Family Discovers a Collection of Rare Bronze Age Artifacts in Poland
A collection of bronze artifacts has been discovered in Lubuskie Province, in Poland. The objects are associated with the Lusatian culture, which was one of the most influential cultures of the region during the Bronze Age.
The discovery was made by a family during a walk. They reported their find to the Lubuskie Regional Conservator of Monuments and brought the artifacts to the office, where the items were examined by archaeologists. Specialists also went to examine the site where the artifacts were found. According to the head of the Gorzów branch of the Regional Office for the Protection of Monuments, Błażej Skaziński, the collection of artifacts may belong to the Lusatian culture.
Two of the Bronze Age artifacts found in Lubuskie. (PAP)
The artifacts have been dated to the 4th – 5th period of the Bronze Age, which means that they come from about 1100 – 700 BC. The treasure consists of several items, including 5 bronze vessels, 6 wheels and 6 other parts of a cult cart, as well as 24 buttons. Apart from this, archaeologists discovered fragments of pottery from the vessel in which the collection was placed. It is believed that the artifacts were associated with the religious beliefs and rituals of the community that produced them.
"The presence of parts of a cult cart determines the special importance of the find. These types of monuments are very rare. The objects were probably hidden in an emergency situation and the deposit has not been recovered until the present day. The objects were not associated with burial." Skaziński told PAP.
An example of a Lusatian cult cart. (CC BY 3.0)
Polish law dictates that the artifacts are the property of the State Treasury. Thus, the family which discovered them have no rights to the objects. The collection has been deposited in Gorzów museum, where it will soon be subjected to specialized research and conservation work.
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Part of the collection that was discovered in Lubuskie. (Błażej Skaziński / Teresa Witkowska)
The Lusatian culture existed during the Bronze Age and Iron Age, circa 1300 – 500 BC. Settlements of this culture have been found in most of Poland and parts of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Germany, and Ukraine. It is known that the people of this culture were in close contact with other Nordic Bronze Age cultures as well. For instance, the influences of the Hallstatt and La Tene cultures are visible in the style of weapons and decorations of items like pins and fibulae.
The discovery of the bronze artifacts is yet another proof that thousands of years ago the region of what is Poland today was inhabited by communities with rich cultures, beliefs, and advanced levels of craftsmanship. The Lusatian culture is especially known for their rich metalwork that is usually made of bronze and gold. Their burials were generally cremations, so the discoveries of human remains are rare.
Schoulder straps of Lusatian culture from Krobów Treasury, Poland. (CC BY SA 3.0)
The economy of the Lusatians was based on arable agriculture. They produced wheat, barley, rye, oats, peas, broad beans, lentils, apples, pears, plums, and Camelina sativa (Camelina or false flax). The remains of animals such as goats, sheep, horses, and dogs have also been found in their settlements. Iron Age urns discovered in Silesia contain pictures showing horse riding as well. The Lusatians hunted boar, roe deer, hare, elk, fox and wolves. The discovery of numerous frog bones in Biskupin, suggests that they ate frogs too.
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One of the best known settlements of Lusatian culture is Biskupin, located in Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship. The site has been dated to the early Iron Age, c. 800 – 650 BC. Nowadays, it is an archaeological open-air museum that provides a window into life in the past. The site was once thought to be a Slavic settlement, but researchers later proved that it belonged to the Lusatian Culture. After a long period of excavations, the settlement was reconstructed. It is located 90 kilometers (56 miles) northeast of Poznań, and it's a division of the National Museum of Archeology in Warsaw.
There are many controversies connected with the Lusatians and their contact with other cultures, as well as their religious practices. For example, the discovery of human remains in Lossow, Brandenburg in Germany, suggest the practice of human sacrifice and a ritual connected with cannibalism.
Featured Image: Some of the finds presented at the Jan Dekerta Lubuskie Museum in Gorzów Wielkopolski. Source: PAP/ Lech Muszyński