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The history of Carpathian Troy

The History of Carpathian Troy

This place shrouded in legends since centuries is called “Royal Earthworks”. It is located just over the valley of River Ropa.The hill towers 30 meters above surrounding it three valleys. This place is one of the most important archeological monuments in Poland. It is signed in register of monuments. Three pagan idols were discovered here at the beginning of the 19th century. Explorers of antiquity pointed out this place in 19th century and excavations have been carried on here many times in 20th century. The Carpathian Archeological Expedition carried out here first professional excavations directed by A. Żaki in 1957. A. Kunysz carried out excavations in 1958 and 1962. Existence of the early medieval settlement was confirmed and monuments from other prehistory periods were discovered. M. Parczewski stated the existence of fragments of pottery of Mierzanowice culture among this monuments and J. Gancarski stated that there were fragments of pottery of Otomani-Füzesabony culture. Excavations carried out by J. Gancarski in 1991- 1998 and 2005- 2009  brought  sensational results and fame of Trzcinica. Several excavation projects have been carried out here, and the ones accomplished in 1991- 1996 and 2005- 2009 brought sensational results. They have a interdisciplinary character. This object has special historical and cultural value. Natural unavailability protect it before destruction. The most ancient defensive settlement known hitherto in Poland were discovered, and the earliest signs of the influence of the Anatolian- Balkan civilization on Polish territory were confirmed. The site also accommodates the best preserved Early Medieval hillfort in Lesser Poland, which is also one of the oldest Slavonic hillforts. Even today its defence walls go up to an impressive height of 10 m from the base of the earthwork, and enclose an area of nearly 3.5 hectares.

At the beginning of the Early Bronze Age a defensive settlement was built here with a gatehouse on the high side of the promontory. The settlement had a defence system comprising an earth-and-timber earthwork, palisade and ditch, and the steep slopes of the hill. It was inhabited by community belonging to the Pleszów Group of Mierzanowice Culture (  2100-1650 BC) under a strong Trans- Carpathian influence. Next, from 1650 to 1350 BC the side was inhabited by Trans- Carpathian community belonging to the Otomani- Füzesabony Culture which had achieved very advanced level of development. They built a new road and gatehouse into the settlement, enhanced the defenses and after the fire built new fortifications, expanding the settlement’s area to nearly 2 hectares and erecting a new suburb protected by a palisade and ditch on its most readily accessible side.

In this period cultural influence from the great Mediterranean civilizations were reaching this area, and meeting other, northern influences from the Baltic, which made this place an important prehistoric cultural node mediating in the northward transmission of Aegean- Anatolian influences. It was important prehistoric culture center.

In the Early Middle Ages ( 780- 1031 AD) center of authority was located here and massive multi- structured hillfort occupied over 3 ha of area with earthworks that had total length of 1250 m. Fortification of the settlement at Trzcinica were  great engineering constructions of our ancestors.

In series of interdisciplinary research project conducted here at the turn of the centuries we discovered over 160 thousand archeological artefacts and examined the defence structures. We found large quantities of ceramic vessels and other items of pottery. We came across numerous items made of bone and horn, stone and flint, and unique items in bronze and iron. We obtained evidence of long- distance contacts. We also discovered items pertaining to religious workship, prehistoric artworks, tools, weapons and jewelery. We collected a lot of data relating to the chronology of these settlements, their economies and natural environment. We found a rare Early Medieval hoard of silver, comprising coins, a variety of jewelery, pieces of silver, and a rare trimming from a sword scabbard, a fine specimen of Early Medieval art. Diverse cultural influences were at work here, meeting and mingling throughout the entire time for which the defensive settlement at Trzcinica was in operation.

Our discoveries at Trzcinica have provided a lot of new data on the beginning of the Bronze Age in this part of Europe and medieval Slavic settlements. Special historical and cultural value of this place and connections with cultures from Mediterranean sea basin cause that it is called “The Carpathian Troy”.


Projekt graficzny i realizacja na autorskim systemie cms: Daniel Dudka

The Open-Air Museum