Foundations of the Great Moravian Church of the 9th century belonged to the unique findings in Devín. Three arches – apses – are connected to the main nave which is divided by three partition walls onto other premises – hallway, sanctuary, and one more area almost nine metres long and more than five metres wide. The narthex used for purposes of the religious school could be situated right here.
Remains of plaster with frescos were found beside the foundations. Colour motifs of plants and a part of a face with a beard, mouth, and nose can be recognized on the fragments. Dark grey, dark red, ocherous, and white colours are added to the white, grey, and ocherous background. Archaeologists dated the church construction back to the 9th century just on the basis of the analysis of this plaster, but also of the church ground plan.
However, the dating was also supported by the findings of six skeletal graves – three men, one woman, one newborn, and one grave of a mother with her child. The last instance was a woman at the age of about thirty with her child laying on her chest. There were rattles, remains of fabric, silver earrings, a necklace, buttons, a knife, and a whorl found in the grave. Iron spurs, knives, and a buckle were preserved in the skeletal graves of men.
There were buttons, beads made of a glass paste, and spurs of the period of Great Moravia found in Devín.
In the past, Slavs used first-quality canvas, but also, e.g., linen scarves as a means of payment. The current word “platiť (pay)” is derived from the word “plátno (canvas)”. However, in the 9th century, i.e., at the time of the construction of the Great Moravian Church in Devín, Slavs used talents – axe-shaped pieces of forged iron – as the means of payment. Currently, talents are used as the currency in Ukraine.
There were also remains of the Slavic dwellings found by the archaeological teams in Devín. The masterful log cottages were located there. Remains of a fireplace, burned pine logs, and various household equipment such as clay pots, wooden buckle fitting, axe, key to a lock, and burned corn were found in one of them.
Text author: Andrej Barát