Nitra and Tekovské Nemce. The biggest find was in Čierne Kľačany and dates back to the 11th century. Other graves found near Tesárske Mlyňany are from the same period, but a burial site from the period of the Migration of Nations (in around the 5th century AD) was also found. A smaller burial ground was found recently in Selenec. In fact, the whole road section has been turning up scattered graves from various periods. At the site of a planned junction in Selenec, there is a burial site for common people from 11th century with 19 graves containing the remains of men, women and children.
Archaeologists have found bronze and silver jewels in the graves – mainly earrings, rings, hair-rings, buckles, knives. Some of the deceased had a vessel at their feet. Near the burial site, a village from the the 11th-13th century was uncovered, along with evidence of a late Stone Age settlement from about 3,000 BC.
On the site of the future road, sites have been uncovered dating from the Stone Age to the Middle Ages. This is the most fruitful research connected to the construction of a road that has been made in Slovakia so far, said the head of the Archaeological Institute of the Slovak Academy of Sciences in Nitra, Matej Ruttkay. So far, his teams have collected 1,200 boxes full of pottery, 300 boxes full of animal and human bones, and several hundred small items including tools, spikes, jewels and decorations like clips, spindles, beads or earrings. One of the more precious finds is a Roman knife from Beladice.
“In recent months, we made so many finds that one nice museum could be opened just with these items,” Ruttkay said. Most of the research will be finished by the end of November. In some places, the first layer of soil will be uncovered only in spring, so excavations will take place there too once that happens.