Discovery of massive fortifications suggests Poznań was FIRST capital of Poland, say archeologists

Built out of wood, stone and sand, the defensive walls were 40 meters thick and stood 12 meters tall, the biggest of their kind in Poland. Dom Eko

The discovery of a massive defensive wall at a construction site in Poznań has sent archaeologists wild with speculation that this could mean that the city was the first capital of Poland.

The fortifications dating back to the 10th century, were found seven metres below the ground in the city’s Ostrów Tumski area where archaeologists have been carrying out research prior to the construction of a new apartment block. 

Using modern dendrochronological dating and photogrammetry techniques meant the archaeologists could carry out thorough documentation as well as highly accurate dating.Dom Eko

Built out of wood, stone and sand, the defensive walls were impressive by then-standards as they were 40 meters thick and stood 12 meters tall, the biggest of their kind in Poland. 

Using modern dendrochronological dating and photogrammetry techniques meant the archaeologists could carry out thorough documentation as well as highly accurate dating. 

Only the more important settlements featured such ramparts and Poznań’s defensive infrastructure consisted of three fortified rings joined together.Public domain

As a result, scientists were able to determine that the wall was erected between the years 968 and 1000.

Given that only the more important settlements featured such ramparts and that Poznań’s defensive infrastructure consisted of three fortified rings joined together, suggests that the city could have been the country’s first capital, rather than the nearby city of Gniezno as previously thought. 

The fortifications date back to the 10th century rule of Mieszko I.PAP

Until now it was thought that Gniezno which lies 60km away was the first capital of Poland. Public domain

Antoni Smoliński, the chief archaeologist working on site, said:

”Until now, we believed that Poznań was a settlement of secondary importance. 

The remains of the fortifications were found seven metres below the ground in the city’s Ostrów Tumski area.Dom Eko

“However, given the discovery of the massive defences, this statement is highly questionable. 

“The Early-Medieval city was, indeed, a strategic centre and the post-christening capital of Mieszko I’s Poland.”