Iron Age salt production installation unearthed in south-eastern Poland

Archaeologists uncovered 3000-2500-year-old installations used to produce salt out of salt spring water near Tyrawa Solna, south-eastern Poland. This Prehistoric salt production site was known for 30 years but this year archaeologists conducted first excavations.

Excavation at the site (by Maciej Dębiec)
Excavation at the site (by Maciej Dębiec)

The excavations revealed remains of salt production installations. It seems that the salt water from the spring was poured into ceramic vessels with a pointed bottom. These were put into special clay hearths. Through heating the water evaporated and only salt remained within the vessels. It was afterwards crushed and pulverised for future trade.

Archaeology students by a salt spring (by Maciej Dębiec)
Archaeology students by a salt spring (by Maciej Dębiec)

The excavations conducted by archaeologists from the University of Rzeszów were preceded by a non-invasive  geophysical survey that revealed that there are possibly other similar installations hidden underground. The experts believe the salt production was mobile, as large amounts of wood were needed to maintain constant burn – it was easier to move the hearths than transport wood from larger distances.

Remains of salt production installation (by Maciej Dębiec)
Remains of salt production installation (by Maciej Dębiec)

The archaeologists are waiting for specialised analysis to confirm the date of the findings, however they believe the installations might be 3000-2500 years old. This would make the find unique in the whole country, as the only other Prehistoric salt production installations from Poland are known from the area of Wieliczka, about 150 kilometres East. Archaeologists plan to continue the excavations and non-invasive survey next year.

(after Nauka w Polsce & Maciej Dąbiec)

 

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