Hillfort, Lubomia
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl
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The tripartite hillfort in Lubomia is associated with the Slavic tribe known as the Golensizi (Golęszycy) and is believed to have served as their primary local centre due to both its substantial size and the presence of an extensive system of fortifications. The site is one of the largest and best-preserved hillforts in the Silesian province, notable for its earthen revetments - still easily discernible in the surrounding terrain - as well as well-preserved cultural layers.

Location and description

The site is located in the northern forefield of the Moravian Gate. The remnants of the fortifications lie in a hilly area criss-crossed by ravines; the hillfort originally stood on a low hill positioned at the edge of the eastern terrace of the Oder glacial valley (Urstromtal). The complex consisted of three sections. The first of them was the hillfort proper, designed on a roughly circular plan and featuring a double ring of earthen fortifications. The second part of the hillfort, adjoining the eastern side of the central section, is the ancillary settlement designed on an oval plan, surrounded by a single, much lower rampart. The third part of the complex, designed on a crescent-shaped plan, is the western ancillary settlement, the traces of its fortifications being almost lost among the surrounding terrain; this ancillary settlement has not been mentioned in any of the works written on the subject, yet traces thereof show up clearly on LiDAR imaging. The total surface of the hillfort is approximately 5.3 hectares, making it the largest fortified structure of its kind in the entire Upper Silesia region.

History

The early medieval hillfort from the tribal period in Lubomia (site no. 1, AZP 103-41/50) was established on the site of an open (non-fortified) settlement founded back in the 17th century. The construction of fortifications began in the late 8th/early 9th century; in the second half of the 9th century, however, the entire hillfort was engulfed by a devastating fire. According to J. Szydłowski, this fire was the consequence of an armed raid by the forces of duke Svatopluk (born ca. 844 - died 894), the third ruler of Great Moravia. If this theory is true, then the events in question most likely took place between 874 and 885. Regardless of the cause of the fire, however, the hillfort has never been rebuilt.

A note dating back to either 844 or 845, written by an anonymous chronicler known as the Bavarian Geographer, the hillfort was inhabited by the Slavic tribe of Golensizi (known in Polish as Golęszycy). This note was prepared for the benefit of king Louis the German (born 806 - died 876) from the Carolingian dynasty and contains information of mostly military nature. In his note, the writer tells of the tribes inhabiting the area east of the Elbe and north of the Danube, estimating their overall potential measured in the number of strongholds which they held. According to the Bavarian Geographer, the Golensizi tribe was relatively weak, having only held a total of five hillforts at the time.

It should also be added that traces of representatives of the Przeworsk culture have also been discovered on the site, dating back to the later years of Roman influence in these territories.

Condition and results of archaeological research

Archaeological excavations were carried out on the site in the years 1933-1935, 1938 (Roman Jakimowicz) and 1966-1970 (Jerzy Szydłowski). The hillfort in Lubomia is the most thoroughly explored site of its kind in Upper Silesia. In the course of excavations, numerous structures were discovered (houses, hearths, storage hollows and a furnace), accompanied by a profusion of moveable artefacts (pottery fragments, tools, decorative items, weaponry and weapon fragments); among these, a number of items of Avaric and Great Moravian origin were present - a testimony to the existence of trade between the hillfort and its southern neighbours. Only fragments of the site have been surveyed so far, although from the excavations performed it appears clear that the centre of the hillfort was the site of a fairly regular complex of buildings. The wooden houses were arranged in a row alongside the inner, ring-shaped rampart, surrounding a large central yard. In addition to the log structures as well as post-and-beam structures, the residents of the settlement also made use of earth lodges and half-earth lodges, most of which must have served utility purposes. The eastern part of the hillfort - the ancillary settlement - was most likely a place of refuge, with no permanent structures being present whatsoever. The massive earthen ramparts surrounding the hillfort were crowned with wooden structures; those of the outer ramparts are believed to have been relatively simple, especially when compared to the more elaborate arrangements used for the inner rampart. Traces of fascine bundles have been discovered in some of the ramparts, their purpose being to protect the surface of the revetments against water action.

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

compiled by Michał Bugaj, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Katowice, 07-08-2014.

Bibliography

  • Jakimowicz R. 1936. Sprawozdanie z badań grodziska w Kuchelniańskim Lesie (Grabówce) w r. 1934. Prace Prehistoryczne 2, 7-13.
  • Jakimowicz R. 1938. Sprawozdanie z badań grodziska lubomskiego w roku 1935. Prace Prehistoryczne 3, 45-58.
  • Jakimowicz R., Bąk S. 1939. Atlas grodzisk i zamczysk śląskich. Cracow, 4-14.
  • Jaworski K. 2013. Wczesne średniowiecze, [in:] E. Tomczak (ed.), Archeologia Górny Śląsk. Katowice, 174-179.
  • Poleski J. 1991. Grodziska w Lubomi i Naszacowicach. Przyczynek do problemów kontaktów terenów południowej Polski z Wielkimi Morawami. Śląskie Prace Prahistoryczne 2, 193-206.
  • Szydłowski J. 1970. Wczesnośredniowieczne grodzisko w Lubomi, pow. Wodzisław Śląski, po trzech sezonach wykopaliskowych (1966-1968). Sprawozdania Archeologiczne 22, 173-191.
  • Szydłowski J. 1971. Badania wykopaliskowe na wczesnośredniowiecznym grodzisku w Lubomi, pow. Wodzisław Śl. w latach 1966-1970, zbiorcze omówienie wyników badań w streszczeniu [in:] Informator Wojewódzkiego Konserwatora Zabytków Archeologicznych na województwo katowickie za lata 1966-1970. Katowice, 36-51.
  • Szydłowski J. 1974. Sprawozdanie z badań na wczesnośredniowiecznym grodzisku w Lubomi, pow. Wodzisław Śląski w latach 1969-1970. Sprawozdania Archeologiczne 26, 205-222.

General information

  • Type: hillfort
  • Chronology: VII-VIII w. n.e.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Lubomia
  • Location: Voivodeship śląskie, district wodzisławski, commune Lubomia
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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