Huge Roman-era site used by barbarians over 1,800 years ago to make pottery found in Poland

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Archaeologists in Poland have discovered one of the largest pottery production sites of the Roman era.

About 130 kilns, gigantic pottery-making ovens, dating back to more than 1,800 years ago, were uncovered outside of Krakow with a magnetometer to ‘see’ what was buried deep without having to dig.

At the time, southern Poland was inhabited by Vandals, who are often dismissed as barbarians.

Pottery discovered so far in the two ovens excavated so far suggests that the area was used to make large food storage vessels, similar to pantries.

The discovery of the pottery site adds to the perception that the Vandals have a robust and complex economy and production capabilities.

Archaeologists in Poland have discovered 130 kilns dating back to more than 1,800 years ago, with pottery made from large vessels to store food

Archaeologists in Poland have discovered 130 kilns dating back to more than 1,800 years ago, with pottery made from large vessels to store food

Using a magnetometer, researchers at Jagiellonian University’s Institute of Archeology discovered about 130 ovens spread over 12 hectares in Wrzępia, a village about 40 kilometers east of Krakow.

‘Our research shows that only storage vessels with characteristic thickened necks were produced there,’ says archaeologist Jan Bulas. Science in Poland

Some of the jugs are said to have been nearly 12 inches long by 20 inches in diameter, suggesting they were used for food storage.

“There are known finds of such ships dug into the ground, which probably served as storehouses,” he said.

The kilns date back to the early third and fifth centuries, when ceramics are said to have been made on potter's wheels and fired in an open kiln

The kilns date back to the early third and fifth centuries, when ceramics are said to have been made on potter's wheels and fired in an open kiln

The kilns date back to the early third and fifth centuries, when ceramics are said to have been made on potter’s wheels and fired in an open kiln

The Wrzępia site is not only the largest pottery production site in Poland, but also one of the largest in all of barbaric Europe of the Roman era.

The Wrzępia site is not only the largest pottery production site in Poland, but also one of the largest in all of barbaric Europe of the Roman era.

The Wrzępia site is not only the largest pottery production site in Poland, but also one of the largest in all of barbaric Europe of the Roman era.

Southern and central Poland were known as centers of pottery and metallurgy during the Roman Empire

Southern and central Poland were known as centers of pottery and metallurgy during the Roman Empire

Southern and central Poland were known as centers of pottery and metallurgy during the Roman Empire

Only two kiln sites have been excavated so far, he said, but the pottery discovered there dates back to the early third and fifth centuries, when Wrzępia was inhabited by Germanic tribes such as the Vandals.

At the time, ceramics are said to have been made on potter’s wheels and baked in an open kiln.

Bulas believes that the Wrzępia site is not only the largest pottery production site in Poland, “but also one of the largest in all of barbarian Europe of the Roman era.”

Using a magnetometer, researchers at Jagiellonian University's Institute of Archeology discovered dozens of ovens spread over 12 hectares in Wrzępia

Using a magnetometer, researchers at Jagiellonian University's Institute of Archeology discovered dozens of ovens spread over 12 hectares in Wrzępia

Using a magnetometer, researchers at Jagiellonian University’s Institute of Archeology discovered dozens of ovens spread over 12 hectares in Wrzępia

The only larger site known anywhere in Europe, he said, is a massive manufacturing center discovered in Medieșu Aurit, Romania, where more than 200 kilns from the 2nd to 4th centuries were discovered between 1960 and 2010.

South-central Poland 1,800 years ago was also an important center of ironworking, with extensive metallurgical production in Masovia, Silesia and the Świętokrzyskie Mountains.

The Vandals have been associated with the Przeworsk culture, an Iron Age society in southern and central Poland that existed from the 3rd century BC to the 5th century AD.

Bulas and his colleagues hope to continue their analysis of the area to find out whether the kilns were used for centuries or for a short period of time – and whether the ceramics were widely traded.

South-central Poland was also an important ironworking center in the 3rd century, with extensive metallurgical production in Masovia, Silesia and the Świętokrzyskie Mountains

South-central Poland was also an important ironworking center in the 3rd century, with extensive metallurgical production in Masovia, Silesia and the Świętokrzyskie Mountains

South-central Poland was also an important ironworking center in the 3rd century, with extensive metallurgical production in Masovia, Silesia and the Świętokrzyskie Mountains

It appears that the vessels made in the kilns were used locally, archaeologist Jan Bulas said, because no pottery from the region has been found north of the nearby Vistula River.

It appears as if the vessels made in the kilns were used locally, archaeologist Jan Bulas said, as no pottery from the region has been found north of the nearby Vistula River.

It appears that the vessels made in the kilns were used locally, archaeologist Jan Bulas said, because no pottery from the region has been found north of the nearby Vistula River.

Only two ovens have been excavated, but archaeologists hope to return to deepen their understanding of the area's purpose

Only two ovens have been excavated, but archaeologists hope to return to deepen their understanding of the area's purpose

Only two ovens have been excavated, but archaeologists hope to return to deepen their understanding of the area’s purpose

“However, it appears that it was local,” he said, “because there are no finds of ships with the characteristic technology known from this region north of nearby Vistula. [River]

In March, Bulas announced that he had found a 5,500-year-old burial site in Dębiany, less than half an hour from Wrzępia.

On satellite images, he and fellow archaeologist Marcin Przybyła had seen the outline of a quadrangular foundation surrounded by a ditch.

The Vandals have been associated with the Przeworsk culture, an Iron Age society in southern and central Poland that existed from the 3rd century BC to the 5th century AD.

The Vandals have been associated with the Przeworsk culture, an Iron Age society in southern and central Poland that existed from the 3rd century BC to the 5th century AD.

The Vandals have been associated with the Przeworsk culture, an Iron Age society in southern and central Poland that existed from the 3rd century BC to the 5th century AD.

The discovery of the pottery site adds to the perception that the Vandals have a robust economy and advanced manufacturing capabilities

The discovery of the pottery site adds to the perception that the Vandals have a robust economy and advanced manufacturing capabilities

The discovery of the pottery site adds to the perception that the Vandals have a robust economy and advanced manufacturing capabilities

Magnetometry allowed them to find the foundation and then a series of megalithic tombs stretching between 140 and 50 meters in length that included one of the largest megalithic burial sites in Poland.

If the graves were evenly spaced, they think there could be more than a dozen on the site.

“Unfortunately, most of the deceased’s remains and equipment were removed from these burials while the cemetery was in use,” Przybyła said. Science in Poland in March.

“It was a ritual behavior that we often encounter in cemeteries from that period.”