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The Mierzanowice culture appeared in the area of the upper and middle basin of the Vistula, during the Early Bronze Age. It evolved from the so-called Proto-Mierzanowice cultural unit. The name of the culture comes from an eponymous site in Mierzanowice, where the cemetery was located. This entity was part of the pre-carpathian sphere epicorded cultures and it has been divided into three local groups: Samborzecka, Iwanowicka and Pleszowska.The initial phases of the culture are characterized by a small number of burials, seasonal settlements and single artifacts. The area of the Mierzanowice culture spread over from western Slovakia, through south - eastern Poland, reaching in the east the areas of the Volhynian Upland.
Based on relative dating, the Mierzanowice culture appeared in the Early Bronze Age. According to the archaeologist Jan Machnik, we can distinguish an older and a younger phase of this cultural unit. The discovery in Szarbia Zwierzyniecka allowed for a certain "rejuvenation" of the Mierzanowice culture as a result of the distinction of its late phase called szarbiańska .The younger phase of the Mierzanowice culture ended at the end of "Bronze A1" and the beginning of "Bronze A2" according to Paul Reinecke's chronology.
Cemeteries of the Mierzanowice cultural population were established near the settlements. The largest cemeteries were from 150 to 300 burials.Burials occurred mainly in skeletal form. Human remains were put into oval or rectangular burial pits or in coffins made of wooden logs. There were two systems for arranging human corpses: in the shrunken position and in straight position. The bodies of men were buried on the right side while corpses of women on the left side. The results of investigations conducted at the cemeteries of the Mierzanowice culture, showed a small advantage of men's graves over women's graves, which had a slightly poorer grave inventory.
Settlements of the Mierzanowice culture in most cases are represented by small and seasonal camps. Settlements with a larger area were founded on the hills with a naturally defensive character, near water reservoirs. A relatively large part of the archaeological sites of this culture are found on loess uplands. The best-known settlement of the Mierzanowice culture is the archaeological site called Iwanowice. In the classical phase of the Mierzanowice culture, the settlements were mostly accompanied by cemeteries.
One of the most common objects discovered in archaeological sites in the Mierzanowice culture are axes and sickles.Another type of artifacts are necklaces made of faience and bones. The Mierzanowice culture is well known for its earrings in the shape of a willow leaf, often produced in local workshops. Military objects discovered in the settlements are primarily leaf-shaped arrowheads. The faience beads are an extremely common element of the funeral inventory. The next category is pottery. In vascular ceramics the influences of the Corded Ware culture are visible. Pottery of the late phase of the Mierzanowice culture is characterized by a huge variety of forms and ornamentation.
A genetic study published in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology in April 2020 examined the mtDNA of 39 individuals ascribed to the Mierzanowice culture.The individuals were determined to be closely related to peoples of the Corded Ware culture, Bell Beaker culture, Unetice culture and the Trzciniec culture. They were notably genetically different from peoples of the neighboring Strzyżów culture, which displayed closer genetic relations to cultures further east.
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The Wielbark culture or East Pomeranian-Mazovian is an Iron Age archaeological complex which flourished in Magna Germania, from the 1st century AD to the 5th century AD.
The Villanovan culture, regarded as the oldest phase of Etruscan civilization, was the earliest Iron Age culture of Central Italy and Northern Italy. It directly followed the Bronze Age Proto-Villanovan culture which branched off from the Urnfield culture of Central Europe. This gave way in the 7th century BC to an increasingly orientalizing culture influenced by Greek traders and colonists who settled in South Italy.
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The Bronze and Iron Age cultures in Poland are known mainly from archeological research. Early Bronze Age cultures in Poland began around 2300–2400 BCE, while the Iron Age commenced in approximately 700–750 BCE. The Iron Age archeological cultures no longer existed by the start of the Common Era. The subject of the ethnicity and linguistic affiliation of the groups living in Central Europe at that time is, given the absence of written records, speculative, and accordingly there is considerable disagreement. In Poland the Lusatian culture, spanning both the Bronze and Iron Ages, became particularly prominent. The most famous archeological finding from that period is the Biskupin fortified settlement (gord) on the lake from which it takes its name, representing the Lusatian culture of the early Iron Age.
Poland in antiquity was characterized by peoples belonging to various archeological cultures living in and migrating through various parts of the territory that now constitutes Poland, in an era that dates from about 400 BCE to 450–500 CE. These people are identified as Slavic, Celtic, Germanic, Baltic, Thracian, Avar, and Scythian tribes. Other groups, which are difficult to identify, were most likely also present, as the ethnic compositions of archeological cultures are often poorly recognized. While lacking use of a written language to any appreciable degree, many of them developed relatively advanced material culture and social organization, as evidenced by the archeological record; for example, richly furnished, "princely" dynastic graves.
The most important phenomenon that took place within the lands of Poland in the Early Middle Ages, as well as other parts of Central Europe was the arrival and permanent settlement of the West Slavic or Lechitic peoples. The Slavic migrations to the area of contemporary Poland started in the second half of the 5th century AD, about a half century after these territories were vacated by Germanic tribes fleeing from the Huns. The first waves of the incoming Slavs settled the vicinity of the upper Vistula River and elsewhere in the lands of present southeastern Poland and southern Masovia. Coming from the east, from the upper and middle regions of the Dnieper River, the immigrants would have had come primarily from the western branch of the early Slavs known as Sclaveni, and since their arrival are classified as West Slavs and Lechites, who are the closest ancestors of Poles.
The Sintashta culture, also known as the Sintashta-Petrovka culture or Sintashta-Arkaim culture, is a late Middle Bronze Age archaeological culture of the northern Eurasian steppe on the borders of Eastern Europe and Central Asia, dated to the period 2200–1800 BCE, or as recent publication by Stephan Lindner claims, based on another series of calibrated radiocarbon datings, that the whole Sintashta-Petrovka complex belongs to c. 2050-1750 BCE. Although recently Ventresca Miller et al. still claimed a period of 2400-1800 BCE, based on earlier datings by Russian Academy of Sciences, which other researchers consider to be outdated. The culture is named after the Sintashta archaeological site, in Chelyabinsk Oblast, Russia.
Celtic graphite pottery – the term used in Polish terminology to describe a wheel thrown pottery which was made from clay with graphite fragments as an admixture. This is a characteristic type of ceramics for the La Tène culture whose discovery at Polish sites should be related to Celtic settlement or influences from the Celtic world. The most characteristic type is so-called graphite situla, but other vessels such as pots and bowls were also common.
The Janislawice culture, the Janislawice technocomplex, the Vistula cycle is a late Mesolithic culture from Central Poland. It was strongly connected with Eastern European cultures from Dnieper Basin. It derived by Stefan K. Kozłowski in 1964 and it is named after the Janislawice site near Skierniewice.
Bodzia Cemetery is a large 10th – 11th century chamber burial site in Bodzia, a town in the Kuyavia region of Central Poland, approximately 50 km east of Poznań. A group from the Polish Academy of Sciences, led by Polish archaeologist, Andrzej Buko, excavated this site between 2007 – 2009. The excavation uncovered a large elite necropolis containing more than 58 graves, cenotaphs, weapons and riches. The Bodzia Cemetery is considered to be one of the most significant and "spectacular" Early Medieval findings in Poland in the last century. Artefacts uncovered in the site were mostly of foreign origin, which is atypical of other sites in the area. Information gleaned from the Bodzia Cemetery provided archaeologists with evidence of burial practices during the Early Medieval period in Poland.