The Story of a Little Rodent in a Changing World

The summer of 9,750 BC (or 11,700 years before present) was warmer and rainier than usual in the area of the Kraków-Częstochowa Upland. At sunset, a solitary narrow-headed vole was walking across the hills, down to the Sąspow River and up to the highlands, in search of its favourite food to store for the winter, mainly shoots of grasses and sedges, every year more and more scarce and harder to find due to the advance of the forest. These were times of changes: only a few decades before, his great-grandparents were living in a suitable tundra environment with all the necessities: enough food in the summer, enough snow and ice in the winter to store their favourite grass seeds; in all the valleys were plenty of voles of his kind. Now all had changed. The solitary rodent was starving; he was the last of his kind in southern Poland. All his “family” moved northwards a long time ago because of global warming and the advance of the great forest.

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Mysteries of Koziarnia Cave. Part two – puzzle solved

The excavations in Koziarnia Cave were a bit of an earthquake. Seriously. The seismograph working continuously deeper in the cave recorded each hit of the rock pick. Geophysicists paid the price so that we, archaeologists, could eventually reveal the mysteries of Koziarnia Cave.

The inside of Koziarnia Cave during excavations in 2017. Note the mist appearing in the in the cave on hot summer days
© M. Kot, CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 licence

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Mysteries of Koziarnia Cave. Part one – turbulent history of the cave

This cave used to be a dwelling for the Neanderthals, a dance floor and a bowling club. In the past it was inhabited by humans and cave bears in turns. At some other time there was a pen for livestock. Hence the name – Koziarnia (goat barn)…

View of the entrance to Koziarnia Cave
© M. Bogacki, CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 licence

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International Summer School ‘Wolin/Jómsborg: a meeting point of Slavs and Scandinavians in the Middle Ages.’

The International Summer School ‘Wolin/Jómsborg: a meeting point of Slavs and Scandinavians in the Middle Ages’ will be held from 16th July to 30 July 2023 in Wolin, Poland, at the Andrzej Kaube Regional Museum, the Centre for Medieval Archaeology of the Baltic Region, and the Slavs and Vikings’ Centre.

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New study sheds light on the ancient pastoralists of Iran

When bioarchaeologists excavate human remains, they are sometimes faced with burials that can be somewhat complicated. A ‘perfect’ burial for bioarchaeological analyses would contain a complete set of bones that are well preserved. Some archaeological sites, however, are of such great significance that we even work with poorly preserved and incomplete burials, using unconventional methods that allow us to overcome these preservation limitations. This was proven by our research team whilst studying the Bronze Age cemetery of Deh Dumen, located in the Zagros Mountains in Iran. 

Wszystkie kości udowe w badanym materiale były mocno uszkodzone, większość miało zachowane trzony, ale brakujące nasady (patrz: szary obszar na szkicu kości udowej). Przebadaliśmy przekroje poprzeczne trzonów kości udowej, aby ustalić ich rozmiary i kształt, a także obejrzeć mikrostruktury kostne w obrębie wydzielonych obszarów przekrojów. © J. Miszkiewicz, na licencji CC BY-NC-SA 4.0
All of the femora in our sample were fragmented, with most having their shafts preserved but missing their ends (see greyed area of the femur sketch). We were able to examine midshaft cross-sections of these femoral segments for size and shape, and then look at bone microstructure within further specified smaller regions of the femur cross-section.  © J. Miszkiewicz, under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license

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New discoveries at the royal necropolis in Castillo de Huarmey

New discoveries in Castillo de Huarmey confirm the previous assumptions of Polish archaeologists about the importance of the royal tomb in Castillo de Huarmey, Peru. The site studied by scientists from the University of Warsaw served as the final resting place for elite members of the Wari Empire. The most eminent craftsmen and artists serving at the royal court of Wari were also among the few of those who could be buried at the royal necropolis in Castillo de Huarmey.

The Gallery of Elite Craftsmen found in 2022 was located just beneath royal mausoleum of Castillo de Huarmey, discovered 10 years before.
© M. Giersz, under CC BY-SA 4.0 licence

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Textile technology in Bronze Age Greece: weaving

Movie z filmu: Textile technology in Bronze Age Greece. Part III: Weaving

We are excited to share our last video about textiles and textile production in Bronze Age Greece. In this video, Dr hab. Agata Ulanowska from the Faculty of Archaeology, University of Warsaw and Mrs Aleksandra Frączek, a student of the Faculty, discuss and demonstrate weaving.

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Caves in the Sąspowska Valley – the secrets of the storerooms of the University of Warsaw

I open a long lost box of artefacts. Do you know this feeling? The feeling when you discover notes for a book, written with your own hand, which you think you read for the first time? We call it the archaeology of archaeology.

Wszystkie jaskinie badane wykopaliskowo przez Profesora W. Chmielewskiego w Dolinie Sąspowskiej © M. Jakubczak, na licencji CC BY-SA 4.0
All caves excavated by professor Waldemar Chmielewski in the Sąspowska Valley
© M. Jakubczak, CC BY-SA 4.0 licence

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Tingitana Frontier Project – Polish-Moroccan exploration of the Roman limes in Morocco

Polish-Moroccan archaeological mission, which researches the Roman limes, unearthed remains of a Roman watchtower in late October and early November 2021. The watchtower was a part of the defence system of the ancient city of Volubilis. This research project is conducted within the framework of the agreement of mutual cooperation that was signed in July 2021 by the University of Warsaw and the National Institute of Archaeology and Cultural Heritage in Rabat (INSAP).

Widok ze stanowiska w kierunku południowo-wschodnim © K. Bartczak, opublikowano na licencji CC BY-NC-SA 4.0
South-eastern view from the site 
© K. Bartczak, CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 licence

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