On the Study of Prehistoric Flint Mining and the Mine at Krzemionki Opatowskie (In Connection with the Book 'Metody badan archeologicznych stanowisk produkcyjnych - górnictwo krzemienia, Warszawa 2000)
The article discusses the methods of studying prehistoric flint mines presented in the book 'Metody badan archeologicznych stanowisk produkcyjnych - górnictwo krzemienia' (Methods used in the archaeological study of production sites - flint mining), published in Warsaw in 2000. The author of the article is generally critical of the work, though certain fragments are praised. He considers its greatest failings to be the marginal discussion of flint material from the mines, a lack of suggestions for rescue excavations of flint mines and the viewing of prehistoric mining solely from the perspective of modern industrial mining. In the conclusion the article mentions the need for a monograph covering the many years of research done at the Krzemionki Opatowskie flint mine site. Summary The article discusses the methods of researching prehistoric flint mines as presented in the book 'Metody badan archeologicznych stanowisk produkcyjnych - górnictwo krzemienia' (Methods of archaeological research of production sites - flint mining), published in 2000 The book comprises eleven articles by nine authors. The foremost articles are written by a team of archaeologists who, since the early 1980s, have been studying the flint mine at Krzemionki Opatowskie (W. Borkowski, W. Migal, S. Salacinski, M. Zalewski) and by J. Budziszewski, who has studied the mine at Ozarów in central Poland. The book is in Polish, without an index and foreign language summaries or abstracts. Even translation of the title and contents are lacking. The author of the article points to weaknesses both in the editorial concept of the book as a whole and of individual articles. He notes that some of them are superfluous - such as the one devoted to the magnetic and electromagnetic methods, which have no practical application in the exploration of flint mines. Other articles present the use of outdated tools and software. On the other hand, the work lacks a much needed article on methods of determining the chronology of flint mines and the danger of committing characteristic errors. The author is also very critical of the examples of drawings of shaft profiles proposed by the authors, and of the photographic documentation which is of poor quality and often without any scale. The well written parts of the book include the fragments devoted to surface examination of flint mine sites and to analysis of filling from shaft I/4 at Ozarow (J. Budziszewski), also to the study of the structure of rubble dumps in the underground mine chambers at Krzemionki Opatowskie (W. Migal), to the model of distribution of flint exploitation systems at the Krzemionki mining field (W. Borkowski) and to the application of the resistivity method in studies of flint mines (T. Herbich). The greatest inadequacies of the book are the marginal treatment of the geology of the excavated mine sites, of the methods of studying structures and flint material from the mines, the lack of suggestions as to rescue excavations of flint mines, the treatment of prehistoric flint mining solely from the perspective of the history of modern industrial mining without taking into consideration the prehistoric context. The reviewer also notices the careless use and compilation of literature in most of the articles as well as a number of other errors. He also recalls that similar weaknesses were pointed out ten years ago by B. Balcer in his review of the first book published by the same team from the State Archaeological Museum in Warsaw.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.