... Suebia, in fact, is parted down the middle by a range of mountains, and beyond that live a multitude of peoples, among whom the name of the Lugii is the widest spread, covering, as it does, a multitude of States. I need only give the names of the most powerful—the Harii, Helvecones, Manimi, Helisii and Naharvali. In the territory of the Naharvali one is shown a grove, hallowed from ancient times. The presiding priest dresses like a woman; the gods, translated into Latin, are Castor and Pollux. That expresses the character of the gods, but their name is Alci. There are no images, there is no trace of foreign cult, but they are certainly worshipped as young men and as brothers...

Tacitus, Germania 42-43 (transl. S. Hammer)

Establishing tribal names of many peoples living in ancient times is currently very difficult and in many cases simply impossible. Tribes whose location remained far beyond the influences of the main civilization centers had a small chance to become a part of historical records or still rare back then geographical and ethnographical works. This is the case of the metallurgists from the Świętokrzyskie region and we will probably never be able to establish the name of the people. A set of phenomena proving the relations between the peoples who occupied the territory of the central and southern Poland including the Świętorzystkie Mountains including common burial customs, handicraft and economy products were named by archaeologists as the ‘Przeworsk’ culture.  Among the barbarian tribes living to the north of the Carpathians and named in the Roman and Greek written sources, we can find the names of peoples which could then live on out lands. In the 1st and 2nd centuries A.D. these were most probably the Lugii people. According to the Roman historian Tacitus living at the end of the 1st century and the beginning of the 2nd century A.D. the name referred rather to a confederation meaning a tribal union. A Greek geographer and historian Strabo was of a different opinion. He treated the Lugii people as one ‘great people’. We can thus assume that the metallurgists from the Świętokrzystkie region at least in the 1st century A.D. belonged to the Lugii tribal union. The trials to link them to the Cotini Celtic people living in the Askiburgion Mountains are highly improbable. In the light of the latest research it is stated that the Cotini people ‘ … working … in iron mines…’ lived to the South of the Polish lands, most probably on the territory of the present Slovakia and the settlements of the Puchov culture are known also from southern Poland. Ethnic status of the Lugii people is controversial. The most common view defines their Germanic origin considering the names of particular Lugii tribes. Multi-ethnic character of the confederation is also probable including Celtic, Germanic elements as well as those of local cultures of the early Iron Age.  In later sources the name Vandals can be found, who most probably in the 1st century A.D. could constitute one of the tribes belonging to the ‘great Lugii people’ union.
The people of the Przeworsk culture started to settle in the Świętokrzystkie Mountains already in the second half of the 2nd century B.C. At the beginning of this settlement these were most probably groups coming from the Sandomierska upland which provided later on inhabitants for the Świętokrzyskie metallurgical center. The most dynamic development of the settlement in this region connected with the increase in iron production was noted on the turn of the 1st century A.D. , especially in the second half of the 2nd and the beginning of the 3rd century A.D. Burial places in the valley of the Kamienna river (Wąchock, Starachowice, Chmielów Piaskowy) originated then. At the same time large deposits were located in the ground – the so-called Roman coin treasures in Nietulisko Małe, Chmielów Piaskowy, Pokrzywianka, Kunów and Ostrowiec.

Roman sword  (1) suspension-loop for  a sword sheath (2) from a burial ground in Starachowice according to S. Orzechowski. Drawing by J. Okolus

There is a hypothesis connected with the reference of Tacitus to the ‘holy grove’ of the Nahanarvali people presented by Szymon Orzechowski which suggests that the place was located on the top of the Łysiec mountain. The Bald Mountain could in antiquity serve as a cult center – possibly of greater than local importance. Lack of testimony to the metallurgical activity on the plateau of the Łysiec mountain [1] seems to prove such possibility. Transformations of the territory in later periods hinder clear conclusions.
[1] During the latest research of Dr. Czesław Hadamik in the cloister of the Monastery on the Holy Cross Mountain  in one of the contemporary burial places located under the floor a piece of slag-pit furnace slag was found. It can be assumed that the material used to cover the grave came from the nearby surroundings thus it is a signal that some period of time metallurgists were also active on top of the Bald Mountain.  To the contrary the lack of slag-pit furnace traces in this area shakes this theory as a single slags piece cannot be treated as clear evidence.