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    Medieval lead smelting furnace discovered in Staromieście

    The remains of a 12th-13th century lead smelting furnace were discovered by archaeologists in the vicinity of the Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Staromieście (Silesia Voivodeship) during the first, probing excavations at the site. The explorers stress that settlements from this period are rarely discovered and studied.

    Until now, archaeologists had only residual information about the ancient past of Staromieście. Thanks to earlier surface research, during which fragments of ceramic vessels were collected from the surface – it was established that they dated back to the late medieval period, mainly to the 14th century. Therefore, it was believed that the settlement hiding underground was also from this period. This view was revised by the July excavations.


    Researchers from the Institute of Archaeology at the University of Lodz, together with students present at the internship, carried out the first excavations at the site.


    “We established two sounding pits. In one we discovered the remains of a lead-smelting furnace. We came across relics of what was probably a clay chimney draught and traces of burning. There was a lot of lead smelting in the fill,” the head of the research, Radosław Zdaniewicz of IA UŁ, told PAP. The research was conducted in the vicinity of the Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.


    As he points out, it was possible to come across the productive part of the settlement. Its age is evidenced by the discovery of very numerous fragments of ceramic shells, mainly from the 12th-13th centuries.


    Among the more interesting finds, Zdaniewicz mentions a medieval spur and a coin of Prince Władysław II the Exile (1105 – 1159) – son of Bolesław III Wrymouth. Among other things, archaeologists also discovered knives and flints made of iron and a lead weight.


    During recent research, archaeologists also came across single flint artefacts, dating back to the Mesolithic period (so they are about 10,000 years old). This means that the history of the site is older than previously thought. 

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