3 years participation in the ERASMUS-IP „Wielbark Archaeological Field School“

Department of Archaeology University of Szczecin participate for 3 years in the ERASMUS-IP „Wielbark Archaeological Field School”. This was carried out during four weeks in July-August 2012/13 (-2014) in the Wielbark forest at the southern border of Malbork town (Voivodeship of Pomorskie, Northern Poland) at the right bank of the Vistula delta. Altogether participated in the first two years nearly 60 students from five nations (Humboldt-University Berlin, UMCS Lublin, Ruhr-University Bochum, Autonomous University Madrid, University of Budapest, University of Hradec Králové, University of Szczecin), which were theoretically and practically trained on the excavation site by a team of eight researchers.

The main aim of the IP was to execute an archaeological excavation of about 800 m2at one of the most important sites in Poland with a high european relevance in an interdisciplinary and most effective way. The scientific targets were to connect the german-polish verification trenches from 2009-2010 with the german main excavation trenches from 1929 in the center of the southern graveyard and to verify its southern and northern borders as also to verify the western and eastern border of the northern graveyard at the site 1 from Malbork-Wielbark with the old german trenches from 1932, 1934 and 1936. This scientific targets were at the moment very successfully reached by the documentation of approximately 200 burials with a high proportion of children's graves.

Next to single finds from maybe the paleolithic, but shure from the neolithic, and some settlement features of the Early Preroman Iron Age Pomeranian Culture and the Middle Ages, the bulk of features belongs to the graveyards of the Wielbark Culture from the Late Preroman Iron Age untill the Late Roman Period. This means we excavated bigger parts of two typical biritual graveyards with contemporary inhumations and cremations. 

Nearly two third of the about 200 burials were inhumations and one third cremations, which consist predominantly of pit graves and sparsely of urn graves.55 mostly bronce brooches as main chronological indicators represents all substages from A2 till C2, so that the excavated part of the cemetery could be dated between 120 BC and 300 AD. But the big majority of burials belongs to the Early Roman Period of the first both centuries.

A full report on all excavations of the Wielbark Archaeological Field School is planned to publish after finishing this ERASMUS-IP after three seasons in 2014 as also an exhibition of finds and results in Malbork and at participating institutions.


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