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Number of results: 7
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Abstract

Archaeological research on the Hanseatic towns established in the Middle Ages in the Baltic region has been conducted on a large scale since the 1980’s. Discoveries made since then allow to formulate a thesis about the cultural unity among the inhabitants of towns situated on the South Baltic coast between the 13th and 15th centuries. Based on selected instances of the urban culture, widely discussed in archaeological sources, the paper is an attempt to prove that a number of similarities can be revealed in various spheres of life led by the inhabitants of towns located in the Baltic region, often situated far away from one another. The analysis covered the following aspects: architecture – quoting the example of tenements with entrance halls which in the 14th century became a common element of the cultural landscape in towns located in the Baltic region; pottery – quoting the example of popular in this part of Europe stoneware and red glazed jugs; and, last but not least, devotional objects – quoting the example of pilgrim badges that revealed evident preferences demonstrated by the pilgrims as to their pilgrimage destinations, paying special attention to supra-regional sanctuaries located in German-speaking area, particularly on the Rhine and the Moza rivers.
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Abstract

Objects that have come within the inventory are the effect of whaling activity car­ried out in the region of South Shetland Islands in the first half of the twentieth century. They in­clude mainly bones of hunted animals, rarely wooden or metal objects, part of which may be re­lated to the whaling industry. In this paper the areas of particular accumulation of these objects have been determined, and the attempts to explain the reasons for such accumulations have been made. In addition, certain suggestions for further investigations into whaling activity in the South Shetland Islands region have been put forward. During the work 158 large fragments of whale skulls, among others, have been inventoried. The total number of individuals whose pre­served relics have been explored within the surveyed sections of the Admiralty Bay shores has been estimated to be 210-230.
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Abstract

We talk to Dr. Maciej Jórdeczka from the PAS Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology in Poznań about archaeological surprises, Neolithic medicine and paying respect to our deceased.
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Abstract

The research was conducted at the Kwiatków site,1 in the Koło Basin (Central Poland). It included a fragment of a low terrace and the valley floor of the Warta river valley. The archaeological investigation documented over 100 wells that archaeological material indicates are associated with the Przeworsk culture. Geomorphological, lithological and geochemical studies were carried out at the archaeological sites and their surroundings. Selected for the presentation were two wells whose fillings were carefully tested and subjected to geochemical and lithological analyses. The wells showed a slightly different content of artifacts, as well as differences in their grain-size distributions, the structure of their filling deposits, and their geochemistry. This allows us to conclude that the two wells were used differently, but also probably about a different course for how each well was filled after the end of its operation.
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Abstract

ABSTRACT: The text discusses medieval and modern sepulchral finds of coins from Eastern Europe, conventionally referred to as the “obol of the dead”. For the first time the phenomenon was observed in 8th century graves of nomads in the Khazar Khaganate. In the 9th and 10th century, Arab dirhams and Byzantine miliarenses appear in graves in the areas of the Scandinavian expansion, mainly in the basin of the upper Volga and the Dnieper. In the 11th century the custom of equipping the dead with coins becomes common and it is mainly West European pennies that are used for the purpose. In the 12th and 13th century, the practice becomes virtually obsolete to experience a revival in the 15th century. In modern times the observance of the custom reaches its peak in the 17th century and remains to be recorded in ethnographic sources until today. SUMMARY: The text presents the custom of equipping the dead with coins, followed in medieval and modern Eastern Europe. In this area coins appear for the first time in richly equipped graves of nomads, dated to the 8th century, along the lower course of the Don and Volga rivers in the Khazar Khaganate. They are predominantly gold issues — Byzantine solidi and gold-plated dirhams, placed in the mouth of the dead. In the 9th and 10th centuries coins and their fragments, which can be referred to as “the obol of the dead”, occur in the barrow mounds in the north-west areas of ancient Rus’, on the east and south coast of Ladoga Lake, in the interfluve of the Volga and the Oka as well as in sites located along the upper and middle course of the Dnieper, particularly in the Czernichow Land. In the second part of the 10th and 11th century the custom becomes widespread, and most of the finds come from inhumation burial. Apart from those areas, coins appear in graveyards located along the upper course of the Volga River, in the areas of Lake Peipus and Lake Ilmen as well as in the basin of the Dnieper and further down to Kiev. Characteristically enough, all the sites are located in the area of the Scandinavian expansion and colonisation. The predominant types of coins found in graves dated to the 10th century are Arab dirhams as well as Byzantine folles, miliarenses and solidi. It should also be noted that graves with pendant-coins become more frequent. At the end of the 10th century there is an observable decrease in the inflow of Arab gold into the Baltic region. At the end of the 10th and the beginning of the 11th century, coins from Western Europe appear and dominate the entire next century. They are usually German issues, but also English and, to a smaller extent, Bohemian and Hungarian coins. Interestingly enough, the number of coins left in the form of “the obol of the dead” is much higher than that of pendant-coins. Sometimes the local, Rus’ coins occur, although rather infrequently. In the 12th and 13th century the custom of equipping the dead with coins disappears completely from the forest zone of Eastern Europe, which is caused by the cessation of the inflow of Western European coins into Novgorod Rus’ and predominantly, by the evolution of burial practices, manifesting itself in abandoning the custom of equipping the dead. In the 13th and 14th century, after the Mongol invasions, coins reappear in the graves of the nomads of the Golden Horde, who bring the custom from the grasslands of Central Asia. The finds are dominated by Golden Horde issues. In the 14th century, coins are occasionally used in the burials of Lithuanian and Slavic population in the Polish-Rus’ and Lithuanian-Rus’ border areas (today’s Eastern Poland and Grodno Region). In the latter case, the finds of coins are particularly frequent in graves from the 15th century. Similarly to the 11th century Rus’ this is an area of intensive Christianisation and transformations of burial practices. Outside the Grodno Region, the coins appear frequently in graves across Lithuania, Samogitia, Semigallia, Latgale, Livonia and Courland. In the 16th century, coins start to appear in graves of newly Christianised Finno-Ugric peoples of Mari, Mordva and Udmurt. They appear both as the “obols of the dead” and pendants in lavishly decorated necklaces and hats. The culmination of the practice of equipping the death with coins falls on the 17th century and the beginning of the 18th century. The areas of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and of the Grand Duchy of Moscow are dominated by local issues, mostly small coins of low nominal value. In archaeological sources, there is a rapid decrease in the number of sepulchral finds of coins in graves from the second half of the 18th century. We know of only one burial with coins from the 19th century. Similarly, coins were discovered only in one 20th-century grave, which does not, however, signify that the practice of equipping the dead disappeared — it only reflects the current state of examination of contemporary archaeological sites. Ethnographic sources frequently record the tradition of equipping the death and confirm the presence of such practices in the areas of Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Poland.
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Abstract

Archaeology of north-eastern Poland has been poorly recognized owing to vast forest areas and numerous lakes. This particularly refers to the Warmian–Masurian Voivodship, where forest covers over 30% of its area. Prospection of forested areas has become possible in Poland just over 10 years ago with the Airborne Laser Scanning (ALS) and Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR). These techniques allow obtaining 3-D documentation of recognized and also unknown archaeological sites in the forested areas. Thanks to ALS/LiDAR prospection a significant number of archaeological structures have been identified also in the Warmia and Masuria regions. Among them oval-shaped hillforts, surrounded by perfectly spaced concentric moats and ramparts, located mainly on islands and in wetland areas, have raised particular attention. Based on field prospection and results of preliminary excavations, these objects have been considered as Iron Age hillforts. One of the best preserved objects of this type is on the Radomno Lake island, located several kilometres to the south of Iława town. Integrated geoarchaeological prospection of this hillfort emphasized benefits of using LiDAR in combination with results of geophysical prospection and shallow drillings. Applied methodology enabled to document the hillfort shape, and to study its geological structure and stratigraphy. The results clearly indicate that integration of LiDAR data with geophysical prospecting is indispensable in future archaeological surveys. It is a perfect tool for remote sensing of archaeological objects in forest areas, so far not available for traditional archaeology.
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