Hillfort, Leszczyna
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl
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The hillfort is one of the few well-preserved structures of its kind in the region, featuring a double system of ramparts which remain fairly well visible in the surrounding terrain. The site forms a valuable source of knowledge with respect to the early medieval hillforts of the Lublin region.

Location and description

The hillfort, known locally as “Szwedzkie Okopy” (The Swedish Trenches), “Szwedzkie Wały” (The Swedish Ramparts) or “Psia Górka” (Dog Hill) is located in the northern part of the village of Leszczyna, on a promontory extending from a loess plateau with the height of a few dozen metres; the structure is situated on a steep slope leading down towards a nameless watercourse which flows into the nearby Urzędówka river.

The hillfort along with the inner courtyard and the defensive structures around it occupies the area of approx. 3 ha. Today, the fortifications can be discerned in the form of two concentric rings of earthen ramparts, divided by a deep moat. Today, the site of the hillfort remains disused and is overgrown with shrubs and trees.

History

Based on the results of archaeological studies, one may assume that the hillfort remained in use during the early Middle Ages, during the 8th century.

Archival sources contain no information on the hillfort in Leszczyna. The first mention of the site in the literature on the subject was made in 1938 by Michał Pękalski.

Condition and results of archaeological research

The excavation studies and survey boreholes were made in 1995 by the students of the Archaeology Student Club at the Maria Curie-Skłodowska University in Lublin, represented by Grzegorz Mączka and Rafał Niedźwiadek and acting under the research supervision of Irena Kutyłowska and Andrzej Rozwałka. In the course of excavations, three different locations have been explored, the total surface of all digs amounting to 47.25 square metres. The excavations were made on the western slope of the earthen rampart and on the adjoining earthen structure, in the eastern part of the inner yard as well as in the area between the two ramparts, including the western part of the slope of the outer rampart. In addition, 31 boreholes were made along the east-west axis of the hillfort in order to examine the thickness of anthropogenic layers.

As a result of the survey performed, it has been determined that the hillfort dates back to the 8th century and that it saw no further use in the subsequent centuries. The layer of humus and cultural deposits was found to be relatively thin, preventing the function and layout of the inner part of the hillfort from being properly analysed. On the section which was examined by the researchers, the rampart featured no reinforcing elements at the core and was found to be a purely earthen structure. A fragment of a cobble deposit has been unearthed in the area between the ramparts, with the stones being most likely the remnants of a cobblestone pavement that had once covered the road that led between the two ramparts on a broad flat section running alongside the inner rampart on the one side and the inner moat on the other (in his article written in 1938, M. Pękalski also mentions that similar cobblestones had once also been discovered in the eastern part of the hillfort also between the ramparts, citing a statement made by one of the local residents). In addition, the outer moat on the eastern side of the hillfort (currently filled with soil) has also been unearthed; according to the measurements taken, the moat was approximately 2.25 metres deep and at least 5 metres wide. In the course of the exploration of the site, a mere 164 artefacts have been discovered, nearly all of which were fragments of clay vessels.

Surface surveys of the site within the framework of the ‘Archaeological Picture of Poland’ project were carried out in 1985.

Unlimited access to the historic structure.

compiled by Ewa Prusicka, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Lublin, 14-11-2015.

Bibliography

  • Pękalski M., Grodzisko prehistoryczne w Leszczynie, “Wiadomości Archeologiczne, vol. 15, 1938, pp. 202-205.
  • Gurba J., Grodziska Lubelszczyzny, Lublin 1976, p. 24.
  • Mączka G., Niedźwiadek R., Leszczyna, st.1, gm. Urzędów, woj. lubelskie, "Informator Archeologiczny. Badania rok 1995",1998, p. 96-97.
  • Mączka G., Niedźwiadek R., Pierwszy sezon badań na grodzisku w Leszczynie, gm. Urzędów, woj. lubelskie, “Archeologia Polski środkowowschodniej”, vol. I, 1996, pp. 103-110.

General information

  • Type: hillfort
  • Chronology: VIII w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Leszczyna
  • Location: Voivodeship lubelskie, district kraśnicki, commune Urzędów - obszar wiejski
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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