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Review: Finds of Roman imports in the Area of the Ancient Iron-smelting Centers in Poland

Iwona Kowalczyk-Mizerakowska

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

Finds of Roman imports in the Area of the Ancient Iron-melting Centers in Poland

The book “Finds of Roman imports in the Area of ​​the Ancient Iron-melting Centers in Poland” by Iwona Kowalczyk-Mizerakowska is the result of several years of research and the author’s inquiries into Roman finds in ancient iron-melting centers in Poland, and more specifically in the provinces Mazowieckie and Świętokrzyskie. These objects have not yet been published.

First of all, it should be noted that the purpose of this work – as the author herself says – was to assess how closely the Roman finds are related to the issue of iron production and to answer the question of when the objects appeared in the regions in question.

After the introduction, the reader receives a catalog of discovered Roman coins and objects, including: glass vessels, other glass objects, ceramics, jewelry, elements of armament, etc., divided into two discussed centers. The author has done incredibly hard work trying to find, mark and describe the discovered Roman objects. At the end of the book, we also get maps with markings of where the discoveries were made and photos of selected artifacts that were found.

After analyzing the catalog, we receive a several-page description of the production centers in question and the finds discovered. What’s more, we get acquainted with the final conclusions. In addition, the book is accompanied by a CD with the possibility of viewing uncovered, selected fibulae in 3D.

From my perspective, the book is amazing not only because of how much work the author put in (because it is undeniable), but above all because this position confirms how many monuments of Roman culture are in Poland, literally at your fingertips. Polish museums hide real treasures for enthusiasts of Roman history.

Finding such a large number of Roman artifacts (especially coins and vessels from the Roman world) in the iron-smelting areas may prove that the barbarian peoples inhabiting these areas used imported or plundered items and goods as a form of payment. The author suggests that in both centers one can find local trade routes along which the discussed goods circulated. Based on the coins themselves, it can be assumed that the time of their collection in the centers in question is the second half of the 2nd century CE.

In conclusion, the work is scientific in nature, so not everyone will find it interesting. However, for anyone who is passionate about Roman times, archaeologists, treasure hunters and other history buffs, this is a very attractive position. We will find here, above all, a very interesting list of discovered artifacts from Roman times, which may arise in our minds the question of how many more such treasures are hidden under our feet.

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