Dzienniki Kazimierza Grochowskiego i bogini Guanyin. Od reportażu do ekspertyzy
This article is an attempt to sum up the results of many years of interest in the scholarly activity in the Far East of the engineer Kazimierz Grochowski. For thirty years (1906–1937), he carried out geological, archaeological, and ethnographic research in Eastern Siberia, Barga and Manchuria. He was also principal of my high-school in Harbin, where I was born and spent my childhood and youth. He was co-founder of the international Manchuria Research Society and of the museum with its rich range of collections that is now the state Museum of Heilonjiang Province. Here he transferred most of the objects from his excavations, including silver Roman coins (beginning from the rule of the Emperor Hadrian [117–138 AD]). They were discovered by Grochowski on an escarpment in the centre of today’s Harbin, where – he believed – there had been a ford over the river and an inn for merchants. By 1928, Grochowski was convinced that Harbin was located at a spot through which the trade route ran linking the Roman East with Korea and Japan. Today this has been confirmed by the existence of the so-called Grassland Silk Roads leading from Datong inter alia through Harbin to the East and to the lands on the Pacific. I began with an adventurous piece of reportage for a magazine for young readers. This quickly took me onto the track of Grochowski’s forgotten manuscript journals in the National Library in Warsaw. On the basis of these, I wrote two books about engineer Grochowski. Currently, I am ending this research with an expert assessment of the statue of the Guanyin Goddess excavated by Grochowski. My judgment indicates that it comes from the eleventh century, from the period in these parts of the rule of the non-Chinese Liao dynasty.