A Cemetery of the Przeworsk Culture at Oblin, on the Middle Vistula
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Państwowe Muzeum Archeologiczne, ul. Długa 52, 00-241 Warszawa
Publication date: 2001-06-30
Wiadomości Archeologiczne 2001;LIV(54):89-100
A cemetery of the Przeworsk Culture at Oblin, site 5, gm. Maciejowice, woj. mazowieckie is located on a small elevation extended on N-S line, by the edge of the flood terrace of the old Vistula riverbed. It is possible that, in the time of use, bogs or floodwaters surrounded the cemetery. The cemetery is completely explored; 308 cremation graves, both pit and urn graves were found there. The earliest graves furnished with brooches type H, short brooches type B and type J can be dated to the phase A2 (Fig. 1–3). Very interesting is lack of the type K brooches, quite common in the other Przeworsk culture cemeteries of that time. Graves from the phase A3 produced vast amount of brooches type M (Fig. 4c). More significant finds from the Pre-Roman Period are swords, in a few cases found with ornamented scabbards (Fig. 5). Brooches type A.68 and A.236, shield grips with profiled rivet plates and shield bosses type J.6 (Fig. 7) and one-edged swords with narrow blade represent phase B1. Graves dated to that phase are not numerous, what suggests that on the cemetery in Oblin phase B1 lasted for relatively short time. Quite common for next phase B2, are iron trumpet-brooches with silver inlaid decoration (Fig. 9), and massive iron brooches of Almgren group V, with a crest. Very odd form presents an S-form brooch with an imitation of ahinged construction (Fig. 8a). Very significant for this cemetery is almost complete lack of bracelets and pendants; beads or melted glass clumps are also very rare. Weapon finds are, on the contrary, quite numerous. Most interesting among them is a an imported Roman sword ornamented with inlaid figure of Mars, and 3 unique barbed spearheads with extra barb on the edge of the socket. The latest finds – brooches of Almgren’s series 1, group V, variant 5 of trumpet brooches and Mazovian variant of Almgren’s group IV are connected with the very end of the phase B2 or perhaps phase B2/C1. Big, rectangular pits, even 2 m long, with very dark grave fill were atypical grave form in the phases A2 and A3. At the bottom often lays a layer of broken fragments of pottery. An urn, often covered with a bowl, or other big vessel, was usually placed in the corner. Pit graves were much more frequent then urn graves in phase B1, however, urn graves dominated in the phase B2. Grave pits are smaller, with brown, or light brown grave fill, sometimes even difficult to distinguish. Brown, coarse urns are much more frequent then black, polished 3-handle urns typical for the eastern zone of the Przeworsk Culture. Finds from Oblin, especially, from the early Roman Period differ from typical cemeteries of the eastern zone of the Przeworsk Culture such as Kamieńczyk or Nadkole and are closer to the finds known from the region on the other side of the Vistula river. It seems possible that the settlement of the people using the cemetery at Oblin could be placed on the western bank of the Vistula river.
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