Ovens in the early Medieval settlements of South-Western Slovakia

Ovens in the early Medieval settlements of South-Western Slovakia

By Matej Ruttkay

Civilisations, Vol. 49 (2002)

Abstract: Among the frequent findings in the settlements of the early Middle Ages in South-West Slovakia belong different types of heating devices. Different types are often found together and this means that it is necessary to assess them in mutual correlation. A more detailed understanding of their function and development is a contribution to the elucidation of the way of life of the medieval people. The important number of findings allows us to trace the changes from the 6th to the 13th centuries.

In the settlements of South – Western Slovakia two principal groups of heating devices occurred in the early Middle Ages : ovens, i. e. covered fireplaces made of stone, clay or a combination of the two, and open fireplaces, i. e. the remnants of an open fire. Each of these two groups can be further divided according to the construction, function and position inside or outside the object or within the settlement. The positioning of a heating device in a settlement object was conditioned by its function and also, to a large extent, by tradition. Here the comparison with ethnographical data of Slovakia provides important hints.

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