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Stratum plus. 2005-2009. №5

A. Porzeziński (Szczecin, Poland)

The Western Pomeranian Settlements during the Migration of Peoples Period and the Oldest Phase of the Early Middle Ages

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Pages: 560-575

The ancient settlements of the Dębczyńska Group were developing from the fourth quarter of the 2nd c. until the first decades of the 6th c. This group dwelt in the area between rivers Oder and Łeba. During the final stage it settled the river basin of The Łupawa and The Łeba. The basic source base for this group recognition has been hitherto entirely excavated settlements at the sites number 3 and 6 in Dębczyn, number 2b in Lubieszewo and the cemeteries at the sites number 2 in Dębczyn and 1 in Kowalki. The most representative region of this group development in the Western Pomeranian region was the area of The Mogilica and Parsęta river basin (Fig. 7). The settlements were located on not big terrain elevations or on higher terraces. The typical settlement arrangement consisted of groups of buildings, both residential and non-residential, that surrounded the central, empty square. Large settlements took an area from 0.5 till 1 hectare. The cemeteries have been set within their closest neighbourhood. Both settlements and cemeteries were in use during the periods of 100-120 years. The multi-phase settlements are represented by the sites number: 1-3 and 5-6 (Fig. 7). The objects were placed irregularly within the settlements.
Residential buildings were semi-pit houses with an aboveground posts construction, and a living area from 12 to 20 m2 or even until 42-55 m2. The houses were accompanied by fire places, furnaces and pits of different practical functions. The predominating burial custom was an inhumation. Its characteristic feature was the lying of women’s bodies on the right side with bent legs. The graves were oriented on the line N/W – S/E. The graves’ inventories were rich. The typical vessel forms are represented by hand-made pottery of several types (vases, bowls, pitchers and pots – Fig. 4-6). The stylistic similarities are known from The Elbe basin, but also from Bornholm and Gotland. The final stage of the Dębczyńska Group development is dated to the second half of the 5th c. (abandoning the long-standing settlements at the sites number 3 and 6 in Dębczyn). At the same time lasted an influx of a great number of imports. The youngest ones are dated to the year 520 A. D.
After collapsing of the old culture system, the new, qualitatively different, material culture model was arising in the Western Pomeranian region, typical for Slavonic settlements. The hitherto entirely excavated settlements in Dziedzice (the site number 4) and Dębczyn (the sites number 10 and 38) enable – on the basis of ceramic taxonomy – to date the beginnings of the new system to the middle and the second half of the 6th c. Currently, one can distinguish four settlements concentrations, consisting of 25 sites, that have been described as, so called, type Dziedzice (Fig. 9). The residential buildings are represented by semi-pit houses, of irregular oval shapes, without any traces of aboveground constructions. These semi-pit houses with no hearth inside were accompanied by fire places located in the immediate vicinity. The objects within the settlements were located irregular, in concentrations.
The most representative settlement in Dziedzice occupied an area of a size of 230x130m. Among 126 all discovered objects there have been 49 semi-pit houses of dimensions from 3.20x1.85m to 4.10x3.08m and the depth from 30 to 80cm.
The representative items are the ceramic sets consisting of solely hand made vessels of very different forms (egg-shape, globular, biconical, sack-shape, vase-shape, keg-shape, bowls and few pieces of plates – Fig. 10-13). Analyzing the final development phase of the Dębczyńska Group, one can not exclude the real possibility of temporary co-existence the ancient settlements from the Migration of Peoples period with the Slavonic newcomers who had just arrived from the South-East.

Keywords: Pomeranian Settlements, Migration, Dębczyńska Group, Kowalki


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