Are there any real discoveries in contemporary humanities?




Faculty of Archaeology (University of Warsaw)

January 12, 2022 12:30 PM

My contribution concerns archeology and numismatics, the most digitized disciplines of the humanities. The use of new technologies has led Polish archaeologists to wonderful discoveries like the first undisturbed royal tomb of pre-Columbian Wari civilization in Castillode Huarmey, Peru (thanks to GPR) or the entire network of fields and farms from the first half of the 1st millennium AD in the contemporary Białowieża Primeval Forest (thanks to LiDAR). Most of my archaeological colleagues from the perspective of ourdiscipline do not share the view about the alleged crisis of the humanities.

I would like to tell you about the results of research of my team related to numismatics. Until recent years, it was widely accepted that the Germanic communities introduced their own coins only in the early Middle Ages, settling on the ruins of the Western Roman Empire at the end of the 5th and 6th centuries. Our discoveries, however, show conclusively that this happened more than two centuries earlier and in completely different territories. We also managed to document how technology was transferred, know-how was imported, such as coin production and the use of money at the interface between the Roman Empire and the Barbaricum.