Category Archives: POLAND

Farmer looking for abandoned antlers stumbles upon largest EVER haul of Roman coins

Farmer looking for abandoned antlers stumbles upon largest Ever haul of Roman coins

It makes rather more sense as it was loot from the various ‘barbarian’ nations crashing around Northern Europe during the period of the decline and eventual fall of the Western Roman Empire.

‘One of the largest ever hauls of treasure from the Roman period to be found in Poland and the largest ever in the Lublin region has been uncovered in Hrubieszów near Lublin.

‘Excited archaeologists think that the treasure of 1,753 silver coins weighing over five kilos was abandoned in the last stand of the Vandals before fleeing from the arriving Goths at the end of the second century AD when Europe was in upheaval as the Western Roman Empire was collapsing.

The coins were not in one place but were spread by agricultural machines over 100 m. In total, 1,753 coins were discovered.

Andrzej Kokowski from the Archaeology Institute in Lublin, who discovered the presence of the Goths in the region, is in no doubt as to the scale of the find. “This is an amazing phenomenon of an ancient culture that can be seen in one place. This treasure will be the crown of Polish archaeology,” he said.

The coins were dated to the second century as they bear the image of Roman emperors Nerva, who ruled 8 November 30 to 27 January 98, and Septimus Severus, 11 April 145 to 4 February 211.

The dinars are in the possession of the local museum in Hrubieszów, which released news of the find yesterday. However, the treasure was found in 2019 in a field near Cichobórz, south of Hrubieszów. They were spotted by local farmer Mariusz Dyl, who was looking for abandoned antlers.

Dyl immediately informed the staff at the museum in Hrubieszów about his discovery. Together they returned to the site and with a team of archaeologists and volunteers, they discovered another 137 coins.

Archaeologists think that the treasure weighing over five kilos was abandoned in the last stand of the Vandals before fleeing from the arriving Goths at the end of the second century AD.

The Local museum director Bartłomiej Bartecki said assessing the value of the find that the average pay for a Roman legionnaire at the time was about 300 dinars.

“You couldn’t buy a village for this, but it was not a small amount, especially for barbarian tribes,” he said

The coins were spread out over a field after being churned up by farm equipment.

The archaeologists believe that the coins were originally placed in a wooden casket or leather pannier. Although the remains of the container have not survived, it is known that it was decorated with silver-plated rivets made of bronze as eight of them were found among the coins. The coins were dated to the second century as they bear the image of Roman emperors Nerva, who ruled 8 November 30 to 27 January 98, and Septimus Severus, 11 April 145 to 4 February 211.

The area was inhabited by Vandals at the time, who were pushed out by Goths in the great wandering of peoples from Scandinavia to southern Europe at the end of the second century. Other finds in the region suggest that the departure of the Vandals was a time of great violence.

“It didn’t happen without fighting. From this period we know of numerous Vandal cemeteries where warriors were buried with ritually destroyed weapons were buried,” said Bartecki.

In his opinion, the burying of treasure is also a sign of great upheaval.

The Vandals were a Roman-era Germanic people who first appear in written records inhabiting present-day southern Poland. They were eventually driven out by the marauding Goths.

“Perhaps the Vandals hoped to return in the near future, so they decided to bury the coins. But they were mistaken in their assessment,” he said.

Andrzej Kokowski from the Archaeology Institute at the Maria Curie-Skłodowska University in Lublin believes that the buried treasure represents the last stand of the Vandals in the Lublin region.

“The situation was so bad for the Vandals retreating, or rather the fleeing from the Goths that they hid everything that was most precious,” he said.

“It seems that this is where the Vandals lost the means to continue fighting!” he added.

The archaeologist underlined how important the find is for understanding the downfall of the Vandals in the region.

“They had to get rid of huge financial resources that were necessary to wage war with the Goths, and therefore they ended up helpless. The hidden coins remained under Hrubieszów.

“They couldn’t come back for them and could not recruit soldiers. That is why the Goths peacefully spread to the whole south-east and occupied Ukraine,” he said.

The Vandals were a Roman-era Germanic people who first appear in written records inhabiting present-day southern Poland.

The Goths, meanwhile, were also German people probably from southern Scandinavia who played a major role in the downfall of the Western Roman Empire. The coins will now be analyzed by experts from the University of Warsaw, which will take about a year due to the size of the haul. In the meantime, the museum wants to show the treasure to the public, but it says that due to the current epidemic the exhibition will be available only online.

Bones of 13th-century saint found hidden inside the small silver coffin

Bones of 13th-century saint found hidden inside the small silver coffin

The bones of a Polish saint that have been lost for centuries have been re-discovered by chance during restoration work in a Christian basilica in Silesia.

Conservators were working on the tomb of St. Jadwiga in Trzebnica, Lower Silesia, in southern Poland when they made the chance discovery. While the tomb of the saint is well-known, her remains had been lost long ago. They were working on her stone tomb, which dates to the 17th century after a small fissure appeared on the sarcophagus.

The art conservators were working to prevent the crack from getting worse when they noticed something unusual about one of the stone slabs. Dorota Wandrychowska, an art conservator, told The First News, “When we lifted the slab we saw that charcoal mixed with plaster had been poured into a cavity, which was very strange. So, we thought we had to check it out”.

The bones of St. Jadwiga were found by chance during conservation work at the church in Silesia.

What they found was amazing. They found a tiny silver casket.

According to The First News website, the casket has “a lead tablet with an inscription confirming that the relics are those of the 13 th century saint”. The find was a complete shock to the team of conservators and the local clergy. It was assumed that the saint’s bones were somewhere in the church.

Documentary sources indicate that the saint was buried in the basilica in the 13 th century. The First News, quotes Father Piotr Filas, from the nearby abbey of Trzebnica stating “We knew that the saint’s bones were somewhere in the vicinity as they were laid there in 1679 when her tomb was built”.

It is believed that the inscription panel, which is written in Latin, was laid on the casket in 1764. Report Web reports Father Filas as saying that “we believe that nobody has taken a look at the bones since that date”.

The inscription panel that was laid on top of the casket bore the date 1764, suggesting St. Jadwiga’s bones hadn’t been seen since that time.

It appears that for reasons unknown possibly because of the political instability in Poland at the time, that St. Jadwiga’s casket was forgotten. The discovery is very important in Poland which is overwhelmingly Catholic and where there are high levels of religious observance.

St. Jadwiga, sometimes referred to as St. Hedwig is a very significant figure in the history of Christianity in Poland. She was born in Bavaria, in southern Germany and entered into an arranged marriage with Henry I the Bearded, one of the first Piast rulers of Silesia.

St. Jadwiga while she was queen.

Jadwiga was the mother of Duke Henry the Pious. She was a great patron of the clergy and encouraged many German monks and nuns to settle in the dukedom.

Jadwiga was very pious and she was much loved for her charitable work, especially her care for the sick. Like many other Christian saints, she practiced mortifications of the flesh and she frequently wore no shoes.

When her husband told her confessor to tell her to wear shoes, she obeyed. However, she wore her shoes around her neck and continued to walk around barefoot.

When her husband died in 1238, she retired to a convent in Trzebnica but briefly left it to end conflict among her feuding children. One of her sons was killed fighting the Mongols.

Many miracles are attributed to the saint and according to Report Web “Jadwiga became a saint on March 26, 1267, when Pope Clement VI performed her canonization”. Today she is regarded as the patron saint of Silesia and one of the most popular saints in all of Poland.

The rediscovery of the saint’s remains is seen as highly significant to the faithful. Report Web quotes Father Filas as saying that “I think it is a sign for us that she can be a patron for our modern times”.

Many Catholics may view the discovery as a sign that the saint is protecting them in a very troubling time. There are some suggestions already being put forward regarding the eventual fate of the remains.

How a-boat this! Huge 700-year-old shipwreck found at bottom of river Vistula

How a-boat this! Huge 700-year-old shipwreck found at bottom of river Vistula

The underwater archaeologists in Vistula River north of Warsaw, Poland, discovered a centuries-old shipwreck described as “huge and rare.”

This historical boat was the discovery by a group of submarine explorers searching in the Vistula River north of Warsaw in Poland for a whopping 37 meters long (121 foot) and 6 meters wide (20 foot) and the article in Science in Poland reveals that the boat used to carry up to “100 tons of goods.”

Funded by the Ministry of Culture and Scientific Heritage with support from the Warsaw Institute of Archaeology, and the “massive” newly discovered boat is thought to have been a transport vessel operating between the 14th and 18th centuries.

Dr. Artur Brzóska is an underwater archaeologist and head of the research project from the Association of Archaeologists Jutra, and he believes it probably “transported grain to Gdańsk.”

Poor visibility and strong water currents were among the negative environmental challenges that stopped the divers from recovering any artifacts from the sunken ship.

But Brzóska pointed out that wrecks such as these are “very rare” and until this discovery, only two wrecks were previously known in this part of the river: a 16th century and 19th-century ship.

This new boat is a so-called “berlinka,” which was an elongated, shallow, barge-type craft designed for canal transportation, and while an article like this makes it all sound so simple, finding the rare wreck took what amounted to a major scientific operation.

Sonar image of the centuries-old boat discovered in the Vistula River in Poland.

Before the researchers discovered the “huge” boat they mounted hi-tech sonar equipment around a motorboat and selected a series of test sites with a view to diving at any interesting findings on the scans.

The system was tested on the Vistula River near Warsaw`s Old Town and the project required sailing around 400 kilometers (250 miles) along parallel survey lines scanning a 13-kilometer-long (8 miles) stretch of the river, covering nearly 500 hectares in all.

The scientists first found the decomposing remains of a World War II bridge sunk near Łomianki Dolne, and the geometry of its steel structure informed Brzóska’s team that it had been built by “German sappers.”

They also found parts of another ship driven into the bottom of the river and a fragment from the vessel pulled to the surface led Brzóska to the conclusion that it too might have been a cargo boat, similar to the huge one they discovered.

Researchers about to dive at the site of the shipwreck on the Vistula River in Poland.

While the wrecks being discovered today are from the last 600 years, beneath them, deep in the silts of the riverbed, are the rotting remains of much more ancient vessels, as the Vistula basin was occupied in the 1st millennium BC by Iron Age Lusatian and Przeworsk cultures.

1st-century Roman authors called the region “Magna Germania” and in the 2nd century AD, Ptolemy described the Vistula River as the border between Germania and Sarmatia.

According to an article on Suwalszczyzna, the Vistula River used to be connected to the Dnieper River, and thence to the  Black Sea via the Augustów Canal, one of the most ancient trade routes, the Amber Road, which connected Northern Europe with Asia, Greece,  Egypt, and elsewhere.

Encyclopedia Britannica says that for hundreds of years the river was one of the main trade routes of ancient Poland and the Vistula estuary was settled by Slavs in the 7th and 8th centuries.

Moving through the canals of time, the magnificent if not ostentatious castles and fortresses that line the riverbanks all stand testimony to the wealth accumulated through the trade of salt, timber, and stone between the 10th and 13th centuries.

Shot of the Vistula River in Poland where the shipwreck was found.

In the 16th century most of the grain exported from Poland left from the city of Gdańsk, and is located at the end of the Vistula, with its Baltic seaport trade connections, it became the wealthiest, most highly developed and connected of the Polish cities. It was this thriving Polish city that Dr. Artur Brzóska believes the newly discovered massive barge transported grain too, but the team is awaiting further results before drawing this conclusion.

Study Analyzes Warriors’ Remains in Medieval Tombs in Poland

Four Warriors Buried in 11th Century Tombs in Pomerania Came From Scandinavia say, Scientists

The skeleton of 4 Scandinavian warriors hundreds of miles from their homeland was stunned by Archeologists in Poland.

The remains of the 11th century were discovered in a peculiar burial site dubbed by the archaeologists at a death house. A chemical and genetic analysis of the remains found the four men were from Scandinavia, most likely from Denmark.

The warriors were buried alongside a plethora of trinkets and armaments. According to Dr. Sławomir Wadyl of the Gdańsk Architectural Museum.

The archaeologist told the Polish Press Agency (PAP): “In the central part of the cemetery, there were four very well-equipped chamber graves.

“Men, probably warriors, were buried in them as evidenced by weapons and equestrian equipment laid together with them.”

The four warriors were unearthed in the village of Ciepłe in Eastern Pomerania or Pomorze Wschodnie, northern Poland. The Danish warriors would have been buried during the Piast dynasty – the first Polish dynasty to rule from the 10th century to the end of the 14th century.

The warriors were buried in ‘death house’ burial chambers

Dr. Wadyl said: “It turned out that all of the dead buried in the central part of the cemetery was not from the Piast State, but from Scandinavia, most likely from Denmark.”

The warriors were buried within a larger necropolis, dating back to the Polish King Bolesław Chrobry of Bolesław the Brave I. Alongside them, the archaeologists uncovered a treasure-trove of weapons such as decorative swords and spears. Evidence suggests the four men were skilled horse riders, due to the buckles, stirrups and spurs found next to their bodies.

The archaeologists also uncovered old coins, metal trinkets, combs, pots and even the remains of animals. The burial site itself is interesting because it is more typical of Eastern Europe and Scandinavia. The warriors were laid to rest in wooden chambers measuring about 11.5ft by 6.5ft (3.5m by 2m).

The chambers were built much like a log cabin, with intersecting planks or logs of wood stacked on top of one another. Dr. Wadyl said: “It was one of the more popular house building methods at the time, so you could say they were a ‘death house’.”

Trinkets and weapons were found alongside the warriors
The Scandinavian warriors were most likely from Denmark
The Scandinavian warriors were most likely from Denmark

In another part of the cemetery, the archaeologists found another different but equally intriguing burial method. The archaeologists unearthed two large coffins laid to rest inside of a chamber built from vertical, sharpened poles forced into the ground.

Dr. Wadyl said: “These are the biggest chests of their kind that we know of in Poland’s territories at this time.”

The collection of burial sites was likely surrounded by some form of fencing or a wooden palisade. Dr. Wadyl believes the Danish warriors were likely part of the local elite due to their elaborate and flashy burials.

He said: “Those buried in the central part of the cement ray represented the social elite of the time, as evidenced by the monumental character of their graves and rich furnishings.

“They probably belonged to a group of elite riders but their role was probably was not limited to the function of warriors.” The archaeologist also thinks the men collected taxes from the local populace due to a set of weights found next to two of the dead.

But these are not the first mysterious burial sites uncovered by archaeologists in Poland. Researchers in the Kuyavian-Pomeranian region have found pyramid-like structures predating the famous Egyptian pyramids.