Wędzidło z Browiny, pow. toruński. Kolejny na ziemiach polskich ślad wschodniego oporządzenia jeździeckiego z wczesnej epoki żelaza
The horse bit from Browina, Toruń district. Another trace of eastern equestrian equipment from the early Iron Age in Poland
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The presented fragment of a metal horse bit was accidentally discovered during agricultural works carried out in Browina, Toruń district. Currently, it is impossible to associate this find with a specific archaeological site, but it can be assumed that this object (as a complete one) appeared in the early Iron Age in the local environment of the Lusatian culture, in the so-called ‘Grzywna’ microregion, one of a dozen or so, which together form the settlement space of the ‘Chełmża and Kamionki trough’ mesoregion. The discovered artefact should be associated with type of the so-called common horse bit, singly bent, originally consisting of two almost identical elements (slightly arched shafts) intertwined with smaller holes (loop links). The aforementioned horse bit rings were connected with the rest of the bridle. Only two similar metal horse bits are known from the territory of Poland. One, completely preserved, comes from the defensive settlement of the Lusatian culture in Gzin, Bydgoszcz district, while the second one, similarly incomplete as the specimen from Browina, was accidentally found in Gródek, Hrubieszów district. All three, due to the contexts of their occurrence and the available analogies, are associated with the steppe or forest steppe production of eastern European environments. The analysis of the chemical composition shows that the Browina horse bit is made of brass, i.e. copper alloy with a clear, intentional admixture of zinc. In the local cultural and settlement environment, a similar material was found in the zoomorphic pommel of a Scythian dagger (acinaces) from Płonczynek, Lipno district. The formal resemblance of the latter to a specimen found long ago in Bodzanowo, Radziejów district is clear. Based on the assessment of the zoomorphic style of these two items, their west Siberian origin is assumed. However, bearing in mind the noticeable presence in the Bydgoszcz-Toruń bend of the Vistula River (in Kuyavia and Chełmno-Dobrzyń Lake District) of various artefacts of similar, eastern provenance (bronze and iron militaria and jewellery, but also pottery), some of these product categories can be currently considered as products which could have been produced locally (apart from pottery, also some groups of bronze objects, e.g. trilobe arrowheads). Therefore, it is justified to further explore the problem of assessing the scope of adaptation of cultural patterns, alien to the ‘Lusatian’ environment in the early Iron Age. To date, as a rule, there has been a tendency to interpret these finds as traces of military actions of Scythian groups penetrating the area of southern Poland and reaching the aforementioned bend of the Vistula River. The complexity of the problem is therefore large, and it undoubtedly requires further archaeological and archaeometallurgical research. Nevertheless, it may be much better exposed in the near future, because after publication of the expected results of the prospection conducted within the so-called Chotyniec agglomeration, it will be possible to gain access to new source data, showing the scope and direction of the transmission of eastern cultural patterns.
- Uniwersytet Mikołaja Kopernika, Instytut Archeologii UMK, Katedra Prahistorii, ul. Szosa Bydgoska 44/48, 87-100 Toruń
- Akademia Górniczo-Hutnicza w Krakowie, Wydział Odlewnictwa, Centrum Badań Nawarstwień Historycznych, ul. Reymonta 23, 30-059 Kraków
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