Mining and use of stone materials in Prehistory and Middle Ages

Project information

Project title: Mining and use of stone materials in Prehistory and Middle Ages

Project author: Prof. dr hab. Paweł Valde-Nowak

Project lead, institutional: Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology (IAE PAN), Centre for Archaeology of Hills and Uplands, within Team E.1.
Project financing: statutory

Contact:

  • e-mail:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • telephone: +48 4222905 (Centre for Archaeology of Hills and Uplands, ul. Sławkowska 17, Kraków);
  • +48 608456055 (mobile, Paweł Valde-Nowak);

Project implementation

Institutions involved:

  • Name of institution: Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology (IAE PAN), Centre for Archaeology of Hills and Uplands, within Team E.3. Responsibilities: Project lead, institutional
  • Name of institution: Archeologický ústav Akademie věd České republiky Brno. Responsibilities: collaboration by Dr Lubomir Šebela, with assignment E.3.III. Analysis of flintworking collections from Moravia and Bohemia.
  • Name of institution: Katedra geologie a palaeontologie, Ústav geologických věd,. Přírodovědecká fakulta, Masarykova univerzita, Brno. Responsibilities: collaboration by Prof. dr Antonina Přichystala, with assignment E.3.III. Analysis of flintworking collections from Moravia and Bohemia.

Researchers involved:

  • Forename, surname: Dr Halina Dobrzańska, archaeologist,
  • Responsibilities: assignment E.3.II. - 6 months; assignment E.3.IV. - 6 months

Documentation – drawings:

  • Irena Jordan - 3 months
  • Jolanta Ożóg - 2 months

Researchers involved from outside IAE PAN:

  • Dr Marta Kaflińska - assignment E.3.1. (voluntary participation)

Characteristics

Research objective:

  • The main goal of the project is to establish the scale and direction of raw materials’ exploitation and use in Prehistory. Of special importance in the project are artefacts evidencing the use of flint rock in the Stone Age and Bronze Age. The research will also study nonfarm production in the Roman period and an early stage of the Migration Period, with emphasis on the use of raw materials, the technologies and techniques applied, and the workshop’s spatial organisation.

Detailed goals of the project:

   The project seeks to expand the present knowledge of the raw material base in Pre- and Protohistoric times, and in particular to establish the scale and direction of raw materials exploitation at such an early stage. Of great importance in the research are artefacts evidencing the use of flint rock in the Stone Age and Bronze Age, and also the use of clay and appropriate admixtures in pottery production in earlier period of Prehistory. Another line of research deals with selected questions of iron metallurgy and nonferrous metal working in the early centuries of the Common Era.
An important contribution to the project is provided by research conducted by the Bronze Wares Workshop, covering a wide swath of Central European Barbaricum. This is a fascinating subject for a number of reasons, including the raw-material/technological context of metallurgical activity (major line in this period) linked to iron processing. Also within the scope of the project are questions of pottery production, where mention is due to the use of previously unpublished findings of laboratory and experimental research. The study will look into the diversity of spatial-organisation forms of the said branches of nonfarm production. When covering production-related questions, the results of palaeogeographical analyses will be drawn upon. Given the dominant interest in questions of culture and chronology among researchers of the Roman Period in Central Europe, a project which targets the economy of the inhabitants of this part of Barbaricum should be regarded as one of priority importance.

  Research into raw-material/implement economy in Stone Age and Early Bronze Age communities, conducted as part of the project, will be two-pronged. The first line includes petroarchaeological studies to define the Carpathian province raw materials (previously either left out or given cursory treatment in monographic works). Following an intensification of archaeological research over the past twenty years, documentation has been be provided of the existence in this area of rich deposits of flint-bearing rock that was successfully used by, both, the Middle/Upper Palaeolithic groups of Neanderthals and Homo Sapiens plus representatives of all subsequent Palaeolithic techno-complexes, and also during the Mesolithic, Neolithic and Early Bronze Age. The other line of study is about findings of very detailed technical, typological and raw-material analyses of the original little-known stone industry of Bell-Beaker Culture communities in Bohemia, Moravia, Silesia and Lesser Poland.

Project timetable:

  • E.3.I. Carpathian rock material province in the Stone Age and Early Bronze Age.
    • 2012: Pieniny radiolarite and Carpathian-flysch radiolarite in the Stone Age, project completion report.
    • 2013: Studies into rogowce mikuszowickie (spongiolites) rock as the raw material base for Carpathian communities in the Stone Age, project completion report.
    • 2015: Monograph,  author: P. Valde-Nowak
  • E.3.II. Bronze workshops in the Central European part of Barbaricum (1st-5th century AD).
    • 2012: Chapter: La Tene traditions and influences of provincial Roman culture, as seen in the output of bronze craftsmen in Barbaricum – author: H. Dobrzańska.
    • 2013: Monograph, author: H. Dobrzańska
  • E.3.III. Late Eneolithic flintworking in Moravia and Cieszyn Silesia.
    • 2012: Monograph , co-author: J. Kopacz
  • E.3.III. (NEW ASSIGNMENT) Comparative study of Bell-Beaker Culture flintworking – Moravia, Bohemia, Silesia, Lesser Poland
    • 2013: Analysis of flintworking collections from Moravia and Bohemia, project completion report.
    • 2015: Monograph,   co-author:   J. Kopacz
  • E.3.IV. (NEW ASSIGNMENT) Nonfarm production in Central European Barbaricum in the Roman Period and Early Migration Period.
    • 2013: Collecting materials from Poland, Slovakia, Bohemia, project completion report.
    • 2013–2016: series of articles, author: H. Dobrzańska.

Planned results:

The implementation of the project will produce monographs on the following subjects:

  • 2012: Late Eneolithic flintworking in Moravia and Czech Silesia, author: J. Kopacz
  • 2013: Bronze workshops in the Central European part of Barbaricum (1st-5ht centuries), author: H. Dobrzańska
  • 2015: Carpathian rock material province in the Stone Age and Early Bronze Age, author: P. Valde-Nowak
  • 2015: Comparative study of Bell-Beaker Culture flintworking – Moravia, Bohemia, Silesia, Lesser Poland, collective monograph

Articles:

  • 2013-2016: a series of articles on nonfarm production in Central European Barbaricum in the Roman Period and Early Migration Period, author: H. Dobrzańska.

Publications

Valde-Nowak P.

  • 22012: The North-Carpathians province of silica rocks during Stone Age, (in:) J. K. Kozłowski, Z. Mester (eds.) The lithic raw material sources and interregional contacts in the Northern Carpathian regions, Kraków (in print).
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