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Pagan Cemetery Or Holy Grove?

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Chapter Summary

In the areas with no mountains, pagan rites were celebrated in holy groves. This is mentioned by historians in both the ancient world and Medieval times, referring to various peoples, the Germans, Balts and Slavs. The burial ground in Kleczanów is located near a national road linking Sandomierz and Opatów approximately halfway between those two towns. Identified in the early 1990s and excavated in recent years it became the topic of a lively debate due to the surprising fact that several dozen barrows have survived there for more than 1000 years on a largely deforested loess upland. The barrow cemetery at Winiary near Sandomierz, about 30 km from the Kleczanów wood, in which mounds were still preserved until the period between the World Wars, was located on a hill with the curious name Gaj; this might refer to the cemetery but could also be a reflection of a pagan grove.

Keywords:holy grove; Kleczanów; pagan cemetery; Sandomierz



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