Project title: Changes in the funeral rite in the Bronze Age and the Early Iron Age as an expression of socio-cultural changes in the south-western Poland
Project No: 2014/15/B/HS3/2463
Project lead: prof. zw. dr hab. Bogusław Gediga
Project lead, institutional: Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology of the Polish Academy of Sciences
Project financing:National Science Center, 2014-2016
phone (22) 620-28-81 do 86
Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology of the Polish Academy of Sciences
1. Research project objectives/ Research hypothesis
The basic aim of project is to present changes taking place in the burial rite in period from the Middle Bronze Age up to the Early Iron Age in the south-western Poland. The base for the research will be primarily results obtained at the cemetery in Domasław 10/11/12, distr. Wrocław. On this necropolis was excavated over 2100 burial objects, showing multiple changes in funeral customs for over 800 years of bury the deceased by the community living in the neighborhood. Among the issues that will be the subject of research is the question about the reasons for so long uses of cemetery, especially that from the Early Iron Age is emerging essential change in the culture ofthe community, which may suggest even some demographic changes. On this background, the analyzing of changes in funeral rites is the most important aspect in this culture. It will be necessary to develop the periodisation of the observed cultural changes, especially in the phase when the Silesia region can be defined as a regional province of Hallstatt culture (Gediga 2010). For its implementation it will be important to obtain more absolute dates. Image of cultural changes, particularly manifested in the rites of burial, will be correlate with similar events in the Greater Poland, Bohemia, Moravia, Austria and south of Germany.
2. Research project methodology
Phases ofusing the cemetery will be distinguish on the basis ofthe observed changes taking place over the centuries, what is visible in the burial customs. In order to capture dependencies, which influenced to those changes, the analysis of grave forms, their internal structures and grave goods will be made. It will be correlated with formal and stylistic analysis of artifacts and their distribution. These studies will be made using a database and GIS tools, what allow to perform complex analysis of structures and processes in the cemetery and to determine the time-space relationship between the graves and their components. In order to obtain a large number of absolute dates the radiocarbon and thermoluminescence analysis will be carried out for selected ceramics artifacts and bones from distinguished phases of cemetery. In this way it will be possible to build a periodisation system of the Domasław cemetery and confirm previously observed cultural changes. The results will be related to the cultural situation on the sites from neighboring areas and will help answer if the rhythm of changes observed in Domasław is reflected in archaeological sitesthat are part of a larger zone of Hallstatt culture.
3. Expected impact of the research project on the development of science, civilization and society
For the first time on such a large scale it will be taken an attempt to recognize influences which have arrived to the south¬western part of Poland and became a catalyst for broader cultural changes, especially in the burial rites. Important for the study of the Bronze and Early Iron Age, will be acquiring the means to create a periodisation system for the cemetery. This is possible only for broad-scale excavated archaeological sites, like Domasław, what's allowed to show large, chronologically different areas. This situation allows for the existence of significant number of absolute dates that can be analyzed aimed at the creation of periodisation. In view of the increase number of sources and new methods for determining the absolute chronology, it becomes possible to verify and create the foundation for the construction of a local scheme of periodisation. Issues of periodisation are one of the most important demands of archeology, especially for the Bronze and Early Iron Age. Individual results will be presented at international conferences (XVth IC Popelnicová pole a doba halstatská, 23rd Annual Meeting of the EAA), published in prestigious publications (Radiocarbon, Przegląd Archeologiczny). All results will be issued in the form ofbook in Polish with abstracts in English. In this way they will be introduced to scientific knowledge, what will allow for a review of perception this part of prehistory and influence the effectiveness of further study.