Początki metody magnetycznej w polskich badaniach archeologicznych
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THE BEGINNINGS OF MAGNETIC PROSPECTION IN POLISH ARCHAEOLOGY
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The article presents pioneering work in the field of magnetic prospection of archaeological sites in Poland, focused on the contribution of two centers, active in 1960s: on one hand, the Mining and Metallurgy Academy (Polish acronym: AGH) and the Archaeological Museum in Kraków, and on the other hand, a group of researchers from the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw, comprising workers of the Institute of the History of Material Culture and the Geophysics Department. The Kraków center, which formed around M.Radwan and K.Bielenin, had been investigating metallurgy sites from the Roman influence period in the Holy Cross Mountains since 1955. Chemical analyses of slag from furnaces revealed considerable iron content creating a strong magnetic field. Following positive results of both lab and field tests, a survey was conducted on 19–21 April 1961 on site 4 in Nowa Słupia, by J. Kowalczuk and T. Stopka, with a use of magnetic balances. This date marks the absolute beginning of the application of magnetic method in archaeological research in Poland. An area of anomalous values of magnetic field intensity was distinguished, archaeological testing to verify these results demonstrated that its extent coincided with the area occupied by furnaces. The method proved to be indispensable for investigating traces of ancient metallurgy and the project established a standard that was applied during next decade at other metallurgical sites in the Holy Cross Mountains. The researchers were aware of the electrical resistivity method being used to investigate archaeological sites, but believed that their idea of using the magnetic method for research in the field of archaeology had not been put forward before. The Warsaw group, which revolved around K. Dąbrowski, went beyond a single type of site (like the metallurgical sites investigated by the Kraków group) to test the effectiveness of the magnetic method on different kinds of settlement sites and cemeteries. Research was conducted on sites in the Kalisz region, first with magnetic balances and then with a proton magnetometer (the latter operated by R.E. Linington of Lerici Foundation in Italy). Surveys were tested immediately by excavation. The measurements were initiated by W. Stopiński in the summer of 1961, using a magnetic balance at a cremation burial ground from the period of Roman influences in Wesółki. The method proved useful in locating iron objects in the grave goods and pits containing fill composed of dark soil, stones and fragmented pottery. The latter observation suggested that the method could find application in the surveying of open settlements. A proton magnetometer was tested in Jarantów, Zagórzyn and Piwonice. Despite such promising beginnings, the use of magnetic methods in the late 60s became sporadic in Poland for a period of nearly three decades. The Kraków centre has completed research of metallurgical sites at Holy Cross Mountains in 1968 (only in the mid-1970s made a magnetic survey of analogous sites discovered near Warsaw), Dąbrowski of the Warsaw group - prolific as regards publishing results of his surveys in leading journals of this time (Archaeometry, Prospezioni Archeologiche) - gave up the geophysical research in the late 1960s.
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