Unique 2,000-year-old settlement discovered in Poland

Polish archaeologists discovered found an unique, intact ancient settlement from almost 2,000 years ago in Bory Tucholskie, northern Poland.

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The Bory Tucholskie region, on the border of the Kujawsko-Pomorskie and Pomorskie provinces, is heavily forested. It is one of the least well-known areas in Poland in archaeological terms. The archaeologists found a farming land complete with boundary strips, homesteads, buildings and even roads.

"When it comes to research, it was virgin territory. It was a great surprise to discover there not only individual elements of a former settlement, but also its surroundings: the fields surrounding the buildings, homesteads and tracts connecting them," Mateusz Sosnowski, a PhD student at the Nicolaus Copernicus University (UMK) Institute of Archeology in Toruń, central Poland, told Polish Press Agency.

Mr Sosnowski is conducting research in Bory Tucholskie together with Jerzy Czerniec, a PhD student at the Institute of Archeology and Ethnography at the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw.

The archaeologist explained that the discovery is unique because archaeologists usually only discover individual elements of settlements or other constructions left over from the activities of ancient people.

"Here we have an entirely different situation," Mr Sosnowski stressed. "We have tracked down unknown traces of an ancient Bory Tucholskie settlement. It's not a matter of one house or a fragment of a settlement. We have an entire estate together with its surrounding farmland in the form of fields and pastures, where all the elements come from the same period. It's unique!” he added.

The settlement together with its surrounding fields covers an area of over 170 hectares and the fields are surprisingly regular. "Their shape brings to mind the three-field system of farming, known in Poland only from the middle ages. Was it already in use several hundred years earlier? we hope our research will answer that question," Mr Sosnowski commented.