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12-year-old discovers medieval relic during barn construction in Poland

07.12.2023 19:00
A 12-year-old boy made an extraordinary discovery during work to build a barn in Kłodnica, a village near the city of Lublin in eastern Poland.
Medieval mace
Medieval macePhoto: Derby Museums Trust, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

The boy, named only as Witold, unearthed a medieval mace head, believed to date back to between the 12th to 14th centuries, according to the regional heritage conservation officer, Dariusz Kopciowski.

The mace head, cast in bronze and measuring 72 mm (about three inches) in height, is adorned with a sleeve and pyramid-shaped knobs, and shows signs of heavy use, Kopciowski reported on social media.

The exact history of the relic remains a puzzle, with Kopciowski suggesting that the wear could be due to its use in battle or perhaps as a tool.

Maces, a type of blunt weapon derived from clubs, were popular in Eastern Europe, especially in Rus', today's Ukraine, and served both as a combat weapon and a symbol of power and prestige.

In medieval Europe, this type of weapon likely originated with nomadic tribes, possibly the Khazars. They survived as ceremonial weapons into the Baroque era.

This specific artifact's discovery was somewhat accidental. The soil and debris from the construction site, containing the mace head, were transported to a nearby location for use as driveway material. It was only then that Witold noticed the historic nature of the object.

The mace's initial location is about 1 km from an early medieval fortified settlement in Kłodnica, which was occupied into the 11th century, with another – in nearby Żmijowiska – dating back to a similar period.

The mace head discovered by Witold is expected to be deposited at the Nadwiślańskie Museum in Kazimierz Dolny. This discovery highlights the rich early medieval settlement history in the Lublin region of Poland, offering a glimpse into the area's past and its significance in Eastern European history.


Source: PAP