Flint Artefacts from the Wielbark Culture Cemetery at Weklice, Site 7, Elbląg County
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Instytut Archeologii i Etnologii PAN Ośrodek Archeologii Średniowiecznej Krajów Nadbałtyckich, Al. Solidarności 105, 00-140 Warszawa
Instytut Archeologii i Etnologii PAN Samodzielna Pracownia Prehistorycznego Górnictwa Krzemienia, Al. Solidarności 105, 00-140 Warszawa
Wiadomości Archeologiczne 2014;LXV(65):197–210
The article reports on a group of 22 flint artefacts (Table 1, fig. 1–4) recovered in 2012 and 2013 from the fill of graves and a feature (graves nos. 586, 587, 588, 590; feature 590A – a robbery tunnel leading to grave 590), and from a layer [100A-B] underlying the bottom of the pits of the graves named above. The flint assemblage is marked by the diversity of its raw material in terms of colour, translucence and lustre (Table 1). Most specimens were struck from a local resource (Baltic erratic flint, Pomeranian flint). Flakes form the largest group, followed by, blades and flint waste. The absence of diagnostic flints and core forms prevents closer chronological determinations. The flints could be the remains of activity by prehistoric communities spanning the Final Palaeolithic through to the Early Bronze Age. A more outstanding find in the group is an endscraper struck from Baltic erratic flint recovered from layer [100B] below grave 586 (Fig. 1:8) and a side crested blade of Pomeranian flint – recovered from layer [100B] below grave 586 (Fig. 1:5). However, the chronological and cultural attribution of these finds cannot be determined basing on their metric and technological attributes. The most interesting in the presented assemblage is a retouched blade discovered in grave 588 (Fig. 1:12). Its material is Cretaceous flint (Volhynian flint?). Basing on its metric parameters, its material and the presence of trough-like retouch this piece may be assigned to Eneolithic flint working (A. Zakościelna 1996, p. 105). Similar retouched blades struck from Cretaceous flint with a stepped and trough-like retouch are known from the assemblages known from the Lublin-Volhynian, Funnel Beaker and Tripolye Cultures (A. Kulczycka-Leciejewiczowa 1979; J. Libera, A. Zakościelna 2006). The stratigraphic situation not understood sufficiently enough to allow more general conclusions on the character and dating of the layer containing the flints. Nevertheless, the presence of worked flints in a Roman Period cemetery suggests a number of possible interpretations: 1) the flints are residual artefacts, introduced into the fill of the Wielbark Culture graves when they were cut into an older stratigraphy; 2) the flints are part of Wielbark Culture flint working; 3) they are flint artefacts from an earlier age that were deposited intentionally in the graves by the Wielbark community.