Osadnictwo starszej epoki kamienia na północnym przedpolu Bramy Morawskiej
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Plateau Plaskowyz Glubczycki, a constituent part of the Moravian Gate area, is one of the principal and most abundant in archaeological sources regions in Poland. The aim of the research on the Older Stone Age being conducted in the southern stretch of this region is to examine settlement and determine the inter-regional connections linking the Polish and Czech parts of Silesia with Moravia. The earliest settlements were Middle Palaeolithic and they are represented by usually not very abundant sites, only some of which have been excavated. The chief sites include Raciborz-Studzienna, Pietraszyn, Owsiszczach, Dzierzyslaw, and Kornice. The artefacts which occur here may be associated with assemblages ofbifacial tools, and assemblages comprising a majority of unilateral tools. It is very hard to establish connections between these places and sites to the south of the Moravian Gate. However, certain differences may be observed for sites from the younger phase of the Middle Palaeolithic. While the predominant type in the southern part of the Opole area of Silesia are bifacial tool sites, most of the sites south of the Moravian Gate have assemblages which follow flake (Taubachien and Mousterien) traditions. Analogies of the Silesian settlements may be expected in the Lesser Poland region, at sites associated with a Micoquien complex. There are no imported raw materials in the Middle Palaeolithic sites. The situation for the younger periods is quite different. There is ample evidence for Szeleta Culture settlement, represented chiefly by the well-stocked sites at Lubotyn, which has been excavated, and at Dzieriyslaw. Other Szeletian sites have been identified at Pilszcz and Rozumice on the basis of surface finds. One could certainly consider this phenomenon a northern Szeletian centre, with assemblages and a settlement model clearly reminiscent of Moravian counterparts. The stone raw materials occurring here confirm a close link with the original area of Szeletian settlement. The few sites with sparse assemblages in the Czech part of Silesia mark out the route the migrations took and their final destination on the Plaskowyz Glubczycki plateau. The sites at Lubotyll and Dzierzyslaw, which belong to the large base-camp type, indicate that it was a fairly intensive and multi-season settlement that occurred in these territories. Not much research has been done on the Gravettian Culture, the best preserved specimen of which is the W6jcice site. However, the immediate environs of both sides of the Moravian Gate seem to have been the peripheries of Gravettian settlement, and the area was only oflimited interest for these people, probably mostly for the acquisition of raw materials. The occurrence of Magdalenian settlement, although evidenced only by sporadic, isolated sites, may be indicative of close relations joining the areas on either side of the Moravian Gate. This is illustrated by the high degree of similarity in the assemblages at the Dzierzyslaw and Hranice sites. Perhaps the land vicinal to the Moravian Gate constituted an integral territory accommodating one community. Currently we have far too few data available to be able to answer this question, nonetheless the issue may be a subject for further research. The prolific base camp at Dzierzyslaw, settled time and again, is evidence that this area was regularly penetrated by Magdalenian people. Attempting to answer the question of the significance of the Moravian Gate for the diffusion of settlement and culture in Central Europe is by no means an easy task The role of this communication route seems to have increased after the Middle Palaeolithic, but its importance varied depending on the period, and above all on the amount of interest the respective human groups showed in extending their area of settlement into neighbouring territories northward or, less often, southward. This in turn depended on a series of factors connected with environmental conditions and culture. Evidently sparse settlement, small sites and poor assemblages were characteristic not only of the Polish, but also the Czech part of Silesia. The observed density of settlement immediately north and south of the Moravian Gate gives no grounds at all for a distinction between these two micro-regions as regards settlement. If this is a true hypothesis, then it would seem reasonable to conclude that the peripheral nature ofPalaeolithic settlement on the Plaskowyz Glubczycki plateau was not due to the Carpathians and Sudetes acting as a barrier to migration through the Moravian Gate, but to some other causes which curtailed interest in both the Polish and the Czech side of Silesia as settlement areas, but which are still unknown.
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