‘MEDIAEVAL MILITARY ITEMS OF EASTERN PROVENANCE IN THE COLLECTIONS OF THE REGIONAL MUSEUM IN TOMASZÓW LUBELSKI‘
by DANIEL TARASZCZUK
This is the article from the 1st volume of the archaelogical magazine Acta Militaria Medievalia, published a few years ago. All copies of the book were sold quite fast, so the publisher (Museum of Sanok and Polish Academy of Science), decided to put PDF version of the magazine on the web.
Below you’ll find the file for download with the article (PDF file compressed with rar). The file includes copyable text, you can later put into the translator on this site. Below you can read English summary of the paper.
The military collection of the Regional Museum in Tomaszów Lubelski include a few historical objects showing analogies to medieval materials found in the area of the present day Ukraine, Belarus and Russia.
Percussive weaponry is represented by two axes. One of them (pl. I:1) was discovered in th e stronghold at Jurów, Tomaszów Lubelski district, dated to the 12th-13th cent. The most parallel items come from Kiev Ruthenia and represent type VIIIa in A. N. Kirpičnikov’s classification, dated to the 12th and 13th cent. In contrast to the materials from Ruhenia, there have been no such military items found in the area of Poland. The other axe (pl. I:2) was accidentally discovered in the village of Łąki-Byki near Osuchy, Biłgoraj district. The axes of this type occur throughout Central and Eastern Europe, but most of them come from Kiev Ruthenia and Baltic areas, where hundreds of them have been found. They were defined as type IVa by Kirpičnikov, who dated it to the 10th-12th cent. The huge amount of material discovered in the east inclined the scholar to put forward a thesis of the Ruthian roots of those axes, but the fact that analogous specimens are part of Great Moravian treasures dated to the end of the 9th and the beginning of the 10th cent., may contradict that opinion.
Another category of objects showing associations with Eastern Europe are spear and javelin heads. An interesting find is a spearhead of substantial length and fitted with a socket (pl. II:1) which was loosely found on the site of the stronghold at Jurów. Items of very similar form come from eastern areas where they were defined by Kirpičnikov as type IVa and called „rohatyna”. The materials from Eastern Europe are dated to the period from the 12th-15th cent. Another interesting item is a socketed spearhead with a blade which is narrow and square in cross section, discovered accidentally at Ulów (pl. II:2). It shows direct analogy to the artefacts defined by Kirpičnikov as type V dated to the 10th-13th cent. Such military items have been known since the times of migrations of people, and in the early Middle Ages they were particularly popular with nomadic peoples neighbouring with Kiev Ruthe-nia. From those areas the spearheads of this type were presumably spread to the areas inhabited by Eastern Slavs. Other exceptionally interesting items of the collection include two very well preserved javelin heads and a probable fragment of such an item, accidentally discovered at Ulów (pl. III:1-3). The heads have a pyramidal head which turns into a tang fitted with a hook. There have been no similar specimens found in the area of Poland. A head from Opole is somewhat similar, but it has been regarded as incomplete or faulty. These heads have perfectly analogous parallels in the area of Russia and Ukraine; Kirpičnikov classified them as type III of javelin heads from Ruthenia, called sulice. The materials from Eastern Europe are mostly dated to the 10th-13th cent.
The last historical object to be discussed here is a bit discovered during the excavations conducted on the stronghold at Jurów (pl. III:4). The item should be classified as belonging to the variety of single-piece bits. Objects of this type are rare in the Western Slavonic areas, but they were popular in Kiev Ruthenia and with nomadic peoples. A. N. Kirpičnikov distinguished them as type VI and dated them to the 10th-11th cent. It should be noted, though, that the bits of the form discussed were also used in the 12th-13th cent., when they were falling into disuse.
In conclusion, it should be added that the materials discussed constitute but a small part of the mediaeval military items from the Lublin area which show analogies to the items from Eastern Europe. Military items of this character have been found at Czermno Kolonia, Gródek over the Bug River, and Chełmno Lubelskie. All military items comprise tens of objects.
Translated by Ireneusz Paternoga