A ring from Early Iron Age bronze collar from Dziechlino-Leśnice near Lębork
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Muzeum w Lęborku ul. Młynarska 14-15 PL 84-300 Lębork
Instytut Archeologii Uniwersytetu Jagiellońskiego, ul. Gołębia 11, PL 31-007 Kraków
Wydział Odlewnictwa Akademii Górniczo-Hutniczej (AGH), im. Stanisława Staszica w Krakowie, ul. Reymonta 23 (pawilon D-8), PL 30-059 Kraków
Wiadomości Archeologiczne 2017;LXVIII:257–265
In 2014, the Museum in Lębork was enriched with a bronze ornament of the Early Iron Age date, found accidentally in a meadow near the place where the the Sitnica river valley meets the Łeba river valley in Dziechlino-Leśnice (Figs. 1, 2), a few kilometers west of Lębork (Pomorskie voivodship, northern Poland). Surface survey carried out in the area did not reveal any other remains associated with this find, although archival data indicate that the area was occupied in the younger part of the Early Iron Age (Hallstatt D) (Fig. 8). The item under analysis is a ring that was probably the uppermost segment of a multi-part collar built from open rings and fastened with a wide clasp at the back, an ornament typical of the Pomeranian Culture. The ring is oval in top view and saddle-like in side view, and its cross-section changes from lenticular in the central part to oval at the ends, the latter provided with shafts for attaching the clasp (Fig. 3–5). The dimensions are 12.2×12.7 cm, with a thickness of up to 0.6 cm. The ring is made of tin-lead bronze (Table 1). Its upper surface is richly decorated with groups of transversal and diagonal lines, diagonal hatches, punched holes, and a pattern of arches filled with transversal hatches. Most of the motifs were made in the casting, but the last one was made using the cold punching technique (Fig. 6). The ornament of arches seems particularly typical for Pomerania (Fig. 7), although single rings bearing such decoration were occasionally discovered as far as southern Poland, or even in the Szentes-Vekerzug cemetery in Hungary. It seems that multi-part collars decorated with arches represent the older stage in the production and use of these ornaments (in the younger one, arches were more often replaced with chevron motifs – cf. A. Drzewicz 2017). The ring from Dziechlino-Leśnice should therefore be considered a local product (that such collars were used in the Łeba valley is confirmed by face urns with images of these decorations, e.g. from Leśnice – Fig. 8:b). It is difficult, however, to determine whether it originated from a larger deposit of metal objects, or – as a single ring – was the element of grave furnishing. The fact that the object has survived in a good condition argues against this latter possibility.