Rozpurza’s castle…a thousand years younger

Rozpurza’s castle…a thousand years younger

The ruins of the hills in Łódź Prza (Rhodes Province) first appeared at the end of the 10th century, nearly a thousand years younger than previously thought. “Similar questions may apply to many strongholds in Poland, which underwent large-scale research in the 1960s. This is the so-called millennium research”-said Dr. Jerzy Sikora of the Institute of Archaeology, University of Lodz.

From the late 1940s to the 1960s, the so-called millennium study aimed to identify the main centers of Piast power. Then, archaeologists obtained many historical data about the early days of the Polish state.

Dr. Sikora said: “The latest research often shows that previous conclusions are wrong, which is related to the imperfect research methods at that time.” Archaeologists mainly pointed out the problem of dating discovered remains (such as embankments or fortification points). Thanks to the use of dendrochronology and radiocarbon methods, modern technology can create better documentation, more complete diagnosis, and, more importantly, more accurate dating. “Our research is much more precise than half a century ago”-the researcher added.

Currently, scientists can determine the age of certain monuments with an accuracy of close to a year. This is the case with some wooden castle buildings found in Rozprza.

So far, it is believed that the fortress located here is small, with an inner diameter of only 18 m, and will be surrounded by small, unprotected settlements at the bottom of the Luciaza Valley.

This image can be modified by analyzing aerial photos taken in 2013, 2015 and 2016 and the results of geophysical surveys. Facts have proved that on the south side of the outer city wall, there is a Bailey, separated by a moat. Perhaps there was an additional horseshoe wall (later flattened by the surrounding ground) surrounding Bailey. Millennial researchers speculated that the small settlements that existed turned out to be part of this borough.

According to the latest concept, two main stages of hillside function can be distinguished: the earlier period (not so powerful) (from the end of the 10th century or the beginning of the 11th century)-and the later period (from the 14th century), The latter has a larger, spacious borough in the center of the conical embankment. It may be the foundation of a wooden tower-a residence and a moat-more than 20 meters wide!

Thanks to this year’s excavation work, people also discovered an unusual way to erect the oldest hillside fortress. Generally, soil and wood are used in this type of construction. In this case, the outer embankment is covered by turf blocks.

“The most similar place to this solution comes from the border between the Połabie region and the Polarian-Saxon region. However, we believe that this is not borrowing money, but the use of raw materials, which are available and can perform their functions. “-Dr. Sikora explained. Usually, the shaft is finished with clay or stone. However, it is obvious that there is not enough of these raw materials near the fortress.

During the excavation, the archaeologists also had some surprises. “The basic rule of archaeology is that the lower layer is the older layer. At the same time, during the excavation of the moat, we found the older monument on the upper layer!”-Dr. Sicora said. This problem was solved by the actions of the last owner of the settlement. In 1944, he razed half of the monument to the ground and filled the moat with high embankment material. Therefore, he obtained a flat grass that could be used for his purpose. In these works, he disturbed the monument layer and reversed their storage order.

According to written sources, Rozprza was one of the most important forts in central Poland in the 12th century. At the time, officials of public administration lived there, and in the 13th century, the center became the seat of Castellin. The earliest mentioned village is from the 11th century.

This year, researchers also discovered an unknown page in the history of Rozprza-piles buried on the surface of the hill. It has been discovered that the wood originated in 1576-there is no longer a fortress here, but only a high ground in the field. Archaeologists believe that due to the turmoil resulting from the election of Stefan Batory, perhaps the historic stronghold was initially prepared to perform defensive functions.

An important aspect of research is the interdisciplinary collaboration of researchers from many disciplines-emphasized by Dr. Sikora. In addition to archaeologists, geomorphologists, soil scientists, dendrochronologists, and experts in plant macro-relic research, animal remains, including fossil beetles, worms, and snail remains, come from centers in Poland and abroad. Therefore, the researchers believe that not only can the traces of human activities be reconstructed, but also the natural environment near the settlement can be understood, and even climate change can be understood. The management of this research project in Łódź Prza is under the responsibility of Dr. Piotr Kittel of the Department of Geomorphology and Paleogeography of the University of Łódź.

Rozprza’s research was funded by funding from the National Science Center.

PAP-Science of Poland

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