The Prehistory of the Land of Sanok

The results of archaeological research date the first traces of colonisation of the land of Sanok back to about the 40th millennium B.C. The latest glaciaton along with a period of warmer climatic fluctuation created favourable conditions for plants and animals. It is from that period that the mammoth teeth and tusks discovered in the River San and in the old river beds of its tributaries (as well as) in the villages Hoczew, Olszanica and Uherce date from. Flint tools associated with mammoth hunters have been found in the villages of Hłudno and Wesoła near Dynów and are dated to the 21st-17th millenniums B.C. A littler newer “gems of the prehistory of the land of Sanok” have been discovered in the immediate vicinity of Sanok and are related to the next wave of hunters, reindeer hunters. Flint tools, such as so-called scrapers, burins and spear tips (liściaki), which have been discovered in Pakoszówka, Zawadka Morochowska, Wesoła and Bachórz date back to the 9th millennium B.C. The traces of the first farmers of the Neolith Age are stone and horn hoes, axes, weaving weights, small flint tools and pottery fragments, found in the numerous locations of Podkarpackie Province: Łobozew, Paniszczów, Sokole, Bóbrka, Sakowczyk, Mokre, Morochów, Poraż, Czaszyn, Sanok-Olchowce, Bykowce, Zawadka Morochowska, Tyrawa Solna, Hoczew, Turzańsk, and Zagórz. The remainder of the Stone Age are finely polished axes made of the so-called striped/ banded flint obtained from Europe’s oldest flint mine in the present-day village of Krzemionki Opatowskie. Stone axes have also been found in such villages as Babica, Dobra, Grabownica, jaćmierz, Liszna, Nienadowa, Nowotaniec, Zagórz and Strachocina. The end of the Stone Age saw the appearance of first copper objects, such as axes from the village of Hłudno. Although agro-pastoral and sheep farming continued and people still used flint objects, e.g. heart-shaped arrowheads (Mokre, Morochów, Trepcza), flint spear tips (Sanok), stone axes (Hłudno) and hatchets (Mokre), more and more bronze objects could be found in settlements and graves. The oldest find in the land of Sanok dating from the Bronze Age is the treasure from the village of Stefkowa, consisting of embellishments and finely ornamented long-helved battle hatchets. The following treasures from Zagórz and Załuż contained sets of ornaments, such as necklaces, bracelets, beads, etc. Apart from the above-mentioned long-helved hatchets a number of excavation sites show Transcarpathian influences from the area affected by the Mediterranean Civilisation. A settlement with such artefacts has been excavated in Sanok. A bronze axe from the Early Bronze Age, found in the village of Czerteż, also shows southern influence. The Bronze age excavation site in the Horodyszcze stronghold in the village of Trepcza, which has provided an axe, a chisel and an ornamented dagger haft, has not been identified as regards its character. At the turn of the 8th and 7th centuries B.C. the Bronze Age ended and the Iron Age began. A beautiful treasure from the village of Hłomcza comes from the early Iron Age, consisting of approx. 300 embellishments, analogous to those found in the Alpine areas. Celtic settlements have been identified in the Sanok quarter of Biała Góra, where graphite pottery and a glass bracelet have been found, both typical of Celts. Similar finds are from Trepcza, where a fortified Celtic settlement might have been located on top of the Horodyszcze hill. It is in Trepcza that a singular find, a golden Celtic coin, among the oldest known in Poland’s teritory, has been found, a copy of the stater of Alexander of Macedonia with the likeness of the goddesses Athena and Nike, dated from 3rd-2nd centuries B.C. The Celts from the areas of the River san arrived in the land of Sanok from the territory of Slovakia from the Cisa River. Until recently, the Sanok stronghold has been located within the town’s limits, on a lofty castle hill with the Renaissance Royal Castle now dominating the area. The results of the archaeological research carried out from the 1950s were less than satisfactory. Although vestiges of an Early-Mediaeval stronghold were found, with relics of farming and dwelling facilities dating from the 10th-13th centuries, astonishingly, no luxury objects known from other Old-Ruthenian centres were discovered, which would testify to the significance of Sanok as the main political centre of the region. The riddle would remain unsolved for a long time if not for the excavations on one of the Trepcza strongholds located on Horodyszcze hill.

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Starostwo Powiatowe w Sanoku
ul. Rynek 1, 38-500 Sanok, tel.: 13 46 52 900, fax: 13 46 52 988