Hillfort, Kamieniec
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl
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The early medieval hillfort from the tribal period is a truly unique site which has no direct counterparts in the district and very few in the entire Silesian region. Despite the remnants of the revetments being virtually level with the surrounding terrain, they remain valuable due to the cultural layers they contain, filled with archaeological artefacts of both moveable and immoveable nature. The authentic remnants of an early medieval hillfort as well as of a settlement of the Lusatian culture from the early Iron Age retain a considerable research and historical value.

Location and description

The site is situated in the south-eastern part of the village, on a tall promontory rising above the Drama river. The hillfort was erected on a site which features a very advantageous terrain structure from a defence standpoint, with the complex itself comprising a single module with simple fortifications in the form of a single rampart and moat. Today, the remnants of these fortifications are barely discernible in the surrounding terrain due to the fact that the entire site has been levelled through tillage. The hillfort is roughly circular/oval in shape and covers an area of about 0.6 ha. In the course of archaeological excavations, a rampart stretching from the south-east has been discovered, as was a moat on its outer side; the moat is now completely filled with earth and soil and was therefore completely indiscernible from the surrounding terrain prior to the excavations. The rampart had originally been designed as a wooden and earthen structure, with some of its sections being also lined with limestone slabs (positioned mostly on its outer side). The width of the rampart at its base was approximately 7.6 metres, with numerous vestiges of wooden structures suggesting that the top section of the rampart may have been quite elaborate. All of the excavations which cut into the remnants of the wooden and earthen rampart revealed a cremation layer which proves that the entire complex has been destroyed in a sudden, violent way. The width and depth of the moat was ca. 9 metres and ca. 2.8 metres respectively. The cultural layers in the inner yard are about 30-40 centimetres thick; beneath these layers, various prehistoric and early medieval archaeological artefacts are still deposited.

History

The site contains a settlement of the Lusatian culture dating back to the early Iron Age, i.e. the period between year 750 and 400 B.C. The prevailing view in the older literature on the subject is that the settlement in Kamieniec was a fortified structure, although according to Dominik Abłamowicz, the settlement contained no fortifications whatsoever. The revetments were only added in the early Middle Ages, in the first half of the 18th century, while the Slavic hillfort was constructed on the site of an open settlement which had existed here from the late 7th/early 8th century. The fortified complex was destroyed towards the end of the 9th century, which, according to the theories advanced by Dominik Abłamowicz, may have been the consequence of the onslaught launched by the forces of Svatopluk, the duke of Great Moravia (born ca. 844 - died 894), which took place between 874 and 885. It needs to be stated at this point that Jerzy Szydłowski has advanced a similar theory much earlier on, with his theory being placed in the context of the activities of the Golensizi tribe (known in Polish as Golęszycy), the relics of whose civilisation were discovered in Lubomia (Wodzisław Śląski district) and Międzyświeć (Cieszyn district).

Condition and results of archaeological research

Excavation works on the site were conducted by Jerzy Szydłowski (years 1958, 1964, 1965, 1972, 1973, 1986-88). These excavations have made it possible to identify the site and to obtain numerous moveable artefacts dating back to the early Iron Age and the early Middle Ages.

The site is accessible all year round. Artefacts recovered during the archaeological excavations can be seen in the Silesian Museum in Katowice.

compiled by Michał Bugaj, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Katowice, 06-11-2014.

Bibliography

  • Abłamowicz D., Osadnictwo grodowe na Górnym Śląsku we wczesnej fazie wczesnego średniowiecza, Śląskie Prace Prahistoryczne 1991, vol. 2, 107-121.
  • Abłamowicz D., Chronologia grodziska w Kamieńcu, gm. Zbrosławice, woj. Katowice, Śląskie Prace Prahistoryczne 1991, vol. 2, 207-218.
  • Foltyn E.M., Foltyn E., Ziemie Górnego Śląska od epoki kamienia do wczesnego średniowiecza, Katowice 2012.
  • Gedl M., Kultura Łużycka na Górnym Śląsku, Wrocław-Warszawa-Kraków 1962.
  • Informator Archeologiczny., Informator Archeologiczny. Badania rok 1986, Warsaw 1987.
  • Informator Archeologiczny., Informator Archeologiczny. Badania rok 1987, Warsaw 1988.
  • Informator Archeologiczny., Informator Archeologiczny. Badania rok 1988, Warsaw 1992.
  • Jaworski K. Wczesne średniowiecze, [in:] E. Tomczak (ed.), Archeologia. Górny Śląsk. Katowice, 2013, p. 183.

General information

  • Type: hillfort
  • Chronology: 1. poł. VIII w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Kamieniec
  • Location: Voivodeship śląskie, district tarnogórski, commune Zbrosławice
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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