Re: Some new info on Przeworsk 1rst c. BCE inhumations

From: Torsten
Message: 66359
Date: 2010-07-22

--- In, george knysh <gknysh@...> wrote:
> The general point remains that these are quite rare, appear in areas
> of prior known Celtic settlement (but subsequently to the "local"
> Celts having switched to cremation burials), and reflect "Celtic
> religious tradition" (J. Kostrzewski). The Celts are known to have
> compactly inhabited three areas of Poland: near Wroclaw, in Upper
> Silesia, and around and about Cracow. The Przeworsk culture
> inhumations were first discovered in the Wroclaw enclave. Now we
> have some interesting material from the upper Vistula (at Pelczyska
> on the Nida, near Cracow), part of the so-called Tyniec group.
> Cf.
> Marcin Rudnicki writes as follows about Pelczyska:
> "The largest number of finds from site 6 is associated with the
> gravefield of the Przeworsk Culture people, set up over the site of
> older cemeteries during the 1st c. BC. Burials from this period
> discovered at Pełczyska are a reflection of the complex culture
> situation of the period (Tyniec Group). A definite majority are
> cremation burials, within pits, with no traces of the pyre (‘pure’),
> reminiscent of grave forms of ‘Silesian’ type. The first urned
> graves - very few - come on record only during the second half of AD
> 1st c. (phase B1b). Next to ‘ordinary’ pit graves, the cemetery at
> Pełczyska harboured a peculiar grave deposit - a ‘ditch feature’ -
> on a rectangular plan, 6 by 6 m, datable to phase A3 (LT D2). This
> type of grave is known from other sites in the region and its
> presence at Pełczyska is interpreted as the result of Celtic
> influence on burial rite in Przeworsk Culture. Truly exceptional are
> two inhumation burials the only such deposits from the Pre-Roman
> Period known from this region of Poland. The complex issues of the
> origin of inhumation on Przeworsk Culture territory and of the
> origin of the woman buried in the grave at Pełczyska, are
> discussed in a separate publication (Rudnicki 2005)."
> This separate publication is:
> "A Late La Tène inhumation grave from Pełczyska: Comments on the
> cultural situation in the upland area of Little Poland (with
> analysis of anatomical remains by Karol Piasecki), [w:] H.
> Dobrzańska, V. Megaw, P. Poleska (red.), Celts on the margin.
> Studies in European cultural interaction VIIth cent. BC - I cent.
> AD. dedicated to Zenon Woźniak, Kraków 2005, 195-206."
> I don't have access to this item here. It seems to me that Rudnicki
> would be arguing for Celtic influence here also, and that the
> incomers were from areas close to the Alpine Roman border where
> inhumation was still practiced among the Celts at that time (but one
> would obviously need to read the work).

And further, ibd:
'Presumably somewhere at the end of the first half of the 1st c. BC the settlement at Pełczyska, like the entire area of the loess highland of Western Małopolska, experienced a major culture change presumably as a result of a population shift. The main centre of gravity of Celtic settlement shifted to the region of Kraków, although the lands on the Nida, dominated from this time by the people of Przeworsk Culture, continued under its strong impact. In the archaeological classification developed for the region by Z. Woźniak, these new developments are described as phase III of Tyniec Group. An evident reflection of this transition are archaeological finds from the first century BC. They indicate a certain regression in civilisation in comparison to the preceding period. Pottery is no longer produced at Pełczyska. Barring a modest number of sherds from wheel-thrown (painted) vessels from Celtic pottery workshops in the region of Kraków, most of the pottery is hand-built. Dwellings structures are different and changes in ideology are suggested by the new custom of dog burial. Differently from the Celts the new settlers practiced a form of burial which does not escape detection by archaeological methods. It is interesting that the cemetery of this new people occupied the very same hilltop which was used as a gravefield during the Neolithic and the Bronze Age. (site 6).

Imported fibula from the settlement
The settlement of the Przeworsk Culture people continued during the entire Roman Period, until the Migrations Period. It flourished throughout the Early and Late Roman Period - the level of development, prosperity and prestige of its inhabitants was similar to that of the Celts of old. High fortunes of the settlement, which it probably owed to its favourable position on the trade routes, are documented by numerous imports from the area of the Roman Empire, ie, great many Roman coins, fragments of Roman glasses and terra sigillata, imported fibulae and also, 2 glass game counters (calculi) and a bronze Roman spur - the only of its kind recorded in Poland. Equally striking are exquisitely wrought ornaments of local make - fibulae decorated in silver and gold, a silver buckle from a horse harness, or a gold axe head pendant from AD 4th c. Starting from AD 2nd c., the settlement once again had its own pottery workshop which turned out high quality wheel-thrown wares (the ‘blue’ ceramics).'

Peschel, Anfänge germanischer Besiedlung in Mittelgebirgsraum, makes the same observation that wheel-thrown ware of the previous Celtic civilization disappears with the incoming Germani.

'Die elbgermanische Welle, die sich hier im engeren Siedlungsraum so
eindrucksvoll abhebt, zeigt überall im Expansions- und Einflußbereich
ähnliche unverwechselbar gemeinsame Züge. Man kann von einem neuen, nach seiner Art wiederum einheitlichen Formgefühl sprechen, welches an die Stelle des keltischen kulturellen Übergewichts getreten ist, sollte dabei aber beachten, daß der Bruch mit der Tradition im örtlichen Produktionsgefüge nicht etwa von einem Verlust der handwerklichen Fertigkeiten - die Großromstedter Situla ist ein Erzeugnis, das hohes handwerkliches Können verlangt -, als vielmehr von Einbußen auf dem Gebiet der technischen Verfahren und Hilfsmittel, insbesondere derjenigen Möglichkeiten begleitet wird, die vorher eine potentielle und tatsächliche Steigerung der wirtschaftlichen Leistung eingeschlossen haben. Es ist nicht allein an den Verzicht auf Töpferscheibe und Drehscheibenkeramik zu denken. Betroffen waren auch die Ansätze zur Serienfertigung, die sich, wie aus den früheren Darlegungen hervorgeht, etwa auf dem Gebiet der Metallverarbeitung herausgebildet hatten. Allerdings macht die Keramik als das einzige in Masse überlieferte Erzeugnis den Vorgang besonders einprägsam sichtbar. Auf der anderen Seite wäre es ein Fehler, dem Rückfall in scheinbar teilweise überwundene Techniken und in aus ihrer Anwendung abgeleitete Verhaltensweisen allzugroßes Gewicht für die Form des Zusammenlebens der neuen Gemeinschaften beizumessen. Es mag genügen, den Blick auf Böhmen, den längeren Konnex mit keltischer Kultur dort während der Expansionsphase und den noch zu behandelnden "norischen" Kultureinfluß zu lenken. Denn bei solcher Sicht wird deutlich, daß der elbgermanische Vorstoß nach Süden trotz unbestreitbar hoher kriegerischer Potenz keineswegs als folgenreicher wirtschaftlicher und gesellschaftlicher Atavismus vereinfacht werden darf.'

"The Elbe-Germanic wave, which stands out so impressively here in the near settlement area, exhibits everywhere in the area of expansion and influence similarly unmistakably common features. One might speak of a new and in its own way unitary form sense replacing the Celtic cultural dominance, taking into consideration, however, that the break with tradition in the local production structure isn't accompanied by a loss of professional skills - the Großromstedt situla is a product demanding high technical ability - but rather by a loss in the field of technical processes and tools, in particular those which earlier included a potential and actual increase of the output. One shouldn't only consider the abandonment of the potter's wheel and wheel-thrown ware. Also those beginnings of mass production were affected, which, as discussed earlier, had formed in the field of metal processing. Admittedly, pottery as the only masswise surviving evidence makes the process particularly evident. On the other hand it would be a mistake to lend too much weight for the shape of social life in the new communities to the relapse to seemingly partly outdated techniques and behaviours derived from using them. It will suffice to take a look at Bohemia, its longer connection with Celtic culture there during the expansion phase and the still unresearched 'Norican' cultural influence. By such a view it becomes clear that the Elbe Germanic advance towards the south in spite of its strong capabilty for warfare should in no way be simplified to a momentous economical and social atavism."

Peschel's whole argument hinges on the Germanic situlas being made by the Germani. If they are Roman imports, the whole Germanic expansion under Ariovistus becomes exactly that, a 'momentous economical and social atavism'.