One of the oldest cartographic depiction of the area was discovered in Šušnjari, together with initials of Jesus Christ, written in Greek alphabet which directly indicates that this church respected the traditions of the Eastern Christianity.
At locality Zidine, found in village of Šušnjari, Laktaši municipality, the archeologists of the National museum in Gradiška, Milan Đurđević and Bojan Vujinović unearthed in 2010 a medieval church with a necropolis. To gain a more accurate dating, archeological duo explored the graves found within the church and took samples for C14 analysis in 2011.
On that occasion, three graves were examined. Double grave in the altar, grave of a male individual in the center of the naos and another double grave north of the entrance. All skeletons are oriented in direction east-west with their heads towards the west and legs towards the east, and hands crossed in the pelvic area which represents Christian way of burial. Exemption was the grave north from the entrance, which was oriented north-south due to lack of space.
Three samples were sent to radiocarbon analysis to the University of Glasgow, in Great Britain, two from the double grave in the altar and bones of male individual from the grave north of the entrance.
Double grave in the altar was the resting site of a man and a woman. Female skeleton had an earring made out of silver in shape of three strawberries with one strawberry missing. Earring was made in filigree technique with two partially improved hollow strawberries. It could be that the bones of the female individual were moved from some other location and buried here for the second time, given that the skeleton was completely in disarray and leaves the impression it was not originally buried in the altar grave.
Bone analysis done in Britain confirmed the age.
-On the basis of the radiocarbon analysis of bone samples, female individual was buried in 1262 which further indicates that the earring, most likely, dates from the same period. Male individual, according to the radiocarbon analysis, was buried in 1276. It should be noted, however, that these years are not absolute indicators and that there is space for error of plus/minus 30 years, Vujinović said.
Vujinović added that the male individual from the double grave north of the church entrance was probably buried about 1270 but the same rule, the possible error of 30 years, applies here as well.
These data undoubtable indicate that the medieval church with necropolis, found on the locality of Zidine in village Šušnjari, definitely existed in the 13th century.
However, given that the lifetime in this period was about 50 years, there is the possibility this church was built near the end of the 12th century and existed until the first half of the 16th century and the Turkish arrival.
Millet was eaten
One of the interesting details, discovered during the analysis, was that the unearthed individuals used large quantities of millet in their diet.
-Millet is a sort of cereal which was used as food during medieval period in our lands as well. It was used for porridge and is often mentioned as a substitute for meat. Millet was very useful cereal given the fact it could be preserved in warehouses up to twenty years – explains Vujinović.
Text taken from the site FRONTAL, news first time published in 20.02.2014.