Migration Period
between Odra and Vistula

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Zagorzyn (formerly, Zagórzyn), Kalisz district, Greater Poland Voivodeship, site of discovery in autumn (1926), possibly in spring (1927) of a vast →Migration Period  deposit. Owners of the land who had discovered the hoard sold off almost all of it to collectors, go-betweens and dealers, this makes it impossible to fully reconstruct its contents. Some objects were destroyed (melted down, e.g., a gold medallion weighing ca. 750 g, presumably an imitation, and a large part of the denarii), a small number passed to museums in Berlin, Cologne, Kalisz, Warsaw, Breslau (since 1945, Wrocław), Stuttgart and New York. Resting in a large bronze cauldron the deposit included a silver gilt buckle (figs. 2 and 5), a gold ring pendant (fig. 2), a gold human figurine, at least six 4th-century gold medallions (figs. 1-4), possibly, two Scandinavian bracteats type B and C (figs. 2 and 4) →Scandinavian Bracteat and at least 3,000 denarii from the 1st-2nd cc. and solidi →Solidus  from the 4th, possibly also 5th century (figs. 1-2). A unique gold barbarian imitation of a Valentinian I and Valens medallion with an obverse inscription REGIS (sic!) ROMANORVM was struck using the same reverse die as a medallion from →Şimleul-Silvaniei  in Transylvania and was even attributed - incorrectly – to that deposit (figs. 1 and 3). The assemblage from Z. was deposited on the turn of the 5th and 6th century and represented the property, amassed over several generations, of a tribal elite who maintained long-distance political contacts which ranged from the Roman Empire to Scandinavia. An investigation made in 1998 confirmed the site of deposition of the hoard in the field, rewarded with the discovery of further fragments of the bronze cauldron, more denarii, etc.

See also: Boročiče, Laskiv, →Şimleul-Silvaniei, →Velp.



Literature: A. Bursche, Złote medaliony rzymskie w Barbaricum. Symbolika prestiżu i władzy społeczeństw barbarzyńskich u schyłku starożytności, Warszawa 1998, p. 51-61, 254-257, Tab. J i K; A. Bursche, 4th century solidi from Zagórzyn hoard, Polish Numismatic News VII, 2003, p. 41-60; A. Bursche, Germanic gold bracteates from the hoard in Zagórzyn near Kalisz, [in:] M. Wołoszyn (Ed.) Byzantine Coins in Central Europe between the 5th and 10th Century, Moravia Magna, Seria Polona vol. III, Kraków 2009, p. 133-153; A. Bursche, J. Kowalski (red.), Barbarzyńskie Tsunami - Okres Wędrówek Ludów w dorzeczu Odry i Wisły, Warszawa-Szczecin 2017.