The Lublin Provincial Monuments Conservator has announced the discovery of a collection of “Barbarian” weaponry in the State Forests of the Hrubieszów region in Poland.
The find, dating back to the Roman period, is believed to be associated with the Przeworsk culture, an Iron Age group that thrived from the 3rd century BCE to the 5th century CE in the upper Oder and Vistula basins.
The assemblage, consisting mainly of corroded iron artifacts, was stumbled upon by Mr. Mateusz Filipowicz at the beginning of 2024. Covered in mud and sand, the initial discovery was challenging to identify, but subsequent analysis by archaeologists from the Hrubieszów Museum shed light on its archaeological significance.
The unearthed collection comprises 15 objects, including nine iron spearheads, two iron battle axes, and a socketed axe or battle adze. Three additional items, an iron shield boss and two iron chisels or points, pose identification challenges. The nature of the find and its unique deposition rule out the possibility of a cemetery or a single burial, as confirmed by the Lublin Provincial Monuments Conservator on social media.
Mr. Bartłomiej Bartecki and Ms. Anna Hyrchała, archaeologists from the Hrubieszów Museum, conducted a preliminary analysis and emphasized the intentional deposition of the artifacts. The absence of bones or ceramics further supports the theory that the weapons were intentionally placed in a marshy area to make them difficult to access.
While a connection to Gothic cultures or the Vandals is suggested, the exact chronological and cultural identity remains speculative. The Przeworsk culture, identified by archaeologists with the Vandals, or communities within the Gothic cultural sphere, are considered likely users of these weapons during the time of the Roman Empire.
Archaeologists plan to return to the discovery site in the spring for a more thorough investigation. The precise nature, chronology, and cultural affiliation of the find are expected to be determined through further analysis and conservation procedures.
The artifacts from the recent barbarian weapons discovery have been handed over by the Lublin Provincial Conservator of Monuments to the Museum named after Rev. Stanisław Staszic in Hrubieszów for safekeeping and conservation. The museum anticipates showcasing the fully conserved treasure during the Museum Night in May.