Early medieval hillfort, Złoty Potok
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

Early medieval hillfort

Złoty Potok

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The early medieval hillfort in Złoty Potok is a picturesque archaeological site located in a nature reserve. It is one of the few hillforts discovered in the Częstochowa district, belonging to a group of highland hillfort located in a mountainous, rocky terrain - a rarity in the Polish territories. The site is relatively well preserved, with the authentic remnants of an elaborate system of fortifications still easily discernible in the surrounding terrain. Today, the hillfort constitutes a priceless source of information about the earliest history of our country as well as about the early medieval Slavic defensive architecture.

Location and description

The hillfort is situated on the Cracow-Częstochowa Upland, at the apex of a steep-sided hill towering above the right bank of the Wiercica river. It is located about 2 kilometres to the south-west from the centre of Złoty Potok and approximately 150 metres east of the Janów-Żarki road. The structure was constructed on a site the natural characteristics of which make it relatively inaccessible to any potential attackers. The almost vertical wall of limestone rock on the western side makes it virtually impossible to approach the hillfort from that direction, with the relatively gentle slope being located on the northern and north-eastern side thereof. The highland hillfort consists of a number of distinct sections, including an elliptical main fort with a total surface of approximately 0.15 hectares as well as three ancillary settlements. The entire complex, which must have seen numerous extension works over the long period of its existence, was designed on a roughly oval, almost rectangular plan. The total surface of the hillfort is approximately 2.2 hectares, making it one of the largest fortified structures of its kind in the entire province. The hillfort is located in a densely forested area forming part of a local nature reserve, which had a detrimental impact on the state of preservation thereof.

History

The age of the hillfort in Złoty Potok was determined on the basis of the moveable archaeological artefacts recovered on the site; these artefacts have led researchers to conclude that the hillfort dates back to the 8th-12th century, which means that it remained in use both during the tribal period and in the early days of the Piast monarchy.

Condition and results of archaeological research

The site is accessible all year round.

compiled by Michał Bugaj, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Katowice, 13-11-2014.

Bibliography

  • Zwoliński M., Szkice monograficzne Janowa i okolic, Katowice 2012.

General information

  • Type: hillfort
  • Chronology: VIII-XII w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Złoty Potok
  • Location: Voivodeship śląskie, district częstochowski, commune Janów
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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