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Publikacje oddane do druku:

Odwrotna strona medalu czyli w kwestii konstrukcji zapinek szczeblowych słów kilka, [w:] A. Urbaniak, R. Prochowicz, J. Schuster, M. Levada (red.), Terra Barbarica, Monumenta Archeologica Barbarica Series Gemina II, Łódź-Warszawa 2010, s. 321-331.

The latest weapons in the Bogaczewo culture, [w:] The Turbulent Epoch. New Materials from the Late Roman Period and the Migration Period, t. II, red. B. Niezabitowska, M. Juściński, P. Łuczkiewicz, S. Sadowski, Lublin 2009, s. 89-104.

The war as seen by an archaeologist. Reconstruction of barbarian weapons and fighting techniques in the Roman Period basing on the analysis of weapon graves. The case of the Przeworsk Culture, "Journal of Roman Military Equipment Studies", t. 16, 2009, s. 93-132.

The latest weapons in the Bogaczewo culture, [w:] The Turbulent Epoch. New Materials from the Late Roman Period and the Migration Period, t. II, red. B. Niezabitowska, M. Juściński, P. Łuczkiewicz, S. Sadowski, Lublin 2009, s. 89-104.

Horse and its use in the Przeworsk Culture in the light of archaeological evidence, [w:] The Horse and Man in European Antiquity (Worldview, Burial Rites, and Military and Everyday Life, Archaeologia Baltica, t. 11, Klaipeda 2009, s. 92-114.
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Foreign influences on the weaponry of the Bogaczewo and Sudovian cultures. The case of the shafted weapon, "Archaeologia Baltica", t. 8, 2007, s. 117-132.

Is There Reliable Archival Data? The Problem of Interpretation of an Unusual Specimen from Gurjevsk (formerly Trausitten) on the Sambian Peninsula, "Archaeologia Baltica", t. 8, 2007, s. 176-182.

Time of war or well-being? Changes in weapon sets in the Przeworsk culture burials from the late stage of phase B2

Wojna oczami archeologa. Uwagi na temat sposobów walki ludności kultury przeworskiej w okresie wpływów rzymskich w świetle źródeł archeologicznych

Uzbrojenie kultury przeworskiej w okresie wpływów rzymskich i początkach okresu wędrówek ludów
[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]

The above analysis omits the materials from the cemetery at Opoka, because it has too a small number of well-dated and not disturbed weapon burials[21]. It should be, however, stressed that also in its case the proportion of burials with swords but also with spurs dated to phase B2b is significant (out of 8 undisturbed graves dated precisely to that phase, three contained more than one shaft weapon head, shield fitings, a double-edged sword and a spur (spurs), one had a spur, and one - a spur and a shaft weapon head). Relative similarity of this necropolis to other cemeteries from the eastern zone is also supported by the significant proportion of burials with barbed spearheads (3 cases).

Some burial grounds manifested certain differences concerning weapon sets, smaller, however, than in the earlier periods. The cemetery of Nadkole differs in having a small proportion of burials with spurs and swords, Kamieńczyk, in a small proportion of burials with spurs, Młodzikowo and Chorula, in the presence of arrowheads, and the latter one also in the absence of swords[22]. The perceptible difference of the cemetery in Chmielów Piaskowy results from the considerable proportion of burials with single shaft weapon heads, a low percentage of sets with more than one head and shield fittings as well as a large number of swords.

To sum up, it may be stated that weapon graves from the majority of cemeteries from phase B2b belong to a general, averaged, but clear standard of weapon assemblages, having, at the same time certain specific features. The sites from the eastern zone are still more similar, although the similarity is not considerable, which is reflected, e.g., by the specific character of the weapon sets from the burial ground of Oblin. Moreover, the clear difference in this respect of the site at Chmielów Piaskowy should not be failed to notice.

The standardization is manifested also by the forms of some artifacts: shaft weapon heads, which are a particularly individual element of grave goods, become more uniform in the analysed phase (especially types VI-VIII according to Kaczanowski (1995). Moreover, the shaft weapon heads allow to draw some conclusions about the fighting techniques. This is connected with the well known opinion that in the case of occurrence of two shaft weapon heads in one burial, one was considered as an element of a lance and the other, of a javelin (spear). The lance would serve in hand-to-hand combat whereas the javelin was used for throwing. The possibility of distinguishing such two kinds of shaft weapons has been already discussed for a considerable length of time (e.g., Nadolski 1951, p. 150; 1954, p. 51; Wołągiewiczowie 1963, p. 11; Godłowski 1977, p. 52; Fogel 1979, p. 88; 1982, p. 97; Kaczanowski 1995, p. 9).
To clarify this issue for the Przeworsk culture the author studied the changes in frequency of burials equipped in more than one head in the Late Pre-Roman Period and in the Roman Period (Diagram 3)[23]. A following picture of changes has been obtained: more than one head can be found already in burials of phase A1, but in this and the following phase they are very scarce. From phase A3 the discussed combination grows in importance and the increasing role of javelins is supported also by the appearance of barbed spearheads in the grave furnishing (see Dąbrowska 1988, p. 43-44)[24]. The upward trend continues in the following periods to achieve culmination in phase B2b (more than 70% of weapon graves contained more than one shaft weapon head). Afterwards the importance of such assemblages in grave goods declines and they are finally absent in phases C2-D[25].

Additional data concerning the function of heads may be obtained by studying the differences in lengths of shaft weapon heads appearing in pairs. A great difference would mean that one head was of a lance and the other of a javelin whereas similar lengths would indicate that weapons had alike forms and functions and could be used both in hand-to-hand combat and for throwing (bi-functional weapons)[26]. To verify this the differences in length between pairs of heads, expressed in percentages calculated with respect to the smaller item, have been compared. This method, as it seems, facilitates the estimation of the differences in function for if the differences in length were expressed in centimeters, the preferences of individual warriors might influence the results (some might have preferred weapons with long blades, others with short ones; in the latter case the difference in length would be smaller, yet it would not reflect a smaller specialization of the weapons). The scale values have been established arbitrarily: the size and number of the intervals have been matched so as to follow the rules (although today the rules of determining the number and size of intervals are not so strict as they used to (Łomnicki 1999, p. 27-28)) on the one hand, while on the other, so that the results for respective phases were comparable. The obtained picture is not false as in determining the boundaries the distribution of frequency of the results of measurements was taken into account. Therefore the differences of the value of 30% (such limit seems to differentiate the heads quite well) have been assumed as significant.

Diagram 4 presents the percentage differences in phase B2b: it reveals clear differences in the length of heads found in pairs. The heads located within the first interval are a minority. This probably indicates the differentiation of the function of shaft weapons. Interestingly, in comparison to the other chronological periods this situation is unique: in the earlier and later phases the differences are insignificant (starting from phase C2, only single heads appeared, which may mean that javelins ceased to be used[27]) (Kontny 2002a, diagram 5-9). This may mean that universal shaft weapons with a double function were replaced by ones with more determined way of use: a lance and a javelin. It should be, however, remembered that this phenomenon was probably more widespread, for in the diagram the pairs of heads including a barbed one have not been taken into account (this is not such a common phenomenon as the former one, yet it is still significant: ca 13% of weapon graves were furnished with barbed spearheads (Kontny 2002a, diagram 4)[28].

To sum up the above remarks it should be stated that phase B2b was most probably characterized by a pronounced (perhaps even twofold) increase of the number of weapon burials in comparison to the previous chronological periods. As it may be concluded on the basis of existing demographic estimations the sudden increase of frequency of warriors' burials exceeded the natural population growth. This may indicate an increased militarisation in that period[29]. It is also interesting that the proportion of burials with weapon assemblages impossible to be used in combat exclusively (e.g., a single barbed spearhead, shield fittings as the only weapon element in a burial, etc.) is minimal (Kontny 2001). The grave goods probably contained in an overwhelming majority of cases the sets of weapons actually used by the warriors, however, it can not be excluded, that some of the warriors using swords did not obtain them as grave goods: swords might have been the property of their military leaders. Such an interpretation of the sword finds from the area of modern Norway for phase C1b has been adopted by C. von Carnap-Bornheim[30], yet there are no premises to claim that this phenomenon could have been sufficiently widespread in the Przeworsk culture (although such might have been the case for some burials from the cemetery at Chorula, where no swords were found in the weapon burials (Table 1, see Szydłowski 1964). Thus, in phase B2b a departure from the 'symbolic' approach to weapons as grave goods, registered for the earlier and later chronological periods (Kontny 2002a) is noticeable, which seems to support the tendencies for militarisation indicated above.

[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]

[21] In the case of this cemetery one might have expected a certain number of research errors made especially during preparation of the site for publication (artifacts were published before conservation, part of them was erroneously determined or insufficiently described, etc., see the remarks of A. Kokowski (1991, p. 96). On the other hand in this paper the information verifying and supplementing the publication of E. Szarek-Waszkowska, prepared by A. Kokowski (1991, p. 96-116), which allowed to eliminate the discrepancies and errors is taken into account. Moreover, according to oral information (for which I am deeply grateful) by Marta Stasiak-Cyran, M.A., from the Museum in Lublin, who is re-working the documentation and studying the artifacts from the cemetery at Opoka, after verification the data seem to be reliable.

[22] Although Table 1 does not show that swords were found at Młodzikowo, grave 51, generally dated to phase B2, contained a single-edged sword.

[23] The frequency is computed by the proportion of burials with more than one weapon head with respect to all the weapon graves in a given phase.

[24] Barbed spearheads are treated as evident parts of javelins for the barbs would make it impossible to draw the weapon quickly from the object hit (the shield or the body of the opponent). Hand-to-hand combat with the use of such a weapon was out of question so shaft weapons with barbed spearheads should be considered as missiles (see e.g., Nadolski 1954, p. 51; Wołągiewiczowie 1963, p. 11; Nowakowski 1991, p. 69; Godłowski 1977, p. 53; Kaczanowski 1995, p. 9).

[25] It should be remarked that out of 64 burials dated broadly to phase B2, 16 contained more than one shaft weapon head (25.0%). If these burials were evenly distributed within phases B2a and B2b (depending on the duration of the phase) the percentages for phases B2a and B2b would drop only by a few per cent. The 'corrected' version for phases B2b and B2/C1 would be similar (6 burials out of 47 with more than one shaft weapon head, which gives 12.8%). It can not be assessed what was the actual distribution of inexactly dated burials but it may seem that it could not be very different from the above estimates. Thus the burials with several heads would still be the most frequent in phase B2b, and a similar proportion would be retained with respect to frequencies of burials for phases B2a and B2/C1.

[26] Naturally, it should be borne in mind that in such an approach simplifications are bound to appear, for the organic parts of the weapons are not known and the function of a weapon was also determined by the dimensions and form of the shaft, and perhaps the presence of other devices facilitating throwing, e.g., a loop wound around the shaft into which the middle and index fingers were inserted (during the throw the string or the thong would unwind, causing the shaft to spin, which increased the range of the throw (see Żukowski 1988, p. 6) and helped to stabilize the flight (Hyland 1993, p. 172). Similar loops were often used in various armies of the Ancient world: some of the Roman pila (weapons designed exclusively as missiles) were equipped with it (Bishop, Coulston 1993, p. 66) as well as javelins used in Greek armies (Warry 1995, p. 46, 50). The above traits of weapons are impossible to discover for the Przeworsk culture because of the custom of cremation predominant in it.

[27] The idea that the change of burial rites (embracing, i. a., a considerable impoverishment of grave furnishing) resulted in limiting the number of heads placed in burials to one, seems unconvincing. This is indicated by the lack of more than single shaft weapon heads in graves from these periods at Korzeń, Łąck commune, Płock district, voivodeship mazowieckie (see Kempisty 1968) where no depredation of grave goods (typical for the Przeworsk culture and resulting in a smaller number of weapons in burials) has been recorded, and where still prevailed the custom of placing the remains of the deceased in urns. This indicates that probably the weapons found in burials at the Korzeń cemetery probably reflected the actual sets used in combat. Moreover the process of excluding the second shaft weapon from the grave furnishing seems to be a result of a certain tendency, not a sudden change of burial rites that appeared in the late stage of phase C1b (see diagram 3). The problem of how changes in burial rites influenced the number of shaft weapon heads in burials was discussed by K. Godłowski, who compared the burial materials for the Przeworsk culture with those from Scandinavia (where pairs of heads could still be found) and from the area of Germany as well as the so-called Laeti burials from Galia (where one head in grave goods predominated) (Godłowski 1992, p. 84).

[28] It may be guessed that the so-far used barbed spearheads were replaced by small and medium-sized javelin heads without barbs.

[29] The military tendencies were noticed by A. Kietlińska, who, however, dated them to a later period: the second half of the 2nd century A.D. and the first half of the 3rd century A.D. (1963, p. 69-70). As a proof she quoted the abundance of weapons at the burial grounds of Spycimierz, Uniejów commune, Poddębice district, voivodeship łódzkie, Lachmirowice, Kruszwica commune, Inowrocław district, voivodeship kujawsko-pomorskie and Gać, Gać commune, Przeworsk district, voivodeship podkarpackie (Kietlińska 1963, p. 70-77).

[30] In that period there was an intensified influx of Roman swords with accompanying scabbard fittings to that area. Judging by the weaponry found in ritual deposits from Vimose (3) and Illerup Platz A in modern Denmark, where the armaments of the defeated invaders from the south of modern Norway or western Sweden were placed, it may be assumed that the majority of warriors used swords. However, the burials at the area of Norway yielded a much smaller proportion of finds of imported swords (and these found in graves were of much lesser quality). This is explained by the existence of trade in swords, controlled by the military elites and aiming to collect a suitable 'arsenal' for war. A small frequency of imported swords in burials would thus result from the fact that the weapons were stored in armouries, for they were the property of military leaders and not individual warriors. The latter used high-quality swords only during the war, so these weapons could not be placed in their burials (Carnap-Bornheim 2000). The analysis of shaft weapon heads with evident standardization of form, found at bog sites, allows to assume that leaders of military groups supplied their warriors also with shaft weapons (hence the homogenity of the shaft weapon heads), stored in peacetime in armouries (Carnap-Bornheim 1992). See also for a different interpretation (Bemmann, Bemmann 1998, p. 359).