PL 32-087 Pękowice k. Krakowa, ul. Jurajska 23

(48 12) 665-10-11

Analiza obiektów nieruchomych / Analysis of the immobile sources

DOI: 10.33547/Swibie2022.2.2

Analiza obiektów nieruchomych

by Monika Michnik 1,  Karol Dzięgielewski 2

1 –Muzeum w Gliwicach, ul. Dolnych Wałów 8a, 44-100 Gliwice; 2 – Uniwersytet Jagielloński, Instytut Archeologii, ul. Gołębia 11, 31-007 Kraków

In: Michnik, M., Dzięgielewski, K. (2022). Cmentarzysko z wczesnej epoki żelaza w Świbiu na Górnym Śląsku. Tom 2, pp. 24-49. Gliwice: Muzeum w Gliwicach, Wydawnictwo Profil-Archeo.


At the Early Iron Age cemetery in Świbie 548 archaeological features were identified, including 420 inhumation graves, 28 biritual graves (inhumation graves with cremation burials) and 100 cremation graves (including 49 urned cremations, 50 cremations in pits and one urn-pit grave). None of the 420 inhumation graves revealed a fully preserved skeleton (the only bone fragments to survive were those next to bronze objects). The grave pits were elongated oval or rectangular in outline, with dimensions averaging between 200 and 300 cm. They usually became discernible immediately after the removal of the undergrowth. Their depth averaged between 40 and 60 cm, although there were also deeper graves (up to 150 cm). The longitudinal grave pits were usually oriented with the longer axis on a N-S line. The deceased were laid in an upright position with their heads to the north and with the arms extended along the body, as indicated by bone fragments or the distribution of costume-related artefacts (mainly metal, but also glass). Each grave likely contained the remains of a single individual, but the patchiness of the osteological data from the cemetery may render this conclusion not entirely correct.

Most of the graves in the cemetery had internal structures, usually in the form of stone settings, and less often stone pavements or wooden linings, biers, and coffins. The stone pavements were most often single-layered and were laid loosely (less often compactly) over the entire grave or in clusters over a selected part of it. In 25 graves, multi-layered constructions were discovered. Stone settings were built at the lower levels of the pits, usually immediately adjacent to the burial. They usually consisted of single stones or clusters of stones placed on the longer sides of the pit, or at its northern and southern edges, and they were rarely compact structures. One of the most important discoveries in the cemetery are traces and remains of internal wooden structures. These took two forms: elements related to the protection of the grave pit (lining was found in 10 graves) and those related directly to the burial (remains of wooden biers or boxes/coffins were found in 43 graves). They were made of oak wood. In addition, other organic remains (such as straw and moss) were found, probably serving as a lining for the biers before the body was placed on them.