The Archaeology of Early Medieval Poland

Discoveries – Hypotheses – Interpretations


This is the first academic book which concentrates on the discoveries of medieval date (6th- 13th centuries) from the territory of modern Poland. The book covers the principal research questions, such as the origins of the Slavs, societies of the proto-state period and the origins of the Polish state. The volume also includes a discussion of the most interesting, sometimes controversial, archaeological discoveries or issues. These include pagan Slavonic holy places, the monumental mounds of Little Poland, the first traces of medieval writing, exceptional strongholds, the origins of Polish towns, rural landscapes, archaeology of the oldest monastic complexes, and the question of locals and aliens viewed through archaeological evidence and many other topics.
The book is meant mainly for students, archaeologists and historians. It can also be useful for a wider audience interested in the history and archaeology of central Europe.
In November 2006 "The Archaeology of Early Medieval Poland" received the KLIO Award from the Association of Polish History Publishers.
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Biographical Note

Andrzej Buko, Ph.D. (1978) in Archaeology, Institute for the History of Material Culture, is Director of the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology of the Polish Academy of Sciences. He has published widely on prehistoric and mediaeval archaeology and the methods for the classification and analysis of ceramics. His publications include: Wczesnośredniowieczna ceramika sandomierska (early medieval pottery of Sandomierz) (Wrocław, 1981), Wstęp do badań ceramiki wczesnopolskiej (Early medieval Polish pottery. Introduction into research) (Wrocław 1990), Archeologia w teorii i w praktyce (Archaeology in theory and in practice, co-editor & co-author)) (Warszawa, 2000) and Osadnictwo i architektura ziem polskich w dobie Zjazdu Gnieźnieńskiego (Settlements and architecture of the Polish land in the time of Gniezno Summit, co-editor & co-author) (Warszawa, 2000).

Table of contents

Introduction .. xi
List of Figures .. xv

1. Archaeology of Early Medieval Poland: beginnings of interest, birth and development .. 1
2. Sources and methods .. 29
3. How did the Slavs get to Polish lands? .. 55
4. Mysteries of the pre-state period .. 75
5. Holy mountains .. 107
6. Pagan cemetery or holy grove? .. 133
7. Monumental mounds in Little Poland .. 143
8. Traces of the earliest script in Poland? .. 167
9. How Poland came into being? .. 175
10. Towns still under investigation .. 223
11. Other central places .. 307
12. Rural landscapes .. 333
13. The earliest monastic complexes .. 351
14. The puzzle of the century: pottery marks 383
15. Locals and migrants .. 395

Appendix 1 Some Notes on the Translation of Andrzej Buko’s ‘The Archaeology of Early Medieval Poland’ (Paul Barford) .. 431
Appendix 2 A brief guide to the pronunciation of Polish words (compiled by Paul Barford) .. 439

Bibliography .. 441


Students and specialists interested in the history and archaeology of Poland in the Early Middle Ages, as well as a broader readership.


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