In 2001 at the hillfort at Truszki Zalesie, Podlaskie Voivodeship, a hoard of 10th century dirhams together with a silver ear-ring was found. Apart from the dirhams over 22 000 fragments of pottery, iron objects, objects made from animal bones and stone were found, dated to the beginning of the 10th century indicating that in the early Middle Ages there was here a large settlement complex. The hoard consisted of 16 dirhams and a silver ear-ring and was hidden after 936/7. The Samanid dirhams in the hoard in question are represented by two emirs of that dynasty: Ismail ibn Ahmad (892-907) - 3 specimens struck at Samarkand, and Nasr ibn Ahmad (914-942/3) - 10 dirhams from the mints at Samarkand, as-Sas and Andaraba. A dirham of Nasr ibn Ahmad with the ornament over and under the first legend upon the obverse, unknown to Tornberg, Tiesenhausen or CNS, is one of the more interesting specimens. Imitations of the Volga Bulgars bearing the name of the Samarkand mint make up the other group of coins. Upon the reverses there are erroneous names of caliphs and emirs ('al-Muktafa billah/Ahmad ibn Ismail'; 'al-Muktadir lillah/Nasr ibn Ahmad). The last dirham from the imitation group is the least legible one. All the inscriptions both on the obverse and the reverse had been made erroneously. The coin was struck after 325 H = AD 936/7. On one dirham there is a graffiti with rune 'k' or 'u'. The silver ear-ring with the maize-cob pendant might be, according to M. Deka's, a local imitation characteristic of the Great Moravian Culture. The dirham hoard of Truszki Zalesie is connected with the eastern route of the inflow of Islamic coins into the Baltic region, the beginnings of which may be dated to as early as the 9th century. It provides a new argument on the course of the eastern route of the import of oriental silver. So far it has been believed to have run from Kiev through the Bug River region to Samland. However, the lack of finds of Samanid dirhams from the Prussian lands allow us to reject that hypothesis. Another concept linked the eastern route mainly with the area at the mouth of the Vistula, whence dirhams might have come to Great Poland, but only as late as the second half of the 10th century. Both the chronology of the deposition of successive hoards from eastern Poland and the similar inner structure of the hoard of Truszki Zalesie make it possible to set forth a hypothesis on the inflow of dirhams to Great Poland already in the second quarter of the 10th century. (5 figures)
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