Buławy średniowieczne z ul. Sławkowskiej 17 w Krakowie
MEDIEVAL MACES FROM 17 SŁAWKOWSKA STREET IN KRAKÓW
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Two almost complete maces were found in the cesspit. Paleobotanical analysis of the shafts confirmed that they have been made from the wood of a common ash (Fraxinus excelsior L.). In the collection of maces from the territory of Poland, spherical or pear-shaped heads are rarely encountered. A much more numerous collection, especially of spherical heads, was discovered in Bulgaria, Rus’, Hungary. Maces with spherical or pear-shaped heads can also be found in medieval iconographic representations. In Polish iconography: they appear in the painting and on coins. Can also be found in iconography from Spain, Italy and Armenia. Basing on archaeological and iconographic analogies, the lower chronological limit for those artefacts from Kraków can be determined in the 11th/12th century, while the upper ought to be the 2nd half of the 15th century. Is rather difficult to assume, without any doubt, that maces found in cities constituted individual weapons of their inhabitants. Military maces were primarily knight’s arms, though they could have been re-used as weapon by lower classes of society, in the same way as clubs which were used for fighting by knights, burgesses and commoners, such weapons appeared also as objects of trade exchange, or weaponry used by foreign armies while invading cities cannot be overlooked. In the case of maces found in Kraków might have served as tools in committing a crime, and being material evidence of the offence (corpus delicti) they had been left behind by the perpetrators wishing to avoid punishment for their misdeed.
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