Hillfort, Pogórze
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl
photo

The hillfort in Chrzelice (formerly Pogórze) was probably one of the defensive forts of Opolanie.

Location and description

The fort is situated on a plateau gently elevated above the surrounding wet meadows to the north and marshes and swamps from the west, south and east, between the villages of Chrzelice and Pogórze. Currently, the area around the settlement is meliorated. The site is not easily discernible in the area. Centuries-long tillage has caused almost complete disappearance of the form of the fort. Only a low-rising, surrounding embankment is visible. The area of the site is used for agriculture: the works do not involve the ploughing.

Researchers determined that the Chrzelice hillfort consists of two parts: an oval fort measuring about 70x75 m and an outfort (nacilliary settlement) measuring about 210x250 m. The fort is located in the north part. The interior of the fort was built-up as shown in the thick cultural layer. the researchers have uncovered numerous pieces of vessels and animal bones. The fort sits on a gentle elevation. It was surrounded by a rampart of clay and gravel excavated during the digging of the moat. The width of the rampart at the base was 10 to 12 m. This clay rampart was in the large part reinforced with wooden columns and beams. Within the crown, today very damaged and ploughed up, those wooden relics were heavily burnt. The yard of the ancillary settlement was not built up extensively. A survey made in the ancillary settlement area did not show intensive use. In the south part of the excavation pit dug through the moat and rampart towards the centre of the outfort yard, a cave was discovered and recognized as a smithy due to the presence of slag among some stone rubble. The outfort rampart was much more robust: consisting of oak chambers filled with clay. It was about 10 m in width and 0.8-1 m of the preserved height. Th east edge was steep and braced with stones, as if forming a wall. Further to the east, the moat was about 20 m in width. On the inside of the rampart, the outfort was fortified with a stone retaining wall of 2 m in width, built of fieldstone bonded with clay. Numerous fragments of vessels were unearthed in the survey pits, dated from the 8th through the 11th century. In the moat bed, a modern excavation was identified of the late 17th century. It was probably a dump site for the nearby castle in Chrzelice. It seems that the degree of research at the site is still insufficient. A comprehensive interdisciplinary research is needed of both parts of the defensive complex.

History

The hillfort in Chrzelice seems to have been examined thoroughly, yet modern research techniques may shed some new light on this mysterious settlement. The surveys held in the past determined the origin and functioning of the site between the 8th and 11th century.

Condition and results of archaeological research

Although the local people had most probably known about the site, the study of the complex was held no earlier than in the early 19th century. On German maps from the 1930s, this site was labelled as “hillfort.” A surface study was done by J. Kaźmierczyk and K. Macewicz in 1958. Survey examination was carried out in 1966, 1967, and 1996 by S. Pazda, Z. Bagniewski, and K. Macewicz, respectively. They started excavations in different parts of the moat, ramparts and the inner yard and confirmed the identity of these elements. In 2013 a team led by M. Mackiewicz carried out a non-invasive examination of the site. The results are being processed. Condition of the site: the hillfort is ploughed up. Only underground relics have survived. In 1987, a contour plan was drawn up.

The site is located on a private land, between the villages of Chrzelice and Pogórze, on a plateau gently elevated above the surrounding, usually flooded meadows. Access by a dirt road, both from Chrzelice and Podgórze, about 900 m. Arable field.

Compiled by Krzysztof Spychała, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Opole, 15-12-2014.

Bibliography

  • Hellmich M., Schlesische Wehranlagen, [w:] Altschlesien, t.3, 1930, s.47 (jako Pogosch);
  • Kozłowska W., Wczesnośredniowieczne grody woj. opolskiego na tle warunków fizjograficzno - gospodarczych, [w:] Kwartalnik Opolski, t.1, 1956, poz.106 (jako Pogórze);
  • Antoniewicz W., Wartołowska Z., Mapa grodzisk w Polsce, 1964, s.31(jako Pogórze);
  • Bagniewski Z., Sprawozdanie z badań sondażowych, [w:] Terenowe badania archeologiczne na Opolszczyźnie rok 1967, 1967, s.26 (jako Pogórze);
  • Kaźmierczyk J., Macewicz K., Wuszkan S., Studia i materiały do osadnictwa Opolszczyzny wczesnośredniowiecznej, 1977, s.395-399 (jako Pogórze);
  • Macewicz K., Badania sondażowe na grodzisku wczesnośredniowiecznym w Chrzelicach, województwo opolskie, [w:] Badania archeologiczne na Górnym Śląsku i ziemiach pogranicznych w 1996 roku, 2000, s.101-106;
  • Archiwum Wojewódzkiego Urzędu Ochrony Zabytków w Opolu teczka nr A-67/68 oraz Karta Ewidencji Stanowiska Archeologicznego Chrzelice nr 1, AZP 93-35/5;
  • Archiwum Muzeum Śląska Opolskiego w Opolu, teczka Pogosch.

General information

  • Type: hillfort
  • Chronology: VIII-XI
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Pogórze
  • Location: Voivodeship opolskie, district prudnicki, commune Biała - obszar wiejski
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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