Unknown Roman Period Cemetery from Całowanie, Otwock County
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Państwowe Muzeum Archeologiczne w Warszawie, ul. Długa 52 Arsenał, PL 00-241 Warszawa
Wiadomości Archeologiczne 2013;LXIV(64):190–198
In 2002 the Polish Army Museum handed over to the State Archaeological Museum in Warsaw a group of archaeological finds from a random discovery made at Całowanie, Otwock County, during a mid-1990s search for the burial of soldiers fallen in the defense of Poland in September 1939. The exact find-spot was identified in 2013 and apparently corresponds to site XIV recorded at Całowanie during a fieldwalking survey made in 1990 (Fig. 1, 2) which at the time brought in two uncharacteristic fragments of burnt pottery. The assemblage of interest consists of three eye brooch fragments, a partly melted copper alloy buckle, two iron strap-ends, an iron shield-boss, an iron spearhead, an iron spearhead with barbs, iron shears, an iron shield-grip fragment, an iron knife, an iron rivet and fragments of pottery (Fig. 3–5). A black burnished vase (Fig. 3:1) may be reconstructed as originally having three handles. Similar forms are known from numerous finds from the eastern zone of Przeworsk Culture during phase B2, most of them used for cinerary urns (T. Dąbrowska 1996; J. Andrzejowski 2001, p. 79–82). A shallow cup with a small handle (Fig. 3:2) corresponds to type VI/2 of T. Liana (1970, p. 440). A few fragments of pottery also found in the assemblage from Całowanie belong to biconical vessels with a sharply marked shoulder (Fig. 3:3.4), presumably, type II/3 of T. Liana (1970, p. 439). Three partly melted fragments of a copper alloy brooch may belong to a single specimen, an eye brooch, Prussian series, type A.60 (Fig. 4:1). A hole observed below the hook in the upper part of the brooch head (Fig. 4:1b), 3-4 mm in diameter, suggests repairs made to the brooch when its hook broke by installing a new hook in a hole. A similar method was used in a brooch from grave no. 59 from Nadkole 2, Wyszków County in eastern Poland (J. Andrzejowski 1998, p. 58, pl. XLIV/59:5, CVIII:5). Other metal dress accessories are a heavily eroded and partly melted bronze buckle (Fig. 4:2), type AD1 of R. Madyda-Legutko (1987, p. 24), and two iron strap-ends (Fig. 4:3.4) type 2, variant 4 of R. Madyda-Legutko (2011, p. 31–32). The best preserved of the weapon finds is an iron shield-boss (Fig. 5:7), type J.7a (M. Jahn 1916, p. 173–176, pl. III) a form characteristic for weapon assemblages dated to the younger segment of phase B2 (T. Liana 1970, p. 452; K. Godłowski 1981, p. 83; 1992, p. 80). The shield-boss is made from two separate pieces, well apparent on an X-ray photograph: a bowl with a spike hammered together with the upper part of the collar. Spearheads (Fig. 5:1.2) found in the group from Całowanie are represented by a specimen with barbs, type L/2 of P. Kaczanowski (1995, p. 33, 34), and a specimen with a slender lozenge-shaped blade, type IV (P. Kaczanowski 1995, p. 16). The next element of weaponry is a fragment of a shield-grip classified by its rectangular rivet plate (Fig. 5:5) as type J.8 (M. Jahn 1916, p. 189, fig. 217). An iron knife with a tang separated from a blade (Fig. 5:3) and iron shears (Fig. 5:6) may be dated only broadly to the Roman Period. Although it is not entirely certain that the materials from Całowanie, site XIV, originally belonged to the same grave inventory this is possible because their chronology is not incompatible. There is some doubt however whether this deposit included one (or more) brooches, especially an eye brooch, rare in weapon graves and recorded more frequently in grave assemblages next to objects diagnostic for female burials. We have a record on an ancient cemetery identified at Całowanie in 1921 complete with a find of a type A.162 (R. Jakimowicz 1921, p. 147). Given its location (on a dune by the road running from Łukowiec to Całowanie) this grave-site could be the same as cemetery at Całowanie, site XIV. This conclusion is supported further by the large number of Przeworsk-Wielbark cemeteries recorded in right-bank Mazowsze (J. Andrzejowski 1989). Recent decades of research made on the upper terrace of the Middle Vistula Valley has brought in new and striking discoveries. The cemeteries at Całowanie (P. Iwanicki 2011), Sobienie Biskupie (not published; PMA, IV/7745) and Czersk (see: K. Czarnecka 2012) now confirm that there was intensive settlement in this region during the Pre-Roman Period and the Roman Period (cf. K. Godłowski 1985, p. 62–65; T. Dąbrowska, T. Liana 1986, maps 2, 3; J. Andrzejowski 2001, p. 60, fig. 1).