WHY OR HOW WERE THE HOARDS DEPOSITED IN THE EARLY MIDDLE AGES?
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Attempts to reinterpret the senses attributed in the past to some phenomena of broadly defined sphere of the Slavic exchange carried out in recent years have faced a constant opposition of the adherents of the older conceptions. What is especially disliked among the Polish archaeologists are the attempts to adopt the theories of anthropology or cultural studies. These are models for the formulation of new interpretations of the issues mentioned above. Presumably a distrust of the attempts to renovate the old metaphors is caused by the epistemological naturalism. They seem to be behind accusations, made in discussions (e.g. by M. Bogucki), aimed at the authors of the new interpretations who are criticised for an allegedly botchy investigation, overinterpretation and manipulation of the sources. What is the real source of the dispute are not the subject matter, but the conceptual assumptions that primarily direct the detailed studies made at a further stage. A lack of the agreement on the conceptual basis makes conducting of these disputes impossible. What suitably illustrates the lack of the postulated 'communicative community' is M. Bogucki's polemic based, among other things, on a fallacious reading of the leading theses of the author conception. The problem he raised did not concern the social functions of precious metal and deposit, as my opponent claimed but a line and nature of the process of depositing silver seen in the context of the postulated syncretism of the traditional Slavic culture of the early Middle Ages. From the point of view of the cultural studies that aim at taking the perspective of the historical subjects into consideration during an interpretation, the very appeal to the old distinctions to distinguish between so called economic and cult (returnable and not returnable) hoards remains an epistemologically vain and useless treatment. His position is essentially grounded in the idea that there is a tight and subjectively invisible conjunction of the symbolic sphere and the technological sphere of culture to be found in the traditional societies of the early Middle Ages. While trying to show the specificity of the early medieval deposits in the terms of the previously–applied classification one could therefore say that any hoard was of both an economic and the cultic nature.
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