Prehistoric barrow (Kwacał’s mound), Złota
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Prehistoric barrow (Kwacał’s mound)

Złota

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It is one of the most interesting archeological sites in the region of Sandomierz. First grave items of the Złota culture were uncovered here.

Location and description

The mound is located between the villages of Milczany and Złota, within a longitudinal upland hump, limited the Vistula River valley and the Polanówka (Żyć) River valley. The barrow is over 4 m high and about 20 m wide. Among the many burials, particularly noteworthy is the grave of the tribal leader, chief of the tribe or a medicine man of the Mierzanowice culture: a man aged about 25-30 who was buried at the foot of the mound in the frog-like or rider-like fashion (on his back with his arms crossed in front and with bend knees facing outward). The deceased was probably buried in a ceremonial attire.  He wore a breastplate with three pairs of over 20-centimetre-long bore tusks, fastened on the back with a string with beads made of clam shell, which was a sign of high social standing. On his temples, he wore a pair of ear cuffs in the shape of a willow leaf. Reconstruction of the burial demonstrates that at the time of burial the man had long hair tied on the back in a ponytail held together with a copper ring. His clothes were tied together with a bone pin. In a small bag attached to his belt, there were pendants of animal teeth, probably originally on a string, another bone pin, two arrowheads and a flint scraper. The corpse was wrapped in a shroud tied by means of three copper shields. Moreover, seven more burials of the Mierzanowice culture were discovered in the vicinity of the barrow, three graves of the Corded Ware culture and two of the Złota culture; examined were also the remains of settlements of the Malice, Złota and Mierzanowice cultures.

History

Kwacała’s (Chwacała’s) mound was built in phases. Originally, it was an earthen structure over a megalithic grave of the Funnelbeaker culture (ca. 3,700-3,200 BC), located in the area formerly occupied by the Malice culture (ca. 4,700-4,000 BC). It then became the burial ground for the representatives of the Złota culture (ca. 2,800-2,500 BC), the Corded Ware culture (ca. 2,800-2,300 BC) and the Mierzanowice culture (ca. 2,300-1,700 BC). It was enlarged probably in that latter period, surrounded by the burgeoning settlements of the Złota and Mierzanowice cultures. Its current shape goes back to the early Middle Ages. The latest grave - a child burial on the top - dates back to the late Middle Ages or early modern times. According to the folk tradition, the mound was a grave of Kwacały, commander of the Polish knights, who fell in a battle with the Tatars in 1260 or a mass grave of the Mongol invaders slaughtered by Kwacała. It is also believed to serve as a signaling structure. The site witnesses annual folk rituals held to ensure fertility and derived from the traditional pagan fertility cults.

Condition and results of archaeological research

In the years 2002-2004, the type-site Kwacał’s mound was investigated by Marek Florek and Anna Zakościelna from the Institute of Archeology, Maria Curie-Skłodowska University in Lublin, and in the years 2012-2013 by Monika Bajka from the Regional Museum in Sandomierz and Marek Florek from the Institute of Archeology, Maria Curie-Skłodowska University in Lublin.

The site is accessible to visitors. The item extracted from the grave of the man buried in the frog-like manner can be seen in the permanent archeological exhibition in the Regional Museum in Sandomierz.

Compiled by Nina Glińska, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Kielce, 20.05.2015.

Bibliography

  • Bajka M., Florek M., Badania archeologiczne w Złotej koło Sandomierza w roku 2013, „Zeszyty Sandomierskie”, nr 35, 2013, s. 69-71.
  • Florek M., Wielkie kurhany i cmentarzyska kurhanowe na Wyżynie Sandomierskiej, „Z Otchłani Wieków”, R. 60, 2005, s. 124-132.
  • Florek M., Issues concerning the existence and functions of the so-called great kurgans in Małopolska in early phases of the Early Middle Ages, „Analecta Archaeologica Ressoviensa”, t. 3, 2008, s. 284-285
  • Florek M., Badania archeologiczne w Złotej koło Sandomierza w latach 2002-2004 i 2012, „Zeszyty Sandomierskie”, nr 33, 2012, s. 66-69.
  • Florek M., Zakościelna A., „Na żabę” - niezwykły pochówek z początków epoki brązu ze Złotej k. Sandomierza, „Z Otchłani Wieków”, R. 60, 2005, s. 65-70.
  • Florek M., Zakościelna A., Wyniki ratowniczych badań na stanowisku 6 w Złotej, pow. sandomierski, w latach 2002-2004, „Archeologia Polski Środkowowschodniej”, t. 8, 2006, s. 41-56.
  • Krzak Z., Materiały do znajomości kultury złockiej, Wrocław 1961.
  • Krzak Z., Cmentarzysko kultury złockiej „Nad Wawrem” w Złotej, Wrocław 1970.
  • Krzak Z., The Złota Culture, Wrocław 1976.
  • http://www.archeologia-sandomierz.pl/?sekcja=kultura_mierzanowicka

General information

  • Type: Barrow
  • Chronology: 3700-3200 r. p.n.e.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Złota
  • Location: Voivodeship świętokrzyskie, district sandomierski, commune Samborzec
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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