Medieval Archaeology in Poland; Current Problems and Research Methods
Leciejewicz, Lech (Director of Zaklad Archeologii Nadodrza, Institute of History of Material Culture of Polish Academy of Sciences, Wroclaw)
Archeology Data Service, The University of York, Vol. 20, (1976)
This paper was delivered by Professor Leciejewicz; to the Society at its annual general meeting in 1975.
During the last thirty years many revolutionary changes have been brought about in the field of Polish medieval archaeology. The beginning of interest in the archaeology of the middle ages can be dated in Poland back to the second part of the 19th century. A significant revival in this interest took place between the world wars (for example, the first systematic excavations in Gniezno, Poznan and other placesr. However, the idea of commemorating Poland’s millennium, initiated by archaeologists and historians soon after the second world war, caused a hitherto unprecedented increase in the scope of excavation. Modern methods and principles of research were also defined and introduced.
In the Roman period the territories in the Oder and Vistula river basins, N. ofthe Sudeten and Carpathian Mountains, were beyond the imperial frontiers. But in the early middle ages, with the changes in primitive social, economic and political structures in this part of Europe, an early-feudal, socially-differentiated Polish nation was born. About 963 a chronicle report first mentions the Piast state between the Oder and Vistula rivers; and the country first became officially Christian in 966. Soon after this event the Polish state became a full member of the community of civilized societies of medieval Europe. This had deep cultural consequences.