Próba interpretacji grobów wyposażonych w podwójne uzbrojenie na ziemiach polskich w młodszym okresie przedrzymskim i w okresie wpływów rzymskich
An attempt to interpretation graves furnished with double weaponry in Poland in pre-roman and roman period
Languages of publication
Problem of graves furnished with double weaponry is treated in subject literature as a marginal issue. A big growth of sources related to military equipment from cemeteries of Przeworsk and Oksywie cultures exposed that among objects furnished with conventional set of weapons composed of swords, shield elements, spearheads or spurs, appear also atypical graves which contain two sets of weaponry, used in the same way in battle. Reappraisal of sources let also include well-known ensembles which were regard so far as chronologically incoherent and mixed. Chronology analysis proved that most of these graves equipment is specific to one phase, therefore there’s no basis to consider these ensembles as mixed, composed of items from two different graves. Occasionally the second weapon exhibits a small chronological differentiation in relation to the rest of furnishings. This difference limits to the short period of time, often in the timeframe of one phase or transition period, predating insignificantly the chronology of whole ensemble. This small incompatibility can indicate that one weapon (sword, shield boss) was obtained earlier, but by the same person or relatives. There are different interpretations of this phenomenon. One piece of weapon could be used in battle and the second one could be a heirloom, received during initiation ceremony of young warrior, spare weapon or war trophy. Graves furnished with double weaponry in Poland could be dated in the broad time framework between phases A1/A2 of the Pre-Roman period and phase C1b of the Roman Period. The largest percentage of these graves is dated to transition period A3/B1. This is the time of dynamic changes in Barbaricum, time of increased activity of Roman merchants and many military conflicts between Rome and Barbarians. There’s a strong possibility that duplicated weapon together with imports from Celtic and Roman territories (La Tène swords in scabbards with plates decorated in opus interrasile technique, Roman swords decorated with incrustation, bronze vessels) epitomize all of these processes. Warriors buried with double weaponry and imported items wanted to demonstrate their high social status and bravery in combat. Perhaps they were actually local chiefs or leaders of Germanic tribes. The idea of Waffenbrüder or brothers-in-arms seems to be less possible in case of Przeworsk and Oksywie cultures. A few anthropological analysis at our disposal indicate burial of one person. Similar graves with multiplied weaponry, furnished with two, three or four sets of weapons, discovered in Gaul or territory of Eastern Celts are characterized by another cultural specificity. Because of direct neighbourhood of Mediterranean world, it’s highly possible that Celtic people absorbed some myths and twin heroes ethics known in Greece, Rome and Etruria. Graves with double weaponry from Polish lands resemble better similar graves from Germanic circle, for example from Scandinavia and should be consider in the economic and social key. In my opinion inventory consisted of double weaponry emphasized unprecedented battle bravery and high social status of deceased warrior.
Publication order reference