April 10th – June 30th 2015

exhibition curators: Marta Sierant, Agnieszka Łukaszyk

The exhibition presents the results of excavations carried out at the cremation cemetery in Domasław (Lower Silesia province).  The discoveries were made during the works associated with the construction of a bypass road of Wrocław in the years 2006-2008. Archaeological research was conducted by the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology of the Polish Academy of Sciences under the direction of professor Bogusław Gediga.  According to the findings of archaeologists the necropolis was used from c.a. 1300 BC to c.a. 450 BC, probably by the same community preserving the traditions of burial place of their ancestors.  The investigated graves are the first known examples of the Iron Age burials from the area of Poland that show evident social differentiation. The exhibition displays numerous bronze ornaments including necklaces, bracelets, pins and toiletry items, as well as weapons – mostly swords and arrowheads.

The exceptional character of the necropolis is additionally attested by numerous finds of painted pottery (320 items), which form the largest assemblage of this kind found so far in Poland. One of the most valuable artefacts is a four-wheeled wagon recovered from a richly furnished chamber grave. The symbolism of transporting the dead “leader-chieftain” to the grave on a funeral wagon is known from the Mediterranean civilisation circle, more specifically from Greece. It can be also referred to the Hallstatt princely graves, where wagons are considered to symbolise a journey to the afterlife.

A large number of outstanding artefacts recovered from Damasław cemetery reflect the wealth of the people inhabiting the area of modern-day Silesia in the Early Iron Age. The exhibition gives visitors an excellent opportunity to gain insight into the world of this highly developed society which maintained close relations with the main centres of the prehistoric Europe (Hallstatt culture), and, through them, with the Mediterranean civilisations.

The exhibition organisers:  Muzeum Archeologiczne w Poznaniu, Instytut Archeologii i Etnologii PAN w Warszawie, Zespół Badań Ratowniczych Instytutu  Archeologii i Etnologii Polskiej Akademii Nauk Oddział we Wrocławiu, Muzeum Miejskie Wrocławia.

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