Vepriai Valsčius antiquity lineaments

Gintautas Zabiela

Investigations of the oldest settlement in Vepriai area started in 1920s, nevertheless it remains still meanly known and studied. Only such site as Samantonys Bronze Age settlement was investigated in more detailed way.

The earliest traces of humans are from the end of the Palaeolithic (11th to 10th millennia BC). Their settlement in Samantonys is attributed to the Ahrensburg and Swidrian cultures.

Remains of the Bronze Age (middle of the 2nd to 1st millennia BC) human population in Vepriai area are known better due to the investigations done at Samantonys in 1943, when the site of a building was explored and quite a few flint and ceramic finds had been collected. Some stone axes also are attributed to this period.

There are three mounds (Dubiai, Sližiai and Sukiniai) and Kazlaučizna barrow, which witness the Iron Age (1st to 12th centuries). All they are not investigated and known only by their external features.

Among the archaeological sites of the Lithuanian state period, the Bečiai tumulus (end 14th to 18th centuries) had been investigated the best, where 93 inhumation graves had been studied in 1943 and 1985. This tumulus can be identified with the olden Vepriai cemetery. Other sites of archaeological heritage are less studied (Vepriai manor site) or the study material have been lost (Užušiliai tumuli).

During all the prehistoric époque and significant part of the historical period (to 17th century) the Šventoji River was the main nature formation, where human settlements nestled to. This is the area where the still undetected archaeological valuables should be searched for.