3,500 year old clay figurines discovered in southern Poland

Two clay figurines depicting pigs were discovered by archaeologists during excavations in Maszkowice (Małopolska). The discovery was made inside a house from 3,500 years ago, in a settlement surrounded by a monumental stone wall - the oldest in this part of Europe.

The settlement discovered a few years ago in Maszkowice on Mount Zyndram’s is unique for the area of Central and Eastern Europe. Until now, scientists did not realise examples of monumental stone architecture from this area from such an early period - the middle of the 2nd millennium BC - existed. This year, researchers studied the interior of the settlement as well as its walls.

The figures are not badly burned. One is lighter and light brown in color, and the other is burned quite dark. In the opinion of the archaeologist it is probably a matter of chance, but thanks to this the figure becomes even more life-like.

This year, archaeologists also continued restoration work within the walls discovered in the previous years of research. Dr. Przybyła told Polish Press Agency: "The fortifications defending the settlement are more than 2,500 years older than the monuments of Romanesque architecture. Thus, it is the oldest example of a stone wall in the history of construction in Poland."

According to researchers' estimates, the settlement emptied suddenly around 1550-1500 BC. However, there are no traces of an invasion or crash. It is true that more or less mid-way through the period it was occupied there was a large fire, but the wooden houses were rebuilt. They were larger than the previous ones, but fewer were erected.