W sprawie datacji i interpretacji późnośredniowiecznej miniaturowej broni palnej z Kalisza
Dating and interpretation of a miniature late medieval firearm from Kalisz
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A relic, that was founded in 1985 in Kalisz, is one of the most mysterious objects of late medieval firearms from the Kingdom of Poland. This is a barrel of a medieval small firearm, made of a copper alloy. This is a so small-sized object: the length of the barrel is only 5,7 cm and this is octagonal in a diameter. There is a lead bullet, stick in the barrel. The weapon’s calibre is 13 mm (.51 cal.), and its weight with the bullet is just 200 mg. Thus, it is really difficult to show any analogy for this handgun. Scientists stress that other examples of medieval small arms (from different european collections) are much longer (usually it is at least over a dozen centimetres). The relic was found in mixed layers, what renders impossible the dating on the base of stratigraphy. One of Polish scientists, M. Głosek, proves that a technology and all analogies designate the end of the 14th century as the time of origin .The author of the article says, that this thesis has many weak points. The technology and some characteristic features are typical for many of relics from the late medieval: from the end of the 14th century, as well as from the 15th century. The author engages also in a controversy with M. Głosek’s theory, that the object from Kalisz is the oldest one firearm relic in Poland. L. Walkiewicz claims, that it was invented after a discover of the granular gunpowder (after 1410-1420). This hypothesis, even if it is probable, is difficult to prove, and thus the issue of the Kalisz weapon dating is still open.
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