Pottery of the Oksywie and Wielbark Cultures from Puck in Eastern Pomerania
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Instytut Archeologii Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego
Publication date: 2020-01-28
Wiadomości Archeologiczne 2019;LXX:203–210
The article presents an analysis of the settlement pottery of the Oksywie and Wielbark Cultures obtained during excavations of the medieval town hall at Plac Wolności (Liberty Square) in Puck in the county of the same name in the years 2007–2010 (Fig. 1). The works yielded 988 potsherds, the majority of which represent the Oksywie culture and are dated to the Late Pre-Roman Period. Wielbark culture pottery from the Roman period was recorded in smaller numbers, as were the sherds characteristic of the Lusatian and Pomeranian Cultures not included in this study. Ceramic material occurred in a single layer under the primary humus, with only a few secondarily displaced fragments found in medieval layers. Neither settlement features nor distinct pottery clusters were observed in the prehistoric layer. The pottery of the Oksywie and Wielbark Cultures was classified based on the findings of A. Strobin (2011) and the study by R. Wołągiewicz (1993), respectively. Most of the very fragmented ceramic material consists of rim sherds and upper body sherds from large (Fig. 2:1–4, 3:1.2), medium (Fig. 3:3. 4:1), and small (Fig. 4:2–4) vessels of different forms and with mouth diameters smaller or equal to the greatest diameter of the body. Among the few identified specimens, there is a medium-sized, Oksywie Culture type V.L vase (Fig. 3:3) and a type VI.C cup (Fig. 4:5) acc. to A. Strobin (2011). A fragment of an inturned rim (Fig. 4:6) probably comes from a handleless type IA pot acc. to R. Wołągiewicz (1993), a form prevalent throughout the entire Roman Period. The shape of the rims (Fig. 2, 3, 4:1–5, 5:2–10) of the Oksywie and Wielbark vessels is characteristic of the pottery made from the end of phase A2 / beginning of phase A3 to the beginning of phase B1, which would indicate continued settlement of the both cultural units at the turn of the era in the area of the present-day market town square in Puck. The few ornamented sherds decorated predominantly with vertical, horizontal, or oblique grooves (Fig. 5:12–14) came from the vessels of both the Oksywie and Wielbark Cultures. The sherd with an obliquely incised applied band of clay separated from an ornament of grooved oblique chevrons forming a zigzag by a smooth band (Fig. 5:11) as well as another fragment covered with lines made with a comb (Fig. 5:15) are typical of the Wielbark Culture. An interesting find is the ceramic disc (Fig. 5:16). Until recently, such objects of unclear purpose have been encountered solely at the Przeworsk culture settlements and have appeared in the features associated with the Wielbark culture only at the multicultural sites in Juszkowo-Rusocin, Gdańsk County (J. Bednarczyk, A. Romańska 2011, 181, fig. II:4.5.8–11, pl. II:4.2) and Lipianki, Kwidzyn County (A. Strobin 2015, p. 138–139, figs. 14:2, 20:4, 33:9). The settlement of the Oksywie and Wielbark Cultures in Puck was situated near a cliff over the Bay of Puck (M. Starski 2011a, pl. 66, fig. 2); such a location is characteristic of the Kashubian Coast sites from the Late Pre-Roman Period (K. Przewoźna 1974a, 172; 1974b, 37). It could have belonged to the Oksywie Culture settlement cluster, composed of the settlements in Jastarnia, Ostrów, Białogóra, and Tupadły and the cemeteries in Karlikowo, Krokowa and Połchowo, all in the County of Puck. Unfortunately, it is difficult to characterise the settlement of the Oksywie and Wielbark Cultures in the area of Kępa Pucka and its surroundings in more detail, as for most of the local sites we only have very sparse information at our disposal.