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Archaeological Trail

Archaeology is an ambiguous term, encompassing the field of science that explores the past on the basis of material objects as well as the multi-level science about man.
The archaeological trail offers a route through selected towns connected with archaeological research, as well as towns long rooted in a history rediscovered thanks to the work of archaeologists. The choice isn't easy, as the project's area of interest, the “Carpathian Map of Adventure,” has many locations and monuments with such an intriguing profile. In the end however, we offer a continuous adventure trail, the travelling of which often involves effort, as a many of the selected locations aren't easy to explore. Indeed, in order to visit some of them (for example: Pieniny Castle, Kornatka or Naszacowice) you need to hike up and down mountain or forest trails. On the other hand, other locations are relatively easy to visit and even have a place for you to park your car (for example: Tarnowski Castle and the Fortifications in Różnów, Niedzica Castle).

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The archaeological trail leads through the following locations: Tropie (the Church of St. Andrew Zorard and St. Benedict of Hermits), Rożnów (Tarnowski Castle Ruins and Fortifications), Kurów (the remains of a fortified settlement), Marcinkowice (the the remains of a fortified settlement), Chełmiec (the remains of a fortified settlement), Nowy Sącz, Podegrodzie (the remains of fortified settlements, as well as the Lach of Sącz Ethnic Group Museum), Naszacowice (the remains of a fortified settlement), Maszkowice (the remains of a fortified settlement), Krościenko (Pieniny Castle ruins), Czorsztyn (castle ruins), Niedzica (a castle and a museum), Obłazowa Cave, Kornatka (the remains of a Slavic burial ground), and Dobczyce (a castle and a museum). Beyond the afore-mentioned, while traversing the designated route, you will often hike or drive by other towns which possess their own hidden and interesting “archaeological” history.


Small glossary:

An artefact – an archaeological monument – an excavated object, which has lost its connection with the modern socio-cultural system.

Boratynka (boratynek) (John Casimir's three-groat) – a copper groat minted during the reign of John II Casimir between the years 1659-1668 for the purpose of saving the treasury of the republic. The popular name came from Tito Livio Burattini, the administrator of the Kraków mint. The coin was devoid of real value and worsened the financial chaos in the country.

The Eneolithic Period – (From Latin aeneus “of bronze”, Greek líthos “stone”) a transition period between the final stage of the Neolithic Period and the Bronze Age – it was at that time that the first metal products came into use, especially those made from copper and gold.


Lusatian culture – developed in the Middle and Early Bronze Age, as well as in the Early Iron Age. Seen mainly on Polish lands and adjacent areas. It is a part of the Urnfield Culture, yet it is not homogenous, however, all members of its group are characterised by having an identical model of economy and a relatively similar model of settlement structure. This culture lasted for nearly a thousand years and its heyday took place in the so-called Hallstatt Period (700-400 BC). The fall of the Lusatian culture was most likely connected with the Scythian raids.

Mierzanowice culture – the name comes from the excavation site in Mierzanowice in the Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship. The population of this culture belonged to the Circum-Carpathian Epi-Corded cultural circle, and it was the first culture of the Bronze Age (approx. 2500-1600 BC).

Otomani (Füzesabony) culture – a culture of the Bronze Age. It developed in the Cisa Basin between 2150-1350 BC, and it gradually encompassed the lands nowadays known as West Romania, East Slovakia, Northeast Hungary, Transcarpathia and Southeast Poland. It was distinguished by a high level of social and economic development.

Púchov culture – a culture of the Iron Age (300 BC - 180 AD, regionally till the 4th Century AD) and connected with the La Tène culture, which was created by the Celts. The Púchov culture is identified with the Celtic tribe of Cotini. The more characteristic Celtic findings include high quality ceramic works made using a potter's wheel, as well as the remains of metallurgic furnaces in the west of Małopolska. The groups of the Púchov culture made their way to the Sądecka Basin around the 2nd Century BC.

Machicolation – a defensive element built at the upper part of curtain walls, a type of gallery equipped with embrasures.

The Neolithic Period – (from Greek neo – “new”, líthos – “stone”) an Early Stone Age, during which people led a settlement lifestyle, where agriculture, animal husbandry and the previously unseen earthenware production started to develop. On Polish lands, it lasted from approx. 5.5 thous. to approx. 2200/2100 BC and is divided into Early, Middle and Late periods.

Triforium – a row of tripartite blind arcades in Roman and Gothic churches, as well as a tripartite arcade window or passage. Triforia are particularly characteristic of church architecture from the 13th Century.

Cantilever – an architectural supporting element, usually highly profiled and decorated.

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