The large number of finds surprised the scientists. They included bronze and silver ornaments, costume pieces, such as fibulas, pendants, rings, beads, buckles and belt fittings. The largest group of objects, as in the case of most archaeological sites in Poland, were ceramics. Archaeologists discovered numerous vessels in various states of preservation, including many very elaborately ornamented vessels, which, according to Dr. Rudnicki, distinguishes them from the products of the surrounding cultures in this period, both Slavic and Baltic. All items come from the VI-VII century AD.
"We also came across rare items. Among them was a tinder and flint with the remains of the fabric in which they were wrapped, a fragment of a glass vessel, most likely originating from Frankish workshop, knives with preserved parts of wooden handles" - said Dr. Rudnicki, head of the expedition.
According to the archaeologists, so far they have examined only approx. 10 percent of the burial site surface. However, the number already uncovered graves has led scientists to believe that the necropolis had been used by a very large population. According to Dr. Rudnicki, the population should be associated with the so-called Olsztyn group, which can be identified with the ancestors of early Galinds. The researchers were also able to identify a previously unknown form of burial practiced by the archaeological culture. It consisted in placing the remains of the dead in pits covered with clay only in their lower part.
"The local population probably functioned as part of a tribal structure, distinguished by wealth and extensive contacts. These contacts, evidence of which has also been discovered in Burdąg, included Scandinavian, Frankish, Slavic and Avar areas" - explained Dr. Rudnicki.
The study was conducted in cooperation with the Belarusian State University in Minsk. The work was financed by the National Science Centre. This year's excavations lasted from the end of July to 23 August. It was the third season of research. Archaeologists plan to return to the site.
Priority for further work will be to explore the material and spiritual culture of the local population on in the early Middle Ages. Researchers also want to understand the role these communities in the formation of Prussian tribal structures in the area of Lake Małszewskie.
PAP - Nauka w Polsce