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Small Omphalos Bowls from Lusatian Culture Contexts in Poland
 
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Państwowe Muzeum Archeologiczne w Warszawie, ul. Długa 52, 00-241 Warszawa
 
Wiadomości Archeologiczne 2015;LXVI(66):3–125
 
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Bowls with an omphalos, in which the vessel base has been pushed out from the bottom up to form a raised bump inside the vessel, are mostly known from south-western Poland (Fig. 1). In the ancient cultures of the Mediterranean region vessels with an omphalos, or with a differently shaped base, form part of wine-drinking sets. Phialae – small libation bowls – were used during traditional feasts – symposia. We catalogued 707 small bowls, with an opening diameter not exceeding 15 cm (in miniature forms – 7.5 cm), with the depth coefficient, calculated as the ratio of the vessel’s maximum horizontal dimension to its height, of at least 1.5. Specimens with a coefficient of 1.5–2.99 were defined as “deep, with a coefficient of 3–3.99 – as “shallow, the rest – as “flat. Bowls assigned to category I (in the form of an oblated globe) were divided into the following types: type I/A – with the wall expanding upwards, and I/B – with the wall folded in at the top; and subtypes: with a straight rim I/A1 and I/B1, with a folded rim I/A2 and I/B2, flared, cup-like I/A3, sharply flared I/A4, broken biconically I/B3 (Fig. 2). Bowls assigned to category II (profiled) were classified as follows: type II/A – S-profiled, II/B – necked (tall neck – subtype II/B1, short neck – subtype II/B2) and with a marked carination, II/C – with a funnel-like, flared rim and a biconical belly, II/D – with a pronounced, funnel-like rim (in subtype II/D1 bowls the rim diameter is approximately the same as the maximum body diameter, in subtype II/D2 it is larger), II/E – with an indentation under the lip, II/F – with a pronounced, cylindrical rim, II/G – with a folded out rim (subtypes II/G1–II/G4 depending on the shape of the vessel body) and II/H – broad-bodied, usually with a poorly marked rim (Fig. 3, 4). The omphaloi were divided into “narrow (the diameter not exceeding ¼ of the maximum horizontal diameter of the bowl), “broad and “low (with the coefficient of at least 10, calculated from the diameter: depth of the indentation ratio), “moderately high (5–9.99) and “high (up to 4.99). In omphaloi classified to variant 1 the protuberance is rounded, sporadically – truncated flat (variant 1/a), or, with a depression in the apex: a dimple (1/b), a dent (1/c), or a shallow, circular depression with a knob at centre (1/d). In omphaloi classified to variant 2 there may be a knob (bulb) – rounded (2/a), truncated flat (2/b), with a depression (2/c). Grooved decoration found on the bowl exterior was classified to group I: on the belly (Ia), on the lower body (Ib), on the rim (Ic); arrangements of dimple motifs were classified to group IIa; groove-and-dimple compositions – to group IIb. Group III are decorations around the omphalos: hollow depressions at bottom (IIIa), and circles built by grooves or small dimples (IIIb), usually on the interior, similarly as equal-armed crosses – group IVa, and “rays – group IVb. Group V are compositions of multiple motifs covering the interior of the bowls, VI – colour applied in some way (by slipping, painting the walls or decorative motifs), VII – profiling of the wall (VIIa) or of the lower part of the omphalos (VIIb), VIII – plastic decoration of the rim (knobs VIIIa, excisions VIIIb), IX – pseudo-handles (in the form of knobs IXa and cordons IXb), X – finger impressions (dimples). Over 80% bowls belong in category I (mostly, type I/A) classified to 19 variants depending on the shape of their base (Table 1, 2). There is a large group of forms classified to subtypes I/A1 (Fig. 5) and I/B1 (Fig. 7) with a plain omphalos 1/a, the rest of the variants comprise up to seven vessels (Fig. 6, 8). Among profiled bowls assigned to category II, with 19 variants of omphaloi (Table 5), the largest number have an omphalos 1/a, specimens of subtypes II/B1 (Fig. 9:f.g.j.k–n.p.r) and II/G1 (Fig. 11:a–p.u.v). We classified several specimens each to type II/A (Fig. 9:a–e.h.i) and subtypes II/G2 (Fig. 12:a–h.k) and II/G3 (Fig. 12:i. j.l–r), the rest of the variants of the omphaloi belong to nine vessels (Fig. 9:d.i.o.s–w, 10, 11:n.s.t, 12:s–z). The percentage of the miniature bowls included in the two categories is around 10% (cf. Table 1, 6, 9). Most of the bowls assigned to types I/A (58%) and I/B (72%) are deep (Table 1, 2). All proportions are represented by vessels I/A1/1/a, predominantly deep (Fig. 5:f.i.k.m–o), and mostly, shallow I/A1/1/b and I/A1/2/c (Fig. 6:c.e). Some deep (Fig. 7:b–d.h.l), shallow (Fig. 7:a.e.g.i–k) and flat (Fig. 7:f) bowls were classified to I/B1/1/a. Most of the profiled bowls are deep forms (73%; Table 5). The widest range of proportions is observed in vessels II/G1/1/d (Fig. 11:s.t) and II/G2/1/a (Fig. 12:a–h.k). Miniatures – 14.5% specimens classified to type I/A (Fig. 5:c.d, 6:g), ca. 5.5% to type I/B (Fig. 8:f) and ca. 3% to profiled forms (Fig. 11:h) – mostly are deep forms. In most of the bowls assigned to category I the omphalos is narrow (Table 3, 4), in specimens of category II – broad (Table 6). A narrow, a moderately high and a high protuberance more frequent in the oblated globe bowls than in the profiled specimens. Broad omphaloi observed in bowls assigned to category I tend to be of a moderate height, in specimens from category II – they are low. Omphaloi of variants 1/b–d are seen in vessels of either category (Fig. 6:b, 8:a.d.g.j, 9:d.i.v.w, 10:k, 11:n.s.t), those of variant 2 – only on the unprofiled forms (Fig. 6:c–j, 8:b.g.i). Hand-built, many of the bowls are asymmetrical (Fig. 5:a, 7:a, 12:z). In ca. 17.5% the wall was deliberately made of an uneven height (Fig. 5:f.j, 6:k, 8:e, 9:e.j.t.u, 10:a, 11:r, 12:b.c.l.m.z, Table 7). This shape would make it easier to empty the vessel without the need to tip it sharply. Some 20% bowls have blackened or graphitted walls (Table 8, 9). Only a small number of vessels I/A1/1/a (Fig. 5:j.o) are blackened (very rarely, graphitted) mostly, on the interior; this treatment is observed on both faces in forms assigned to type I/A with a special form of the omphalos (Fig. 6:d.g), and to subtype I/B1 (Fig. 7:c.e.k, 8:a.c.d.j). The percentage of vessels from category II with darkened walls – one (Fig. 9:a.f.n.u, 10:b), or both surfaces (Fig. 9:j.o.p.v, 10:d.f.m.o, 11:a.b.k.s–u, 12:a.o) – was twice that of specimens assigned to category I. Decoration was observed on 71 oblate globe bowls (category I, ca. 13% specimens; Table 10, 11) and 137 profiled bowls (ca. 85%; Table 12–14). Bowls assigned to category I most often had on them designs of grooves and dimples belonging to different ornamentation groups, and very seldom – finger impressions (Fig. 5:g.k) and painted motifs (Fig. 7:f). Circles of group IIIb (Fig. 6:e.h.i, 8:h), motifs of group IV (Fig. 5:m–o, 6:f.j, 7:g, 8:j), compositions consisting of motifs classified to groups IIIb and IVb (Fig. 5:e, 8:i), and finger impressions (dimples) were present only on vessels from subtypes I/A1 and I/B1 (Fig. 5e.g.k.m, 6e.h.i, 7g, 8h–j). Popular decorations on bowls from category II include groove-and-dimple designs (Fig. 9:b–d.f–h.k–m.r, 10:b.d.f.g.k.m.o.s.t.v.w, 11:a.b.k.n.p.r.u, 12:a.i.o) and coloured motifs (10:i.h.n, 11:c.f.h–j.m.v, 12:b–h.j–n.p–z). Plastic decoration is seen mainly on specimens of type II/A (Fig. 9:a.e) and subtypes I/A2 (Fig. 6:k.l), I/B3 (Fig. 8:e) and II/B1 (Fig. 9:j.n), and also, I/B1 (Fig. 7:b–e), exceptionally, also on II/G1 (Fig. 11:g). Dimples classified to group IIa (Fig. 6:m, 10:m) and compositions classified to group V (Fig. 5:l, 7:f.h–l, 8:g, 9:t.v.z, 10:g, 11:s.t) appear on vessels of both categories. We divided the distribution range of the bowls into two zones: eastern (where a grave holds a single vessel with an omphalos) and western (often, more than one omphalos bowl to a grave inventory). During the Bronze Age the eastern zone (mostly with profiled bowls) covers southern Poland, the Silesia-Cracow Upland, the eastern area of the Silesia-Greater Poland borderland (cf. I. Lasak 1996, p. 6–7, fig. 1) and the Kalisz Heights. The western zone (here forms classified to category I are typical) covers Lower Lusatia, Lubusz Land, the western portion of the Silesia-Greater Poland borderland, the Lake District of Poznań and the Lake District of Chodzież, the Flatland of Września and the region between the Warta and the Noteć rivers (ie, the western fragment of the Gorzów Basin and the eastern fragment of the Lake District of Chodzież). The scarcity of grave assemblages in the upper Noteć drainage (an area on the border between Kuyavia and the Lake District of Gniezno) prevents a reliable attribution of this area to either of the two zones. Forms classified to category I of Bronze Age date make up 83%. Bowls I/A1/1/a outnumber, more than four time, bowls I/B1/1/a. Nearly a half of specimens I/A11/a are deep forms (Fig. 5:f.m), with only a slightly smaller number of shallow vessels (Fig. 5:a.c.d.g.h.l), and a dozen-odd flat forms (Fig. 5:b.e, 13, Table 27). In more than 70% the omphalos is narrow, mostly of a moderate height (Fig. 5:b.e, 14, Table 28) with broad omphaloi noted in the eastern part of the Silesia-Greater Poland borderland, in Lower Lusatia and some sites in Greater Poland (Fig. 5:m, 14, Table 29). Deep bowls I/B1/1/a make up ca. 66% (Fig. 7:b, 15, Table 27), the remainder are shallow (Fig. 7:a.i), and exceptionally – flat. In nearly 80% of these vessels the omphalos is narrow, mostly of a moderate height, with high omphaloi (Fig. 7:a.b.i, Table 28) slightly outnumbering low omphaloi. A very small number of broad omphaloi were of a moderate height, or low (Fig. 16, Table 29). In the eastern zone, where typical forms include I/A1 (Fig. 6:k.l), II/A (Fig. 9:a.e), II/B1 (Fig. 9:f.g.j.n) and II/C (Fig. 10:a.b) bowls I/B1/1/a (Fig. 7:b) were used more often than in the western zone (here their frequency was higher only in Lower Lusatia; cat. 4). Special omphaloi (Fig. 21, 22) in the eastern zone – 1/b (Fig. 6:a, 8:j) and 2/a – were made only rarely during Bronze Age V. In the western zone, the characteristic form of omphalos is variant 2. Recorded starting from Bronze Age IV, knobs 2/b (Fig. 6:h, 8:h.i) outnumber bulbs 2/a (Fig. 6:d.i.j, 8:b) and 2/c (Fig. 6:c.f). In just 37 vessels the line of the rim is diagonal (Fig. 5:f, 6:k, 9:e.j, Table 7, 30), and 27 specimens are blackened (Table 8, 9, 31). In the eastern zone vessels darkened on the inside are noted starting from Bronze Age III (Fig. 6:k, 9:a.f.n, 10:b), and in Bronze Age V some specimens are entirely black (Fig. 5:e, 8:j). In the western zone, the blacking – of the interior, or of both surfaces – is noted starting from Bronze Age IV/V only on a limited number of specimens, classified to subtype I/A1 with a special form of omphalos 1/b or 2/a (Fig. 6:d). Only ca. 22% bowls are decorated (Table 32–34). Most of them are recorded in the eastern zone, where during Bronze Age III the decorations consisted of grooves (Fig. 9:f.g, 10:b), in Bronze Age V – plastic elements (Fig. 6:k.l, 7:b, 9:a.j.n, 10:a) and more rarely, other motifs (Fig. 5:e, 8:j, 9:e.k). In the western zone, from Bronze Age IV/V onwards, mostly on shallow and flat bowls, is observed a decoration of grooves and small dimples (Fig. 5:l, 6:f.h–j, 8:h.i), or there is a groove around the omphalos (Fig. 5:b), and grooves (Fig. 8:f) or knobs (Fig. 6:d) on the edge. During the Hallstatt Period the eastern zone encompassed southern Poland, eastern Greater Poland (Turek Heights and Łask Heights) and very likely, the upper Noteć drainage, as well as the adjacent margin of the Lake District of Gniezno, the western zone – the cemetery in Kietrz, Głubczyce County, Central Silesia (the drainages of Ślęza, Kaczawa and Widawa rivers), the Silesia-Greater Poland borderland, the Middle Obra Valley, the Lake District of Poznań, the northern part of the Kalisz Heights, and the eastern part of the Flatland of Września, Lower Silesia, Lower Lusatia, the Lower Silesian Wilderness (Bory Dolnośląskie) and the Western Sudetes Foothills. The percentage of vessels assigned to category I (ca. 62%), of which a significant group during this time are forms I/B1/1/a, is smaller than during the Bronze Age. Most of the unprofiled bowls are deep (Table 27): nearly 70% specimens classified to subtype I/A1 (Fig. 5:i.k.n.o, 17) and nearly 80% – to I/B1 (Fig. 7:d.h.l, 19). The omphaloi in bowls I/A1/1/a – narrow (Fig. 5:i.j.n) and broad (Fig. 5:k.o) – in all the defined height brackets, have a frequency similar to that recorded during the Bronze Age (Table 28, 29), suggesting that the technique of their execution remained the same, and still involved modelling with fingers. Narrow omphaloi in bowls classified to I/B1/1/a have become more standardised than in the past, possibly explaining the increased percentage of protuberances of intermediate height (Fig. 7:g). More frequent than the narrow are broad omphaloi, among which low forms (Fig. 7:j.l) are slightly more numerous than the moderately high ones (Fig. 7:d.f.h.k). The unification of the parameters of omphaloi in bowls classified to subtype I/B1, and the substantial percentage of protuberances of a larger diameter, suggest they were modelled over a stencil (Fig. 7:d.e.f.h.k.l). In the eastern zone (except for south-eastern Poland, where only bowls of category I are noted), similarly as during the Bronze Age, the vessels in use represented types II/A (Fig. 9:d.h) and II/C (Fig. 10:c), and subtype II/B1 (Fig. 9:l.m.p.r), sometimes decorated, and sporadically featuring an omphalos, of a form classified to 1/b or 1/c (Table 19A, 20A, 21A, 34). Category I bowls were decorated very rarely (Fig. 5:k, 6:m, Table 34), and a few of them have a bulb – 2/c, modelled inside (Fig. 6:g). In the western zone, within the range of the Silesian Group, bowls of both categories occurred with a different frequency. In Kietrz (cat. 34; Table 19B), blackened vessels type I/B (Fig. 7:c, 8:d) tended to prevail over specimens classified to II/G (Fig. 11:a, 12:c.o.s), and in the Middle Obra Valley (Table 20B, 21B), forms I/A1 outnumber those classified to I/B1 (Fig. 8:a), I/B3 (Fig. 8:c), II/E (Fig. 10:k) and II/G1 (Fig. 11:l). In Central Silesia and in the western part of the Silesia-Greater Poland borderland, profiled forms were the most dominant (Table 22), mostly attributed to type II/G – in Silesia, a mixed selection, the majority blackened (Fig. 11:i.s.t.u, 12:f.g.i.k.n), in the borderland – with a higher frequency of coloured specimens, almost always belonging to subtype II/G1 (Fig. 11:b.c.f.g.o, 12:e). Specimens I/B1 were usually shallow, in Central Silesia – attractively decorated (Fig. 7:f.j). In the eastern part of the Silesia-Greater Poland borderland, bowls classified to category I – most of them deep, subtype I/B1, decorated with patterns of group V (Fig. 7:k.l), or knobs on the edge (Fig. 7:d.e, 8:e) – only in HaC1/2 were outnumbered by profiled specimens (Table 23). At this time and during HaC1, vessels classified to subtypes II/G2 and II/G3 are well represented, some of them decorated with a zone of grooving and painted motifs (Fig. 12:j.l.m.p.r). Some of the bowls had a characteristically thickened edge (Fig. 11:v, 12:b.d.g). Forms typical for the Silesia-Greater Poland borderland – a deep specimen classified to I/B1/1/a, and another classified to II/G2/1/a, with a thickened edge (Fig. 12:h) – were recovered in Gorszewice (cat. 22), in the Lake District of Poznań (Table 20B, 21B). The same cemetery also yielded vessels subtype II/G4 (Fig. 12:t.u.v) with an analogy in Kietrz (Fig. 12:s). In Greater Poland, we recorded also bowls type II/F – coloured (Fig. 10:n), and not blackened, as in Central Silesia and the borderland, and subtype II/G1 (Fig. 11:d.e.k.l), exceptionally, with an omphalos 1/b (Fig. 11:n). In a small group of unprofiled vessels, similarly as during the Bronze Age, we observed a bulb – rounded 2/a, or with a depression 2/c (Fig. 6:e). In the region on the Middle Odra, in the Białowice Group, the widespread form were bowls classified to category I (Table 24–26), some of them with an omphalos, form 1/b (Fig. 6:b) or 1/c. The decoration of specimens classified to I/B1/1/a (Fig. 7:h) and the form of the profiled vessels II/G1 (Fig. 11:j.m.r) and II/H (Fig. 12:y) from the Lower Silesian Wilderness have much in common with the pottery of the Silesian Group. Bowls forms in use in Lower Silesia and Lower Lusatia include types II/A (Fig. 9:b) and II/E (Fig. 10:l), and also, subtype II/B2, decorated with traditional motifs. At the earliest during the first half of Bronze Age III, profiled specimens with an omphalos occur in the eastern zone in Kietrz (Fig. 9:f, 10:b, 26, 27), lying at the approaches to the Moravian Gate, an important route of the influx to our territory of inspirations from the region to the south of the Carpathian range. At the transition from Bronze Age III and IV, bowls classified to category II found their way to the region around Cracow (Fig. 9:g), perhaps even during Bronze Age IV – to the upper Noteć River drainage (Fig. 9:c), in Bronze Age V to the Silesia-Cracow Upland (Fig. 9:a.e.j.n, 10:a) and to south-eastern Poland (Fig. 9:k). Chronologically the earliest, oblated globe specimens appeared during the first half of Bronze Age IV in the Lubusz Land, with a delay in comparison to the lands on the other bank of the Odra River (Fig. 13–16), where similar specimens were observed even during the older phase of Bronze Age III, coinciding with the onset of Fremdgruppenzeit – the period of foreign influences of Southern European origin. Starting from Bronze Age IV, bowls classified to category I were used in Lower Lusatia (Fig. 5:m, 8:b), on the western margin of the Silesia-Greater Poland borderland (Fig. 5:b.f, 6:d.h, 8:h) and in Greater Poland (Fig. 5:d.h.l, 6:f.i.j, 8:i). In the eastern zone, at the transition from Bronze Age IV to Bronze Age V, they were present in the Kalisz Heights (Fig. 5:g), noted during Bronze Age V in Kietrz (Fig. 5:e, 6:k), in the eastern part of the Silesia-Greater Poland borderland and, most of them reduced to a diminutive form, in the Silesia-Cracow Upland (Fig. 5:c, 6:a, 7:b), and, during the Early Iron Age – in south-eastern Poland. Hallstatt period bowls which have parallels across the Carpathian range have been discovered in Kietrz (Fig. 6:o, 12:s), Gorszewice (Fig. 12:t–v) and Komorowo (cat. 37; Fig. 9:p.r), found on the so-called Amber Road (Fig. 26, 29). Biconical specimens, subtype I/B3 (Fig. 24), appeared first in Kietrz and in the Silesia-Greater Poland borderland (Fig. 8:c), and later, in the Valley of the Middle Obra River (Fig. 8:e). The “Road also contributed to the spread of coloured or blackened luxury ceramics. Forms characteristic for the Silesia-Greater Poland borderland and for Central Silesia (Fig. 26–29) – types II/F (Fig. 10:m.o) and II/G (Fig. 11:b.c.f–j.l.p.s–v, 12:a.b.d–g.i–n.p.r), and also subtype II/B2 (Fig. 9:o.t–w) are observed also in the lake district belt in Greater Poland (Fig. 9:s, 10:n, 11:d.e.k.l.n). Bowls in which the omphalos is modelled at the centre of the flat base were manufactured during HaC in Central Silesia (Fig. 5:j, 12:i) and in the Silesia-Greater Poland borderland (Fig. 12:p), during HaD – in the upper Noteć River drainage (Fig. 9:d, 10:c) and in eastern Greater Poland (Fig. 5:i). In analysing the grave inventories we separated groups of pottery forms defined by us as selections, or recurring arrangements consisting of a bowl (or another bowl-like form, with or without an omphalos) and a vessel inserted into it: in selection A – a scoop or a handled cup, in selection B – a jug or a diminutive jug with a pointed base, in selection C – a basin or an amphora, in selection D – another bowl-like vessel, in selection E – a biconical vessel, in selection F – a jar. We refer to a bowl placed inside a scoop (or another vessel) as a reversed selection A–F. Specimens placed in the grave side by side, or one placed one over the other (also included here are cinerary urns covered with a bowl) are elements of a selection. A set is understood as a jar with a scoop, or a handled cup, placed inside it; these vessels, placed side by side, or covering one another, are elements of a set. Bowls were placed next to the burial, presumably so to have the dead individual join in the ritual being performed, and – specimens used in other ritual activities – were placed around the burial (understood here as between the vessels grouped next to it, or on the margin of such a cluster) and separately. The funerary pottery (except for cinerary urns) was recognized by as a service (set of dishes), consisting of containers – jars, or basin-like forms (basin, amphora, biconical vessel, broad-bodied vessel), vessels for scooping and pouring beverage (scoops, handled cups, jugs, diminutive jugs with a pointed base) and small bowls. A service was defined as non-standard if it did not include a bowl or a scoop-like form. We distinguished services with a jar-container (of a large form), with a basin-like container (at least of an intermediate size), a mixed service – with containers of both types, a pseudo-mixed service – with a container of one type and a small “model of the other type, a substitute service consisting of small sized “models of actual containers. Libation services (for performing a sacrifice) consist of bowls, smaller or larger (selections D, or elements of selections D), or bowl-like vessels and scoop-like vessels (selections A or B, reversed selections or their elements). In settlement contexts, small bowls have been found within the remains of built structures (Fig. 6:m, 9:p, cat. 112:1), storage and other utility features (cat. 112:2.3, 136:1), a refuse pit (Fig. 9:h) and pits serving an obscure function (cat. 35:1, 94:1, 108:1, 147:1.2). A few specimens were discovered within a hearth (cat. 123:1, 136:2, 148:1), in a votive offering (cat. 136:3), in a pit, together with other vessels belonging to a “pseudo-mixed service consisting of a container –an amphora (cat. 40:1). A small number of specimens – in a hearth (cat. 148:1), next to a semi-sunken pit dwelling (cat. 146:1) or within a symbolic feature (Fig. 9:g) – they formed part of a libation service. We analysed the pottery furnishings of 103 graves from the Bronze Age containing 144 omphalos bowls (Table 35–42), and 156 assemblages from the Early Iron Age – with 229 of the pottery forms under discussion (Table 43–57). Also taken into account were inventories which included bowls with a flat, a concave or a rounded base, used parallel with services containing omphalos bowls, and services with vessels provided with an omphalos recorded in features left out from a closer analysis due to incomplete data. During the Bronze Age, in the eastern zone (Fig. 55, Table 35–37) bowls (more often, without an omphalos) were usually placed next to the burial. The percentage of graves furnished with these vessels in Kietrz and Bachórz-Chodorówka (cat. 1), did not exceed 1.9%. In the eastern part of the Silesia-Greater Poland borderland, the corresponding value was ca. 6%, and in the Silesia-Cracow Upland – 4–16%. There was a large number of substitute services (73.5%), most of them consisting of a jar (57%) and including, as a standard, the selection A (Fig. 31). The more common form of container was the jar and not the basin-like vessel. Rituals involving the use of bowls performed when bidding farewell to the dead are documented for individuals of different ages suggesting that the high frequency of infant burials in Silesia-Cracow Upland may be uncharacteristic. A few vessels served as covers of a cinerary urn (Fig. 9:k, cat. 8:1) and a miniature basin (Fig. 5:e, 30), one served as a cinerary vessel (Fig. 10:b). In the western zone (Fig. 56, Table 38–32), small bowls with an omphalos predominated in Lower Lusatia (Białków – cat. 4; Jasień – cat. 30), in the western part of the Silesia-Greater Poland borderland (Przyborów – cat. 85), and in some sites in Greater Poland (Wartosław – cat. 121; Wieleń – cat. 125). In other cemeteries in Greater Poland, at Terespotockie (cat. 114), and Biernatki (cat. 5), they were outnumbered by specimens with a different type of base, and in Spławie (cat. 105), only forms with a flat base are recorded. The percentage of grave inventories including small bowls ranged from 8% in Biernatki and Kaliszany (cat. 32), to 54% at Białków. The largest percentage was represented by services with a container (58%), most often, a basin-like vessel, over 40% of them of the pseudo-mixed type; “suites containing a jar form the smallest group. Inventories with a basin-like container, at times of substantial size (Fig. 38, 39) may be seen to cluster on the Middle Odra. In this area, burials were furnished on occasion with two (Table 41:6, 42:2. 3.12.13.18) or even a larger number of services (Fig. 32:a, 38, Table 41:8). In graves with three to six “suites of vessels, some services did not include the small bowls (these presumably, had been “taken away, to be used in further ceremonies, and the used, no longer needed pottery was put away), in others the scooping vessel was missing (Fig. 36, Table 40:1, 41:3.12), used repreadly, as suggested by the archaeological context (Fig. 34, 35), until the backfilling of the burial. In Lower Lusatia and in the western part of the Silesia-Greater Poland borderland, where there is a domination of bowls with an omphalos and of services with containers, the funeral rituals seem to have had the nature of feasting. Their complexity is confirmed by the deposition of bowls not only next to the burials, but also around them, as well as separately. In other areas, the ceremonies were mostly limited to the act of libation, which sometimes preceded the deposition of the cinerary urn in the grave (Fig. 33). Use was made for this purpose of libation services and substitute services which most often were deposited next to the burial; the vessels were placed inverted, or on their side, in a position we can describe as “the offering has been made (Fig. 31, 32:b, 33–36, 38). Most often, the bowls formed a group with a scoop or a handled cup (Fig. 32:b, 37, 39), and with other bowl-like forms (Fig. 33, 34, 36, 37), more rarely, with basin-like vessels of a small size (Fig. 34, 38), jugs (Fig. 38) or with jars (Table 41:15, 42:11). A bowl could be used as a cover of a cinerary urn: a specimen classified to I/B1/2/b (Fig. 8:h, cat. 85:5), or serve as a cinerary urn – specimen I/B1/1/a with a narrow and high omphalos (cat. 84:4). The limited number of osteological data prevents analysis of the sex and age of burials furnished with the omphalos bowls. In Spławie, the small bowls were discovered in adult burials. During the Hallstatt Period, in the eastern zone (Fig. 57, Table 43) the frequency of assemblages provided with small bowls (between ca. 3% and 17–18%) was similar as in the Bronze Age. In the biritual cemeteries in the Silesia-Cracow Upland, the dominant form continues to be the substitute service with a jar. Libation services were recorded chiefly in south-eastern Poland, and services with containers – in eastern part of the Greater Poland (a mixed service with a fragment of a strainer found in Zalew II – cat. 137) and in the Kalisz Heights (a pseudo-mixed service without scoop-like vessels, Topola Wielka – cat. 115; Table 43:3). The burial in a small bowl-urn set over a zoomorphic figurine included among its furnishings a pair of scoops (Fig. 40), the same as this Late Bronze Age assemblage with a rattle (Fig. 34). In the western zone, within the range of the Silesian Group (Fig. 58, Table 44–51), the percentage of inventories featuring small bowls (most of them without an omphalos) was the following: in Kietrz – at 14% (ca. ⅓ found in imposing chamber features or in features provided with a posted construction), in Central Silesia – between 35% and 60%, in the western part of the Silesia-Greater Poland borderland – 60%, and its eastern part – 32–36%, and only in Cieszków (cat. 10) – 80%. In Gorszewice, services with small bowls were recorded in 9.4% graves, in Spławie – in 40%. A popular form were “suites incorporating basin-like containers, and also mixed substitute services. In Kietrz, services with containers occurred three times more often than substitute services (Table 44). Imposing graves were furnished mostly with pseudo-mixed services (apparently, with the most sophisticated array of ritual pottery, often with large basin-containers, usually a single jar with a lid, and pottery in typical arrangements; Fig. 41), used in rituals alongside metal objects. In traditional graves mostly substitute services were deposited, furnished with a basin-like container (and no jar) or with a mixed service. In Central Silesia substitute services were more numerous than groups incorporating basin-like containers (Table 45). Often, the use of some container is confirmed by the presence in the grave of only a fragment of this vessel. It may be surmised therefore that at least some of the substitute inventories are the remains of services originally including a container, damaged during the ceremony or alternately, meant for multiple use, not deposited in the grave. On the western margin of the Silesia-Greater Poland borderland the number of services with basin-like containers is nearly equal to the number of substitute services (Table 46). In the eastern part of that region, as in Central Silesia, there was a slightly larger number of substitute services (Fig. 43–45, Table 47–50), and the basin-like containers were mostly found in pseudo-mixed services (Fig. 42, 45, 46). In HaC1/2 there was an increase in the number of “suites which incorporate special pottery, first of all, flask vessels (Fig. 43, 44), in HaC2 jars gain in importance, included in services and used as cinerary urns (Fig. 45). Analysis of the limited data from Greater Poland revealed a marked divergence in the selection of services in particular sites (Table 51). In the areas under discussion small bowls were mostly left behind in the area “around the burial. A small number served as lids (Table 44:7.14, 46:2, 50:2) or cinerary vessels (Fig. 11:a, 45). Similarly as during the Bronze Age, bowl-like forms are associated with scoops (Fig. 43, 44), jars, or vessel sets, next to which they stood (Table 44:4.6, 45:7.8, 46:6, 47:6–9.12), or formed an arrangement with them (Table 47:17, 48:1, 49:1.3, 50:1, 51:1.3), with basin-like forms (Fig. 41, 42, 47) or other bowls (Fig. 42, 43). They accompanied metal objects (Fig. 41, 46) or small stoves (Table 45:6, 47:1.12.15, 48:5.13). Found placed inside one of the small bowls was an iron knife (Table 47:17), in another, a flask vessel (Table 48:5). Osteological determinations available at present confirm no definite relationship between the age or sex of the deceased and the type of grave or the pottery service found inside. Some men were apparently singled out by rituals which called for the use of a larger number of services (Table 46:4, 47:3.14). In Kunice (cat. 41), there is an observable domination of burials of women, and in sites in Greater Poland (Gorszewice, Spławie, Poznań-Psarskie) an almost entire lack of infant graves furnished with small bowls. In the Białowice Group (Fig. 59, Table 52–56), in the Lower Silesian Wilderness in Żagań-Kolonia (cat. 141), small bowls (almost all of them with an omphalos) were found in nearly a half of the inventories. In Lower Silesia, in Trzebule (cat. 117), these forms (most of them with an omphalos) were present in 38% graves, and in Stary Kisielin (cat. 106), in 52% (mostly, forms with a different form of base). In the Western Sudetes Foothills region, in Rakowice Wielkie (cat. 86), small bowls (as a rule, without an omphalos) were recorded in 41% assemblages. In Żagań-Kolonia, small bowls come into use during the Hallstatt Period (Table 52–54). Nearly a half of the services were pseudo-mixed forms with a basin-like container (Fig. 48), with substitute services, mostly of a mixed type accounting for 36% (Fig. 49), and libation services – for 15% (Fig. 51). In HaC the most dominant form are pseudo-mixed inventories, in HaD1 – substitute services. Bowls evidently were popular and are found next to the burials, and starting from HaC2, also around the burial. Many services include a small stove, some of them accompanied during HaC1 by a flat dish. In HaC2 more often than flat dishes, double vessels were used, which in HaD1 occurred interchangeably with small stoves (Fig. 51). In Lower Silesia (Table 55, 56) services incorporating small bowls (most often, placed in the area around the burial) were noted only in HaC2, a period dominated by substitute inventories. In HaD the prevailing form are “suites with basin-like containers, complete with pseudo-mixed services not observed previously (Fig. 52). A substantial number of furnishings included a flat dish and a small stove, more rarely, a double vessel. It does not follow from the analysis of human skeletal remains found at Trzebule that there was any correspondence between the age and the sex of the dead individual and the type of the pottery vessel service offered to him or her. In the Western Sudetes Foothils region (Table 57:6), during HaC1, bowls formed part of substitute services (mostly together with amphorae), during HaC2 – provided with basin-like containers, some of them pseudo-mixed in their composition. In sites found in Lower Lusatia we identified, for the most part, substitute services dating to the late Hallstatt period, mixed, or containing amphorae (Table 57:1). A small number of bowls had been used as covers of cinerary urns (Fig. 53, Table 52:4.12, 55:13, 56:10), one contained a rattle (Table 52:6), most of them classified to category I. Bowls with an omphalos (cat. 141:15), and larger bowls, were in an arrangement with jars (Table 52:11, 54:5), standing next to them, or to sets of vessels (Fig. 48, 52, Table 53:4.9, 55:11, 56:6), and also, next to typically ritual forms, like small stoves (Fig. 48, 50, Table 52:1.2.12, 53:4.5.10, 54:2, 55:2.3, 56:3) and double vessels (Fig. 51). Standard in cemeteries of the Białowice Groups, selections B containing impractical diminutive jugs with a pointed base (Fig. 49, 50, 52, 53) presumably were used when performing the libation. In the Silesian Group, a similar function may have been served by eg, flask vessels, equally often placed on their side (after the offering was made), right on the ground, or inside a small bowl. Imaginably, one element of the ritual feasting, performed using a service with a container, was to “make an offering. This was done also, similarly as during the Bronze Age, using substitute “suites, and libation services, later left behind next to the burials. The cemetery of the Górzyca Group in Sękowice 8 (cat. 95), where small bowls (most of them lacking an omphalos) were found in 12% graves, is set apart by the near absence of substitute services (Fig. 59, Table 59:3.4). Similarly as in Kunice in Central Silesia there was a predomination of burials of women. It does not seem that the idea of the omphalos could have been adopted from the Mediterranean region along with the small bowl form. The only apparent exception are shallow or flat specimens classified to category I, in use primarily during the Bronze Age (Fig. 5:b, 6:h.i, 8:h), which both in their proportions and the character of their decoration resemble the ritual phiale, and forms provided with a high protuberance in the vessel base, or with a special omphalos of either variant, found in graves, often in a prominent place (Fig. 33, 38, 52). Manufactured en masse, the moderately high and the low omphaloi are more likely to have had a practical purpose: they made it easier to grip the vessel and ensured stability when the vessel was put down. Presumably, small plastic artwork or a small vessel with a convex base was placed over protuberances with a dimple, form 1/b, and depressions, forms 1/c and 2/c, and over bulbs 2/a, 2/b and omphaloi with a flattened apex (Fig. 5:n) – articles with a broad, recessed bottom. The figurines could have been secured inside some of the depressions in the omphaloi (Fig. 6:c.e) using pins. The plastic artwork and other objects placed onto the omphaloi presumably were meant to be above the level of the liquid with filling the vessel. Flat, circular impressions with a central knob, variant 1/d, seem to convey the idea of the omphalos bowl – a circular form with a central protuberance on its bottom. A symbolic significance has been ascribed to groups of irregular grooves (Fig. 9:e), and also to crosses and “rays observed during the Bronze Age (Fig. 5:e.m, 6:j, 8:i.j) and the Hallstatt period (Fig. 5:k.o.n, 7:g, 10:h, 27:s), and to Early Iron Age designs based on the motif of a star (Fig. 7:f.i–l, 8:g, 9:w.z), triskeles (Fig. 27:i.w), triangles (Fig. 11:h–j.w, 12:a.h.p), diagonal crosses (Fig. 10:g), zig-zag (Fig. 9:z), Embleme (Fig. 11:f.j, 12:b.x) and hour-glasses (Fig. 11:m, 12:n). Some of these decorations (interpreted in terms of Sun and fire worship) were found inside the bowls, suggesting that during the ceremony they must have been held the right side up. The dimples placed during the Bronze Age on the vessel base around the omphalos (Sun image?) were visible when the vessel was held upside down. Presumably, also the knobs on the edges of the bowls had a special meaning, this is suggested by circumstances of discovery of vessels decorated in this way. The co-occurrence in the western zone, both during the Bronze Age and Early Iron Age, of jars, bowl-like vessels and scoop-like forms (three main vessels in use in the eastern zone since Bronze Age III) shows that the funeral ceremonies requiring the presence of bowls had evolved from a common substrate. This is suggested also by the persistence of specific arrangements of pottery present in graves (first of all, selections A, sets and their elements) for almost ten centuries. The varied rituals making use of pottery services incorporating small bowls would have been only one fragment of ceremonies practiced by the Lusatian Culture communities.
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