lunes, 30 de diciembre de 2013

Early medieval burials and Bronze Age barrows found in Poland


Dozens of previously unknown burials mounds and cremation tombs have been discovered in Chodlik, Eastern Poland, by archaeologists using the the latest techniques.
New burial mounds
Łukasz Miechowicz who led the study, explained, “Using LiDAR aerial scanning we prepared a detailed Digital Terrain Model of the area of the Chodliku cemetery that we had been investigating for several years, … as well as the Chodelka Valley covering an area of over 160 sq km. We have discovered and documented dozens of new archaeological sites, including previously unknown barrow mounds”
Early medieval necropolis
The aim of the archaeologists is to create a new map of the region and in addition to the discovery of new sites using aerial remote sensing techniques the archaeologists also managed to determine the full area and layout of an early medieval necropolis.
The necropolis covers a cremation cemetery of men and horses buried within barrows. During this year’s [2013] excavations, a low mound near the cemetery was examined where more graves were found.
In addition to the cremated remains of human and animal bones in ceramic vessels, as well as other pottery fragments, there were metal objects, silver and bronze artefacts – probably parts of a horse tack and an iron spur, all of which have been preliminarily dated to the 9th/10th centuries CE. Nearby, more cremation burials  were found and within this area the archaeologists discovered an iron knife inlaid with silver, and fragments of Early Medieval pottery.
Bronze Age Trzciniec culture
“It turns out that early Medieval graves overlie [and cut into] much older layers from the Bronze Age – this is confirmed by the discovery of fragments of pottery and flint flakes and tools of the so-called Trzciniec culture [mixed with Early Medieval burials]” – explained Łukasz Miechowicz .
Cremation Urn prior to lifting. Photo by I. Miechowicz
The Trzciniec culture was an ancient tradition that subsisted within the central European Bronze Age between 1700 and 1200 BCE.
Capturing the detail
Because of the need for detailed excavation, it sometimes take several months to explore a single barrow. “We try to use the latest available technology and research methods, so that we can capture details of early medieval burials, which often escape archaeologists” – said Łukasz Miechowicz.
The surface survey project is carried out with the support of the Ministry of Culture under the programme “Cultural Heritage. Priority 5: Protection of archaeological sites“. This year’s work in Chodlik involved graduate students of the Institute of Archaeology, University of Rzeszów, and students of the Institute of Prehistory, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań. Research in Chodlik is possible with the support of the Commune Karczmiska and the sponsor of the archaeological mission: PGE Distribution SA group.

Source: Past Horizons: http://www.pasthorizonspr.com/index.php/archives/12/2013/early-medieval-burials-on-bronze-age-barrows-found-in-poland

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