MARKS NOT PRESERVED IN CLAY. Some remarks on the theses contained in A. Mierzwinski's study (2003)
The article polemizes with theses presented in A. Mierzwinski's study (2003), in which the author discusses a new conception of production relations and trade organization in the Lusatian culture based on studies of pottery preserving human fingerprints originating from the settlement at Kunice. The present authors put into doubt the possibility of determining people's age and gender based on the size of the fingerprints impressed in the clay, this being contrary to dactylographic data and the results of experimental studies on pottery decoration. By the same, they reject the view that these ornamented pieces, believed by the author of the controversial study to have been made by men, were used in metallurgical production, especially as neither the suggestions regarding their separate method of production nor the efforts to explain their function in the casting process have withstood critical analysis. There is no straightforward proof for such an explanation (although one would expect substantial evidence), a fact that Mierzwinski does not believe to be of significance. In consequence, the hypothetical reconstruction of work relations and trade exchange proposed in Mierzwinski's book cannot be regarded as justified.
- J. Dabrowski, Instytut Archeologii i Etnologii PAN, Al. Solidarnosci 105, 00-140 Warszawa, Poland
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