The mosaic may have adorned the bedroom floor of a local commander’s home, and dates back some 2,000 years.
With a population of just 445 people, the former medieval stronghold has turned up thousands of fragments of ceramic vessels, coins and amulets - and even a sacrificed dog’s skull buried under the threshold of a house.
The excavations carried out at the castle in Olsztyn and the hill it stands on shed fascinating light on Neanderthal life thousands of years ago.
The haul bearing the image of King Sigismund III Vasa also includes Prussian shillings struck for Prince George Wilhelm Hohenzollern, who was a fief of the Republic of Poland. It remains a mystery why the coins were placed where they were and why they have remained hidden until today. h century silver coins has been found under the floor of a monastic church.
According to archaeologists, the burial ground was used in the second half of the 6th and 7th Century, when the area was inhabited by descendants of the Baltic population. All the bodies were incinerated before being placed directly in pits in the ground.
The suspicion from archaeologists at Warsaw University that Rhizon had once contained a shrine to Medaurus, a protective god worshipped by the Illyrians, was confirmed when they dug up the first completely preserved Greek inscription.
The lead seal carries the name of Nicholas III who was pope from 1277-1280.
The beautifully delicate and ornate 3,000-year-old bracelets date back to the late Bronze Age and are thought to have belonged to a people known as the Lusatian culture.
After finding an axe-head buried alongside the remains, Viking expert Dr Leszek Gardeła believes that the woman may have come from what is now Poland and could have been a Slav.
The team of archaeologists led by Warsaw University’s Dr Kamil Kuraszkiewicz discovered the ancient corpses in a trench surrounding the Pyramid of Djoser which could have been ‘a path to the afterlife’.