Prehistoric burial mounds western of Vardar River
Burials are perhaps one of the most important segments when it comes to completing the picture of life in Prehistory and its organization. It is a micro-cosmos in which not only separate manifestations of material cultures exist, but also they serve as a mean onto which tradition, beliefs and other socio-cultural components of the communities are projected.
Burial mounds, in the literature also known as tumuli, barrows or cairns, have arrived in the Balkans with the great Indo-European migrations. It was an accomplishment accepted by the steppe population. However, in the Balkans and the other places where they were present they can not be traced synchronously. Their emergence and internal (regional) development depend on the level of social, cultural and psychological development of a certain community. Therefore, they were only briefly used in some communities, while in others they became traditional and such burials were present in historical times with certain modifications.
According to the research in Macedonia so far, they are dated mostly in Iron Age, even though the oldest, double burial mounds with central and the oldest burial, according to the material and analogies with neighboring regions (Southeastern Albania and Northwestern Greece) are dated in the end of Bronze Age. In Macedonia and the region that is encompassed in the research (western of Vardar River, where parts of Greece and Albania are also included), this manifestation has gone through internal development, which certainly reflects the evolution of tribal communities.
Burial mounds in Pelagonia are in focus, where theyaredensely concentrated, even though most of them are just confirmed and not researched. Besides discussing the burial rite, tomb shapes, material culture etc. the research attempts to reach certain acknowledgments regarding the structure of the communities, their socio-cultural and economic organizations, i.e. the symbolical meaning of this phenomenon.