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The find is dated back to the 1st half of the 5th century (before 434). It is one of the most interesting pieces of proof of contact between the peoples inhabiting the area of southern Poland and the Huns in the 1st half of the 5th century. The grave was discovered by accident in 1911 while mining sand. The majority of the excavated objects were smuggled to Kraków over the then Russian-Austrian border.

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The find is dated back to the 1st half of the 5th century (before 434). It is one of the most interesting pieces of proof of contact between the peoples inhabiting the area of southern Poland and the Huns in the 1st half of the 5th century. The grave was discovered by accident in 1911 while mining sand. The majority of the excavated objects were smuggled to Kraków over the then Russian-Austrian border. They were purchased by the National Museum and since 1938 have remained part of the collection of the Archaeological Museum of Kraków.
A man buried in the richly decorated grave was equipped with a long iron, double-edged sword of the spatha type. What has been preserved are the remnants of the scabbard covered in gold plate, decorated with a stamped ornament of fish scales, an amber sword bead with an almandine affixed in a gold frame, gold-plated fittings of a symbolic reflex bow, an iron knife as well as gold, silver and gilded decorations of an outfit and parts of a horse tack.
Since the equipment from the burial place in Jakuszowice includes the symbolic reflex bow decorated with gold-plated fittings, the grave is often described as the “Hun grave.” Bows of this type are found in rich graves of Hun dignitaries in the Carpathian Basin and come from finds of a sacrificial character. It is assumed that the person buried in the grave from Jakuszowice was a chief who belonged to the group of tribal leaders who maintained contact with the Hun State in the period preceding its heyday in the times of Attila.

Details on the technique for the performing individual elements of the find:

The iron knife and the iron double-edged sword were made in the technique of forging; gold plates from the fitting of the sword scabbard and the bow were decorated with stamped ornaments; the amber sword bead with an almandine affixed in a golf frame, gold, silver and gilded ornaments of the outfit, including buckles decorated with semi-precious stones – red almandines – were made in the so-called polychromic style; parts of the horse tack were mostly covered with a stamped ornament with the niello technique used, referring to the Sösdala-Untersiebenbrunn style.

Detailed dimensions of the exhibits:

1 — iron sword, spatha type; length = 95.1 cm. 2 — amber sword bead; diameter = 6 cm, thickness = 2.8 cm. 3 — two gold-plated fittings of the sword scabbard; length = 7.9 cm, width = 5.6 cm and length = 7.9 cm, width = 2.4 cm. 4 — parts of a shoe of the Gundremmingen type: silver band, width = 1.6 cm; bronze foot, length = 5.2 cm. 5 — two gold fittings studded with almandines; length = 6.6 and 7.3 cm. 6 — eleven thin gold plates from the lining of the symbolic reflex bow; arms’ span of the bow = approx. 80 cm. 7 — iron ends of the bit with silver rings and gilded and silver strap attachments; diameter of rings = 4.1 cm, length of attachments = 4.2 – 4.4 cm, width of attachments = 1.2 — 1.3 cm. 8 — two strap dividers of the horse harness, silver, with gilded ends and bronze washers; arms’ length = 3.6 and 3.9 cm. 9 — silver, gilded pendant; height = 5 cm, width = 4.2 cm. 10 — three gold buckles with the caps studded with almandines; length = 3.4, 4 cm and 5.5 cm. 11 — four silver buckles with quadrilateral caps, three gilded ones with a stamped ornament on the cap; length = 2.5, 3.9, 4 and 4.1 cm. 12 — a silver ring with a cap; length = 3.8 cm. 13 — silver gilded fitting of the belt’s end; length = 5.6 cm. 14 — two gold fittings of the belt’s end studded with almandines; length = 3.9 cm. 15 — two crescent bronze fittings covered with a gold plate, studded with almandines; length = 3.4 and 2.6 cm. 16 — a triangular gold plate; height = 1.1 cm. 17 — an iron knife; length = 15.9 cm. The weight of the preserved gold objects is about 150 g, silver objects — about 243 g.

Elaborated by Tomasz Wichman (Archaeological Museum in Kraków), © all rights reserved

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“Princely” grave from Jakuszowice near Kazimierza Wielka

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