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Abstract

Archaeological research on the Hanseatic towns established in the Middle Ages in the Baltic region has been conducted on a large scale since the 1980’s. Discoveries made since then allow to formulate a thesis about the cultural unity among the inhabitants of towns situated on the South Baltic coast between the 13th and 15th centuries. Based on selected instances of the urban culture, widely discussed in archaeological sources, the paper is an attempt to prove that a number of similarities can be revealed in various spheres of life led by the inhabitants of towns located in the Baltic region, often situated far away from one another. The analysis covered the following aspects: architecture – quoting the example of tenements with entrance halls which in the 14th century became a common element of the cultural landscape in towns located in the Baltic region; pottery – quoting the example of popular in this part of Europe stoneware and red glazed jugs; and, last but not least, devotional objects – quoting the example of pilgrim badges that revealed evident preferences demonstrated by the pilgrims as to their pilgrimage destinations, paying special attention to supra-regional sanctuaries located in German-speaking area, particularly on the Rhine and the Moza rivers.
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Abstract

In 2015 and 2016, a reconnaissance study have been performed on a fortified hillfort in Lipnik, located between Sandomierz and Opatów, which had been discovered in 2015. Neither remnants of the buildings nor the presence of a cultural layer that could indicate permanent, or at least longer residence, have been found on the hillfort. Apart from the ceramics, a series of metal objects were found on the hillfort: silver beads, fragment of silver earring with ‘grape’ pendant, bronze rings, silver and bronze applications of leather straps, strap-ends, pendants and buckles from harness or saddlebags, iron and lead weights, iron arrowheads. Some of the metal artefacts have distinct analogies in Hungarian materials from 10th–11th century. Similar to the materials from a nearby settlement in Kaczyce, they indicate the possibility that groups or units of Hungarian origin that followed nomadic traditions had been staying in the vicinity of Sandomierz between the second half of 10th and the first half of 11th century. They might had been warriors serving in one of the Piast princes, captives brought by Bolesław I the Brave or merchants participating in international trade.
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Abstract

The hillfort Bojná I–Valy is a part of an early medieval fortification system located in the Považský Inovec mountain range that separates two densely populated settlement areas of Slovakia — namely the valleys of the Nitra and Váh rivers. Judging by the abundance of finds, in the 9th century the 12 hectare hillfort was a prominent seat of social elites. A bronze bell, a collection of gilded figural plaques as well as further symbols substantiate Christian affiliation of the community. The core of the monumental ramparts consists of log chambers with inner grates filled with soil and stones. From the front side, it was protected by a stone shell. Pincer gates had inwardly extended arms and a tower entrance in the front part of the corridor. According to the dendrochronological data, the fortification was erected in the last decade of the 9th century and shortly afterwards destroyed by a fire. Excavations of the bottom part of the ramparts confirmed, however, the presence of remains of an older construction. In this area, there are also four further hillforts providing finds dated back to the Early Middle Ages. At least one of them (Bojná II) was also destroyed by a fire at the end of the 9th century or in the 10th century.
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Abstract

On the Transylvanian territory 19 axes have been recorded that date to different times during the 7th and 8th c. AD, and which create a chronological sequence that will be shown in the text below. These 19 artefacts were retrieved from: 6 cemeteries — 10 finds; 1 military guard post / observation post for the surveillance of the area — 1 find; a settlement / house — 1 find; and discovered as stray finds: at 3 specified sites — 4 finds, within the territory of the county — 3 finds. The shape of the artefacts is the main criterion used to develop the typological groups of axes found in the Transylvanian plateau. Accordingly, five main types have been defined: 1st type — Axe with a poll, hammer type; 2nd type — Axe with a long poll in the shape of a rectangular bar; 3rd type — Axe with a fan-shaped blade and a long poll in the shape of a rectangular bar; 4th type — Axe with a round poll; 5th type — pole-axe. Taking into consideration the contexts of the discoveries and known analogies, these axes can be dated to different points in time creating a chronological sequence spanning over the 7th and 8th centuries. Most of the axes dated from the 7th and 8th centuries in Transylvania were found in warrior graves or funerary contexts, or together with other weapons, thus providing grounds for their inclusion within the category of weapons. This fact, combined with the series of typological features, allows to include these artifacts in the category of battle axes.
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Abstract

An Arpadian age (10th–11th c.) burial ground was unearthed on the plateau of Oberleiserberg along with features and findings from several other periods. It was first discovered during the excavation led by Herbert Mitscha-Märheim and Ernst Nischer-Falkenhof in the 1920s and 30s. In the 1970s and 80s the site was archaeologically investigated by Herwig Friesinger and his team. During these archaeological campaigns 71 additional graves were found. The multidisciplinary analyses of the medieval findings and features as well as the human remains unearthed on Oberleiserberg are part of the international project Frontier, Contact Zone or No Man’s Land — The Morava- Thaya Region from the Early to the High Medieval Ages (I 1911 G21, led by Stefan Eichert and Jiří Macháček funded by FWF (Austrian Science Fund) and GAČR (Czech Science Foundation). The early and high medieval findings indicate contact of the entombed population with nonnative peoples, possibly reaching as far as the Baltic Sea. Anthropological analysis of the excavated skeletons shows us more about the everyday life of the people buried here and together with isotopic analysis of the human remains, conclusions about their living conditions are possible.
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Abstract

The eminent French historian Fernand Barudel pointed out in his works about the Med that one would need for understanding of activites of an individual a wide context created by the social space and environment in which the main hero tends to live in. For Braudel became Philippe 2nd only a pretence to analyse the whole civilisation of the Medin his times. This context can be employed on the man of letters, a loner, spending the most of his life in his astronomical observatory – Nicolaus Copernicus. Unquestionably, the social environment of Thorn exerted the biggest influence on the formation of the young Copernicus. The city was located on the lower Vistula, on the boarder of the state of Teutonic Knights and Poland, with strong relationships with Silesia, Cracow and Hansa and over Hansa with Northern Europe. This location created extraordinary circumstances for the formation of the one of the biggest intellects of his times. This cultural mosaic was the native environment of Nicolaus Copernicus, a German- speaking Pole, on the maternal side a descendant of immigrants from Westphalia, on the paternal side of Silesian Copernicus-family with Slavic roots, from his birth to his death the faithful subject of the Polish kings.
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Abstract

The purpose of the piece The Strategikon as a source — Slavs and Avars in the eyes of Pseudo- Maurice, current state of research and future research perspectives is to demonstrate what the author of Strategikon knew about the Slavs and Avars and review the state of research on the chapter of the treatise that deals with these two barbarian ethnicities. As a side note to the description of contemporary studies of Strategikon, the piece also lists promising areas of research, which have not yet received proper attention from scholars.
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Abstract

Tribal fragments of the Cumans, a people of the Eurasian steppe region, appeared in the medieval kingdom of Hungary in the early 13th century, on the eve of the Mongol Invasion. Many of them permanently settled in the Great Hungarian Plain, and their community had to undergo profound transformations both in terms of social and economic strategies. Mobile pastoralism, often associated with the Cuman communities of the steppe, was definitely impossible in their new homeland. However, animal husbandry remained the most important economic activity in this part of the Carpathian Basin in the centuries after the Cumans’ arrival. This paper provides a case study on the region called Greater Cumania in the Great Hungarian Plain, and especially on one Cuman village, Orgondaszentmiklós, where 14th–16th-century habitation layers were brought to light. Archaeological and written evidence for animal husbandry is analyzed in order to establish patterns of integration or specialization in terms of animal herding. The results show that although some preferences that may have been rooted in steppe tradition were retained, the main factor in economic orientation was the position in the settlement network and the connection to markets. Swine keeping, a tradition virtually non-existent in the steppe area, was adapted relatively quickly as a response to available natural resources (marshlands) in the area. It seems, on the other hand, that horses preserved their high social value and their flesh was also consumed.
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