Mažeikiai burial ground

Ilona Vaškevičiūtė

Mažeikiai burial ground is located in Mažeikiai Village (Gruzdžiai country-side, Šiauliai District), 2 km west of Šiupyliai settlement on a 60–75 m hill that is adjacent to the 19th–20th century cemetery on one side and the gravel quarry on the other.

During the research season, the area of 1 100 m2 has been investigated, 204 graves detected, 580 items collected. 

The Mažeikiai burial ground is found to be a typical burial monument of village community in North Lithuania. It is on a higher gravely hill with a rivulet at its western side. The dead were buried in irregular rows, oriented westwards. The custom to lay the dead with burial items still existed. The finds comprised 54 knives, 1 axe, 7 whetstones, 2 steels, 4 needle-cases, 1 needle, and 1 spindle. The ornaments make a major part of finds: 10 brooches, 2 pins, a cross-pendant and about 300 rings, which were spiral, with overlapping terminals, sash-like and with a broadened front part. Coins made also a significant part of the finds; 270 coins have been collected. The oldest one was a Sigismund Augustus 1 555 dinar, and the most recent was the John Casimir’s (Ian Kazimierz) 1665 schilling. 

The Mažeikiai burial ground is dated as the second half of the 16th–17th centuries.