1000-year-old monumental Christian graves excavated

Ten monumental Christian tombs built with use of large stones were excavated in Sasiny, north-eastern Poland. The structures were built between 11th-13th centuries.

The grave prior to excavation (by Michał Dzik)
The grave prior to excavation (by Michał Dzik)

The tombs consist of burial pits surrounded with large stones. The individuals were placed within the pit in a wooden coffin or in a shroud and covered with a layer of stone pavement. The structures resemble Neolithic megalithic burials and measure roughly 5 by 3.5 metres. Most of the tombs preserved in poor condition on the surface but the burials within them were intact.

The excavation (by Michał Dzik)
The excavation (by Michał Dzik)

The burial site is unique, due to the fact that not many such sites are preserved as the local communities extracted the large stones and used them for building material over the centuries. The area where the burials were made was the border land between the local rulers of the Piast dynasty and the Rus’. The experts believe that at this area different burial customs mixed and were influenced by believes of Christian people from Mazovia or Scandinavian warriors from Rus’.

Small finds from the excavations (by Michał Dzik)
Small finds from the excavations (by Michał Dzik)

The artefacts found by the buried individuals include numerous pieces of jewellery, including tens of glass beads, silver temple rings, or pendants in shape of a crescent or a cross. Most of the jewellery was crafted with high skill and detail.

(after Nauka w Polsce & Michał Dzik)

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