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This treasure was found during rescue investigations in the basements of the backyard annex at 13 Kanonicza Street in Kraków in 1979. The deposit fell under the core of the early medieval bank of Okol. It was hidden in a pit measuring 108 x 210 cm, at a depth of about 100 cm, under walls partially covered with oak and fir wood...

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This treasure was found during rescue investigations in the basements of the backyard annex at 13 Kanonicza Street in Kraków in 1979. The deposit fell under the core of the early medieval bank of Okol. It was hidden in a pit measuring 108 x 210 cm, at a depth of about 100 cm, under walls partially covered with oak and fir wood (a kind of box protecting the walls of the pit).
The treasure included 4,212 so-called payables, with a total weight of 3,630 kg. Forfeits are iron bars with one end formed into a long, leafy blade, while the other is provided with a small hole with tapped side walls and an expanded back wall (sash). Most of the forfeits were forged from one piece of metal; about 25—30% were made of two different size pieces of iron shale, and sometimes also from several—or more than a dozen — pieces of metal.
Iron forfeits were a form of raw material destined for further processing by blacksmiths working far from deposits of raw materials and metallurgical centres. The specificity of early medieval metallurgy meant that the forfeits had enormous material value and, in many transactions, could be used as a common equivalent and measure of value. In the early Middle Ages, the treasure discovered at today's 13 Kanonicza Street had a value corresponding to a few kilograms of gold, or a cattle herd of about 300 head.

Elaborated by Michał Zaitz (Archaeological Museum in Kraków), © all rights reserved

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The hoard with iron axe-like bars (“grzywna”) from 13 Kanonicza Street in Kraków

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Skarb żelaznych grzywien siekieropodobnych z ul. Kanoniczej 13 w Krakowie [audiodeskrypcja] Tells: Fundacja na Rzecz Rozwoju Audiodeskrypcji KATARYNKA
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Skarb żelaznych grzywien siekieropodobnych z ul. Kanoniczej 13 w Krakowie Tells: Emil Zaitz
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