Archaeologists excavating a fortified settlement in Maszkowice (Małopolska) on Góra Zyndrama “Zyndram’s Mountain” have discovered two clay pig figurines.
The site was a prehistoric defensive settlement occupied in the Early Bronze Age (1750-1550 BC), in the Late Bronze and Early Iron Age (950-400 BC) and in the La Tène Period (200-50 BC).
Archaeological evidence suggests that the site was first occupied by the Ottomány, a bronze age culture which inhabited parts of eastern Hungary, eastern Slovakia, Crișana in western Romania, western Ukraine – Transcarpatia (Zakarpattia Oblast – within a stretch of the Carpathian mountains) and southeast Poland along the “Amber route”.
In this period, the Ottomány constructed a large monumental stone wall around the settlements plateau, which is one of the oldest examples of stone architecture in Europe and the oldest in Poland.
The two pig figurines were discovered a metre apart during excavations of a rectangular or square dwelling with a lightweight braided construction, covered with a thick layer of clay that dates from around 3500 years ago.
Dr. Marcin S. Przybyła from the Institute of Archeology of the Jagiellonian University said: “These are the first such findings of zoomorphic figures that is representing animals” – adding, that they are only a few centimetres in length, with anatomical features that include nipples and one of the figurines depicting a snout.
The pigs resemble wild boars as they have markings along the back, but Przybyła emphasizes “You have to remember that pigs back then looked more like wild boars than modern breeding pigs”
Archaeologists also continued restoration work within the walls which revealed that they were founded on large, flat sandstone slabs (approx. 1.6 m long), creating a perfectly even surface.
Similar dated stone structures are known in other parts of Europe which suggests that the technology used in building the Góra Zyndrama site came from settlers from the Mediterranean or the Adriatic zone (further supported by the discovery of fragments of ceramic vessels that indicates contact with the communities living in the middle Danube basin).
Header Image Credit : PAP – Science in Poland