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Early medieval finds in Poland's Lublin region

Dozens of previously unknown mounds and unusual flat cremation tombs have been discovered in Chodlik by archaeologists from the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology and the Warsaw branch of the Polish Association of Scientific Archaeologists.

Early medieval finds in Poland's Lublin region
Excavations at the early medieval necropolis
in Chodlik [Credit: I. Miechowicz]
"With aerial LiDAR laser scanning we could prepare a detailed Digital Terrain Model of the area of the cemetery Chodliku we had been studying for several years, and the Chodelka Valley area of over 160 sq km. We have discovered and documented dozens of new archaeological sites, including the previously unknown barrow mounds" - told PAP head of the study Łukasz Miechowicz.

The goal of archaeologists is to create an archaeological map of the region using the latest technology. This year, in addition to the discovery of new sites by using aerial scanning, archaeologists managed to determine the area and layout of the excavated early medieval necropolis in Chodlik.

Early medieval finds in Poland's Lublin region
LiDAR image of barrow mounds in the Chodelka Valley
area [Credit: PAP]
The necropolis hides rich cremation burials of men and horses made on barrow mounds. During this year's excavations, archaeologists studied the hill near the cemetery. There, they found more graves. In one of the mounds, in addition to the burned remains of human and animal bones and pottery fragments, they found metal objects: silver and bronze applications, probably parts of a horse tack, and an iron spur, preliminarily dated to 9th/10th century. Nearby, they found flat cremation burials with rectangular outlines. Inside, archaeologists discovered iron knife inlaid with silver, and fragments of pottery.

"Moreover, it turns out that early medieval graves lie on much older layers from the Bronze Age - this is confirmed by the discovery of many fragments of pottery and flint flakes and tools of the so-called Trzciniec culture" - explained Łukasz Miechowicz .

Early medieval finds in Poland's Lublin region
Excavations at a nearby hill near the cemetery yielded more burials dating
to the 9th/10th century [Credit: I. Miechowicz]
Scientists pay great attention to the quality of research, they are very precise. Archaeologists sometimes take several months to explore a single barrow. "We try to use the latest available technology and research methods, so that we can capture details of early medieval burials, which often escape archaeologists" - said Łukasz Miechowicz.

The surface survey project is carried out with the support of the Ministry of Culture under the program "Cultural Heritage. Priority 5: Protection of archaeological sites". This year's work in Chodlik involved graduate students of the Institute of Archaeology, University of Rzeszów, and students of the Institute of Prehistory, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań. Research in Chodlik is possible with the support of the Commune Karczmiska and the sponsor of the archaeological mission: PGE Distribution SA group.

Source: PAP - Science and Scholarship in Poland [December 16, 2013]

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