Traces of prehistoric and late medieval settlements were discovered during excavations in Mikołajki, the monument conservation services announced Monday. Archaeologists discovered a granite stele that could be a place associated with ancient beliefs.
The results of this year’s archaeological research in Mikołajki, which ‘turned out to be a big surprise’, were announced by the Warmia and Mazury Conservator of Monuments on social media. According to the announcement, during excavations in the city centre at Orzyszowa Street, researchers found traces of prehistoric and late medieval settlements. The work was carried out by the Association for the Protection of Cultural Heritage, in connection with a construction project.
According to the president of the association, archaeologist Maciej Stromski, an unusual archaeological object was discovered near the top of one of the highest hills in the area, from which there is a view of Mikołajskie Lake. It was a granite stele, about 70 cm high, with two hewn trough-shaped quern stones at its base. The entire structure was reinforced and surrounded by stones of various sizes. Fragments of prehistoric ceramic vessels were discovered next to the stele, including a strainer vessel.
‘The place could be associated with ancient beliefs. Two pits were recorded near the object, in which historic material in the form of numerous fragments of vessels was discovered. Its analysis allowed to assign it chronologically to the Iron Age’, explains the archaeologist.
He adds that the pottery fragments discovered in the backfill of the stele and the surrounding pits indicate that they were used by both the people of the West Baltic Barrow culture and the Bogaczewo culture.
According to the archaeologist, at the foot of the hill, closer to the shore of the lake, the researchers discovered the remains of a late-medieval cottage, probably a semi-dugout. The structure had dimensions of 3.2 by 3 m. The house, dug into a clay base, had walls made of transversely arranged boards, which also formed a kind of formwork. The floor was a clay earthen floor, probably covered with transversely arranged pine planks. There was a hearth in the central part.
During the exploration, the researchers discovered large amounts of historical material from the era, in the form of over 200 fragments of vessels and animal bones. Around the object they found post holes, remnants of other wooden structures. Nearby, a pit was found, in which the remains of a wild boar or pig were discovered.
According to the archaeologists, the research results are not only unique for Mikołajki, but they also expand the state of knowledge about the prehistory of the entire region.