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7 November 2013
Cemetery dating back more than 2500 years studied in Poland

A large Lusatian culture community cemetery from the late Bronze and Early Iron Age has been excavated by archaeologists near Wagrowiec.
     Head of research Marcin Krzepkowski says the team studied 151 graves, which contained cremated ashes of the dead. Remains were usually placed in urns, and the urns covered with bowls. In addition, grave pits typically contain a dozen or so other vessels. In a few cases, their number reached 40. The deceased also received bronze ornaments and tools for which the culture is famous - mostly sickles and razors.
     Graves of the youngest children contained miniature vessels and clay rattles. In one archaeologists found a spoon with a handle finished with a stylised head of a bird, and in another a richly decorated bowl with a figure in the shape of a bird inside.
     "A quite unique discovery in this part of the Poland is a small rectangular clay object, associated with the cult of hearth and home - a so-called 'moon idol'. Such objects are usually found in Silesian cemeteries, mostly from the area of Wroclaw", said the archaeologist.
     The Lusatian culture lived in the basin of the Vistula and Oder rivers, as well in today's Saxony, Brandenburg, northern Czech Republic and Lusatia. They were mainly farmers, also breeding cattle, pigs and goats. At the beginning of the Iron Age, in addition to open settlements there were castle towns, considered tribal centres or places of refuge.

Edited from PAP - Science and Scholarship in Poland (31 October 2013)

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