MΩMOΣ IX. The Archaeology of ritual - Proceedings of the IXth conference of researchers of prehistory (Supplementum 3.)

The Ritual Role of Wells beyond their Everyday Water-providing Function

Published February 6, 2020
How to Cite
Fülöp, K. (2020). The Ritual Role of Wells beyond their Everyday Water-providing Function. Dissertationes Archaeologicae, 4, 171-192. https://doi.org/10.17204/dissarch.suppl3.171


In 2011, in the Late Bronze Age settlement of Pusztataskony-Ledence, situated next to the Tisza River, a timber lined well (Kastenbrunnen, rováskút) with a preserved wooden structure and a large number of finds came to light. Based on the position, composition, and quality of the abundant finds found in the well infill, it is possible to reconstruct the manipulation and special treatment of household waste and its structured deposit at the well bottom. Throughout history, a series of diverse and complex rituals connected directly or indirectly to wells can be observed. This role derives from the close connection of man to water and the well. This function may appear earlier in the Life stage of the well’s life cycle, however, it culminates in the phase of Afterlife. By studying the Afterlife of the Pusztataskony well and other prehistoric examples, we attempt to outline and understand this special relationship. At the same time, we aim to define the archaeological characteristics and criteria to identify these ritual functions and meanings.