Archaeologist unearth the oldest Bronze Age fortified settlement in Poland

The oldest known Bronze Age settlement from area of Poland was surrounded by fortifications. The site, dated to 2200-2050 BC was unearthed by archaeologist conducting excavations prior to road construction in southern Poland, near the village of Sadowie. The hill on which the settlement was established was fortified by a 2 metre deep moat, and in the place where the access was easiest two rows of ditches were dug. The dirt from the digs was used to erect fortifications which were partially coated with rocks.

Excavations at the site (by M. M. Przybyła)
Excavations at the site (by M. M. Przybyła)

The settlement covers the area of 5 hectares. It was partially studied with geophysical prospection, which revealed traces of the fortifications. Although they were nearly entirely destroyed with modern agriculture, magnetic measurements revealed the partial  outline of the moats. Except fortified features the archaeologists found artefacts revealing that the inhabitants of the settlement were involved in agriculture and they led a settled lifestyle. Among the finds are large querns (one weighting around 80 kilograms), stone axes, tools and by-products of stone and flint tool production. What is interesting, beside large storage and waste pits no traces of houses, even in form of postholes, were found.

Aerial picture of the excavations (by  Igor Pieńkos)
Aerial picture of the excavations (by Igor Pieńkos)

At present it is hard for the archaeologists to establish the exact date of the settlement, but samples for radiocarbon dating were already collected. It was inhabited by people of the Bronze Age Mierzanowicka culture. There are no other fortified settlements known from such early times. The archaeologist Marcin M. Przybyła, leading the research, states that careful documentation and evaluation of the gathered material will allow for establishing more details on the people who lived here.

Aerial picture of the moat filled with stones (by M. M. Przybyła)
Aerial picture of the moat filled with stones (by M. M. Przybyła)

(after Nauka w Polsce, M. M. Przybyła &  Igor Pieńkos)

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