September – October 2013
Exhibition curators: mgr Magdalena Poklewska-Koziełł, mgr Kateriny Zisopulu-Bleja
The exhibition presents four fortified settlements – in Raszewy (Jarocin powiat), Spławie (Września powiat), Samarzewo (Słupca powiat) and Ląd (Słupca powiat) at the mouth of the Prosna river where it joins the Warta, and dated to the 9th/10th and the first half of the 10th c., that is immediately prior to the emergence of the Polish state. They were small forts whose status is best revealed by luxury objects found at the sites and presented at the exhibition – elements of weaponry and harness, clay beakers, iron bowls of the Silesian type. The forts apparently belonged to local chieftains and were part of a territorial community which, even if lacking political clout, occupied a region strategically situated between Gniezno and Kalisz. In the first half of the 10th c. the forts were taken and burnt by the armed force of the Piast dukes who at that time were forcibly extending boundaries of their emerging state. Only Ląd was later reactivated.
Archaeological research conducted at different dates in all four settlements produced numerous artefacts that reveal the everyday life of their inhabitants (clay vessels, iron knives, whetstones, bone hafts, combs). The exhibition presents objects connected with weaving (whorls, awls, scissors) and fishing (iron hooks). There are also ornaments (temple rings, beads, finger rings) which were the main grave goods of female burials from the Ląd cemetery (the end of the 9th – mid-13th c.).
The artefacts are accompanied by boards with photographs taken during the excavations and present-day photographs of the settlements which are barely discernible in the modern landscape.