3,000-year-old village found on building site of Warsaw swimming pool
A 3,000-year-old village has been discovered on the construction site of a new swimming pool in Warsaw.
The remains of the prehistoric settlement, which belonged to the Lusatian culture, were found deep below the ground in what is today’s Białołęka district of the city.
Archaeologists knew for a while that there were remnants of some Bronze Age structures nearby, but they never expected to find an entire settlement.
Local authorities commissioned the excavations to green-light a planned swimming pool construction, after fragments of ceramics kept popping up in the ground.
The Ab Terra foundation, which was tasked with the digging and research, said: “We expected to discover traces of a small seasonal camp, but it turned out that we found the remains of a large settlement of Lusatian culture from 3,000 years ago (the so-called late Bronze Age).
“This settlement was situated near a small watercourse, nowadays regulated, but in the past, the stream flowed several dozen meters closer to the present research area. The traces of the old river bed and the high level of groundwater were captured in the form of clear geological traces.”
The archaeologists uncovered an area of almost half a hectare to be able to map the village and be sure nothing slipped their notice.
The added: ”The production part of the settlement was probably located on the surveyed area, while the residential part should be in a nearby area, but unfortunately already outside the investment plot.”
That means the surrounding buildings stand in the place of their prehistoric predecessors.
The excavation resulted in an astonishing haul of 1,500 artefacts, including a rare jar looking like a colander, which could have been used to make cheese – with a similar technique to that used today. Most of the findings are ceramics. The rest, made from wood or leather, have decayed.
In addition to everyday-use objects, archaeologists also uncovered many hearths and hundreds of storage pits and caverns.
The researchers said: ”Since the hearths in the southern part of the settlement seem to be 'temporary', we can assume that the area of the present research was not used consumption, but rather for the production of necessary articles for the population of the nearby residential area.”
Traces of the Bronze Age village weren’t the only findings. During the dig, researchers found earlier artefacts from the “Trzciniec culture”, as well as World War II remnants.
However, it is the settlement that has the most value, as it can shed light on the early history of this region.