Bronze Flanged Axe from Eastern Mazowsze
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Państwowe Muzeum Archeologiczne w Warszawie, ul. Długa 52 «Arsenał», 00–241 Warszawa
Wiadomości Archeologiczne 2014;LXV(65):217–222
The bronze axe fragment under discussion is a stray find from Grabszczyzna, a village in Wołomin County, approximately 50 km NE of Warsaw (Fig. 1). The axe (Fig. 2) has an expanded, crescent shaped blade, on a separate wedge. The lightly asymmetrical cutting edge has on one of its faces an observably more compact and coarse surface. The flanges gradually taper off to the height of the differently shaped ends of the U-shaped concave depressions (Fig. 3). Lines observed on the outer faces of the axe (Fig. 4) could be the result of a faulty fitting together of a two-part casting mould. One of the faces is with marks from working (Fig. 5). The negatives left by air bubbles are present over most of the surface of the axe (Fig. 6). There is some dark green, noble patina. The axe from Grabszczyzna may be attributed to the mixed group of flanged axes (A. Szpunar 1987, p. 55–71). Some features of its construction have parallels in axes classified by A. Szpunar to types Kłodzisko, Wałowice and Czubin (1987, p. 58, 62–69). In its dimensions and form the axe find from Grabszczyzna is closest to type Czubin specimens (A. Szpunar 1987, pl. 22, 23). There is some evident similarity also to an axe, type Wałowice, from a hoard discovered at Rostkowo, Płock County (W. Blajer 1999, p. 199, pl. 157:1). A similarly rounded blade is seen in an axe, type Kłodzisko, variant C, discovered at Rudniki, Grudziądz County (A. Szpunar 1987, p. 64, pl. 20:362). In hoards from Mielnica Duża, Konin County, and from Rostkowo, both dated to the first half of Bronze Age III, an axe, type Czubin, was discovered in association with an axe, type Wałowice (W. Blajer 2001, p. 323, 325, 327); the hoard from Mielnica Duża included also a fragment of one more axe, presumably a type Kłodzisko (W. Blajer 1999, p. 185). The chronology of axes type Wałowice, Czubin and Kłodzisko is within the frames of Bronze Age II and III (A. Szpunar 1987, p. 63–64, 66, 68–69; W. Blajer 1999, p. 23; J. Dąbrowski 2004, p. 17); this is also a likely dating for Grabszczyzna axe. The users of this axe in eastern Mazovia may have been the people of Trzciniec culture (cf. H. Taras 1995, p. 91, map 1) or, the communities from the intermediate Trzciniec-Lusatian phase and the early Lusatian Culture (cf. J. Dąbrowski 2005, p. 62; M. Mogielnicka-Urban 2005, p. 69).