A Late Viking-Age Elite Cemetery in Central Poland


Volume Editor:
Bodzia is one of the most fascinating archaeological discoveries of the post-war period in Poland. It is one of the few cemeteries in Poland from the time of the origins of the Polish state. The unique character of this discovery is mainly due to the fact that a small, elite population was buried there. The burials there included people whose origins were connected with the Slavic, Nomadic-Khazarian and Scandinavian milieus. For the first time the evidence from this area is given prominence.
This book is designed mainly for readers outside Poland. The reader is offered a collection of chapters, combining analyses and syntheses of the source material, and a discussion of its etno-cultural and political significance. The authors formulate new hypotheses and ideas, which put the discoveries in a broader European context.
Contributors are Wiesław Bogdanowicz, Mateusz Bogucki, Andrzej Buko, Magdalena M. Buś, Maria Dekówna, Alicja Drozd-Lipińska, Władysław Duczko, Karin Margarita Frei, Tomasz Goslar, Tomasz Grzybowski, Zdzisław Hensel, Iwona Hildebrandt-Radke, Michał Kara, Joanna Koszałka, Anna B. Kowalska, Tomasz Kozłowski, Marek Krąpiec, Roman Michałowski, Michael Müller-Wille, T. Douglas Price, Tomasz Purowski, Tomasz Sawicki, Iwona Sobkowiak-Tabaka, Stanisław Suchodolski and Kinga Zamelska-Monczak.

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Andrzej Buko, Ph.D. (1978), is director of the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology of the Polish Academy of Sciences and titular professor of University of Warsaw. Author over 280 papers concerning medieval archaeology, his book The Archaeology of Early Medieval Poland -3 editions in Poland (Warsaw 2005, 2006, 2011), and one abroad (Brill, 2008)- is the prime university handbook for early medieval archaeology in Poland.
"A cemetery at Bodzia was fully excavated during the years 2004 and 2007–9. This book, produced for international readers by an interdisciplinary team of twenty-five authors, presents the material from most possible perspectives. It is welcome to have so comprehensive a book accessible in English so soon. The book is richly illustrated, consists of twenty-five chapters... To sum up, this cemetery provides important evidence, and the book makes an interesting contribution to international research on burial customs, communication, and politics in northwestern Europe from approximately the mid-tenth to the mid-twelfth century."
Sæbjørg Walaker Nordeide, Speculum 92.4 (2017).
List of Illustrations...ix
List of Tables...xxvii
List of Contributors ...xxix

Looking Towards Bodzia: An Introduction...1
Andrzej Buko

Part 1: The Area of the Middle and Lower Vistula River Valley between the 10th–11th Centuries: Archaeology and History
1 The Archaeological Context of the Bodzia Cemetery and the Trade Route along the Middle and the Lower Vistula during the Middle and Late Viking Period...9
Mateusz Bogucki
2 The Historical Context of the Discoveries at Bodzia...34
Roman Michałowski

Part 2: The Bodzia Cemetery: Site Location, Environmental Data, Graves and their Contents
3 Bodzia: Site Location and History of Research...47
Iwona Sobkowiak-Tabaka
4 The Effect of Depositional and Post-Depositional Processes on the Preservation of Skeletal Remains in the Bodzia Cemetery...54
Iwona Hildebrandt-Radke
5 The Inventory of the Burials and their Contents...63
Iwona Sobkowiak-Tabaka
Appendix: Wood and Plant Macro-remains Analysis...139
Joanna Koszałka
6 Analysis of the Skeletal Population from the Cemetery of Bodzia...143
Alicja Drozd-Lipińska and Tomasz Kozłowski

Part 3: Grave Goods and their Context
7 Overview of the Finds from the Bodzia Cemetery...163
Andrzej Buko
8 Merchants’ Implements (the Folding Balance)...166
Michał Kara
9 Weapons...177
Michał Kara
Appendix: Metallographic Analyses of Selected Finds from a Young Warrior’s Grave (E864/I)...197
Zdzisław Hensel
10 Status and Magic. Ornaments Used by the Bodzia Elites...202
Władysław Duczko
11 Glass Beads...222
Maria Dekówna and Tomasz Purowski
12 Iron Artifacts...262
Tomasz Sawicki
13 Costume Elements of Leather...272
Anna B. Kowalska
14 Ceramic and Wooden Containers...288
Kinga Zamelska-Monczak
15 Objects Made of Antler and Stone...304
Kinga Zamelska-Monczak
16 The Obol of the Dead...313
Stanisław Suchodolski

Part 4: Funeral Rites
17 Description of the Cemetery, Organization of the Burial Space, the Burial Rites in the Light of the Cultural and Historical Determinants...343
Michał Kara
18 Tentative Reconstruction of Coffins...412
Tomasz Sawicki
19 Symbolic Aspects of the Remains of Wood from the Cemetery...421
Joanna Koszałka

Part 5: Chronology of the Cemetery
20 Chronology of the Cemetery...427
Andrzej Buko and Michał Kara
Appendix 1: AMS Radiocarbon Dating of Samples from the Cemetery at Bodzia...438
Tomasz Goslar
Appendix 2: Radiometric Radiocarbon Dating of Samples from the Cemetery at Bodzia...442
Marek Krąpiec

Part 6: Locals or Aliens?
21 Isotopic Proveniencing of the Bodzia Burials...447
T. Douglas Price and Karin Margarita Frei
22 Genetic Analysis of Selected Graves from the Cemetery...465
Wiesław Bogdanowicz, Tomasz Grzybowski and Magdalena M. Buś

Part 7: European Contexts of the Bodzia Cemetery
23 The Cemetery at Bodzia in a Broader European Context...481
Michael Müller-Wille
24 The Cemetery at Bodzia in the Context of the Funerary Practices in the Polish Lands in the Late 10th–11th Century...513
Michał Kara

Part 8: The Bodzia Cemetery in Light of the Interdisciplinary Research
25 The Bodzia Cemetery in Light of the Interdisciplinary Research...525
Andrzej Buko

All interested in the archaeology and history of east-central Europe, non coventional burial customs, ethnicity, early state elites in the Late Viking Ages.
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