Environmental conditions of settlement in the vicinity of the mediaeval capital of the Cherven Towns (Czermno site, Hrubieszów Basin, Eastern Poland)

Radosław Dobrowolski , Jan Rodzik , Przemysław Mroczek , Piotr Zagórski , Krystyna Bałaga , Marcin Wołszyn , Tomasz Dzieńkowski , Irka Hajdas , Stanisław Fedorowicz

Abstract

Based on the results of geoarchaeological investigations carried out at the Czermno site (eastern Poland), which is associated with Cherven, i.e. the mediaeval capital of the Cherven Towns, we reconstructed the main stages of environmental changes and human impact in the surroundings of the site. The site is of great archaeological importance due to its historical context that is essential to identify the conditions of settlement formation in the Polish-Rus' borderland in the Middle Ages. The present study combines palaeoenvironmental and archaeological knowledge with chronostratigraphic data to infer the main stages of settlement, connected with the outset, functioning and collapse of the mediaeval capital of the Cherven Towns. The location of the site was analysed in the context of geological, geomorphological, climatic, hydrological and soil conditions as well as changes of the natural vegetation. An assessment was made of the anthropogenic transformation of the land relief and hydrological regime, which made it possible to reconstruct these components of the geographic environment in the period preceding the construction of the stronghold and the adjacent settlements. The results of our investigations show that, in the Middle Ages, (1) the climate was relatively cold and dry in the 7th-8th century AD, when settlement activity started in the vicinity of the site (as affirmed by chronostratigraphic data) (2) intensive transformations of the landscape (i.e. adaptation for settlement), were carried out on a large scale during the subsequent seven centuries (land levelling, reorganization of drainage, i.e. the construction of moats, ramparts and a log-paved roads), (3) the human impact on the environment was particularly strong (as indicated by reliable multi-proxy data) in the mid-9th century AD, at the end of the 10th and turn of the 11th century AD, and in the second half of the 12th century AD, (4) all these settlement phases were connected with a relatively warm and humid climate.
Publication typeIn press (online first, early view)
Author Radosław Dobrowolski
Radosław Dobrowolski,,
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, Jan Rodzik
Jan Rodzik,,
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, Przemysław Mroczek
Przemysław Mroczek,,
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, Piotr Zagórski
Piotr Zagórski,,
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, Krystyna Bałaga
Krystyna Bałaga,,
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, Marcin Wołszyn
Marcin Wołszyn,,
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, Tomasz Dzieńkowski
Tomasz Dzieńkowski,,
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, Irka Hajdas
Irka Hajdas,,
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, Stanisław Fedorowicz KGiGCz
Stanisław Fedorowicz,,
- Department of Geomorphology and Quarternary Geology
Journal seriesQuaternary International: The Journal of the International Union for Quaternary Research, ISSN 1040-6182
Issue year2018
Noonline first
Pages1-16
Publication size in sheets0.75
Keywords in Englishgeoarchaeology, environmental reconstruction, Middle Ages, Cherven towns, Eastern Poland
DOIDOI:10.1016/j.quaint.2018.05.042
URL https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quaint.2018.05.042
Languageen angielski
Score (nominal)30
ScoreMinisterial score = 30.0, 12-07-2018, ArticleFromJournal
Ministerial score (2013-2016) = 30.0, 12-07-2018, ArticleFromJournal
Publication indicators WoS Impact Factor: 2016 = 2.199 (2) - 2016=2.47 (5)
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