Nowiniec, stan. 2 – wczesnośredniowieczny gród na pograniczu śląsko-łużyckim w świetle badań interdyscyplinarnych
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The stronghold in Nowiniec was firstly mentioned in the archeological literature in 1882 (Jentsch 1882a, s. 122; 1882b, s. 355). Unfortunately, almost whole, next century didn’t bring any further information. Eventually, the site was mentioned in the work by Zofia Kurnatowska and Alina Łosińska, which was concerned of settlement area in the late antiquity and in the beginning of the Early Middle Ages in the southern part of Lubuskie Voivodship (Hilczerówna, Urbańska-Łosińska 1970, p. 111). These scholars located this site in the borderland of tribal territory of tribes Nice and Zara (Hilczerówna, Urbańska-Łosińska 1970, p. 89). A bit more about stronghold in Nowiniec devoted Grzegorz Domański in his work about Early Medieval settlement at the lower Lusatian Neisse, in which he assigned this fortress to the Nice tribe (Domański 1983, fig. 8). Other idea of this stronghold tribal affiliation was given by Adam Wędzki, who thought that it belonged to the Nice tribe (Wędzki 1970, pp. 7-9). According to Jerzy Lodowski and Jerzy Szydłowski (1991, fig. 1) the territory of the middle Lubsza River was a settlement hiatus between tribes Selpoli and Zara. This riddle is very hard to solve without a proper recognition of the hinterland of main strongholds. Unfortunately, the state of research of Early Medieval settlement of the Nice tribe is very poor, what has been already pointed out by Zofia Kurnatowska and Alina Łosińska (1970, s. 89). Only in the recent years some development in this issue has been made (Nowiński 2005; Gruszka, Wolanin 2008). Stronghold in Nowiniec, site no. 2 is located in Lubuskie Voivodship, Żary Province. This site is situated in the eastern ridge of Lubsza River valley, on the right shore, in the Holocene meadow terrace, which is c. 0,5-1,5 m above river level. According to the physiography, the stronghold is located in the area of Great Poland-Silesian lowlands, in the macroregion of Milicko–Głogowskie Decrease, in the territory of one of distinguished mezoregions, videlicet Nowosolska Decrease. The nearest hinterland of stronghold in Nowiniec is recognized only on surface survey level, conducted during AZP survey. In 2002 and 2003 rescue archeological fieldworks was taken on the area of stronghold in Nowiniec (Dziedzic, Gruszka 2004). The excavation was led by Scientific Association of Polish Archeologists, Department in Lubuskie Province, and later by the Archeological Museum of the Odra River Territory in Świdnica, near Zielona Góra. Both seasons of excavations was funded by Voivodship Conservator of Monuments in Zielona Góra. Their aim was to preserve the site from devastation caused by the illegal digging of the sand. The head of the crew (Sławomir Kałagate MA, Bartłomiej Gruszka MA, Paweł Stachowiak MA) was Piotr Dziedzic MA. During the research the area of 4 are, mostly exposed to damage, was excavated. 29 archaeological features and over 6000 of ceramics fragments, almost 1500 animal bones and very rich collection of other artefacts, including weapon and horse ridding equipment, was discovered there. Thanks to the taken and published in this volume specialist examinations we were able to reconstruct natural environment of the surroundings of the stronghold. Geological-geomorphological research has shown the kind of soil the inhabitants were using and potential places of farming exploitation. Palynological examinations revealed the moment of appearing (9/10th-10th c.) and domination of plants (mainly rye, unidentified grains and accompanying weeds). The analysis of plant macro-remains completed the information about using specific plant species in the farming of past inhabitants of the fortress. On the prints visible on the walls of the large vessel used to roast (so called prażnica) some remains of linen, rye, barley as well as weed were noticed. Zooarcheological analysis have given us some answers to the questions of the structure of animal breeding as well as the meaning of hunting in the life of inhabitants of the stronghold. The cattle was the most important and dominating species, next was a pig bones and the last sheep/goat remains. Some amount of wild animals bones, including deer, boar, roe deer, moose as well as brown bear, was also noticed. Many specialist analysis which were taken for this publication, were really innovatory, and for the area of South-western Poland were carried out for the first time (petrography and chemical analysis of ceramics, thermoluminescence dating of ceramics, metallographic analysis of Early Medieval militaries and also traceological analysis flint stone artefacts from that period). Thanks to the analysis of ceramics we were able to establish the routes of influx and spreading of new tendencies in style and forms of pottery. The basic stages of production of pottery were reconstructed, including pointing out the places from where the stock was taken (clay and temper), and also establishing the main ways of building the vessels as well as temperature and atmosphere in which they were fired in kiln. Very rare find seems to be fragments of clay beaker, which appeared in the features no 3 and 7. In the feature 15 totally broken, but complete large vessel used to roast or drying (so called prażnica) was found. It could have been probably connected with a metalworking workshop (feature no 18). Establishing of its function was possible due to the find of artefacts connected with iron and non-ferrous metals fabrication (nozzle fragment, crucible, bronze raw material, jewelry tools, bowl-shaped slags) Those kind of finds are characteristic for big centers with essential economic and political meaning, e.g. Kruszwica (Hensel-Moszczyńska 1981/82, pp. 129–219), Czersk (Rauhutowa 1976), Stradów (Dąbrowska 1965), Szczecin Wzgórze Zamkowe (Szczecin, 1983, s. 121), Wiślica (Rajewski 1954, p. 10), Wrocław Ostrowów Tumski (Kaźmierczyk et all 1976, pp. 178–181) or Wolin Srebrne Wzgórze (Wojtasik 1978). The discovering of a metalworking workshop in the Nowiniec stronghold let us to put this stronghold in the place of one of the most important centre of the Zara tribe, and proves its big meaning in the 9-10th-century settlement and economic system this part of Silesian-Lusatian borderland. This assumption is also proved by other finds which are connected with presence of temporary or constant presence of economic and social elites representants, maybe some local leader with his military troops (so called drużyna). Beside some animal remains who can be assigned to the group of Animalia Superiora (including the bear paw, which was regarded in the Early Middle Ages as a dainty of elites), above mentioned sherds of ceramic bowls (intended for drinking honey or wine, considered as a luxury tableware), was also discovered. The presence of well equipped military troops is also proved by findings of militaries, including hook-like spur, arrowhead or curb bit. Far-reach trade is displayed by discovering of lead weight, but also occurrence of stone artefacts, made of a stock from the Sudetes or beyond Sudetes area. The chronology of stronghold in Nowiniec, was established according to the environmental and classical archeological analysis. Thanks to the morphological-stylistic-typological analysis of pottery, we were able to realize that there were two visible pottery mainstreams – traditional, connected still with the tribe period, and also progressive – typical for early Piast state period. The most dominating seems to be the part of the vessels which were made in the hand molding and partially coating on the potter’s wheel technique. Two coned vessels of more or less marked belly break, ornamented with a plastic roller (Tornov type) as well as different kind of several, crossing rite lines motives, vertical or herringbone patterns (Menkendorf type). In the stronghold in Nowiniec the share of plastic roller vessels was almost 40% of every ornamented taxons. Almost the same data was established for the eponymic site in Tornow, where the sherds with a plastic roller (Tornow A and B type altogether) in the 1st phase of the stronghold (A phase) appeared in circa 37% of whole ceramic material, and in the phase two (B phase) circa 50% of all. In the sites of similar chronology, e.g. Zawada, site no 1 and Sulechów, site no 28, the amount of ornamented with plastic roller vessels was circa 57% and less than 17% of all decorated ceramics sherds. Almost identical percentage of vessels ornamented with a plastic roller (almost 39%) was reordered in the in settlement complex of Klenica stronghold, site no 4 (Gruszka 2010, p. 129). Basing on the numerous parallels (see Gruszka, in this volume, pp. 48–49, 52; 2010; Dymaczewska, Dymaczewski 1967, pp. 208–218) and also dendrochronological datings (Biermann 1999, pp. 97-123; Kara, Krąpiec 2000, p. 317 and next., 320; Biermann, Kieseler, Nowakowski 2008, p. 87) we were able to assume that both sets which include the pottery of Tornow-Klenica complex can be dated to the 1st half of the 9th-10th c or even to the beginning of the 11th c. (Brzostowicz 2002, p. 34). Almost half smaller (beyond 22%) is the amount of Menkendorf type vessels. It is considered that the biggest portion of these forms are in the 9th-10th c., and they’re contemporary with the Tornow type, even though they’re are appearing in the younger chronological phases (Łosiński 1996, p. 438). During the research we were able to discover also, some amount of wholly coated vessels, which are characteristic for early Piast pottery from the 11th c. Contribution of this kind of pottery appeared mainly in the ceiling of feature no 7 and also in occupational layer. Occurrence of wholly coated vessels was observed in highly damaged layers of Klenica, site no 4 (Gruszka 2010, p. 132) and also in Zawada, site no 1, where they are distinguishing the 2nd phase of functioning of these sites (11th c.). Chronological range based on the ceramics analysis was confirmed by dating of metal artefacts, including hook-like spur, curb bit or lead weight, discovered in the stronghold (8th-9th c.). The chronology of this site was also based on some environmental studies. When we are using them we need to have in mind large margin of error of results. This especially concerns radiocarbon dating (Walanus, Goslar 2004) as well as thermoluminescence dating. The most numerous group of samples (shreds) was given to the thermoluminescence dating. Thanks to this method we’re able to establish that the chronology of analyzed vessels contains in a 100 years time period (without including the error of this method), between 849 and 960 (2nd half of the 9th–2nd half of the 10th c.). The results of thermoluminescence analysis don’t exclude the possibility of dating the younger pottery records even to the 1st half of the 9th c. Charred wood relics, which was found in the feature no 17, come from the beginning of 11th c. If we include some additional thermoluminescence dating of some shreds even to 1st half of the 11th c., we must consider a possibility of break of settlement on the stronghold in Nowiniec deep into the 11th c. According to these data, we can assume, that the beginning of functioning of this fortress occurs in the 2nd half of the 9th c. The oldest pottery records, which can be dated according to parallels and thermoluminescence analysis, come exactly from this time period. The stronghold biggest development occurs in the 10th c., however its fall happened most likely in the 1st half of the 11th c.
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