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Abstract

The hillfort Bojná I–Valy is a part of an early medieval fortification system located in the Považský Inovec mountain range that separates two densely populated settlement areas of Slovakia — namely the valleys of the Nitra and Váh rivers. Judging by the abundance of finds, in the 9th century the 12 hectare hillfort was a prominent seat of social elites. A bronze bell, a collection of gilded figural plaques as well as further symbols substantiate Christian affiliation of the community. The core of the monumental ramparts consists of log chambers with inner grates filled with soil and stones. From the front side, it was protected by a stone shell. Pincer gates had inwardly extended arms and a tower entrance in the front part of the corridor. According to the dendrochronological data, the fortification was erected in the last decade of the 9th century and shortly afterwards destroyed by a fire. Excavations of the bottom part of the ramparts confirmed, however, the presence of remains of an older construction. In this area, there are also four further hillforts providing finds dated back to the Early Middle Ages. At least one of them (Bojná II) was also destroyed by a fire at the end of the 9th century or in the 10th century.
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