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Treasure hoard of Silesian bracteates found in Szprotawa

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Archaeologists conducting excavations in the area of a former burgage plot in Szprotawa, Poland, have uncovered a treasure hoard of around 100 to 150 Silesian bracteate coins.

A burgage was a town rental property “burgage tenement”, consisting of a house on a long and narrow plot of land with a narrow street frontage. Excavations unearthed the remains of a textile bag containing neatly arranged coins in cylinder piles.

A closer examination has identified that the coins are mainly Silesian bracteates (Latin: “bractea” – plate) minted between 1250 to 1300. The coins are minted on one side from a thin plate on a soft base, which were introduced in Silesia after 1250 and phased out by thicker coins (the quarterly) during the early 14th century.

They originate from the mint workshops of Silesia, although their use was relatively short as the coins were usually called back regularly (about once or twice a year) to be exchanged for new coins.

Image Credit : Lubuski Wojewódzki Konserwator Zabytków

In receiving three new coins for four old coins, the withheld 4th coin was called strike money and was often the only tax revenue of the coin mint-master. This system worked like a demurrage, with people often hoarding their coins because they lost their value.

According to Radosław Kuźbik: “In the case of cash deposits, the inevitable question is who concealed it, when and why. Specialists will want to answer this question in the near future. We can assume that it was so-called petty cash belonging to a rather wealthy person.”

The coins have been described as one of the most significant discoveries in the region, as very few coins of this type survive from the period as they were melted down on an ongoing basis.

Excavations also discovered evidence of a bridge from the 15th to 16th century and the remains of the original city walls built during the 14th century.

Header Image Credit : Lubuski Wojewódzki Konserwator Zabytków

This content was originally published on www.heritagedaily.com – © 2023 – HeritageDaily

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Archaeology

Researchers find that Żagań-Lutnia5 is an Iron Age stronghold

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Archaeologists have conducted a ground penetrating radar (GPR) survey of Żagań-Lutnia5, revealing that the monument is an Iron Age stronghold.

Żagań-Lutnia5 was first discovered in the 1960s near the town of Żagań in western Poland, with previous studies suggesting that the monument could be associated with the Białowieża group of the Lusatian urnfield culture.

The Lusatian culture existed in the later Bronze Age and early Iron Age (1300–500 BC) in most of what is now Poland. It formed part of the Urnfield systems found from eastern France, southern Germany and Austria to Hungary, and the Nordic Bronze Age in northwestern Germany and Scandinavia.

A recent study led by Dr. Arkadiusz Michalak on behalf of the Archaeological Museum of the Middle Oder River has revealed two parallel sequences of magnetic anomalies at Żagań-Lutnia5 that represent the remnants of earthen and wooden fortifications.

The course of the fortifications were recorded in the northern, western and southern parts of the study area, however, a study of the eastern section was limited due to a sewage collector built in the 1990’s.

Exploratory excavations found four cultural layers with remains of huts and hearths, in addition to a burnt layer from the last phase of occupation that suggests a period of conflict.

According to the researchers, the monument was likely built by the same people who constructed the stronghold in Wicin and a number of verified defensive settlements within the area of the Elbe, Nysa Łużycka and Odra.

As a result of the study, Żagań-Lutnia5 has been added to the catalogue of verified Early Iron Age strongholds located in today’s Lubusz Voivodeship.

Header Image Credit : Provincial Office for the Protection of Monuments

Sources : Provincial Office for the Protection of Monuments – Archaeological research at the site of Żagań-Lutnia5

This content was originally published on www.heritagedaily.com – © 2023 – HeritageDaily

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Archaeology

Rare copper dagger found in Polish forest

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A rare copper dagger from over 4,000-years-ago has been discovered in the forests near Korzenica, southeastern Poland.

Piotr Gorlach from the Historical and Exploration Association Grupa Jarosław made the discovery during a metal detector survey in Jarosław Forest.

Upon realising the significance of the find, Mr Gorlach contacted the Podkarpacie conservator of monuments in Przemyśl and the Orsetti House Museum.

The dagger dates from over 4,000 years ago, a period in which objects made from copper were extremely rare in the Central European Plain.

A preliminary study indicates that the dagger may originate from the Carpathian Basin or Ukrainian steppe, and predates the development of bronze metallurgy for the region.

This transition is traditionally known as the Copper Age and marked a gradual incorporation of copper while stone remained the primary resource utilised.

Dr. Elżbieta Sieradzka-Burghardt from the museum in Jarosław, said: “This is a period of enormous change in the main raw materials for the production of tools. Instead of flint tools commonly used in the Stone Age, more and more metal products appear heralding the transition to the next period – the Bronze Age.”

Daggers during this era were a universal attribute of warriors, however, being made from copper suggests that the owner held a high social status. This is further supported by its size measuring 10.5 cm in length, which for this period is actually very large when compared to other metal objects from the same era.

The dagger has already been added to the collection of the Orsetti House Museum in Jarosław.

Header Image Credit : Łukasz Śliwiński

Sources : PAP – A dagger from over 4,000 years ago found in the forest.

This content was originally published on www.heritagedaily.com – © 2023 – HeritageDaily

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