Settlement of the Lusatian culture from the Late Bronze Age and the Early Iron Age as well as an early medieval hillfort known as “Gąszczyk”, Mstów
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

Settlement of the Lusatian culture from the Late Bronze Age and the Early Iron Age as well as an early medieval hillfort known as “Gąszczyk”

Mstów

photo

Site no. 4 in Mstów-Podlesie (AZP 86-49/30) represents the fortified settlement of the Lusatian culture from the late Bronze Age (900-750 B.C.) and the very early Iron Age (750-550 B.C.) as well as the early medieval hillfort believed to have remained in use in the 9th and 10th century. Remnants of fortified settlements of the Lusatian culture in Poland are exceedingly rare today, with only about 70 sites of this kind having been discovered so far. Early medieval hillforts are likewise rare and unusual types of archaeological sites, and their links to the Slavic culture and the origins of the Polish statehood makes them all the more valuable today. The site is relatively easily discernible among the surrounding landscape and is accompanied by preserved cultural layers as well as accumulations of moveable and immovable artefacts. For the reasons stated above, the site remains a valuable source of information on both the prehistory and early history of Poland.

Location and description

The site is situated on the Częstochowa Upland, on a small hill rising (295.6 metres above sea level) which towers above the right bank of the Warta river. The overall shape of the site combines the features of an oval and a quadrangle, its total surface being approximately 1 hectare. The terrain leading up the hillfort from the west - and especially from the north-west - is quite steep, making access difficult from that direction; the site is much easier to reach from the east, which necessitated the construction of two low earthen and stone ramparts as well as a dry moat, their vestiges still visible today. Throughout the years, the nearby forest has encroached upon the site, leaving only the middle section thereof free from large-scale vegetation.

History

Archaeological surveys have proved that the site went through two major chronological phases. The first of those phases involves the Lusatian culture and by necessity the determination as to its age can only be made in very broad terms, i.e. between the early Bronze Age (900-750 B.C.) and the very early Iron Age (750-550 B.C.). The second phase, on the other hand, occurred in the early Middle Ages (9th and 10th century), during the period when the Piast monarchy was beginning to take shape.

Condition and results of archaeological research

Excavations on the site were conducted in 1957 (Adam Kauss), 1966 (Włodzimierz Błaszczyk) and 2010-2012 (Maciej Kosiński, Magdalena Wieczorek-Szmal, Greta Bielińska). Numerous immovable artefacts, including residential structures, have been unearthed, accompanied by various fragments of pottery originating both from the members of the Lusatian culture and from the early Middle Ages. Both the documentation of the surveys and the moveable artefacts are now deposited at the Częstochowa Museum.

The site is accessible all year round.

compiled by Michał Bugaj, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Katowice, 22-09-2014.

Bibliography

  • Bielińska G., Kosiński M., Wieczorek-Szmal M., Wyniki badań wykopaliskowych na terenie grodziska „Gąszczyk” w Mstowie-Podlesiu, “Rocznik Muzeum Częstochowskiego 2011/2012”, Częstochowa 2013, pp. 13-67.
  • Kosiński M., Wieczorek-Szmal M., Bielińska G., Sprawozdanie z ratowniczych badań wykopaliskowych na grodzisku Gąszczyk w Mstowie-Podlesiu, województwo śląskie, “Badania archeologiczne na Górnym Śląsku i ziemiach pogranicznych w latach 2009-2010”, Katowice 2012, pp. 36-41.
  • Krauss A., Siedlec, pow. Częstochowa, “Silesia Antiqua” 1962, vol. 4, pp. 304-306.
  • Niesiołowska-Wędzka A., Początki i rozwój grodów kultury łużyckiej, Warsaw-Wrocław-Cracow-Gdańsk 1974.

General information

  • Type: hillfort
  • Chronology: IX-X w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Mstów
  • Location: Voivodeship śląskie, district częstochowski, commune Mstów
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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