Thousands of finds revealed in Owidz hillfort

Many fragments of dishes, coins, amulets, and a sacrificed dog’s head were found during archaeological digs in the hillfort in Owidz, northern Poland this year.

The hillfort is located on the top of a moraine hill, on a bend of the Wierzyca river. The fort was built in the 10th century and functioned until the 12th. The remains of the fort were used by Swedish invaders during XVII century’s Deluge as a military camp.

Since the beginning of the year, archaeologists have found over 11,000 items digging only in the main square of the settlement.

Apart from many fragments of dishes, coins, and amulets, the team found a dog’s head buried near an entrance to one of the houses. Karolina Czonstke, one of the co-leaders of the archaeological works, explained that that dog’s head was sacrificed and buried under the door. “This ritual was to ensure the safety and well-being to the residents of the house and to curry favour from the house’s ghosts,” Ms Czonstke said.

Researchers claim that the settlement made a lot of profit due to its good location. The hillfort was situated on a trade route leading to Gdańsk, a port city on the coast of the Baltic Sea.

The hillfort in Owidz was partially reconstructed in 2012, and is now a vibrant tourist site.

The digging was lead by a Polish-Danish expedition team under the AraeoBalt project, which combined students and professors from the universities in Gdańsk and Aarhus in Denmark.