STATE OF KNOWLEDGE REGARDING THE CHRONOLOGY OF EARLY MONUMENTAL ARCITECTURE IN POLAND AFTER FIVE YEARS OF RESEARCH USING 14C METHOD
ZYGMUNT ŚWIECHOWSKI
The study covers the attempt during 2005-2011 to date the most important pre-Romanesque and Romanesque structures in Poland based on carbon-14 deposits in the mortar. In the majority of cases this method does not allow dating more precisely than 20 to 30 years. The specification of even such a broad timeframe is significant in the light of the meagre written sources and the poor state of preservation of some structures, which restricts the possibility of comparison. The obtained results considerably enhance the knowledge regarding interpretations, which have differed for decades and are the subject of disputes. One of the most famous cases is the complex of empty graves in the middle of the nave of the pre-Romanesque cathedral in Poznań – in many publications defined as the necropolis of the first rulers of the Polish state. The 14C dates obtained for the alleged grave of Mieszko I exclude such a possibility, at the same time confirming the doubts of those researchers who mentioned the location of these graves as typical for the burial of bishops. Equally important are the findings regarding the most important pre-Romanesque structures in Cracow, prudently dated for circa 1000 when the city under Czech domination, as a result of conquest became part of the emerging Polish state. Carbon-14 dating indicated that both the structure preceding the Romanesque cathedral from the turn of the XI and XII centuries, as well as the St. Felix and Adauctus rotunda (which is the best preserved) were erected in the third part of the X century, under the Czech domination. Such dating, to which many paid attention, is supported by the data concerning three consecutive Cracow bishops holding the office before 1000. Apart from these most controversial structures, the study also obtained numerous data regarding collegiate and parish churches from the XII and XIII centuries, supplementing the knowledge concerning the stages of construction and further modifications.
Key words: pre-Romanesque and Romanesque architecture in Poland, 14C method