Barrow cemetery in Guciów — site 5 (one hundred one earthen mounds), Guciów
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

Barrow cemetery in Guciów — site 5 (one hundred one 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 description

The cemetery in Guciów (site 5) is located approx. 250 m to the north of the intersection of the Bondyrz to Obrocz road with the forest road to the village of Kosobudy. It is situated on both sides of the road, on a terrace of the right bank of the Wieprz river gently sloping towards the south-west. It is sited at the foot of the western slopes of Stokowa Góra in the part of the state forest known locally as ‘Stoki’ belonging to the Roztocze National Park, on forest plots no. 227 and 228 of the Kosobudy Forest District. Due to additional legal protection the site and the immediate surroundings have been excluded from forest management. The cemetery consists of one hundred one mounds numbered 130 to 230 and occupies and area of about 5 ha. Their earthen structures are roughly circular in shape, and measure, on average, about 0.5-0,7 m in height and about 7-8 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 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 5) which is located within the area of the current village of Guciów was functioning in the Early Middle Ages (7th c. - 8th 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 archaeological 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, researchers investigated a part of burial mound no. 161 at site 5 by excavating an elongated 0.7-wide ditch along the northwest - southeast axis (approximately). In 1972, the archaeological investigation of burial mound no. 161 were continued by H. Zoll-Adamikowa and S. Alfawicka (Department of Archaeology of Lesser Poland of the Institute of History of Material Culture of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Kraków) by exploring the western quadrant and part of the eastern quadrant. The location and height plan of the site and preliminary inventory of the barrows were drawn up by J. Fellmann in 1972. Surface surveys of the site within the framework of the ‘Archaeological Picture of Poland’ project were carried out by H. Wróbel in 1983. Burial mound no. 161 which has been partially investigated before commencement of archaeological works was circular in shape, slightly more flattened from the west and south, and 7-8 m in diameter and 0.7-1 m in height. During the investigations researchers determined the layering of the interior of the earthen structure of the mound and found a pit alongside the burial mound from the north and north-east side. An investigation of the cremation layer of the burrow revealed elongated obscurations (traces of beams?) and three circular stains (pillars?), probably the remains of an unspecified structure on the perimeter of the original grave with a large amount of secondarily burned ceramics and charred pine chips. A large concentration of burned bones was recorded directly under the humus, mainly in the fill of the ditch running alongside the burial mound, only a small number at the top and on the slopes of the western and eastern quadrant. Movable materials obtained from investigations of the site included pieces of burned ceramics from at least four vessels (additional vessels as vessels with food) and an irregular iron rod. The interpretation of the findings from the investigations indicates that burial mound no. 161 contained a cremation burial(s) 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, 15.08.2014.

 

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.
  • 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. 86-89.
  • Zoll-Adamikowa H., Wyniki wstępnych badań wczesnośredniowiecznego zespołu w Guciowie, „Sprawozdania Archeologiczne” 1974, vol. 26, pp. 115-126.

General information

  • Type: Barrow
  • Chronology: VII-VIII 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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