Hillfort, Lędziny
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl
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The hillfort is a remnant of a mediaeval settlement (8th-9th c.). It is a significant component of the local cultural landscape.

Location and description

The hillfort is located on a holm surrounded by meadows and farmland, about 30 m east of the railway track connecting Opole and Kluczbork. There is a railway embankment west of the site and a drainage ditch along it. Another, perpendicular ditch is to be found further south.

The low-land settlement was designed on a quasi-rectangle plan. Today, it consists of a flat central part, contrasting with the background of meadows and only partly preserved shallow and narrow moat of the width of approx. 3.5 m and the depth of up to 90 cm. On the outer side of the moat, there is a low and almost receding rampart (its width is 3.5 m and its height is 60 cm). The thickness of the cultural layer on top of the mound varies between 25 and 30 cm. The inner yard of the settlement is approx. 60 m in diameter. The area is used as farmland and is partly damaged by tillage.

Probably, there was an outer settlement contemporary with the hillfort west of it. The residents of the fort, most probably several dozen, were mainly involved in cultivation, animal husbandry and metallurgy. Findings indicate that the fort was protected by a wooden palisade, later destroyed by fire.

History

The functioning of the settlement spanned, according to various sources, the period between the 8th and 9th century (10th c. ?).

It was discovered during a pre-war surface examination conducted by M. Hellmich. It is fairly well studied thanks to multiple surface and in-depth surveys. There are no records concerning the establishment or situation of a hillfort in the vilage of Lędziny. In the past literature, the site was located within the limits of the village of Zawada.

Condition and results of archaeological research

In 1935, during a surface survey, the German researcher Georg Raschke discovered some pieces of pottery dating back to the 9th-10th century. The surveys by Józef Kaźmierczyk in 1958 revealed numerous fragments of pottery and a spindle whorl (used to apply load to the thread when working the spinning wheel). During the survey in 1962 Włodzimierz Wojciechowski discovered the remains of a wooden palisade. Excavations conducted by Jerzy Lodowski in 1968 revealed four structures making up the estate surrounding the inner yard, including one with a fireplace. Multiple pottery pieces, pugging, slag and animal bones were unearthed. Verification studies carried out under the Archaeological Picture of Poland project in 1998 were positive. They helped identify a 60-cm-deep moat and barely discernible inner yard, partially ploughed. In the earlier literature, the fort was described as situated in the village of Zawada, Turawa Commune.

Access to the site is limited. The farmland is used and held by a private owner. During the vegetation period, the hillfort is not accessible; sometimes access is hindered due to the lack of access roads. The pre-war research materials were lost, the post-war documentation is stored in the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology, Polish Academy of Sciences in Wrocław.

Compiled by dr Magdalena Przysiężna-Pizarska i Ewa Kalbarczyk-Klak, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Opole, 12-10-2014.

Bibliography

  • Gediga B., Lodowski L., Wczesnośredniowieczny grodek palisadowy w Zawadzie, Śląskie Sprawozdania Archeologiczne, 1958/1, s. 34.
  • Gediga B., Lodowski L., Wczesnośredniowieczny grodek palisadowy w Zawadzie, Sprawozdania archeologiczne, 24/1972, s. 217-227. 
  • Kaźmierczyk J., Macewicz K., Wuszkan S., Studia i materiały do osadnictwa Opolszczyzny wczesnośredniowiecznej, 1977, s. 570-573.
  • Tomczak E., Mało znane warownie Górnego Śląska, 2012, s. 100-101.

General information

  • Type: hillfort
  • Chronology: VIII-IX
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Lędziny
  • Location: Voivodeship opolskie, district opolski, commune Chrząstowice
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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