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Paciorki bursztynowe znalezione na cmentarzysku w Świbiu / Amber beads from the cemetery at Świbie

DOI: 10.33547/Swibie2022.2.14

Paciorki bursztynowe znalezione na cmentarzysku w Świbiu / Amber beads from the cemetery at Świbie

by Tomasz Purowski 1

1 – Instytut Archeologii i Etnologii Polskiej Akademii Nauk, Ośrodek Interdyscyplinarnych Badań Archeologicznych, Al. Solidarności 105, 00-140 Warszawa

In: Michnik, M., Dzięgielewski, K. (2022). Cmentarzysko z wczesnej epoki żelaza w Świbiu na Górnym Śląsku. Tom 2, pp. 279-287. Gliwice: Muzeum w Gliwicach, Wydawnictwo Profil-Archeo.


Seven amber beads (Fig. 14.1; Table 14.1) were discovered in five graves (0.9% of all graves) at the Świbie cemetery. They differ in the overall shape of the body. Following the typology proposed by M. Chytráček et al. (2017) for amber beads from HaC–D1 found in the Czech Republic, Moravia and Slovakia, one formal type (A2) can be distinguished in the analysed material, and it is represented by three variants (A2a, A2c, A2d); in addition, one specimen does not fit into the classification of M. Chytráček et al. (2017). All variants mentioned are long-lived, found before and after the Hallstatt period. In the Early Iron Age, they are known from present-day Poland, Bohemia, Moravia, and Slovakia, as well as from lands further south-west, such as Italy, Croatia and Slovenia.

In central Europe, amber artefacts of HaC–D1 date are found most abundantly in the areas of Greater Poland (Fig. 14.2), central Silesia, Bohemia, and Moravia. Upper Silesia and western Lesser Poland are very poor in finds of this type (Figs 14.3 and 14.4). The paucity of amber finds in the Częstochowa-Gliwice area cannot be explained by the cremation of the deceased together with their furnishings, as biritual rites prevailed there during the Hallstatt period and inhumation burials predominated over cremations. Other factors (possibly fashion or customs) that influenced the rare furnishing of the deceased with amber ornaments must therefore be taken into account.