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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Masovia. The cremation cemetery and the brewery. Archaeological discoveries on road construction sites

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Archaeologists working on behalf of the Warsaw branch of the General Directorate for National Roads and Motorways discovered archaeological finds. These include a cremation cemetery from the 6th-5th centuries BC, and the remains of a former brewery from the 19th century.

Małgorzata Tarnowska, spokeswoman for the Warsaw branch of the General Directorate for National Roads and Motorways, said that archaeologists are working on the construction of three sections of the A2 motorway: Groszki-Siedlce Zachód, Malinowiec-Łukowisko and Łukowisko-Swory, as well as on the Kołbiel and Pułtusk bypasses.

They placed the burned body in a vessel

During the construction of the A2 motorway between Kałuszyn and Groszki, a cremation cemetery from the 6th-5th century BC was discovered, containing urn and pit graves. It was a common way of burying the dead at that time. It involved burning the body and then collecting the remains and placing them in a vessel – an ashtray, which was buried in the ground. – During anthropological examination of the contents of one of the discovered ashtrays, it was observed that the bones of the deceased were arranged in such a way that at the bottom of the vessel there were bones from the feet and at the top – from the skull – explained Tarnowska.

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At the archaeological site in Szymony, the remains of a brewery were discovered, which operated there in the 19th century and was closed at the beginning of the 20th century. In addition to the remains of foundations and floors, archaeologists also discovered glass and ceramic products, as well as traces of hop cultivation.

Archaeological research necessary

Before starting each investment, GDDKiA analyzes whether it is necessary to carry out archaeological research. Archaeologists prepare for this by analyzing archival data and thus determining the number of archaeological sites. Tarnowska emphasized that it may turn out that in order to preserve the archaeological object, it will be necessary to choose a different route option.

When starting research, archaeologists first check the surface. They walk through the entire area of ​​the future investment in order to search for archaeological monuments on the ground, in particular fragments of clay vessels or flint tools. Previously, archaeologists look for information at the provincial office for the protection of monuments and the National Institute of Monuments. Airborne laser scanning (LiDAR) data obtained from the Central Office of Geodesy and Cartography, as well as publicly available satellite imagery, are also analyzed. Based on the results of these studies, areas are selected for further archaeological work.


Then, the provincial conservator of monuments determines specific places – archaeological sites and designates areas for excavation research. They involve the methodical removal of layers of earth to reveal archaeological monuments preserved in the ground. An essential element of excavation research is the preparation of photographic, drawing and descriptive documentation, as well as geodetic measurements, at each subsequent stage of research. Research methods and documentation methods are selected depending on the specificity of a given position.

The archaeologist is present on the construction site throughout the entire period of earthworks, i.e. the removal of the fertile layer of earth. If he notices any archaeological monuments, he stops the work and reports his discovery to the provincial conservator of monuments. If the information that archaeological monuments have been discovered is confirmed, the authority issues a decision to suspend construction and conduct archaeological research.

Main photo source: GDDKiA

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