Older iron ages in this areas lasted between 750 and 300
years BC. In majority of Europe, as well as in northern Croatia,
during this time it was observed appearance of the wide complex
of 'Halstat' culture. Basic characteristics of this culture
are first extensive production and usage of iron in the area
of Europe, and community structure where military aristocrats
are dominant class, led by some kind of dukes.
In this period, larger centres appear, which are formed as
fort settlements. They are dominant in the certain areas,
which then become the station of local rulers. Their power
and wealth lied in the controlling of local commercial roads,
through which the raw materials travelled towards progressive
Mediterranean cultures, primarily Greece and Italy, and from
there a arrived valuable items that were not seen before in
area of middle Europe, made by top craftsmen. Same way, the
power of certain communities, and their rulers in forts, depended
on the control of natural resources, as well as on the warrior's
power, what was the pillar of the entire society.
In the area of north Croatia, that is Slavonia, phenomenon
of 'Hastate' culture is marked by the cultural group Martijanec-Kaptol.
One of the most important locations of this cultural group
is above Kaptol, nearby Požega. The basic characteristic of
this cultural group is burring distinguished members of the
society into large grave mound - tumule. Although they kept
the cremation of the dead as a fundamental ritual (same as
in the late Bronze Age in this area), the important change
of the society structure is in the monumental tomb constructions,
whose building requested firm hierarchical organization and
large amount of invested work.
So far, on this locality two such necropolis were found,
and one larger settlement. Of a special value is finding place
of a ceramic vessels in Kaptol. The vessels are of unique
shape with amazing decorations, and represent one of the most
beautiful examples of this time in entire Europe.
Majority of fine vessels is covered with layer of glow graphite,
what gives them special metal glow. This very colliery that
was exploited still in the 60ies years of 20th century, represented
one of the important foundation of wealth and power of the
Certainly, the most famous and far more beautiful forms found
in Kaptol tombs are urns, decorated with bullheads. Although
they were not perfectly made and covered with simple geometrical
decoration, those urns have a unique beauty that was not found
anywhere in the Europe of this time. This very specimen was
found in necropolis Gradica, where the exploration just started.
The beauty of this urn is just the indication of what is under
the Kaptol duke's tombs.