2008 | 52 | 1(185) | 21-33
Article title

Naśladownictwo silikwy rzymskiej z Konarzewa pod Poznaniem

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An imitation of a Roman siliqua was found during an archaeological survey carried out by the Institute of Prehistory of Poznań University at a settlement from the late Roman period in Konarzewo near Poznań (site 5). The find was discovered in the east part of the settlement, in a culture layer above structure E64 or even in its upper part. A considerable number of sherds were found at this structure and in the vicinity. The beginnings of the settlement are dated from 340 AD using dendrochronology. A cremation burial ground discovered in one of the wells is supposed to have been used from the middle of the fifth century to the middle of the sixth century. The imitation of siliqua is made of .970 silver. It is oval in shape (21 x 18 mm) and weighs 2.916 g. Surprisingly, the Emperor's bust, which was very well copied, is in contrast to totally blundered legends, where the letters are difficult to recognize. Moreover, the reverse is very poorly marked and hardly visible. A heavy siliqua of Constantius II from the years 353-357 with the inscription VOTIS/XXX/ MVLTIS/XXXX, presumably from Sirmium served as the pattern. However, the hairdo is different (Emperors hair is parted at the top of his head to the front and back). It has analogies on Byzantine coins of Justin I and Justinian I. Therefore, there is a possibility that although the imitation found in Konarzewo was influenced by a coin from the fourth century, it was made not earlier than in the sixth century. Other, previously known imitations of siliquae of Constantius II, imitations which had been made earlier, e.g. those from the hoards of Kecel (Romania), Budai (Moldoya) and Laatzen (Germany), look completely different, and this fact weighs in favour of a later chronology. It is also a well-known fact that as regards making ornaments (brooches), Roman coins were also imitated after a considerable passage of time. The imitation discovered in Konarzewo was probably made outside the boundaries of the Empire, but at a relatively small distance, to the north of the Danube. The maker was an artistic illiterate, who remained under the direct influence of Roman culture. His aim was to produce a jewellery rather than a coin. The very poor reproduction of the reverse, which is nearly invisible, argues for this. The non-monetary function of the artefact would be obvious if we were to assume a later date for its manufacture. It was probably a pendant, which was only later turned into a brooch. A strong bend at one edge of the artefact and the punching of two little holes near the other edge argues for a change of function. The holes are situated close to the edge behind the Emperor's head and could not have been cut when the artefact was made or when it served as a pendant. Their purpose may have been to attach a pin and clip mechanism to the brooch (6 figures).
Physical description
  • Instytut Prahistorii Uniwersytetu im. Adama Mickiewicza, ul. Święty Marcin 78, 61-809, Poznań, Poland
  • Instytut Archeologii i Etnologii Polskiej Akademii Nauk, al. Solidarności 105, 00-104 Warszawa
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Publication order reference
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