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Centre for Medieval Archaeology of the Baltic Region / Activity


On 19 November 1953, the Polish Academy of Sciences inaugurated an Institute for History of Material Culture, which in 1992 was renamed the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology of the Polish Academy of Sciences (IAE PAN). With wide-scale archaeological research having been conducted in Western Pomerania right in the Institute’s early stages of formation, its three Archaeological Stations were then set-up: at Wolin (established as early as 1952, to meet conservation demand), Szczecin (later renamed as Workshop) and in Kołobrzeg (operating in 1954-1963).
In 1960, the Szczecin establishment moved into its new seat — at 12/12a Kuśnierska Street — in a building specially rebuild for this purpose. The station initially reported to the Poznań centre of the Institute for History of Material Culture — known as the Unit for Archaeology of Poland (to 1955), the Unit for Archaeology of Pomerania (1955–1963), and the Unit for Archaeology of Greater Poland and Pomerania (1963-1971 — and later it became part of the Institute’s Unit for Archaeology of Odra River Region in Wrocław. Also in the Wrocław Unit’s structures was a Research Team in Kołobrzeg, established in 1991 and harking back to the traditions of the Station that operated there previously.

In 2006, the Archaeological Workshop in Szczecin gained the status of an independent Branch — also comprising the establishments in Wolin and Kołobrzeg — which in October 2011 assumed the name of Centre for Medieval Archaeology of the Baltic Region.

The Centre’s focus of attention is on questions of production, trade, burial rites, and social and cultural change in the Baltic Sea region from the late Antiquity to modern times, with particular emphasis on Pomerania, Mecklenburg and Warmia-Masuria. Within this general framework, detailed projects currently underway deal with, e.g., peat bog deposits, Wielbark Culture’s burial rites, changes in Early Medieval tanning/leatherworking, development of crafts in Baltic towns, boatbuilding in Early Medieval Wolin, funeral rites among Central and Eastern European elites, and trade along the Vistula.
The Centre’s staff conduct numerous archaeological excavations and field survey projects — including at Czaszkowo, Piecki municipality; Dobra, outside Nowogard; Lubin, Wolin Island; Szczecin; Truso; and Wolin — as well as coding/cataloguing archive material (from Early Medieval sites in Rega River area and Gómieniecka Plain). The Centre carries out emergency rescue work on sites threatened with destruction by various kinds of construction and development projects.
With the high expertise of the research staff and numerous contacts with representatives of other disciplines at home and abroad, the Centre is well suited to conduct wide-range comparative interdisciplinary studies.

Collaborating partners:

  • Institute of History and International Relations, University of Szczecin;
  • Andrzej Kaube Regional Museum, Wolin;
  • Museum of Polish Armed Forces, Kołobrzeg.

Areas of cooperation:

  • archaeological research;
  • research projects;
  • conferences;
  • exhibitions.

Results:
Conferences:

  • Salsa Cholbergiensis. Kołobrzeg in Middle Ages, Kołobrzeg 2000
  • Civitas Cholbergiensis, Kołobrzeg 2005
  • In Gremio - In praxi, Questions of excavated leather research, Szczecin 2007
  • 1st Wolin Get-Together of Medievalists, Wolin 2010