Barrow cemetery in Guciów — site 4 (fifty four earthen mounds), Guciów
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

Barrow cemetery in Guciów — site 4 (fifty four earthen mounds)

Guciów

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The barrow cemetery contains the remains of a large settlement complex dating from the Early Middle Ages, which is one of the best preserved complexes of this type in Poland. The complex includes: a fortified settlement and open ancillary settlements adjacent to the fortified centre, and several barrow cemeteries (whose number currently ranges from several to over a hundred barrows), located mostly along the left bank of the Wieprz river. The site is a unique feature of the landscape of the Roztocze National Park and Roztocze.

Location and descripition

The cemetery in Guciów (site 4) is located approx. 1 m to the western end of the village of Guciów and approx. 350 m to the north of the Guciów to Obrocz road. It is situated on the high left alluvial terrace of the Wieprz river. It is sited in the state forest belonging to the Roztocze National Part, within forest divisions no. 185 and 186, at the location known as ‘Łomy’. It is located on both sides of a forest clearing to the north of the Guciów-Obrocz road. Due to additional legal protection the site and the immediate surroundings have been excluded from forest management. The cemetery occupies an area of approx. 5 ha and consists of fifty four mounds numbered 76 to 129,disorderly arranged in a cluster (except for mound no. 76, separated from other mounds by a distance of approx. 30 m to the north). The earthen structures of the mounds are roughly circular and oval in shape, and measure, on average, about 0.5-0,8 m in height and about 8 m in diameter. Researchers have not noted any severe levelling of the mounds, since the forest surroundings effectively protects the earthen structure against erosion by water or other natural agents, as well as any traces of activity of ‘treasure hunters’ in this area. The location of the barrows under consideration within the boundaries of the Roztocze National Park is conducive to their protection and protects them against unwanted interference with the historic structure of the site.

History

The barrow cemetery (site 4) which is located within the area of the current village of Guciów was functioning in the Early Middle Ages (8th c. - 9th c.). It was founded as one of several cemeteries in the vicinity of a dynamically functioning fortified settlement and open ancillary settlements adjacent to it.
The barrows in Guciów were recorded for the first time by Mikołaj Stworzyński in the early 19th century.

Condition and results of archaeology research

Exploratory investigations were carried out by J. Machnik and A. Kulczycka-Leciejewiczowa (Department of Archaeology of Lesser Poland of the Institute of History of Material Culture of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Kraków) in 1959. At that time, the researchers investigated a part of burial mound no. 99 at site 4 by excavating the site of two 0.7-metre-wide perpendicular diches reaching the centre of the mound, in the south-eastern quadrant (along the axis of the quadrant). The location and height plan of the site and preliminary inventory of the barrows were drawn up by J. Fellmann under the supervision of M. Drewki in 1955. Surface surveys of the site within the framework of the ‘Archaeological Picture of Poland’ project were carried out by H. Wróbel in 1983. Mound no.99 which has been partially investigated is situated almost in the central part of the cemetery, on the eastern site of the forest clearing. Prior to archaeological investigations the earthen structure of the barrow was 0.6-0.7 m in height. The base was circular in shape and was 6 m in diameter. During the investigations researchers determined the layering of the interior of the earthen structure of the mound and found that the barrow was surrounded by a ditch which was up to 0.7 m deep. An investigation of the coating of the earthen structure on the top of the mound and in the fill of the ditch running alongside the barrow revealed burned bones of the skeleton of an adult and fragments of ceramics originating from several vessels. Ceramic vessels were also found in the cremation layer. The interpretation of the findings from the investigations indicates that burial mound no. 99 contained a cremation burial on the surface of the mound with proper cremation performed outside the site of the mound. During the later surface surveys and ad-hoc reconnaissance investigations of the earthen structure of the mounds and the immediate surroundings did not reveal the presence of movable archaeological monuments.

Limited access to the monument. Viewing of the barrow cemetery is only possible by arrangement with the management of the Roztocze National Park.

Compiled by Ewa Prusicka-Kołcon, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Lublin, 16.08.2014.

 

Bibliography

  • Fellmann J., Pomiary grodzisk i cmentarzysk w Polsce. Metody geodezyjnej inwentaryzacji powierzchniowej, [in:] Metodyka naukowo-techniczna badań archeologicznych i antropologicznych, „Rozprawy Zespołu Badań nad Polskim Średniowieczem UW i PW” 1967, vol. 4, p. 29, 46-48, table XXVI-XXVII.
  • Gurba J., Orłowski R., Mikołaj Stworzyński - nieznany inwentaryzator grodzisk południowej Lubelszczyzny z początków XX w., „Wiadomości Archeologiczne” 1956, vol. 23, pp. 69-70.
  • Kaczanowski K., Analiza antropologiczna wczesnośredniowiecznych pochówków ciałopalnych z Guciowa, pow. Zamość, „Sprawozdania Archeologiczne” 1974, vol. 26, p. 183 et seq. Fellmann
  • Machnik J., Badania archeologiczne na Roztoczu Lubelskim w 1959 roku, „Sprawozdania
  • Archeologiczne” 1961, vol. 12, pp. 89, 95-99.
  • Nosek S., Materiały do badań nad historią starożytną i wczesnośredniowieczną międzyrzecza Wisły i Bugu, „Annales UMCS” 1951, vol. 6, sec. F, pp. 365, 380.
  • Pawlikowa B., Węgle drzewne z wczesnośredniowiecznych kurhanów ciałopalnych w Guciowie, pow. Zamość i Kornatce, pow. Myślenice, „Sprawozdania Archeologiczne” 1974, vol. 26, p. 192.
  • Zoll-Adamikowa H., Wczesnośredniowieczne cmentarzyska ciałopalne na terenie Polski, Wrocław 1975, part 1: Źródła, pp. 80-81.
  • Zoll-Adamikowa H., Wyniki wstępnych badań wczesnośredniowiecznego zespołu w Guciowie, „Sprawozdania Archeologiczne” 1974, vol. 26, pp. 115-126.

General information

  • Type: Barrow
  • Chronology: VIII-IX w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Guciów
  • Location: Voivodeship lubelskie, district zamojski, commune Zwierzyniec - obszar wiejski
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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