07.01.2015 change 07.01.2015

Szczecin archaeologists discovered megalithic structures

The remains of stone structures found near Czachów. Photo by A. Matuszewska The remains of stone structures found near Czachów. Photo by A. Matuszewska

Mysterious megalithic structures, erected a few thousand years ago from huge blocks of stone, have been discovered in the Łobez Land (West Pomerania) by researchers from the Department of Archaeology, University of Szczecin (USz).

Until now, scientists have been unaware of the presence of this type of structures in the area.

Megaliths inventory project in Western Pomerania began in 2011. Its initiators are Dr. Agnieszka Matuszewska and Dr. Marcin Szydłowski. Until now, however, in their search modern archaeologists have not ventured into the Łobez Land - one of the most ecologically pure regions of Poland. As it turned out, they were wrong.

"Already an archival query - old German maps, literature and toponomastic analysis, involving the study of the meaning of the old (often traditional) names of places in search of the location of megalithic structures, yielded better results than expected" - explained Dr. Agnieszka Matuszewska from the Department of Archaeology USz.

After performing a meticulous desk work, the researchers went into the field. So far, they have identified several possible locations of megalithic structures. Five of them have been verified in the field.

One of the newly discovered sites is the structure located near the village Czachowo. On the nineteenth-century German maps it is marked as Hünen Berg, the "hill of giants". For archaeologists, it was a sign that on top of the hill there could be megalithic structures, traditionally associated with giants. "Field verification showed that in fact at this location, in the woods on a slight elevation, there are remains of stone structures surrounded by a stone circle" - said Dr. Matuszewska.

Former German names of villages are also an indication for researchers where to look for prehistoric cemeteries erected with large boulders. Promising for archaeologists are Komorowo (Die Stein Riege, Steinbrink, which means group of stones, a pile of stones), Krzemienna (Hünebag, Hünenberg - hill of giants), Słudwia (Teufelsberg, Stückchen am Steinbrink - devil hill, pile of stones). These are just a few of the names analysed by the researchers from Szczecin. The next step will be surveying the area.

Archaeologists emphasize that the support of local community is very important in this type of research and the promotion of historical sites. Valuable advice and a lot of help during the ongoing work came from regionalist Bogdan Przybyła, who initiated the field work in the Łobez Land.

Szczecin archaeologists plan another expedition to the area in the spring.

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