Barrow burial grounds, Jarosławiec
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

Barrow burial grounds

Jarosławiec

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An early medieval barrow cemetery, one of the best-preserved sites of its kind anywhere in Poland. The site is a unique feature in the landscape of the Hrubieszów valley.

Location and description

The barrow cemetery is located approximately 1.5 kilometres to the north-east of the Jarosławiec village, on a small hill surrounded by the waterlogged, swampy valley of a small, nameless stream. The burial ground is located on plots of land carrying numbers 832 and 833 which form the property of the State Forests Holding (Strzelce Forest District, Jarosławiec sub-district).

The burial ground consists of 19 barrows of varying size, arranged in a single, irregular line about 200 metres in length. The burial mounds form a total of four distinct clusters. These clusters are separated from one another by small, empty spaces. The mounds feature an oval - almost circular - outline and are from 6 to 10 metres in diameter and from 0.5 to 1 metres in height. The burial mounds are believed to contain the cremated remains of people buried there in the early Middle Ages.

History

The barrow cemetery located in the area which today forms part of the village of Jarosławiec originates from the early Middle Ages (8th - 10th century).

The barrow cemetery in Jarosławiec was first mentioned in the literature on the subject by Stefan Nosek in 1957. The author has stated that during the 1950s, the height of the mounds was between 0.8 and 1.5 metres, while their diameter was from 4 to 5 metres. Today, most of the burial mounds are slightly smaller than that. No traces of fresh pits dug by grave robbers have been found on the site, although there are signs of much older, relatively small excavations made on three of the mounds in the past. The site of the burial ground is overgrown by a mixed forest which protects the substance of the site against rapid degradation.

Condition and results of archaeological research

Archaeological research on the site was carried out in 1959 under the direction of Zygmunt Ślusarski from the Lublin Museum. The survey only covered a single burial mound (barrow no. 9). The structure was examined only in part, with a single excavation in the middle thereof being made, its dimensions being 1 x 3 metres. Surface surveys of the site within the framework of the ‘Archaeological Picture of Poland’ project were carried out in 1997 by Wiesław Koman. An inventory of measurements of the burial mounds was prepared by Józef Niedźwiedź and Adam Medak in 1987.

In the course of examination of the barrow no. 9, traces of cremated human remains have been found; other findings included early medieval pottery as well as neolithic pottery, the traces of the latter having been discovered in the earthen structure of the barrow. Research shows that the burial ground was founded on the site of a neolithic settlement, with the burial mound examined being an earthen barrow of the Lipsko type, its characteristic features being the relatively small size of the mound and the fact that the burial was performed by placing an urn filled with the ashes of a cremated human body on the top of the tumulus.

Later on, during the “Archaeological Picture of Poland” research programme, a single, burned-out fragment of an early medieval vessel has been discovered inside the burial mound no. 17.

Accessible historic site.

compiled by Ewa Prusicka, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Lublin, 12-04-2015.

Bibliography

  • Nosek S., Materiały do badań nad historią starożytną i wczesnośredniowieczną międzyrzecza Wisły i Bugu, “Annales UMCS, vol. VI, sec. F, 1951 (1957), p. 370
  • Ślusarski Z., Report from the field operations of the Archaeology Department of the Lublin Museum for year 1959 (copy of the typescript made for the purposes of the Nationwide Reporting Conference in Cracow, 1959), Lublin 1959 Zoll - Adamikowa H., Wczesnośredniowieczne cmentarzyska ciałopalne na terenie Polski. Part I, Sources. Wrocław-Warsaw-Cracow 1975, pp. 99-100.
  • Niedźwiedź J., Koman W., Okolice Hrubieszowa w pradziejach i we wczesnym średniowieczu, Hrubieszów 1996, p. 83.
  • Prusicka - Kołcon E., Niedźwiedź J., Jarosławiec stan. 1, gm. Uchanie [in:] Inwentaryzacja kurhanów powiatu hrubieszowskiego. Katalog. Zamość 2006 (typescript available at the archive of the Regional Monuments Protection Office, Zamość Branch).

General information

  • Type: Barrow
  • Chronology: VIII - X w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Jarosławiec
  • Location: Voivodeship lubelskie, district hrubieszowski, commune Uchanie
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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