Battle of Kunersdorf site reveals more military artefacts

Archaeologists excavating the site of the 18th century battle in Kunowice, western Poland, where 130000  Russian, Austrian and Prussian soldiers fought during the Seven Years’ War, discovered a thousand lead bullets, 250 canister shots, over 200 uniform buttons, and fragments of armaments. 

Emblem of a Prussian grenadier (by Adam Czerneńko)

The Battle of Kunersdorf  took place on August 12th, 1759 between the Russian and Austrian armies against the Prussian army of Frederick II The Great. It was one of the bloodiest battles of the Seven Years’ War (1756-1763), that involved  over 130000 soldiers from which over 10000 died during the clash. Researchers from the Collegium Polonicum in Słubice are conducting archaeological research at the site since 2009. Last year they recovered numerous artefacts connected with the battle, and did same this year.

Numerous lead bullets (by Grzegorz Podruczny)

Archaeologists manage to uncover remains of dirt fortifications surrounding the Russian troops’ camp. So far it was believed that this type of structures did not survive to present times. Yet another season of searching for the mass burial of the soldiers killed during the battle was again unsuccessful. Despite that, archaeologists managed to uncover 1865 artefacts from the battle, of which the most numerous one were the lead bullets. Once spot contained 131 of them, attesting to the ferocity of the fights.

Melted together parts of a canister shot (by Grzegorz Podruczny)

Another numerous category of finds were parts, such as shrapnel, of case shots. Archaeologists found nearly quarter of a thousand of them. Larger concentrations were discovered in the area in front of the Russian camp. They are believed to be the remains of an attempt to stop Prussian army’s assault. One unique find is a cluster of four shrapnel from a canister shot which shows the force of the firing shot that melted them. Archaeologists also managed to recover over 200 uniform buttons, possibly of killed soldiers. Most of the finds is anonymous, except one brass Prussian emblem of the 37. Regiment of von Braun with Frederic II The Great’s monogram. Five other emblems were in shape of a burning grenade, belonging possibly to Prussian grenadiers.

Prussian emblem of the 37. Regiment with “FR” monogram (by Adam Czerneńko)

(after Nauka w Polsce, Adam Czerneńko & Grzegorz Podruczny)

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