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„Paleo-Urban” Studies of northern and western Polish lands in early medieval times in the light of archaeological research

Project information


Project title: „Paleo-Urban” Studies of northern and western Polish lands in early medieval times in the light of archaeological research. Interdisciplinary research of economic and sociotopographical development of medieval centers of northern and western Polish lands in the light of archaeological sources

Project No: 2014/12/S/HS3/00013

Project lead: dr Michał Sołtysiak

Project lead, institutional: Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology of the Polish Academy of Sciences
Project financing: FUGA. Post-doctoral internship of the National Science Centre in Poland


e-mail: mjsol@gazeta.pl
phone (22) 620-28-81 do 86

Project implementation:

dr Michał Sołtysiak - Applicant
prof. dr hab. corresponding member – PAS Andrzej Buko - Scientific advisor





So far, archeology often had to settle for the status of an auxiliary science in research of the medieval urbanization, and its findings were regarded as a complement to the image of this phenomenon, and sometimes even as a secondary data. Urban Studies, as a science dealing with the history of urban development generally focuses on the later periods than the Middle Ages. Its range is typically tested modern city, and the inference is focused on references to today's urban infrastructure, with an emphasis on planning analysis, study the relationship of infrastructure and groups of citizens and to protect the natural and cultural environment . So called " Paleo-Urban” Studies would be an attempt to broaden the plane of the research, the enriching of use of archaeological sources in the urban reflection and creation of research techniques and conceptual study of medieval towns of the Polish lands.

New discoveries and publications materials from previous studies led to the constitution of the whole entire department of archeology, dealing with the interdisciplinary study of historic cities. An attempt to adapt the theories and models of the Urban Studies seems to be necessary to enrich the theoretical workshop created for the needs of urban archeology. The result of adapting the concept developed for the urban planning would be the possibility of developing the more complete analysis of the transformation of strongholds in the towns and cities and the observation of the determinants of these changes.

The basic scope of the source for the study of medieval centers in the northern and western Polish lands, that were prepared already to the needs of my doctoral dissertation, will be enriched during query research for the purpose of verification and update of the status of research for the issues analyzed in the period from the tenth to the thirteenth century. This will be the continuation of my research on the phenomenon of urbanization and the development of social and economic centers of existing northern and western Polish lands. I dealt with this subject both in the master thesis (defining the city in West Pomerania), as well as in the doctoral thesis (analysis of the economic development of the city of West Pomerania in the light of archeology)

The concept of interdisciplinary model research workshop for the issue of urban development history, forming the basis for "Paleo-Urban” Studies could fill the gap in the study of the phenomenon of urbanization on Polish territory in the past. Cities of Piast and Pomeranian centers related or subordinate to them, with all their historiography and excellent research results, ideally act as a foundation for such model, to create the conceptual and theoretical workshop for „Paleo-Urban” Studies of northern and western Polish lands in early medieval times.