Word of introduction
1 – Institute of Archaeology, Jagiellonian University, Kraków, Poland
In: M. S. Przybyła, K. Dzięgielewski (eds.), Chasing Bronze Age rainbows. Studies on hoards and related phenomena in prehistoric Europe in honour of Wojciech Blajer, Prace Archeologiczne 69, Kraków: Institute of Archaeology, Jagiellonian University / Profil-Archeo, 2019, pp. 11-14.
Abstract: Bronze Age hoards of metal artefacts have been the focus of Wojciech Blajer’s interest since the early days of his scientific career. His first encounter with the issue came as early as preparation for his master’s thesis, later published within the Prähistorische Bronzefunde series. He followed this by addressing the issue in a number of papers published before obtaining his PhD degree, as well as in the doctoral dissertation itself. The dissertation presented the corpus of hoards from phases BrA1-BrA2 found within the borders of present-day Poland. A continuation of this line of research was a book presenting hoards from phase HaB1, published relatively recently, in 2013. Professor Blajer’s studies on particular categories of metal artefacts, on the inflow of bronzes to Poland, and on the chronology of hoards have become a benchmark for other researchers throughout Central Europe. Yet, the area of Blajer’s interest extends far beyond purely typo-chronological discussions, and it covers the interpretation of Bronze Age hoards as well. Our intention behind preparing this collection of texts on Bronze and Early Iron hoards along with a group of renowned specialists and dedicated friends was neither to sum up Professor Wojciech Blajer’s research achievements nor to put them on a pedestal. Witnessing his current activity, we are fully confident it is much too early for that. It would make us happy if the studies and materials gathered here were to become an inspiration for him to undertake further research. Given how difficult it is to interpret the topics he has been exploring for several decades, what we wish for both him and ourselves is that he does not lose faith that – against all difficulties – it is worth chasing rainbows. Especially Bronze Age ones.
Key words: Wojciech Blajer, Institute of Archaeology Jagiellonian University, bronze hoards, Bronze Age, hoarding phenomenon