Horváth Attila – H. Tóth Elvira szerk.: Cumania 4. Archeologia (Bács-Kiskun Megyei Múzeumok Közleményei, Kecskemét, 1976)

Matolcsi J.: Táltosló az Izsák-baláspusztai honfoglalás kori sírban

BY JÁNOS MATOLCSI SHAMAN HORSE IN A GRAVE FROM THE PERIOD OF THE HUNGARIAN CONQUEST AT IZSÁK-BALÁZSPUSZTA In Izsák—Balázspuszta (Bács-Kiskun County) a grave from the Period of the Hungarian Conquest was found in the state vine yards. The excavation of the grave and preservation of the finds were carried out by Elvira H. Tóth. 1 Her article reveals that in the grave dated to the middle of the 10th century, interesting archaeological objects (a saddle with bone plating, a sabretache plate, silver mountings of a belt, etc.) and a horse skull with the bones of the distal seg­ments of the four legs laid besides the human skeleton were found. According to the archaeologist it is a typical „horse-hide" type burial from the Period of the Hungarian Conquest. 2 The horse skull is almost completely intact, with slight damages resulting from the excavation. The color of the skull and the extremity bones is yellow­ish brown. A larger dark brown iron stain is located on the left half of the intermaxillar bone, probably a mark from the oxydation of some harness part made of iron (bit). A greenish stain was observed on the labial part of the intermaxillar bone (fades labialis intermaxillaris) , on the upper I 2 and I 3 incisors, on the oral part of the lower jaw (mandibula) and finally on the diastema. These spots originated from the oxydation of bronze objects (harness mountings). In the general characteristics of the skull, its narrow form and its morphology differ in many ways from that of the horse skulls from the Period of the Hun­garian Conquest. The upper line of the nape (linea nuchalis superior) leans back in such a special way that the occipital squama forms an unusually stressed concavity. The outer occipital protuberance (protu­1 The circumstances of the excavation of the grave and the finds are published by E. H. TÓTH. See pages 141—184. of this volume. 2 LÁSZLÓ Gy.: 1944, 450-468. berantia occipitalis externa) is less developped, just as the outer sagittal crest (crista sagittalis externa) first emerges only slightly and at the point where it joins the lambdoid suture is almost invisibly blurred. In side view the profile of the skull is conspicuous­ly broken. The breaking point is in the region of the coronal suture for the parietal bone, forming the upper part of the brain-skull. It has an ascending course up to the coronal suture while the adjoining frontal bone orally descends. The profile therefore runs with a slight inclination from the coronal suture in a straight line down to the oral end of the nasal bone. Among the morphological characteristics the strange form of the frontal bone should be mentioned. Firstly there is its convexity toward the median plane, while the lateral parts of the frontal bone, par­ticularly its zygomatic processes lean downwards with the result that the orbits are located considerably below the surface of the forehead. Looking from the lateral side the right orbit gives the impression of being angular, while the left one has an elongated oval form. The dentition is complete both in the upper and the lower rows. In each row there are 2 well- developped canines (C) proving that the horse was a stallion. The simple occurrence of canines might suggest a castrate, however, their 18 mm length demostrates the sort of development found only in stallions. In castrates the growth of canines ceases earlier, with the result that these teeth are much shorter. The extent of the wear on the incisors gives us information about the age of the horse. 3 One should consider that in the lower jaw (mandible) the mark has essentially disappeared the, cement mark has an oval form, and the dental star is just visible in the \ x 191