MISCELLANEA
Between the North and the South. Wide-ranging Connections of the Late Iron Age settlement Complex at Jarnice on the Liwiec River
 
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Państwowe Muzeum Archeologiczne w Warszawie ul. Długa 52 «Arsenał» PL 00-241 Warszawa
2
Instytut Archeologii Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 26/28 PL 00-927 Warszawa
 
Wiadomości Archeologiczne 2017;LXVIII:179–234
 
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In 2015, a verification surface survey of a complex of Przeworsk Culture sites found to the south of the village of Jarnice, in south-western Podlasie, eastern Poland (Fig. 1) led to the discovery of three remarkable copper alloy objects: 1. Fragment of a bimetallic ball-brooch (Kugelfibel), i.e. its decorative piece made of copper alloy cast over the iron wire of the brooch bow and curving foot, its fragments projecting at two ends of the artefact. The decorative piece has the form of two plano-convex circular elements (‘balls’) and a smaller element (‘linking piece’); on each ‘ball’ is an engraved, diagonal cross. Surviving L. 38 mm (L. of decorative piece 26 mm), ‘ball’ diameter 10 × 13–13.5 mm, height: 5.5 mm (Fig. 2:1). 2. Fragment of a personal ornament of copper alloy, made of a rod with three strands of pseudo-plaitwork and a now incomplete ring with three plano-convex knobs. L. ca. 40 mm, D. of rod ca. 2.5–6 mm (Fig. 2:2). 3. Knee brooch of copper alloy. Narrow bow, bent at a right angle, on the head, a low, residual crest with two sharp grooves below which, a sub-rectangular plate with two openings: for the spring axle and for the upper chord. L. 50–52 mm (Fig. 2:3). The artefacts were recovered from the topsoil on the margin of settlements, Jarnice site 22 and 23. Of these the first is known only from a 1985 field survey, the second is known since the 1960s and was excavated to a very limited extent (75 m2). Fragments of prehistoric pottery from the two sites are mostly sherds of Przeworsk Culture vessels. In site 23 the assemblage was dominated by fragments of vessels from phases A1 and A2 of the Late Pre-Roman Period, including individual rims resembling forms known from the so-called Jastorf Culture in the Polish Lowland (Fig. 3:2–5), and a much smaller group of Early Roman pottery fragments; also assigned to the Przeworsk Culture is a spindlewhorl find (Fig. 3:1). In site 22 the rather small group of characteristic pottery fragments all belong to Early Roman forms. Immediately to the south, in site 19, is a third settlement with Przeworsk Culture pottery, this time, mostly Early Roman. It is possible that these three sites are actually the remnants of one, long-lived Przeworsk Culture settlement spread out on the edge of the upper flood terrace of the Liwiec River. A small, now defunct stream divided the settlement from a small rise lying at an elevation of ca. 1–2 metres above the river valley bottom (Fig. 4). This location, referred to as Okopy or Za okopami [“Earthworks, “Beyond the Earthworks], has been identified with a Przeworsk Culture cemetery, Jarnice site 1, discovered in the latter half of the 19th century (Fig. 5). In 1878, Tymoteusz Łuniewski (1847–1905), landowner and entrepreneur of the nearby Korytnica, and also an amateur archaeologist, and Józef Przyborowski (1823–1896), philologist, librarian, historian and archaeologist then in charge of the Zamoyski Library (Biblioteka Ordynacji Zamoyskich) unearthed here “six large cinerary urns set about and covered with stones, filled with burn human bone remains. Even earlier, the cemetery was being dug up by local peasants, and later still, by other local amateur archaeologists, one of them being the Notary Dąbrowski of Węgrów, the finder of “2 pottery vessels and 1 vessel base, as well as a bronze fibula. To this day only the artefacts from a single urned grave inventory have survived: fragments of an iron brooch, type K with an openwork in the foot frame, a clay spindlewhorl (Fig. 6), and many small sherds from a pottery vessel with a glossy black surface, presumably the cinerary urn belonging to the same grave inventory. The brooch assigns the burial to phase A2 of the Late Pre-Roman Period. Furthermore, during archaeological excavations and surface surveys made on this site in the second half of the 20th century a large series of Przeworsk Culture pottery was recovered, mostly from phases A1–A2, with a small group of fragments of Early Roman Period pottery; individual sherds may be linked with the so-called Jastorf Culture in the Polish Lowland (Fig. 3:6). The type K brooch with an openwork roundel in the front part of the foot frame is evidence of exchange between Mazovia, the lower Vistula region, Bornholm and the Elbe drainage (Fig. 7, 8). The Jarnice find may be interpreted as proof of outside influences reaching here from the west or – which is more likely – from the north. The artefacts recovered in 2015 alter substantially the earlier understanding of the settlement complex identified at Jarnice and of its significance within the settlement microregion in the Liwiec Valley. The first of them is an incomplete bimetallic ball-brooch (Kugelfibel) – its decorative piece made of copper alloy cast over the iron wire of the brooch bow and its curving foot (Fig. 2:1, 9:4). The decorative piece consists of two ‘balls’ decorated with a diagonally engraved cross connected by a ‘linking piece’. So far, brooches with traits described here have not been separated in the classification systems devised for ball-brooches, although their finds are known from Poland and Bornholm (cf. A. Bieger 2003). In this article we propose to name this form – after its best preserved specimen – variant Blanchs Hotel. It is represented by three bimetallic specimens from Bornholm (e.g., the cemetery Blanchs Hotel, described incorrectly by A. Bieger as made of bronze only), two from a cemetery of the Oksywie Culture at Rumia near Gdańsk, and three others, from Kujavia, then the territory settled by the Przeworsk Culture folk (Fig. 9). The brooches are nearly identical, except that the pair of finds from Rumia, grave 85, and the specimen from Nørre Sandegård, grave 322, rather than being decorated with a diagonal cross motif feature a very similar motif of a rectangle with recessed sides. A number of still other brooches differ from the variant Blanchs Hotel in having a differently shaped ‘linking piece’ (Fig. 10:1–3) or in lacking the ornament (Fig. 10:4) although the latter could be due to their damaged condition. Three other, similar specimens made entirely of copper alloy originate from the territory of the Oksywie Culture (Fig. 10:5). In one, possibly two brooches, the engraved crosses were filled in with red enamel (Fig. 9:7, 10:2a). Generally speaking, at present nine brooches are known classified to the variant Blanchs Hotel, plus seven more, similar to this variant. They cluster in East Pomerania (six specimens) and in Kuyavia (five specimens), as well as on Bornholm (four specimens); the find from Jarnice is the most south-easterly find of this brooch form (Fig. 11). Because of the small number of better dated assemblages the chronology of the variant Blanchs Hotel and related forms is hard to specify. However, there is everything to show that it spans phase 1 of the cemetery at Nørre Sandegård, thus, approximately, the late stage of phase A1 of the Late Pre-Roman Period. A. Bieger has suggested a somewhat broader dating for the ball-brooches from Bornholm and Poland, assigning them to phases LT C2–D1a in the La Tène Culture chronology, which corresponds to the late stage of phase A1 and the beginning of phase A2. Brooches classified to the variant Blanchs Hotel and similar forms – although evidence of contacts with Bornholm – were probably manufactured also in northern Poland. This is supported not only by the evidently larger pool of these finds from this area, but also by the fact that only from the lower Vistula region we have a record on specimens made of copper alloy only. In the same cemeteries where ball-brooches were present other brooches have been recorded, which although they are likely to have been manufactured locally attest connections with craftsmen of Bornholm (Fig. 12). On the other hand, the influx from Bornholm of at least some of the variant Blanchs Hotel brooches (and similar forms) might be supported by the use of red enamel to decorate the cross motifs engraved on the ‘balls’. This is because at present it is hard to prove the existence of enamelling centres on the lower Vistula, whereas it is legitimate to expect them on Bornholm, where at least a dozen-odd ball-brooches decorated in this manner have been found (variants different from the one described here), and in north-western Poland, in the territory of the Oder Group of the Jastorf Culture. In summary, it is likely that in the lower Vistula area (East Pomerania, Kuyavia) there were craftsmen who manufactured bimetallic or bronze brooches according to the northern European styles and metalworking tradition. This may be linked to the emergence at the beginning of the Late Pre-Roman Period of a triangle, described previously in the literature, of close ties between the lower Odra River region (Oder Group of the Jastorf Culture), the lower Vistula (Oksywie Culture) and Bornholm. At present we can place within the same network of connections also Kuyavia, where not only the Przeworsk Culture settlement is noted, but also – similarly as in the lower Vistula region – the so-called Jastorf Culture in the Polish Lowland. The traditions of this latter grouping have been traced back to northern Germany and Jutland, thus the cultural proximity of these communities to the northern European world would have facilitated the establishing of close relations. Their effect would have been the appearance in the territory of Poland of craftsmen capable of manufacturing the bronze and bimetallic brooches discussed here. Thus, the find from Jarnice may be interpreted as an import from the lower Vistula region, or from Kuyavia, rather than a direct import from Bornholm. In correspondence with this interpretation is the chemical composition of its decorative piece, similar to the composition of brooches with Bornholm connotations recorded in the Oksywie Culture cemetery at Podwiesk (Table 1; cf. Fig. 10:2, 12:2). However, we have to recall that the database for comparison is very modest, and even more importantly, there are no analyses of similar finds from Bornholm. Therefore it seems legitimate to link the ball-brooch from Jarnice with fragments of pottery recorded in sites 1 and 23, attributed to the so-called Jastorf Culture in the Polish Lowland (Fig. 3:2–6). An artefact which lends itself to a similar interpretation is a fragment of a bronze brooch, type Gotland, held by the State Archaeological Museum in Warsaw (Fig. 13:1). It was discovered by accident in the early 21st century “on the Liwiec/Bug Rivers thus, in the same part of Poland as the Jarnice ball-brooch. This is a hemispherical (hollow) decorative piece of a brooch, cast of copper alloy, retaining inside the wire of the brooch bow also made of copper alloy. On the upper face of the decorative piece is a diagonally engraved cross. Originally, the decorative piece would have been cast over the brooch bow and the terminal of its curving foot, this is shown by numerous analogies from Gotland (Fig. 13:2, 14). On the other hand, the piece from Jarnice was fully cast of copper alloy, while the specimens from Gotland are bimetallic, with an iron bow and spring. E. Nylén described this group of brooches as iron fibulae with heavy ornaments on the bow, but in this text we refer to them as: type Gotland. The next distinctive trait of the brooch found “on the Liwiec/Bug Rivers is a cross engraved atop the decorative piece; in brooches type Gotland engraved decoration is exceedingly rare, is of a different design, and appear, moreover, on specimens in which the decorative piece is more attenuated (pear-shaped). As noted earlier by other researchers, similar bimetallic brooches have surfaced on Bornholm. However, their hemispherical decorative pieces are a little less domed, provided instead with globular knobs at both ends, and often, decorated also with a diagonal cross or a similar engraved motif (Fig. 15). Unfortunately they have not been analysed yet, and the number of 12 specimens known to us at present is likely to be understated. Here, they are referred to as variant Nørre Sandegård of type Bornholm. At least two specimens which resemble this variant are recorded in other areas of Scandinavia, but they display some differences in their construction and style (Fig. 16). The dating of brooches type Bornholm may be synchronized with the late stage of phase A1, possibly also the beginning of phase A2. Four type Bornholm brooches have been recovered in Poland, most of them by accident. The bronze decorative piece of an iron brooch from Perkowo in Kuyavia (Fig. 17:1) definitely may be referred to the variant Nørre Sandegård (cf. Fig. 15:7.9.11). The three other are nearly identical, only made entirely of copper alloy, which leads us to separate them into a different variant – Kobylarnia (Fig. 17:2–4). In two cases, the cross engraved on their decorative pieces had been filled with a red enamel inlay (Fig. 17:2.3). While the presence of the brooch type Bornholm at Perkowo in Kuyavia does not surprise, given the analysis of the ball-brooches, it is interesting that the two brooches classified to the variant Kobylarnia with a known provenance were both found in Great Poland (Fig. 18). At the beginning of the Late Pre-Roman Period this was an area outside the zone of compact Przeworsk Culture settlement, but one that was penetrated by communities of the so-called Jastorf Culture in the Polish Lowland, and by the Oder Group of the Jastorf Culture. Given that no specimens type Bornholm made of bronze only (variant Kobylarnia) are known from that island, at the present stage of inquiry we have to conclude that presumably they were manufactured somewhere in western or northern Poland. This is significant in so far as that in two cases, these brooches had been decorated with red enamel. Therefore, the variant Kobylarnia would be yet another piece of evidence for the presence in this part of Poland (lower Vistula region, Kuyavia, possibly also northern Great Poland) of centres, as yet unspecified as to their location and culture attribution, where northern brooch styles were adopted and given a new, local form, in this particular case, using advanced decorative technologies (enamelling). Apparently, also the brooch found “on the Liwiec/Bug Rivers may be linked with these centres. In its form it represents type Gotland, but the use of bronze only, and the ornament of a diagonal cross do not find analogy on that island, on the other hand, it corresponds well with the description of brooches manufactured in these conjectural workshops. As such the artefact found “on the Liwiec/Bug Rivers may be interpreted similarly as the ball-brooch from Jarnice, consequently, not so much as a direct import from Scandinavia as an import from the northern reaches of the Polish Lowland. A rather interesting object is the fragment of a personal ornament made of lead bronze (Table 2) using the lost wax process, with a characteristic pseudo-plaitwork decoration (Fig. 2:2). This object corresponds in its description to circular ornaments (bracelets or armrings) type Şimleul Silvaniei, most likely, variant Rustoiu 3a (Fig. 19). Basing on the evidence of the very small number of better dated assemblages, these forms have been assigned to a period spanning phase LT D1 and the older phase of the Early Roman Period. According to the accepted view, the rings type Şimleul Silvaniei are a local, Dacian version of earlier Celtic ornaments, and outside this zone – they are evidence of exchange with the Dacian world. However, the distribution range of the recent, fairly numerous finds makes it necessary to treat this interpretation with caution given that at present the decided majority of specimens of this type is been recorded outside the Dacian territory (Fig. 20). While from Dacia we have just one recent find, from Poland we have no less than 12 or 13 recent finds of type Şimleul Silvaniei ornaments, three other from Bohemia, and three more from western Ukraine (Fig. 21). Some of these objects deserve closer attention; in particular, the two circular ornaments from the cemetery at Wolny Dwór in East Pomerania. They were discovered in an inhumation burial from phase B1, their location in relation the skeletal remains proving that they were not armrings or bracelets. Another find, from Kisielany-Żmichy in eastern Poland, at a small distance from Jarnice, is a large fragment of a ring ornament classified to the rare variant Rustoiu 3b (Fig. 21:3). Next, there is an ornament (armring) of the same variant, belonging to a hoard from phase LT D1 found near Lužany in north-eastern Czech Republic (Fig. 21:11), and an armring from the Ternopìl' region in western Ukraine while it has the traits of variant Rustoiu 3a, but its body is in the form of two strands of pseudo-plaitwork (Fig. 22), as some Celtic ornaments recognized as prototypes of type Şimleul Silvaniei. The internal diameter of rings type Şimleul Silvaniei ranges between c. 60–65 mm and over 100 mm. Their accepted interpretation is that – depending on their size – these ornaments were worn as bracelets or as armrings but drawing a line between these two categories is not easy. Their comparison with the size of the unprofiled and shield-headed bracelets recovered in Przeworsk Culture and Wielbark Culture cemeteries shows that the functional, internal diameter of the bracelet, ie, the one preventing the ring from slipping from the wrist, basically should not exceed c. 65 mm. Consequently, only the smallest of rings type Şimleul Silvaniei could have been worn as bracelets, the others are likely to be armrings. Thus, among the Polish finds, we can interpret as bracelets the circular ornaments from Niedanowo, Lasy, Wolny Dwór, Kisielany-Żmichy, also presumably from the vicinity of Skierniewice and from Lubiechowo; the diameter of the ring from Malbork-Wielbark/Willenberg is on the border between the two. On the other hand, the dimensions of rings found in Dacia, the Czech Republic (except for the Nakleřov find), Slovakia and Ukraine, and those belonging to “the southern German collection, would identify them as armrings. Another possibility to consider in relation to rings type Şimleul Silvaniei of all sizes is that they could have been used as pendants. This is suggested by some large pendants, type Knotenring provided with a loop (with an outer diameter of as much as c. 87–94 mm), openwork spherical pendants, type Janów-Psary (with a diameter of up to c. 85–88 mm), and also, the assemblage from Wolny Dwór. There, two different rings type Şimleul Silvaniei were unearthed together with some ‘ordinary’ type Knotenring specimens, in a location and arrangement suggesting that their function was above all symbolic, perhaps they were amulets. An additional clue is obviously the first pendant type Şimleul Silvaniei discovered in a grave from phase B1 in the Przeworsk Culture cemetery at Czersk on the middle Vistula. For a few artefacts (Jarnice, Dębniałki, Kisielany-Żmichy) analyses of the chemical content of their alloy were made (Table 2). They established that the rings from Jarnice and Dębniałki (Fig. 20:1.3) were cast of lead bronze, but clearly differing in its composition, while the ring from Kisielany-Żmichy was made of an alloy described as so-called scrap brass; quite a different material (brass high in zinc content) was used in casting the pendant from Czersk. A still different composition (bronze high in zinc content) was identified by the only known analysis of a ring type Şimleul Silvaniei found outside Poland, found at Sedlec in the Bohemian Basin (Fig. 21:7). None of these alloys was found to contain molybdenum, for which element significant levels were identified in the rings ornaments from Brodnia, Pełczyska and Nowe Brzesko, investigated earlier. However, it needs noting that disquieting levels of molybdenum were demonstrated only by analyses made with the wd xrf method, these same objects tested using the ed xrf method were found to contain either an ‘acceptable’ level of this metal (Brodnia), or none at all. The newly completed analyses now make it possible to challenge the hypothesis that ring ornaments type Şimleul Silvaniei were manufactured of copper alloy having a peculiar, specially selected composition. The brooch with a knee-shaped bow and a crest on the head (Fig. 2:3, 23:1) while it is compatible with the definition of Almgren type 132, does not fits either the ‘classic’ type Almgren 132 or its Wielbark Culture variant, or any of its special variants. Examined in the context of other specimens made of copper alloy, taking into account its size, it actually has a single analogy – the brooch from grave 21 in a cemetery of the Przeworsk and the Wielbark Cultures at Krupice in eastern Poland (Fig. 23:2). To be sure, this grave inventory has been attributed to the Przeworsk Culture, but this identification bases on this is actually based on none other but this brooch. Iron brooches type Almgren 132 are characteristic for men’s clothing during the younger stage of phase B2 of the Przeworsk Culture. Specimens of copper alloy, in any case, a quite mixed group, are more rare (Fig. 24). Of these, the most interesting from our point of view, is a short, undecorated brooch found in grave 29 in the cemetery at Konin in south-eastern Great Poland, a form with a narrow bow and a small, transversely grooved crest (Fig. 24:1); this is because it is closest to the brooch find from Jarnice. On the other hand, Almgren 132 brooches made of coper alloy, often with applied silver and gold elements, are fairly numerous in Wielbark Culture sites dating to the close of phase B2 and to phase B2/C1. There are among them also ‘ordinary’, undecorated specimens which correspond closely to the Almgren model, e.g. the specimens from Nowy Łowicz in western Pomerania, Kowalewko in Great Poland, Zakrzewska Osada in the borderland of East Pomerania and Great Poland, and Gostkowo in Chełmno Land (Fig. 25:4). These brooches persuade us to attributed to the Wielbark Culture similar ‘ordinary’ brooches, type Almgren 132 made of copper alloy lacking context, recovered east of the middle Vistula, at Drozdowo, Jadwisin and Turza Wielka/Groß Tauersee, all in northern Mazowsze (Fig. 23:3–5). A further clue to the culture attribution of the brooch from Jarnice is provided by a bronze brooch, type Almgren 132, admittedly with a high crest, but one that is only a slightly wider than the head, and a high catchplate, diagonal in relation to the bow (Fig. 26), which is a typologically late trait; this specimen was found in grave 31 at Zakrzewska Osada, dated reliably to phase B2/C1. Quite a different point of reference for the brooch from Jarnice would be the local variant of knee brooches, type Almgren 132 (A.132a) from Bohemia and Moravia, with a low and narrow crest, with transverse grooves (Fig. 27). The same form of crest is seen also on some of the “bronze ‘Germanic’ knee brooches with a plate on the head (as defined by E. Droberjar) found in ‘barbarian’ sites in the Bohemian Basin, Lower Austria and western Slovakia, attributed to the time of the Marcomannic Wars. In conclusion, the more likely dating of the brooch from Jarnice would be phase B2/C1, its attribution to the earliest phase of the Wielbark Culture settlement in Mazowsze to the east of the Vistula river and in Podlasie, although obviously in view of the complicated archaeological situation of the Liwiec drainage during phase B2/C1, this issue must remain open. The settlement complex from the Late Pre-Roman Period and the Roman Periods situated on the edge of the Liwiec Valley to the south of the village of Jarnice still awaits a fuller recognition. The cemetery discovered here in the 1870s and excavated by amateurs over the decades that followed by and large remains uninvestigated. The only record which survives at present is the inventory of one urned burial from phase A2, and references to further artefacts, but with an obscure dating. The archaeological excavations made in the second half of the 1960s on a small tract of more elevated ground in the southern area of the site revealed only some very modest remains of a an ancient grave site all but obliterated by early medieval occupation and postmedieval ploughing. The large settlement (settlements?) found next to the cemetery is known virtually only from surface finds. The assemblage of prehistoric pottery from this settlement comprises, next to some uncharacteristic sherds with an obscure dating and culture attribution, fragments of Przeworsk Culture vessels from phases A1–A2 of the Late Pre-Roman Period, and from the Early Roman Period. In this situation special significance must be attached to the three copper alloy artefacts recovered here in 2015. The ball-brooch classified to the variant Blanchs Hotel found at Jarnice, and the brooch, type Gotland, found “on the Liwiec/Bug, attest to contacts of the local population with hypothetical metalworking centres with an unclear culture attribution, in operation in the region on the lower Vistula, Kuyavia and possibly in northern Great Poland. It seems legitimate to associate both these brooches with the pottery finds from Jarnice displaying the traits of the so-called Jastorf Culture in the Polish Lowland which had its centres of settlement precisely in Kuyavia and on the lower Vistula, but the presence of which has been confirmed also in northern Great Poland. Both brooches are datable to the late stage of phase A1, possibly, the beginning of phase A2. This was a time directly antedating, or roughly coinciding with, the emergence of the settlement network of the Przeworsk Culture in eastern Mazowsze and Podlasie, when long-lived cemeteries of this culture were being established. During phase A2 the cemetery at the nearby Karczewiec was set up, and possibly a little earlier – some 40 km more to the north, the burial ground at Kamieńczyk, site 1, at the confluence of the Liwiec and the Bug. It seems that a crucial role in the process of the emergence of the Przeworsk Culture in this part of Poland was played by stimuli reaching from the west, where this unit had taken shape sometime earlier. Consequently, the artefacts discussed here having an early dating (the two brooches and the pottery attributed to the so-called Jastorf culture in the Polish Lowland), although they cannot be linked easily with the Przeworsk Culture, could in some way be a part of this phenomenon. Some other Jastorf artefacts have surfaced in the region on the Liwiec River. From Grodzisk, site 4, at a distance of c. 3 km from Jarnice, comes a stray find of an incomplete bronze neck-ring (Fig. 28:2) with thick cylindrical terminals (Bronzehalsring mit verdictken Kolbenenden), from Kamieńczyk, site 11, near to cemetery (site 1) – a bronze winged pin (Fig. 28:1) of the Ostmecklenburg-Vorpommern type (Flügelnadel des ostmecklenburgisch-vorpommerscher Typs). Both these objects evidently may be traced to north-eastern Germany, but their appearance in the Liwiec Valley at the transition from the Older to the Late Pre-Roman Period, or possibly, at the beginning of the latter, is compatible with the concept of a communication route running eastward through northern Great Poland and Kuyavia. Taken together with the pottery described earlier, they have altered our earlier understanding of the very modest assemblage of finds that may be traced to the Jastorf Culture milieu in the broad sense. The early chronology of these finds, one which is ahead of the age of the heyday of the local Przeworsk Culture structures, leads to the conclusion that these ornaments and fasteners, rather exotic in eastern Poland, are not so much ‘ordinary’ imports, as evidence of the arrival in the region of possibly small groups of foreigners. The presence of these outsiders might have been one of a number of catalysts in the process of culture transformation in the region of interest. It is also interesting that the only grave inventory known from the cemetery at Jarnice confirms the connections of the local community with the North and the West also in a later age, in the mature phase A2. This is documented by the iron brooch, type K with a foot frame decorated with an openwork roundel. The fragment of the ring ornament, type Şimleul Silvaniei is one of only a few such finds recorded to east of the middle Vistula. While its function remains unclear, without any greater doubt we are ready to date it to phase B1 and – which is obvious – link it with the Przeworsk Culture. More recent fairly numerous finds of ring ornaments recorded in central and northern Poland, but also, Bohemia, Moravia and western Ukraine, have substantially altered the earlier map of the distribution of type Şimleul Silvaniei ornaments. It seems also that we urgently need to rethink the hypothesis about their Dacian origin and consequently, the understanding that rings from outside that territory are Dacian imports, or evidence of Dacian impact. Furthermore, the newer finds confirm an observation made earlier that, to the north of the Carpathians, rings type Şimleul Silvaniei are discovered in assemblages of the Przeworsk Culture, or ones belonging to the Oksywie-Wielbark horizon – a little younger in general (phase B1) than rings found in Dacian and Celtic assemblages (phase LT D1–D2). However, it is striking that more than a few of the ‘northern’ rings show rather heavy wear (abrasion), possibly suggesting their extended use, and reducing the significance of this chronological difference; not less importantly, these heavily worn specimens are mostly confirmed, or suspected, grave finds. To be sure, this observation cannot be generalized without making a first-hand examination of the ‘southern’ rings nevertheless the published photographs suggest that most of these specimens display no apparent traces of use. An important aspect of the differences between the two territorial groups of rings type Şimleul Silvaniei is their size: the better preserved ‘southern’ rings are larger, even a good deal larger than the functional bracelet size, whereas the northern specimens are almost without exception smaller, the size exactly that of a bracelet. Interpretation is complicated by the inhumation burial from Wolny Dwór in East Pomerania where two rings type Şimleul Silvaniei were found in a position and arrangement which rules out their interpretation as ornaments worn on the wrist or the upper arm of the buried individual. This leads us to conclude that at least some rings of this type, the size of a bracelet or an armring, could have served a different role, for example that of pendants-amulets. The knee brooch, type Almgren 132, lacks good analogies but stylistic and morphological analysis would place this particular specimen in phase B2/C1, identifying it as evidence of the earliest phase of the Wielbark Culture settlement in the Liwiec Valley. In the assemblage of settlement pottery from Jarnice there are no fragments we could assign to this culture, but this agrees with a universally known pattern that Wielbark Culture settlement sites are poorly reflected in surface finds. The interpretation of the knee brooch from Jarnice proposed here finds indirect support from the recent discovery, very close to sites 22 and 23, of two buckles with a thickened prong, forms which definitely belong in phase C2–D and may be linked with Wielbark Culture settlement. Whether the Wielbark Culture settlement of the Late Roman Period was a direct continuation of the Przeworsk Culture settlement in the region or alternately, the Wielbark people moved into the area only after the earlier inhabitants had gone away, is a question that only a more comprehensive fieldwork could resolve. In the light of the close relationship between the people of these two cultures and the continuity of cemeteries, and even for a time, their joint use by the Przeworsk and the Wielbark people, often noted in the region to the east of the middle Vistula, the Liwiec drainage included, the first possibility appears quite likely.
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