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Iron Age sword, spears unearthed in ancient cemetery in south-central Poland


A well-preserved one-edged sword, spearheads, robe clasps, richly ornamented spindle, and iron needles are only some of the findings from the Bejsce cemetery, discovered in August by scientists from the Institute of Archaeology of the Jagiellonian University in Krakow.

Iron Age sword, spears unearthed in ancient cemetery in south-central Poland
Credit : J. Bulas



The cemetery is located in farmland around the village of Bejsce, which is why the cremation graves are very badly damaged. As Jan Bulas, the head of the research explained, the excavations cover a relatively small area, which is related to the difficult geological conditions at the site and the large accumulation of monuments.

Iron Age sword, spears unearthed in ancient cemetery in south-central Poland
Credit : J. Bulas
"Despite this fact, this year, more graves with weapons have now been discovered, including a burial with a sensationally preserved single-edged sword. The state of preservation of this find may be surprising for two reasons. Firstly, the sword, which is atypical for the people who used the cemetery, was not destroyed by agricultural activity. Secondly, the sword’s iron was shielded against progressive corrosion due to the funerary practices of a cremation burial", Bulas said.

Iron Age sword, spears unearthed in ancient cemetery in south-central Poland
Credit : J. Bulas



As the archaeologist added, the recently discovered sword is now the fifth such artefact found in the cemetery. Among other military items discovered are spearheads, which according to ancient authors were the favourite weapon of the tribes living on the Vistula River during the Iron Age. Several women’s burials were also discovered which contained fibules (clasps used to fasten garments) and items relating to weaving, such as a richly ornamented spindle decorated with stripes.

Iron Age sword, spears unearthed in ancient cemetery in south-central Poland
Credit : J. Bulas
Bulas believes the site may be associated with the Przeworsk culture, an Iron Age society that dates from the 3rd century BC to the 5th century AD from central and southern Poland. "These people were probably members of Germanic tribes who migrated from the north, from the areas of today's Mazovia and Greater Poland in the last centuries before the Common Era, also settled in the upper Vistula river basin", the rearchers says. "In the first century AD, the tribes living on these lands are associated with the Lugias, a federation of tribes made up of peoples of various origins, located in the south of Poland and mentioned by ancient authors."

The culture’s decline in the late 5th century coincides with the invasion of the Huns.

Source: PAP - Science in Poland [trsl. TANN, August 28, 2020]

TANN

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1 comment :

  1. Great find guys looks like a ene-edged sword, spearheads, robe clasps, richly ornamented spindle, and iron needle. I love any related archaeology so this really floats my boat, thanks for sharing, have bookmarked.

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