Wykaz publikacji:
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, ŁódĽ-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. Ju¶ciński, 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. Ju¶ciński, 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 ludno¶ci kultury przeworskiej w okresie wpływów rzymskich w ¶wietle Ľródeł archeologicznych

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

The postulated militarisation, reflected in grave furnishing, was linked to the increased demand for iron. From the beginning of the Early Roman Period, and even in the Late Pre-Roman Period, there existed two large centres of iron production: the Mazovian one, located at Błońska Plain, and the one in the area of ¦więtokrzyskie Mountains. The dating of the former is difficult because of the lack of publications on that issue. It may be, however, assumed, on the basis of oral information by Stefan Woyda, M.A., from the Museum of Ancient Iron Smelting in Pruszków, who conducted research in that area, that the organised production was intensified between the second half of the 1st century A.D. and the period preceeding the end of the 2nd century A.D.[37] (see also information obtained by P. Urbańczyk (1996, p. 7, footnote 15)[38]. For the larger centre in ¦więtokrzyskie Mountains there is an updated publication, touching among the others, the problem of the chronology of production, basing on calibrated radiocarbon dating (Bielenin 1992). According to it the highly organised and well-ordered smelting site with furnaces of the local type, functioned between 120 and 165 A.D. (Bielenin 1992, p. 176-179). Well-ordered smelting sites were clearly (three times) more popular than other forms of metallurgical production, and they represent the peak of the development of this centre (it is estimated that ca 8000 tons of iron were obtanied there) (Bielenin 1992, p. 191). The appearance of well-organised smelting sites is explained by the development of new, more restrictive methods of organisation of labour, and the rapid growth of production in the Holy Cross centre is supposed to have been caused by the appearance of a very demanding  market (Orzechowski 1996)[39]. The above-quoted data are almost completely equivalent to the dating of phase B2b, or perhaps also the beginning of phase B2/C1. The production of other, smaller centres has no precise chronology (see Bielenin 1992, p. 204-210). As it seems improbable that the iron produced in the ¦więtokrzyskie Mountains could have been sold at the area of the Roman Empire, i.a., due to the immense costs of transportation, expecially across the mountains (Godłowski 1973; Kolendo 2000, p. 114), the demand for the vast amounts of iron was presumed to have come from the Marobod state (Marobod's large army demanded iron for production of weapons) (Urbańczyk 1996, p. 7). This explanation, however, seems improbable[40]. However, a more feasible proposal for outlets of the iron produced in the ¦więtokrzyskie Mountains centre may be put forward: as the production was the greatest in the period of militarisation in the Przeworsk culture area, the sudden increase in the demand for iron resulted mainly from the need for weapons at that area[41]. Iron, as the basic raw material for making weapons, was sought after, especially in the Przeworsk culture population, preferring it also in production of ornaments, fibulas, belt fittings etc.[42]

On the other hand, it should not be forgotten that the analysed phase began a period of 'prosperity' in economy and an increase in the level of living of the population in the central European Barbaricum, which was reflected, i.a., in the more diversified and richer grave goods, the influx of imports, or the increase of population density, also at the area occupied by the Przeworsk culture (e.g., Godłowski 1960, p. 89-90; 1985, p. 53; Wielowiejski 1970, p. 184-186; Błażejewski 1998, p. 60-62). It can not be excluded that it was the increased affluence of the Barbaricum population (including the area of the Przeworsk culture) that had a decisive influence on the changes in burial rites. This might have been manifested by the fact that a greater part of the population could afford to put iron (especially weapons) into burials of their relatives. This hypothesis, however, would have to assume the existence of a very strong cultural tendency (fashion), which would result in a perceptible standardisation of weapon sets, clear at various levels. Similar fashions have been noticed for various phases of the Przeworsk culture (e.g., strong profiled style of the Early Roman Period), yet they did not result in evident standardisation of sets of weapons in burials. Moreover, in phase B2 rather an opposite tendency of territorial diversification is perceived (Godłowski 1985, p. 52) (i.a., the distinctive character of the eastern zone begins in the early phase B2 (Andrzejowski 1989, p. 118-119; D±browska 1997, p. 121-122; Andrzejowski 1998, p. 113-114; 2001, p. 82). In such a situation it seems unsatisfactory to explain the standardisation of weapon assemblages in burials only by the economic and religious reasons.

The above-presented conceptions are not necessarily contradictory and their synthesis may be suggested. The improved economic situation probably stimulated the metallurgy and resulted in increased demand for iron and weapons. On the other hand, the postulated increase of military tendencies would accelerate the boom and to some extent contribute to the further increase of iron production and economic growth (obviously, as one of many factors, alongside with the development of trade, changes in social structures, etc.). The increased military activity might have fostered the affluence of the general population, as a result of looting expeditions, while the tribe did not have to feed the 'sponger' warriors, described by Tacitus (Tac., Germ. 14, 3; 15, 1)[43]. The war trophies 'consumed' locally (in the form of such 'investments' as establishing a family or enjoying various pleasures of life) may have also increased the affluence. It is not possible, however, to decide whether the assumed military activity concentrated on the limes areas (not necessary Roman), which, with the small scale of attacks, was not necessarliy reflected in Roman written sources, or was directed at the neighbourhood, which, in the long run, could lead to a lasting unrest, which would hinder the economic growth. These problems can not be settled, although the theory of long-distance expeditions is supported by the discovery of a Roman sword in a burial dated to the late stage of phase B2 from Krasusze-Gołowierzchy, Trzebieszów commune, Łuków district, voivodeship lubelskie (D±browska 1970). The sword bore an inscription in the punctim technique, denoting its owner. The way of making the inscription suggests that the sword was probably obtained through looting (Kolendo 1982, p. 6, 8)[44]. Also the (military?) expansion to the south of the Przeworsk culture population, began as early as phase B2b, should not be forgotten. It is proved by the assemblages from weapon burials no 23, 40, 50, from Zemplin, Trebišov district, Slovakia, or grave IV from Ardanove, Iršava district, Ukraine (see Godłowski 1985, p. 147; 1994b, p. 72).

The above mechanisms probably overlapped, creating a kind of feedback relation. There is no reason to assume whether or which of them triggered the changes.

Sadly, it is not known what historic events of central European Barbaricum could have spurred the described changes; the analysed period is not well represented in written sources. There are, however, reliable premises that at the area of central and northern Europe there occurred important events of military character. According to J. Ilkjær, in these times, military expeditions were carried out to eastern Jutland and Fyn from, e.g., the area of northern Germany, the lower catchment area of the Oder river, or southern Denmark. Their traces are bog deposits of weapons looted from the invaders found in Thorsberg in south-eastern Jutland, Vimose (2) and Kragehul on Fyn (the last-mentioned one is dated to B2 or C1a), Sørup on the island of Lolland (Ilkjær 1994, p. 133-134; see also Ilkjær 1990, p. 334; Fig. 201; Lønstrup 1984, p. 92). The late stage of phase B2 probably saw the beginnings of the southward expansion of the Wielbark culture population (Woł±giewicz 1981, p. 83-84, Table 1; Godłowski 1992b, p. 66), which might have been connected with conflicts of military character. As a proof of inter-Germanic conflicts preceeding the outbreak of the Marcomannic wars the information from the life of Marcus Aurelius, described in Scriptores Historiae Augustae[45], is often quoted, which speaks about the unrest on the limes, caused by the peoples pushed out by the Barbarians living farther north (e. g. Godłowski 1982, p. 48; 1994, p. 70; Kozłowski, Kaczanowski 1998, p. 237). These migrations are confirmed for the second half of the 2nd century A.D.: the pushed out tribes might have included, as it has been said above, part of the Przeworsk culture population, which appeared in the Carpathian Basin (Godłowski 1985, p. 147). Such events may be connected with the military tendencies present in the Barbaricum, including the area occupied by the Przeworsk culture, where the existence of a large number of groups of military character (war troops/retinues) may be assumed. It can not be excluded that such troops, functioning at the end of phase B2 contributed to the formation in the western part of Lower Silesia, Lower Lusatia, and Lubuska Land, a new cultural unit: the Luboszyce culture (the Przeworsk culture played a very important part in forming the Luboszyce culture, see Domański 1994a), yet it should not be forgotten that in the first phase of the development of the Luboszyce culture the settlements were established in areas surrounded by unoccupied land (Domański 1994a, p. 365), which is in discord with the idea of military conquest of these areas. At this stage drawing any conclusions seems to be premature. The logical consequence of the increased military tendencies in the hinterland of the client states of the Roman empire (perceptible at the area of the Przeworsk culture, but in the case of the Wielbark culture the lack of weapons in burial assemblages makes similar reasoning impossible) might have been the Marcomannic wars which, however, took place in the next phase: B2/C1.

The above concepts should be treated only as hypotheses, because, for the lack of actual proof it is impossible ultimately to solve the analysed problems. The above interpretations, in the light of the existing premises, seems the most probable. It also brings the conclusion that the analysis of weapon sets in burials may help not only to rediscover certain aspects of the burial rite but inspire reflections of a more general character.

transl.: S. Twardo, B. Kontny
[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]

[36] Of course, this does not explain the similarity of shaft weapon heads' forms at the whole area of the Przeworsk culture. The described mechanism could have operated in a limited area, from which the retinue members were recruited. As, however, the retinue members could have come from the areas exceeding the local community (or even tribe) the distribution of shaft weapon heads was simpler. The distribution of very precisely dated head types in the whole area of the Przeworsk culture may be perhaps linked to the assumed military contacts of tribes from various regions inhabited by the people of that culture (joint expeditions?). The changing composition of the retinues (participation of warriors in military undertakings in different parts of the discussed area) organized for concrete expeditions might have also fostered the widespreading fashion for the use of such elements of shaft weapons. Although it can not be determined whether the presented mechanism reflects the actual situation, explaining the standardization of shaft weapon heads only by the fashion (stylistic trends) without taking into consideration other phenomena (general uniformisation of weapon sets, possible increase of the frequency of weapon graves, etc.) seems to be less appropriate.

[37] This lack of data has been filled lately to a certain degree with the paper by S. Woyda (2002), which generally confirms above statements. 

[38] The existence of a well-organized center producing and exporting iron, beyond the local demand might have been connected with the hypothetical center of power located at Błońska Plain. Its traces may be the presumed rich burials from Sochaczew, Zaborów, and, perhaps Walewice (Nowakowski 1999, p. 288). The former two are connected with the 'princely graves' of the Lubieszewo horizon (Nowakowski 1999, p. 288), although the burial from Zaborowo can not be dated precisely (only a glass cup type 186 after H.J. Eggers (Eggers 1951) has been published from that assemblage, with contradictory datings, however: to phase B2 and, in other place to B2/C1 (Stawiarska 1999, p. 103-104, 243). As the author of the publication has not presented the grounds of her dating, its positive verification is impossible, so it is probable that the burial may be linked with the horizon of Lubieszewo type burials.

[39] See also Orzechowski 2002, where settlement bases within the ancient smelting region are discussed.

[40] Until precise chronology of the functioning of the above-mentioned centers is established and comparative metallographical studies of artifacts from various parts of central Europe are conducted, this conception must remain unverified. At present it is not probable, because in the neighbourhood of the Marcomanni state there existed mines and places in which iron ores were processed. This is proved by Tacitus, who mentioned the Cotini, who dealt with metallurgy (Tac., Germ., 43, 1) and are located at the area of the Puchov culture, and Ptolemy's remark about iron mines at the territory occupied by the Quadi (Ptol., Geogr., II, 11, 10). Traces of iron production were found in that area (Kolendo 1999, p. 221-222).

[41] As estimated analysis of grave goods shows, warriors proved the biggest demand for an iron (Kietlińska 1973, p. 289).

[42] This hypothesis should be verified after thorough examining the chronology of other metallurgical centers, especially the Mazovian one.

[43] For the importance of the war booties see, e.g., Wenskus 1961, p. 355; Kuhn 1956, p. 4; Bazelmans 1991, p. 119; von Carnap-Bornheim 1999, p. 497; Kolendo 2001. The fact that weaponry played an important part among the looted goods is proved by Tacitus who gives us the information that framea (shaft weapon) and horse were most desirable robbed elements (Tac., Germ. 14, 2), and by the record from Annales (Tac., Annales II, 45,3) informing that the warriors of Arminius, fighting against Marobod's forces in  A.D. 17 used the weapons looted on Romans in the battle of Teutoburgian Forest in A.D. 9.

[44] Objects used by individuals are understood as a booty, which is testified by the inscriptions of property found on them; objects of sacral character are treated in the same way (Kolendo 1982; 1998, p. 32). This interpretation of the inscriptions written in the punctim technique is also adopted by, e.g., U. Rald (1994, p. 239).

[45]  SHA, Vita Marcii 14.