Medieval and Post-Medieval Department

What will we find in this department?

The department has an extensive collection of artefacts, primarily of early and late medieval date, but also from the post-medieval period.

Where can we see the department’s collection?

The department’s most important and most valuable objects are on display as part of the permanent exhibition Pradzieje Pomorza (The Prehistory of Pomerania) at the headquarters of Gdańsk Archaeological Museum (ul. Mariacka 25/26).

How big is the collection and where did the artefacts come from?

The collection comprises tens of thousands of artefacts, most of them discovered at sites excavated in the Pomorskie Voivodeship. These excavations took place at strongholds (fortified settlements and enclosures), examples of which include Janiszewo, Lubiszewo and Żarnowiec. Open settlements were also excavated, among them sites in Pruszcz Gdański, Juszkowo and Gdynia-Oksywie.

An equally important part of the collection are the medieval and post-medieval finds recovered from urban excavations in towns such as Gniew, Tczew, Skarszewy and Starogard Gdański. 

The department’s holdings do not include artefacts from Gdańsk itself, as these are kept in the Gdańsk Archaeology Department.

What type of objects feature in the collection and what are they made of?

Ceramics predominate among the items in this collection. They include various types of pottery (from tribal times to the post-medieval period), spindle whorls (small discs fitted onto a spindle to increase its inertia and prevent spun yarn from slipping off it), loom weights and a rattle

There are also numerous objects made of animal bone and antler, such as needles, awls, handle fittings, combs and board game pieces. Notable stone artefacts include querns (for manual grinding of grain), pestles, whetstones and a set of anthropomorphic figures known as stone babas, whose function remains unknown (perhaps they were statues of local deities, gravestones of distinguished warriors, memorial stones, or maybe boundary markers).

Objects made of amber, glass, silver and bronze also feature in our collection. They include beads, pendants, finger rings and temple rings (women’s dress accessories consisting of an open ring with a characteristic S-shaped terminal, which were attached to a linen headdress and worn near the temples).

We also have artefacts made of iron (various types of military equipment, tools and hooks, keys, fittings, horseshoes) and less commonly occurring finds made of organic materials, such as wooden scoops and staves, and parts of leather shoes.

A valuable addition to the collection

In recent years, the collection has been enriched by an assemblage of unique grave goods discovered in the village of Ciepłe at a cemetery site dating from the times of Poland’s early Piast dynasty rulers (mid-10th to late 12th century). The finds include weapons, merchant equipment (balances and weights), riding accessories and horse harness parts. These exceptional burial furnishings of armed merchants and mounted warriors are unparalleled in Northern Europe.

Contact

Medieval and Post-Medieval Department
Adam Ostasz
a.ostasz@archeologia.pl
tel. +48 58 305 44 10 ext. 39

 

 

01 gliniane naczynie zasobowe XI wiek
1. Ceramic storage vessel, 11th century

 

02 naczynie gliniane XII wiek
2. Ceramic pot, 12th century

 

03 naczynie glinanie XIV wiek
3. Ceramic pot, 14th century

 

04 dzban gliniany XV wiek
4. Ceramic jug, 15th century

 

05 grzechotka gliniana XI wiek
5. Ceramic rattle, 11th century

 

06 szydlo rogowe XI XII wiek
6. Horn awl, 11th–12th century

 

07 szydlo kosciane XI XII wiek
7. Bone awl, 11th–12th century

 

08 szydlo rogowe XI XII wiek
8. Horn awl, 11th–12th century

 

09 grzebien rogowy XI XII wiek
9. Horn comb, 11th–12th century

 

10 baby kamienne X XIII wiek
10. Stone babas, 10th–13th century

 

11 paciorki szklane i bursztynowy XI wiek
11. Glass and amber beads, 11th century

 

12 ostroga z brazu 1 pol XI wieku
12. Bronze spur, 1st half of 11th century

 

13 ostroga zelazna z XII XIII wieku
13. Iron spur, 12th–13th century

 

14 wedzidlo zelazne XII XIII wiek
14. Iron snaffle bit, 12th–13th century

 

15 topor zelazny XIII XIV wiek
15. Iron axehead, 13th–14th century

 

16 grot beltu zelazny XIII XIV wiek
16. Iron crossbow bolt, 13th–14th century

 

17 nozyce zelazne XIV wiek
17. Iron shears, 14th century

 

18 podkowa zelazna XIII XIV wiek
18. Iron horseshoe, 13th–14th century

 

19 klucz zelazny XIV XV wiek
19. Iron key, 14th–15th century

 

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