Analiza zabytków / Analysis of grave inventories
by Eugeniusz Tomczak 1, Anita Szczepanek 2, Paweł Jarosz 2
1 – Independent researcher, Katowice, firstname.lastname@example.org; 2 – Instytut Archeologii i Etnologii PAN, Ośrodek Archeologii Gór i Wyżyn, ul. Sławkowska 17, 31-016 Kraków
In: E. Tomczak, A. Szczepanek, P. Jarosz 2021. Gogolin-Strzebniów, stanowisko 12. Cmentarzysko kultury łużyckiej na Wyżynie Śląskiej, Ocalone Dziedzictwo Archeologiczne 11, Pękowice: Stowarzyszenie Archeologów Terenowych „Stater”, Wydawnictwo Profil-Archeo, p. 81-94.
Summary: The furnishings of the burials consisted mainly of ceramic vessels and relatively few bronze artefacts. According to the shapes of vessels, the following types were distinguished: vases, pots, bowls, cups, mugs and goblets. All of them were hand-made and represent two groups – thick-walled and thin-walled forms.
All vases had a separated neck, a spherical belly and a base separated into a small foot. The transition between the the neck and the belly was usually marked by two or three rows of horizontal grooves, and the belly was covered by combined ornamental motifs typical for the end of the Bronze Age.
Pots are slender vessels, usually with handles, with simple tectonics, not separated or poorly visible neck and the height equal or larger than the rim diameter. They are thick-walled, with external surfaces coarsened, very rarely smooth. In profile, these forms are barrel- or egg-shaped. Pots were present in almost all graves, but only the specimen from grave 60 was used as an urn for cremated remains. Pots are hardly a chronological indicator.
Bowls from Gogolin are slightly carinated, have flat or concave bases sometimes shaped into a small foot, and typically have one small handle at the shoulder or below it. Handles are located horizontally or point diagonally downwards. Bowls with differentially located handles were not placed in the same grave. Most of the bowls have triangular projections at the edge of the rim. Carinated bowls are typical of cemeteries of the Upper Silesian and Lesser Poland group of the Lusatian culture dated to the end of the Bronze Age.
On the basis of the shape of the profile, we can distinguish hemispherical and carinated scoops. Some of these vessels are decorated. Their bases are often concave. At the cemetery in Gogolin, scoops were a typical element of grave furnishings. They are very long-lasting forms and are common throughout the Lusatian culture. The oldest specimens are dated to the HaB period, and the youngest to the HaC–D periods.
In terms of shape and profile, mugs from the Gogolin cemetery can be divided into egg-shaped, biconical, and bulbous forms. Some of them are decorated with complex patterns of grooves and pits in the upper part of the vessel. Similar ornamental styles on such vessels are known from other cemeteries in the Upper Silesian – Lesser Poland group dated to the HaB2–B3 period.
Goblets are small vessels (up to 10 cm high) with various profiles, resembling vases or pots. Most of them have small, horizontally pierced handles attached at the base of the well-defined neck. These forms are divided into two groups: miniature pots and miniature vases.
“Snuff boxes” are small vessels with a lid which were discovered in graves 58 and 70. Variants of such forms are known from various cemeteries, and they are believed to be imitations of containers made of organic material, e.g. leather. The closest analogies are known from cemeteries of the Kępno subgroup. Forms with lids, sometimes decorated, were typical for the western groups of the Lusatian culture, they are also known from Bohemia, Brandenburg and Saxony where most of them date to Bronze Age Period V.
One rattle decorated with grooves, damaged in its upper part, was found in Gogolin. Rattles are generally dated to Bronze Age Periods IV and V. The presence of rattles in child graves is known from other cemeteries of the Upper Silesian-Lesser Poland group of the Lusatian culture.
In grave 61, fragments of a clay plate with fingertipped edge and one of the surfaces decorated with finger impressions were found. The plates in the Upper Silesian-Lesser Poland group are found mainly at settlements, but also in graves.
Only a few metal artefacts were found at the cemetery in Gogolin, all of them being made of copper alloys. Some of them, discovered in cremation graves, were burned at the pyre. They were mainly tiny wire-like ornaments, circles, and buttons. There was also a single bracelet and a pin. Wire-shaped ornaments, sometimes referred to as bronze twists (spirals), were found in graves 10, 22 and 63. They have twisted and folded ends. The bracelet found in grave 1 was made of a plano-convex bronze band with thinned, rounded and overlapping ends. The pin found in grave 63 with the head hammered flat and rolled into a loop belongs to the most common type. In the Upper Silesia and Lesser Poland group, such artefacts occur mainly in the late Bronze Age and the Hallstatt period.
Moulds were found in grave 24. They are made of sandstone or clay, indicating considerable skills of the craftsman. Finds of moulds made of both of these materials have already been found in the graves in Butzow, Ldkr. Potsdam-Mittelmark and Czarne Piątkowo, Środa district. One of the clay moulds discovered in grave 24 was used to produce rods. The remaining clay moulds were used to make buttons. Another mould for manufacturing such items was made of sandstone. Other sandstone mould allowed for casting two shafts of pins (or rods) and a sickle. Particular attention should be paid to the mould for casting sickles, as the latter are not common finds in Poland and occur mainly at sites located along Oder River. A mould for casting similar knife-shaped (straight-tailed) sickles with a knob was discovered in grave 89 in Karzec, Gostyń district, dated to HaB2/3‒HaC. Starting from Bronze Age Period III, the finds of casting moulds and bronze raw material become increasingly common in Silesia, a region where the bronze metallurgy was the most developed. A significant increase is visible during the younger stages of the Late Bronze Age. Permanent one- or two-piece moulds and single use clay moulds were used.