2009-2010 | Tom VIII (XLIX), fasc. B | 169-173
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Brudnice, woj. mazowieckie. Badania w latach 2009-2010

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The cemetery in Brudnice was discovered in 2003. In the same year a brief reconnaissance examination was carried out, which confirmed the existence of the Przeworsk Culture necropolis. The discovered cemetery is situated in the area of a putative settlement void which extends from the city Mława to the River Drwęca; furthermore, it was strongly disturbed by a sand and gravel pit. The author therefore decided to start excavation works, which have continued uninterruptedly since 2004. In 2006, apart from the Przeworsk Culture graves, also the Wielbark Culture graves were discovered for the first time. In 2009-2010 works were conducted in the southern part of the necropolis, which was occupied by features of the Wielbark Culture. In each season a stripe was uncovered which was 10 m wide along the N-S axis and 60 m long along the W-E axis. 40 archaeological features were discovered in the area which was uncovered in 2009, and 70 were found in 2010. These were mainly cremation pit graves. Features containing pottery were rare. Apart from that, 7 skeleton graves were uncovered. These features were located in two parts of the necropolis, i.e., the central and the eastern ones. The depth of particular features varied considerably and it oscillated between 8 and 70 cm. A various degree of preservation of the features, and first of all their various depths clearly demonstrate the enormous destruction of the cemetery. It resulted both from years-long activity of the local State Agricultural Farm (PGR) and from much more dangerous deep ploughing in prepration of the area for a young forest, which now neighbours the necropolis. Traces of ploughing can be seen in the tops of numerous cremation features, which were considerably disturbed by it. In spite of the fact that the cemetery was considerably destroyed, it yields invaluable data on the first centuries AD in Northern Masovia. This is especially true for Features 279 and 282, which are considerably different from other ones with regard to their furnishings. Attention is especially drawn to Feature 282, where a complete skeleton and numerous finds survived in almost perfect condition. The preserved cranium allowed for a reconstruction of a putative appearance of the deceased woman. Fragments of garments which survived at bronze ornaments may be invaluable help in an attempt at reconstructing her dress. The preserved cloth suggests that the buried person was covered with a mantle or wrapped in a shroud, apart from her ordinary dress. The dead was additionally covered with bark, which is undoubtedly demonstrated by its preserved fragments. Furnishings of other skeleton graves is of equal interest. Based on them, we can date the graves to the Migration Period, even to the 2nd quarter of the 5th c. AD. The Brudnice necropolis is therefore not only an extremely significant site with regard to learning about the changes in Northern Masovia at the turn of the 2nd and the 3rd c. AD, when intensive Eastern Przeworsk settlement declined in favour of the incomers from the north (the Goths). It also sheds completely new light on the decline of this cultural cycle in the Migration Period. This is on the one hand a very turbulent period. On the other hand, it is extremely interesting and still practically unexamined in this part of Barbaricum.
  • GODŁOWSKI, K., 1985 Przemiany kulturowe i osadnicze w południowej i środkowej Polsce w młodszym okresie przedrzymskim i okresie rzymskim, Polska Akademia Nauk - Oddział w Krakowie, Prace Komisji Archeologicznej 23, Wrocław- -Warszawa-Kraków-Gdańsk-Łódź 1985.
  • SZELA, A., 2002, Ratownicze badania wykopaliskowe na stanowisku 5 w Brudnicach powiat żuromiński, Swiatowit Supplement Series B: Barbaricum 7, Warszawa, 295-304.
  • SZELA, A., 2009 Badania i pytania. Problemy związane z Mazowszem Północnym w pierwszych wiekach naszej ery, (w:) B. Kaim (red.), Blisko i daleko. Księga Jubileuszowa Instytutu Archeologii uniwersytetu Warszawskiego, Warszawa, 47-54.
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