Archaeologists have discovered several hundred medieval fragments of ceramic shells, arrowheads and spears as well as a unique silver figure depicting a human during excavations within the fortified settlement of Chudlik (Lublin County).

The Slavic stronghold of Chudlik existed from the 8th to the 10th centuries, and was surrounded by three dams. It was one of the greatest defenses of the tribal period. There were several hillside settlements and cemeteries nearby. In 2020 and 2021, archaeologists conducted excavations at one of the sites selected during geophysical surveys, which allow to “look” under the surface of the earth without physical intervention. The researchers’ attention was drawn to the rectangular shapes that appeared on the research equipment.

“We wanted to check if there were residential buildings in the bastion and check our knowledge of the last stage of the site’s operation,” – said Dr. Lukas Michović of the Institute of Archeology and Ethnology of the Polish Academy of Sciences, who is leading the research.

In the course of research conducted in the past two seasons, archaeologists have discovered several hundred fragments of pottery, military objects (arrowheads and spearheads), items of clothing and decorations. The latter includes a bronze ring clasp and a lunula, that is, a crescent-shaped pendant. A main pawn for the game was also drilled.

However, the most interesting find is a silver anthropomorphic figurine. It is 5 cm high. The character has his hands clasped to his chest or he has something inside of them. The representation of the face is unfortunately illegible, but the toes are clearly visible ”- stated Dr. Michovich.

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According to the information provided by researchers, the statue was found at a depth of about 20 cm, at the level of the early medieval cultural stratum. Until now, archaeologists have not been able to determine the purpose of this unique element. To date, they have not found a similar monument in publications on other archaeological sites from this period.

The unearthed fragments of ceramic vessels date from the 8th-10th centuries, confirming the previous findings of archaeologists regarding the centuries of defensive foundation. Their large number means, according to d. Michović said the place was teeming with life. In turn, the army was discovered at the base of the outer wall.

These effects may be traces of military actions. Chowdel Basin is a very fortified small settlement area – there are 4 castles very close, additional fortifications in the form of a longitudinal bridge, and two important trade routes intersect here. It was definitely a rich place and a delicious bite, ”- said the scientist.

This year, archaeologists also found two types of early medieval diamonds at the base of the bridge at Chudlik. According to experts, they come from the beginning of the 11th century. Until now, researchers believe that the stronghold ceased to exist in the 10th century. and Podgórze. New discoveries of coins give impetus to research into the chronology of Hilfort in Chudlik and its possible transformation to the eleventh century, and here we also rely on the results of absolute dating using the radiocarbon method. ” Until now, it was believed that the stronghold in Chudlik no longer existed when the Piast state was created. However, the reason for its end remains a mystery to this day.It may have been a natural disaster, and possibly an armed invasion, to have contributed to it.

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Chodlik has been researching for 60 years. Thanks to them, it is known that the stronghold was powerful and was probably the most important point and center of settlement in the region. It is also one of the oldest buildings of this type in the historic town of Malopolska. In the Chudelska Valley there was one of the most important communications “nodes” of the early Middle Ages. Long-distance roads leading from east to west and from north to south – from the Bug Basin to Greater Poland – and the Vistula path crossed here.

The last works were carried out in Chodliki in cooperation with the members of the historical association “Pasja”. “Cooperation is great for us, and I think the joint initiatives of archaeologists are only revealing benefits” – assessment of the head of the excavation.

The research project currently underway in Chudlik is made possible by the presence of a field research station located in the building of the former primary school. The researchers are organizing a fundraising campaign (https://zrzutka.pl/chodlik), which aims to enable the renovation of an old building and its adaptation to the needs of the museum and a place to disseminate science.

PAP – Science in Poland, Szymon Zdzieśmieowski

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