Seed remains from Early Medieval times found

Archaeologists working in Kłodnica, Eastern Poland, discovered remains of a burnt Early Medieval building. The structure contained broken pottery vessels in which over 30 kilogrammes of legumes seeds were stored.

Cleaning of the pottery shards that contained ancient seeds (by Łukasz Miechowicz)

The building was discovered within an Early Medieval ringfort, dated by the experts to the 10th century AD. The excavations were preceded by geophysical survey, which revealed places of potential archaeological interest. The dig revealed remains of a building which was equipped with a basement with walls strengthened by wood.

Excavation trench at the site (by Łukasz Miechowicz)

The inside of the building contained numerous artefacts dating 1000 into the past. Among the finds were pieces of pottery vessels, knives, flints, arrowheads, a bronze fitting, part of an axehead, glass beads and a clay spindle whorl. According to the researchers the most interesting find was of over 30 kilogrammes of seeds belonging to various legumes, including peas, but also grains, and fruit seeds and wallnut shells. Some of them were found still stored within the discovered pottery vessels.

Excavations at the site (by Łukasz Miechowicz)

According to archaeologists the remains were preserved to our times due to the fire that destroyed the building, but the circumstances in which it happened remain unknown. Future archaeobotanical analysis is scheduled for the finds, which may reveal more about the palaeodiet of the ringfort’s residents.

Remains of pottery vessels in which the seeds were found (by Łukasz Miechowicz)

(after Łukasz Miechowicz & Nauka w Polsce)

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