The Spatha from Konin-Kurów
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Państwowe Muzeum Archeologiczne w Warszawie
Muzeum Okręgowe w Koninie
Wiadomości Archeologiczne 2018;LXIX(69):190–196
An iron sword was found during the deepening of the Warta river bed in the mid-1960s. It was recovered from the river at the level of the former village of Kurów, presently a district of Konin (Fig. 1). The artefact is stored in the District Museum in Konin. The artefact was preserved in a good condition (Fig. 2). Its total length is 87.3 cm (originally 90 cm). The blade is double edged, tapering slightly towards the point. The cross-section is faceted, almost flat near the point. The flats are even. The cut of the edges is flat. The point is short, beveled into a sharp arc. The length of the blade is 78.6 cm; the length of the point is 5.3 cm; the width of the blade at the hilt is 5.3 cm; the width of the blade at the point is 4.3 cm. The blade corresponds to type B.II.1, cross-section type 11 in the classification of M. Biborski (Fig. 3), and the sword itself represents type Ejsbøl-Sarry, subtype 2 (M. Biborski, J. Ilkjær 2006, p. 259–271, fig. 117). Macroscopic observations (Fig. 5, 6) and a X-ray photo (Fig. 4) indicate that the pattern welding technique was used in making the blade. The ratio of the length of the blade to the hilt and the location of the center of gravity indicate that the sword was intended mainly for fighting from horseback. The most numerous finds of swords of the type Ejsbøl-Sarry come from the bog deposits in southern Scandinavia (Illerup and Ejsbøl), but they are also known from the territory of the Przeworsk Culture. Their chronology is quite wide. The earliest specimens found as it happens at the sites of the Przeworsk Culture are dated to the phase C2. The vast majority, however, comes from a later period – phase D. The stray find of the sword from Konin-Kurów should be associated with the Przeworsk Culture and dated generally to the phase C2–D. It is noteworthy that the sword from Konin-Kurów was found in a river. In the case of individual objects found in lakes or rivers, it is difficult to establish unequivocally whether we are dealing with an accidental loss, e.g., during a crossing, or with a sacrificial deposit.