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Man and his environment – natural conditions

Project information


Project title: Man and his environment - natural conditions nad nature of the anthropopressure on the Poland's and Pomeranian's borderland in the Early Middle Ages in the light of geoarchaeological studies of the settlement complex in Santok

Project No: 11H 11 0184 80

Project lead: dr Kinga Helena Zamelska-Monczak

Project lead, institutional: Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology of the Polish Academy of Sciences
Project financing:National Science Center, 2014-2016


e-mail: kinga.zamelska@iaepan.poznan.pl
phone (22) 620-28-81 do 86

Project implementation:

Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology of the Polish Academy of Sciences
National Institute of Geology (Pomeranian Branch in Szczecin)





1. Research project objectives/ Research hypothesis


The aim of the project is to learn about the natural environment in north-western Great Poland before settlement occupation in the region in the early Middle Ages and investigation of taking place in this period the mutual relations man - environment. The planned within the framework of tasks integrated, interdisciplinary, geoarchaeological research provide insights into the environmental conditions that prevailed on the borderland between Great Poland and Pomerania, especially along the valley of the Warta and Noteć River, indicate the size and scale of anthropopression, the nature of the activity of contemporary communities in evolution of the landscape and adapting it to their functions.
Although natural landscape research in Great Poland has a long tradition, so far they spared this part of the region. Research work is scheduled for the the area at the confluence of the Warta and Noteć River where the settlement center in Santok was located. Due to its location, the certified written and archaeological sources and several hundred years of settlement's history (VIII-XV cent.) evolving in terms of functionality (trading post - Piast center city - a medieval village) - Santok could become a crucial site to know the environment of human life in the Middle Ages. The result of the project will be so precise analysis of environmental conditions in which inhabitants of borderland Great Poland and Pomerania acted and the cultural and environmental transformations occurring in this area in the early Middle Ages.


2. Research project methodology


Realization of the project and the achievement of the goals is based on the use of the abilities and experience of sciences in the field of geomorphology, geology, geochemistry, sedimentology, palynology and paleontology, integrated with archaeological research. The schedule includes fieldwork focused to obtain a data and material for further studies, specialized analyzes and interdiscipline joint research results. The series of drilling and geophysical recognition will be done by specialists of natural sciences The stronghold and its surrounding, that area will be tested by the archaeological field prospection and excavation survey.
All the works will be documented, materials studied currently and the results interpreted collectively. Exposed samples will be tested in laboratory: sedimentological, palynological, paleontological, geochemical, diatomological, dendrochronological analysis, radiocarbon datings. The choice of such methods of analysis was made after the initial geological exploration by drilling on the site. Archaeological studies will be carried out according to standard methods, with particular consideration of the stratigraphic correlation within the entire settlement complex and chronology of settlement levels. Use of the cartographic data and aerial photography is also planned and spatial data location positions for detailed identify surroundings of the settlement Santok.
The realization of works is planned for 36 months.


3. Expected impact of the research project on the development of science, civilization and society


The result of the carried out research will be extended and intensified knowledge of the interaction between human occupation and the environment in the early Middle Ages on the geographical borderland of Great Poland and Pomerania, territory has not included so far to such studies . It will fill the existing gap in recognizing an extremely significant in the history of Polish territories the area iof north-western Great Poland The image of primary natural conditions and the nature and scale of anthropopression enables to define unique in the region, located within the interior emporium in Santok.
The results of the research will be the basis for further work on the analysis of natural landscape where the settlement was developing on the borderland between both regions, in the valley of the Warta-Noteć River.
Multidisciplinary nature of the proceedings of allows the use of obtained data, both in source works concerning examined area, as well as synthesis works presenting the analyzed issues in a wider context, both from the the humanities and the natural sciences. Investigators of the project are convinced that Santok - an important place in history, will also be a reference point and correlation of natural and cultur occurrences acted in the past. All the data and research results will be collected and compiled in the form of of the final elaboration (manuscript), supplemented with a set of illustrations - drawings, photographs, diagrams. A specially prepared website will be presented information on current events and ongoing work.
This website will also be designed for popularization of geoarchaeology and informing about the whole range of methods and techniqes enabling to learn the past natural landscape . The results of research will be published in journals with a profile on both fields: archeology and the natural sciences. The long-term intention achieved research results will provide the necessary basis for preparing the planned, comprehensive monograph of the region distributed in the international circulation.