A Settlement of the Cloche Grave Culture in Warszawa-Zerzeń, site 10
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Państwowe Muzeum Archeologiczne, ul. Długa 52, 00-241 Warszawa
Publication date: 2001-12-31
Wiadomości Archeologiczne 2001;LV(55):179-195
The site at Warszawa–Zerzeń lies on a small dune elevation of the upper floodplain terrace of the Vistula River valley on the right bank of the river, in the area of Wiązana and Zwoleńska Streets (Fig. 1). The settlement was discovered in 1976 during fieldwalking survey. In 1983 the Warsaw Unit of The State Ateliers for Conservation of Cultural Property excavated 600 m˛ of the site. Work was continued on a much lesser scale in 1984 (42.5 m2) by the State Archaeological Museum in Warsaw, where all the material recovered during the investigation is now being stored. Excavations were carried out in the accessible S and SW section of the dune (Fig. 2a). 10–20 cm thick cultural layer was revealed as well as 23 features found under the humus (Fig. 2b). Fifteen were interpreted as archaeological features: pits (4, 7, 8, 11, 16, 17, 19, 21), concentrations (3, 9, 10, 22, 23) and a possible burial feature (20). Nearly 3000 potsherds were recovered from the features and the culture layer (features – ca. 2000, cultural layer – 350, arable – ca. 650 fragments) together with seven entire spindlewhorls and a fragment of another, several stone tools (smoothers, grindstones) and 16 flints. Most of the pits were irregular in outline, usually roughly oval and ranged in area between 0.6 and ca. 2.6 m2. In section they were also irregular, with blurred outline. The pit-fill, up to 65 cm deep, included potsherds, occasionally also daub and stones. There were two concentrations of potsherds belonging to a single vessel (features 10, 23) another, of potsherds and stone tools (feature 22), yet another, of daub and stones (feature 3). None of the features discovered could be interpreted as dwelling structures using appropriate criteria (J. Michalski 1983); at least one (feature3) may have formed a part of a dwelling structure but its construction cannot be identified at present. Likewise, no remains of hearths or production features were distinguished. Most of the pits were apparently used for storage. This is suggested by remains of large vessels found in the lower sections of features 8 and 14 (Fig. 9l,r, 10m,n). Feature 20, interpreted as a grave, contained in its uppermost layer pottery fragments, which may have belonged to the inventory of a cloche grave. Lower down pit fill yielded small fragments of burnt bone. Given the lack of comparative material the significance of a possible burial deposit made within an inhabited area cannot be fully understood. Pottery from the settlement was classified using typology designed by T. Węgrzynowicz (1988, 3 f.). The majority of potsherds originated from vessels with a roughened surface. Ovoid and barrel-like pots with notched rims were best represented (Fig. 5, 9, 10, 18, 19). Only a slight proportion was formed by vessels known from cemeteries: forms with asmoothed well-defined neck and a roughened body (Fig. 5b,d, 9p, 10h, 15a,c,d, 19h), cups and jugs (Fig. 17c, 19p). Numerous fragments of bowls represent acommon category of vessels – smoothed, unprofiled or having an indistinct curve beneath the rim (Fig. 4a, 5i, 9a,g,i, 15b, 19o). Other ceramic forms included fragments of circular discs-plates (Fig. 4b,e, 9e,f,j), thin walled miniature vessels (Fig. 4f, 19f,i,m) and a fragment of a miniature lid (Fig. 4c). Potsherds decorated with an ornament of stamps or fingernail impressions represented only a small percentage. Grooves made with a tool having several tines (comb?) were noted on the surface of a number of potsherds. Plastic ornament was represented only exceptionally by cordons and knobs seen at the neck-body junction. Macroscopic analysis of technology and comparative qualitative analysis of the distinguished vessel categories suggest that the settlement may have been inhabited by the same community which was using the nearby cemetery (site 4) dated to the early La Tène Period (M. Andrzejowska, T.Węgrzynowicz 1995).
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