Marta Raczyńska-Kruk: Biskupin and myths of the beginning. A story of the Polish Archaeology as starting point for a reflection on collective memory



            Anthropologist point out that the past, including its material manifestations and products (e.g. places and objects), is in a dialectical relation to the present. As a consequence, the past offers us a set of signs, metaphors, symbols and other narrations on which we build myths and create pictures demanded by society at a given moment. This remark concerns not only historical past, but also very remote prehistory which is reflected in ‘silent’ material culture as rudimentary and enigmatic data: archaeological sites and objects found inside them, ruins, mounds or others. In general, every process of interpretation of old cultures’ heritage, whether in academic or popular context, is to mythologise and re-interpret the vision of the past, not to reconstruct it.

            We have to say that critical reflection on archaeology as description of the past with all its modern implications, is build on the basis of post-modern thinking. It abandons an essential research question: who was the prehistoric man? and asks rather about us as sender and recipients of archaeological knowledge, and about our attitudes to the past and, at the same time, to present. Critical approach is said to be so-called self-reflective archaeology – academic sub-discipline concerned with ways in which archaeological narration provides images to create identities in the contemporary world. As can be seen, this is opposed to traditional fields of interests of archaeology (defined by a scientific worldview and things-oriented), but not less important. Moreover, it should be emphasized that collective memory and identity of different social groups is largely founded on narrations about our ancestors and old cultures’ creators, whose traces are studied by archaeologists today. Such reflection, for example, is present in the egyptologist Jan Assmann’s researches, inspired by Maurice Halbwasch’s theory of social memory and its determinants. Assman considers archaeology as one of forms of cultural memory as the memory of the world, which is annexed by our own memory as images (signs, emblems, places) and stories (Assman, 2008, 36; Assman 1995, 128). Therefore we can call this the materialized memory or archaeological memory to define interactions between memory of things or places and human memory. Terms we can see above also indicate the problem of heritage, its memory-creative potential and active role in socio-archaeological discourse. It is probably the most marginalized field of this discipline (Assmann, 1995, 126-127; Olivier, 2004, 204-213; Zalewska 2011a, 78; 2012; 2013b). Theoretically, such duality of perspectives is inscribed within the nature of this field of science and it makes archaeologists not only researchers of the past, but also ‘guardians of memory” and mediators between human and material worlds (Cyngot, Zalewska, 2012, 59).

            Post-modern approach to archaeological narrations in humanity and human science involves also an important question of  ‘agency of things’ and ‘return to things’ introduced by Bruno Latour, Bjørnar Olsen or Alfred Gell (or, in Polish humanity, primarily by Ewa Domańska and Jacek Kowalski). This movement departs from treating human as the first and only designer of culture, and establishes things as active ‘agents’ with autonomous subjectivity (Latour, 1987, 7-13; Domańska, Olsen, 2008, 9-12; 2010, 561-592; Kowalewski, Piasek 2008, 61-81; Olsen, 2010a). Theoretically, the problem we discuss in this paper is strictly connected with the issue of agency, because materiality – as a very powerful realm – still influences people and their activities. So, we can study the role of pre-historical and historical artefacts, monuments and places in the process of recognizing and understanding the past, and – in a consequence – creating a special kind of cultural memory (Kula, 2002, 7). Archaeology, like any other scientific discipline, is a social knowledge and as such it takes an active part in co-creating the reality, in which different types of memory and various identities are being shaped and looped each other. However, by producing narrations about old cultures, it can broaden or extend (in the same way that the field of view can be extended) these identities in time. In this context, an archaeology is a provider of subject matters which enables social communication as a culturally conditioned sign system (Zalewska, 2012, 1114). It creates behaviour models and values, and serves as a bridge between collective memory of modern societies and the very distant past. This is precisely here we can find essential attributes of ‘archaeological memory’: things as multi-meaning vehicles of time, carriers of senses, factors of identity or ‘object-semaphores’ in terminology of Krzysztof Pomian (Pomian, 2008, 101).

            Besides its traditional questions and assumptions, archaeology offers us the possibility to discuss about various forms of creating, protecting and recovering the collective memory (Zalewska 2012, 1178-1189). Elements of material heritage, especially in the shape of ‘silent’ monuments, parts of cultural landscape and preserved artefacts, become the food and fuel of modern social imaginary. It concerns not only some ideas of the past of a given place, but also ways of its commemorating, e.g. activities consisting in adapting and using archaeological narrations in the process of integrating within groups, as well as legitimization of memory of local societies. An interesting example of this phenomenon is some remark of a resident of the small village Masłomęcz, near Hrubieszów, where archaeologists found traces of culture connected with historical Goths: How can you know that I have not Gothic origins? These cultures and peoples have been mixing and melting for a long time… Besides, it is a spiritual matter[1]. The comment’s author, with other residents of Masłomęcz, co-participates the local project ‘The Goths’ Village’, which was inspired by archaeologist Andrzej Kokowski (Professor of UMCS in Lublin, who researches the problem of Iron Age settlement in the Hrubieszów Basin) following the end of excavations (after 2002). Once, a tourist-cyclist came to the Goths’ hut. – Are there any Goths here? – he asked. – Yes, we are. – the woman relates[2]. It seems that archaeological narration can be truly mind-boggling, more than we expect.

            All of these phenomena, which are shaped by archaeological knowledge, may refer to the definition of ‘invented memory’. It often happens that local groups of people, as recipients of the story about the past of their place, start to create cultural landscape, and – finally – become protectors of discovered or revitalised heritage. But is not everything; there is also all elements of this heritage, which can shape people and their way of perceiving the past. As a consequence, according to Eric Hobsbawm, we are facing the act of generating remotest antiquity which extend further than historical reality (Hobsbawm, 1983, 11-14). It has already happened several times in history of the Polish archaeology: since the 19th century when academics have sough to stimulate and increase the national awareness by emphasising the role of local antiquities and historical heritage, through a period of confrontation between the German Ostforschung and the Polish Westforschung in the beginning of the 20th century, up to now when archaeological data provides a response to the common needs for having ‘places of memory’ or legitimising histories and origins of our ‘little homelands’. In the face of so-called Memory boom in humanities, collective memory may reach so far as it needs, even thousands years back (Zalewska, 2012, 1103, 1187). The idea of culture of history, from Pierre Nora’s point of view, is therefore to explain ways of commemorating the past, e.g. by putting emphasis on martyrdom in historical sites, or through reference to remotest antiquity in the context of archaeological places. Prehistoric lieux de mémoire such as ‘The Goths’ Village’ or Biskupin (the Gąsawa municipality) in the historic region of Pałuki are still subjected to mythologization (Norra, 1989, 7-9; Szpociński 2008, 12-13). We should now consider whether such cultural constructs should be studied as institutionalized (top-down stimulated), or non-institutionalized forms of collective memory. Actually some elements of local identities stay into the shadow of initiatives undertaken by socio-cultural animators, museums, regional non-government organizations and other people who seek to awake the regional and historical awareness. These processes are noticeable also in unforced, family narrations about cultural landscape of the little homeland and the most important places within this area. In fact, ways of perceiving the space and places are determined by the need of legitimising identities and roots of community.

            Such a need, as we can see in case of Biskupin, is usually unforced and natural (Hobsbawm, 1983, 8). This example is really flagrant. It can also provide enough material to study links between reconstructed fortified town from the Early Iron Age as local place of memory and transformation of indigenous population’s identity, especially in the nearby village – Gąsawa. A starting point for the process of shaping regional identity was here the large-scale archaeological research activities conducted in the pre-war period and after the Second World War. Many of current residents of Gąsawa have participated in excavations at that time. It is said by people, as well as written in memoir literature (e.g. Jasienica, 1961; Kostrzewski, 1970), that archaeologists could have found in the locals the loyal audience, trustees and companions in their work. However, researchers not only have opened the mysteries of the remote culture and identified predecessor of today’s residents of this place. They also created an important context of everyday life for many people, as well as provided them a chance to renew their memory or confirm their own being here and now.

            History of archaeology, since its origins, can provide examples of how that discipline reflects trends of different epochs. This is also confirmed by single stories. In the third decade of the 20th century, Walenty Szwajcer, a discoverer of famous settlement and a school teacher from Biskupin the village, together with Józef Kostrzewski, an archaeologist and one of the founders of The Poznan School of Archaeology, started to create first layers of the ‘Biskupinian palimpsest’. Szwajcer himself became a local legend with time. ‘Old-Slavic’ (according to the political background and historical viewpoint of that time) wooden dwelling was the place which offered many attractive signs of regional identity. The great success of archaeological researches, noticed by the scientific community and the media, especially newspapers, strengthened their force of impact for local residents. As a result, material relics of the Iron Age settlement were involved in processes of recovering and enliving the past by people, who linked this place to their own visions of the history. Brought to light from underground, Biskupin transformed into an object which belongs to the contemporaneity and which is subject to the rules of the present. History of that place, written by Kostrzewski (a disciple of Gustaf Kossina, creator of the techniques of ‘settlement archaeology’ and ‘ethnic interpretation’ of archaeological cultures), was also a powerful instrument of combat in the ideological debate between Polish and German archaeology before the beginning of the II World War, as well as in the after-war period, when the emphasis was put on on the Slavic origins of Polish territories and legitimising the fact of incorporation land in todays Western Poland. In other words, archaeology was largely depend from policy and prevailing ideology; it also served as some kind of propaganda tool by means of which collective memory of both nations was manipulated in an adequate manner (Kostrzewski 1913). In case of Biskupin, there were Polish and German collective memories looped together, and all these memories wanted to look back almost three thousands years or even more (due to interpreting traces of neolithic settlement in Polish lowlands as proto-Germanic by archaeologists from the other side of the Oder). Before the outbreak of the II World War, anti-Polish sentiments (expressed particularly by an archaeologist Bolko von Richthofen from Wrocław) affected also narration about Biskupin. The closer the September 1939 was, the severer became a conflict. Finally, over the period 1941-1943, ‘archaeological survey’ was conducted here according to the order of Heinrich Himmler; the Ahnenerbe organisation was intended to prove that peoples of the Lusatian Culture were Germans.

            However, we have to remember that archaeological activities undertaken since the moment of the Biskupinian settlement discovery were still being observed by local residents. Attempts to find the connections with that place, already described as ‘Polish Pompeii’ and ‘the Europe-wide phenomenon’ in the pre-war newspapers, were expression of a natural need of being proud of local little homeland[3]. On archival photographs we can see archaeologists with visitors of the excavation site, for example the president Ignacy Mościcki or the Archibishop of Cracow Adam Sapieha, but also inhabitants of nearby villages, particularly Gąsawa, who posed for pictures on the background of the wet Biskupinian meadows. Such a way of connecting with the new, full of semantic potential element of local landscape, gave them access to the remote past manifested in material and tangible form. In some sense, people became able to experience the space of discovery, and to tell about it as if that place was, to a degree, their own. Then the local memory of Biskupin was already coming alive. Gradually developed, it was a by-product of direct relationship with material culture dated back to three thousand years. This phenomenon, as we can see, should be perceived not only by the prism of ideology, policy and current scientific paradigm, but – in the first place – in the context of regional identity and processes of its shaping. This aspect was strengthened the most in the war period, when – as it is said by inhabitants of Gąsawa, who remember this time quite well – Germans wanted to destroy this place, so that no would be stay for us [men, 86 years old[4]]. Despite the losses (process of destruction of sand-filled remains escalated), excavation in the settlement had begun after the war – in the 1946. The project of work engaged many academic and research centres, with the Institute of Research of Slavonic Antiquities very much to the fore, as well as national institutions. The archaeology as science stayed in service of the historical materialism. It was involved with studies on origins of the Polish state and tried to prove a Slavic ethnicity of this land in prahistorical time (Hensel 1947). Numerous students were drawn to Biskupin to participate in archaeological trenches. As the historian Paweł Jasienica wrote in one of his retrospective essays: a working day started up at the six thirty: then the entourage set off on the excavation site. At the fifteen o’clock all of them washed themselves and bathed in the lake […] (Jasienica, 1961, 7)[5]. But in the meanwhile, also local residents, particularly coming from the municipality of Gąsawa were involved in the excavations and different mini-jobs on the site, such as washing pottery, cleaning magazines, or supervising newly-reconstructed huts on the Biskupinian Peninsula, where an archaeological reserve was developed (Fig. 1). A prehistory has already entered in people’s own histories and became a part of their everyday life. To the present day they can recall these experiences with very high precision[6]:

Then we looked for these small fragmens [of clay pots]. We had to look for these pieces, because we were digging and then we had to clean everything we found. And everything we found, we took to the magazines; if something fit each other, it could have matched. Sometimes the one pot was assembled once a say; always some pieces fit each other and finally they were exhibited [woman, 80 years old].

They [archaeologists] excavated these wooden routes, approximately here; all of remains were made by wood, and the home place was here, it was like that. Because there were people [archaeologists] who know how did it look like. And we worked by using tools resembling spoons. All we found, there were grey clay, sometimes in whole or in part. And these wiser guys made inventory of finds. They took a pot, if it was in whole, or pieces that we found, and then they created the whole pot from such pieces [men, 86 years old].

            In the light of mentioned statements – which illustrate memories of casual people, unrelated professionally nor with archaeology, nor with history as the field of knowledge – the following paragraph written by Paweł Jasienica seems to be very meaningful:

Contrary to our traditional image of the holiday workshops, these archaeological ones have absolutely nothing to do with any kind of dolce far niente. The work involved in careful ‘scarping’ and digging holes in the ground by use shovel or spade, screening sand through fingers and sieve, or even muddying through kitchen sieve, is quite a difficult. This is necessary to look carefully at every clods of earth, at every particle of clay. Sometimes the only thing necessary to put a shovel down and take small spade or even spoon is a bit darker spot on the trench bottom. It would be, after all, some week trace of pile which completely decayed in the sand… [P. Jasienica, Słowiański…, op.cit., p. 8]

            Since that time people from Gąsawa and other nearby villages used to go for a Sunday walk not to Biskupin, but to excavation [in Polish: na wykopy, wykopki, do wykopalisk]. Newly created reserve became a very popular place for resting. What is the most interesting, although nobody’s carrying archaeological researches within reconstructed settlement on the Biskupinian Peninsula, residents of Gąsawa are still going for walks – as they say – to excavation. It may be concluded that vision of the surrounding world, shaped by archaeological heritage, is the collective imagination fed by historical narration. Here wedding parties and wakes are organized in the ‘Prasłowiańska’ (which means ‘pre-slavic’) restaurant. Moreover, when we enter or leave the territory of the Gąsawa municipality, we can see wooden sculptures of pre-Slavic warrior. Although basin-shaped helmets on their heads indicate the early medieval period, not proto-historic times, local residents say that: they are descendants of these people from Biskupin. Of course, such examples shows that a numerous images of the past are hidden behind visions of the little homeland. It is connected particularly with processes of misstating and distorting of these images. However, there is the rule for an every myth (Holden Rønning, 2009, 144). On the ground of mythical narrations, social memory has a dual responsibility. At first, local myths will enable ‘biographies’ of discovered archaeological objects and places to fill the gaps in their histories, and can give them new identities. Secondly, collective memory may became some ‘guardian’ of their existence or guarantor of their endurance and survival. All residents of Gąsawa, all residents of Biskupin, all residents of Wenecja, well, as I said, all people, teachers, pupils, everyone lived in the phenomenon of that excavation! – as the local teacher herself mentions [woman, 66 years old]. K. found in his household some pieces of the pot [laugh] and he said that he will not give it back. And then this pot stay behind the glass, in the school showcase, but finally someone took it to the museum[7].

            Cultural memory, as a term which allows to overcome some dichotomies and divisions within the subject of archaeological studies, can provide us categories of interpreting narrations about this prehistoric settlement, which was reborn during the 20th century in a completely new form. Its modern history was build (and is still being build) from a tangle of different memories: memory of Polish nation, as well as memory of research community, including archaeologists, historians and other scholars who mythologised their own experiences in numerous retrospective essays and reports. Finally, memory of casual people who stood ‘behind the fence’, observed the work carried out by these wiser guys or took a part in that work themselves. It consisted of both memories of their own activities at excavation (or in local discussions about this), and resident’s awareness of far reachning identity. These all elements – step by step – were written down in the cultural landscape of the Pałuki region or, in other words, ‘deposited’ in its temporal layers.

            In his text entitled The past of the present. Archaeological memory and, Laurent Olivier – the French archaeologist and creator of an idea of archaeological memory – indicates principle and obvious differences between history and archaeology. The first of which, as he claims, since its beginings has been focused on picking oral and written evidences. The second, however, having fragmentary, rudimentary and defected material remains of the past as a starting point of study, had an interest in constructing information on basis of some clues (Olivier, 2004, 204). Moreover, Anna Zalewska notes another one difference here. For Olivier – as she claims – history always created description of events, but archaeology was dealing with the problem of memory (Zalewska, 2013c, 89). Our memory (collective or individual) is, in some sense, involved in places, objects, images or even people who or which are not present beside us in whole, or who and which are not present at all. Therefore, we have to state that our memory are fed by these ‘lacks’. The memory as cultural phenomenon – using artefacts, places and images as some kind of media – is able to grow, develop and fill narrative gaps (Golka 2009, 46). In this context, things – antiquitates – should be treated as some substitutes of the world that naturally passed away. It relates to the dialectic relation between real absence and visual presence, about which Paul Riceour wrote. Such a division can also illustrate the fact that treating archaeological objects, places and other figures of material heritage as representations means replacing the past by them. There are the same, identical proccesses of creating our own memories on the basis of material remains. Furthermore, what is probably the most important, there are also an expression of our needs, in this case the need of origins (Ricoeur 2012, 281). This problem was noted also by Frank Ankersmith. According to him, representation (or narration) is more crucial in the process of studying the history than a thing which is being represented. As he claims, only representation can create and change the present, and – similarly – our memory, here and now, has a power of changing the real world, including social, national or etnic, and even indiviual identity (Ankersmith 1988, 208).

            As another example of dealing collective memory with the context of prehistoric heritage, can be mentioned narration of ‘The Goths’ Village’. This history reaches the late seventies, when the Masłomęcz as an excavation site appeared on the archaeological map of the Polish lands. For two decades the researcher, Andrzej Kokowski, in his essays and books, always full of memories, has created something we can describe as ‘mythological history’ of two worlds, which are tangled with each other in the Hrubieszów Basin (Kokowski, 2007a). The discovery of remains of settlements and cemeteries dated back to mainly III century AD, was hailed as a great archaeological success and penetrated an imagination of local residents – especially, residents of the Masłomęcz village. Their regional identity started to being changed.

            It is possible to interpret this phenomenon in the light of different ideas and anthropological conceptions: theory of representation, ritual of transition, and – finally – a definition of cultural memory, which is connected with very broad category of invented tradition (Hobsbawm, 1893, 9). This is neither a casual performance, nor reconstruction movement and simple ‘playing in the war’; it is rather something more –  something which are described as the sense of identity of local people.

            Collective memory and local identity, enriched with ‘Gothic’ element, are not all aspects of the issue we discussed. It is necessary to take account of archaeologists, who were fascinated in the subjects of their research and, as a result, created some narrations in order to spread them among local communities, both in Biskupin and in Masłomęcz. They just like guides or mentors brought people, their memories and social imaginaries through many different paths leading to new identity. Therefore, we can say that memories of ancient Germanic tribes and nowadays residents, in some sense are linked with each other in the Masłomęcz village. Today many local people can say without any hesitation: I am Goth! Similarly, tribes connected within the Wielbark Culture (poly-ethnic societies with the Goth’s element who settled the Lublin Province in Roman Period), were able to live as the community because of having a common core of tradition (Wolfram, 1979, 6-7). To compare, one could think of the text of The Origin and Deeds of the Getae/Goths (Getica, lat. De origine actibusque Getarum) written by Jordanes in 551 AD on the basis of accounts by Cassiodorus (526-533 AD) (Goffart, 2005, 371; Labuda 1968, 213-236; Kolendo, 2006, 25, 29; Schütte, 1930, 67). In this old epic poem we can find ethnogenethical myth of the Gothic people and ‘invented’ history of their migration: since the moment of leaving original settlements in Scandinavia, to reaching the place of final destination – the Southern Ukrainian steppes, where Ermanaric the king of Ostrogoths subordinated local tribes (Kasperski, 2013, 13-38; Kolendo, 1984; 2004, 25-27)[8]. By taking a closer look to ‘The Goth’s Village’ and the history of this place, we can note two different social phenomena: the ancient myth of ethnogenesis consisted of songs which transferred tribal traditions (prisca carmina[9]), and local myth of people from modern Masłomęcz – one of real, archaeologically confirmed route stops during migration of the Goths. The situation is quite similar in the Pałuki region, with a particular focus on the village Gąsawa (Biskupin). Here we are dealing with dual plots or layers of time, which were created by the power and potency of collective memory. In the mirror of social anthropology, this phenomenon can avoid the rule of time and space to create an unique ‘archaeological palimpsests’.



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2013b  Archeologia i pamięć społeczna. Między wyborem przeszłości i ciężarem    przeszłości, [in:] Polsko-niemieckie miejsca pamięci, ed. H. Henning Hahn, R.        Traba, p. 201-221.

2013c    Reprezentacje archeologiczne jako ciągłe transgresje ludzi i rzeczy, „Rocznik Antropologii Historii” no 1 (4), p. 85-100.


Internet sources:,56671,jestem-gotem

Mgr Marta Raczyńska-Kruk

Specjalizacja: Archeologia okresu wpływów rzymskich, antropologia kulturowa Uniwersytet Jagielloński, Wydział Historyczny (doktorant)


W latach 30-tych Walenty Szwajcer, biskupiński nauczyciel, którego postać obrosnąć miała niedługo potem w liczne legendy i anegdoty, wespół z przybyłym z Poznania profesorem Józefem Kostrzewskim odsłonili przed mieszkańcami okolicznych wsi pierwsze warstwy archeologicznego palimpsestu. „Prasłowiański” (wedle ówczesnej orientacji w badaniach nad pradziejami ziem polskich) gród kultury łużyckiej sprzed ponad 2,5 tysięcy lat stał się miejscem obfitującym w nowe, atrakcyjne znaki identyfikacji regionalnej: zasobem treści, których wymowę wzmacniał sukces osiągnięty w środowisku naukowym oraz, rzecz jasna na miarę ówczesnych możliwości, medialnym. Ślad czasu minionego uwikłany został tym samym w proces „ekshumowania” przeszłości, bo znajduje odbicie w relacjach mieszkańców tej części Pałuk, nie tylko dotyczących historii odkrycia, ale także ich własnej – małoojczyźnianej. Referat niniejszy stanowi refleksję na temat dróg konstruowania narracji o lokalnej przeszłości na podstawie rozmów z mieszkańcami Gąsawy na Pałukach (woj. kujawsko-pomorskie), a także w odniesieniu do drugiego miejsca na mapie Polski, które stanowi przykład kształtowania tożsamości lokalnej w oparciu wiedzę „wytwarzaną” przez archeologów – Masłomęcz (woj. lubelskie). Materialne dziedzictwo kulturowe, szczególnie zaś pochodzące z epok pradziejowych, w określonych warunkach stać się może pokarmem dla społecznego imaginarium. Przekładają się na to wówczas nie tylko wszelkie wyobrażenia na temat przeszłości, ale i formy jej upamiętniania – np. aktywność polegająca na wykorzystywaniu narracji archeologicznej w procesie cementowania więzi grupowych bądź legitymizacji „przedłużonej” pamięci wspólnot lokalnych. Całe spektrum kształtowanych w ten sposób zjawisk odnieść można do definicji „tradycji wynalezionej”, która stanowi pokłosie dokonywanego przez nas – rzeczonych „odbiorców” narracji o przeszłości – wyboru między możliwymi dostępnymi pakietami treści i znaczeń. W efekcie tworzona jest – o czym pisze Eric Hobsbawm – starożytna przeszłość sięgająca o wiele dalej niż rzeczywista ciągłość (Hobsbawm 1983: 15). Artykuł ukazuje spojrzenie na rolę materialnego dziedzictwa kulturowego w kreowaniu lokalnej pamięci o przeszłości.

Fig. 1. Residents of Gąsawa and nearby villages during excavations on the Biskupinian Peninsula, 1949 (source: own collection).

[1]     Quoted from an online article:,56671,jestem-gotem [access: 08.05.2017].  Translated  from Polish: A skąd wiadomo, czy ja nie mam w sobie krwi gockiej? Tak się mieszały te kultury i ludzie… A poza tym to sprawa duchowa.

[2]     Translated from Polish: Raz pod chatę podjeżdża obładowany turysta na rowerze. – Goci to tu? – pyta. – A tu.

[3]     A lot of phrases used by the author of that paper (e.g. go to excavation / chodzić na wykopy) are known by her due to the fact that she comes from Gąsawa. As a former resident of the village and an etnographer-observer of the local society, she describes them as commonly used expressions.

[4]     A part of interview with a resident of Gąsawa, performed by author of this paper in 2012. The interlocutor has been dead for four years.

[5]     P. Jasienica, Słowiański…, op.cit., s. 7.

[6]     There are phrases coming from interviewed with residents of Gąsawa, performed by author of this paper in 2012.

[7]     A part of interview with a resident of Gąsawa, performed by an author of this paper in 2012.

[8]     R. Kasperski, Teodoryk Wielki i Kasjodor. Studia nad tworzeniem «tradycji dynastycznej Analów», Cracow 2013, p. 13-38; J. Kolendo, Mity etnogenetyczne w starożytności a kształtowanie się pojęć autochtonizmu i allochtonizmu, [in:] Wędrówka i etnogeneza w starożytności i średniowieczu, ed. M. Salomon, J. Strzelczyk,  Kraków 2004, p. 25-27; Idem, Goci – rzeczywistość a legenda, Warsaw 1984 (see also: Ammianus Marcellinus, Dzieje rzymskie t. I-II, transl. and introduction: Ignacy Lewandowski, „Biblioteka Antyczna”, Warsaw 2001-2002). We have to still remember that Getica was written in Italy by Jordanes, who was a Roman historian.

[9]     Prisca carmina (Lat.) – „old songs”; a term relating to oral historical tradition of the Goths. The history of these people were reflected in tribal sagas about wanderings from Scandinavia to Blak Sea steppes.