History & Culture

Treasure of bronze objects from before 3.5 thousand years discovered in Bieszczady

Treasure from Rzepedź. Photo by D.Szuwalski
Treasure from Rzepedź. Photo by D.Szuwalski

Treasure containing bronze objects has been discovered in Rzepedź in Bieszczady Mountains. 3.5 thousand years old items had found their way to today’s Podkarpacie from beyond the Carpathians. Archaeologists made the discovery with help from a friend - finder, who stumbled on an ice axe and necklace fragments while walking.

"All the objects are made of bronze. The treasure contains a pickaxe, dozens of fragments of a spiral necklace and a bracelet of with recurving endings" - told PAP Piotr Kotowicz, an archaeologist at the Historical Museum in Sanok.

Ice axe and valuables were hidden in a clay jug with a diameter of 25 cm. Before burying it in a pit, the vessel was turned upside down and placed on a sandstone plate.

Archaeological discovery in Rzepedź was made accidentally. A few days ago, while walking, Łukasz Solon from Sanok noticed an ice axe sticking out of the ground. After returning, he contacted the Sanok museum.

On the next day, archaeologists began searching the around the place he pointed. It turned out that the ice axe was just one of many finds.

"For me, as an archaeologist it is very important that after finding one object the discoverer did not explore the place further himself, but reported the discovery and waited for specialists. This approach is commendable, and from the point of view of archaeology, it means preserving a lot of information that are unrecoverable after amateur exploration of a treasure such as the one from Rzepedź" - Piotr Kotowicz told the portal Archeolog.pl.

According to Kotowicz, the discovered objects were probably made south of the Carpathians. "The treasure is probably related to the communication route, which ran from the nearby Łupków Pass through the Osława and San valleys" - noted the archaeologist.

Bronze monuments from Rzepedź have been preliminarily dated to approx. 1500 years before Christ. "We do not yet know who and why had hidden the treasure so carefully. Axe and jewellery are most likely related to the Piliny culture, then existing south of the Carpathians" - noted Kotowicz.

In the 1990s in Trzcinica near Jasło, approx. 30-40 km from Rzepedź, archaeologists discovered Poland’s oldest fortified settlements dating back more than four thousand years, with strong Transcarpathian influence. Later, between 1650 and 1350 BC, the area was inhabited by the highly civilised Transcarpathian Otomani-Füzesabony culture.

Piotr Kotowicz told PAP that in recent days a survey has been conducted with a representative of the local conservation office in Krosno, which is a prelude to broader research. It might allow to determine whether the discovery is isolated, or had been buried within a settlement from that period.

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