e-mail: iaekrak@archeo.pan.krakow.pl



and research projects


The archaeological research activities of the Branch comprise prehistory and Early Middle Ages archaeology of Loess Uplands, the Carpathians, the Carpathian Foothills and other Poland’s regions (the Sudeten).

More general issues related to European prehistoric and Early Medieval times are also of interest. Very important are environmental archaeology, relationship between the prehistoric humans and their natural setting and micro-regional settlement studies. The Branch works also on materials obtained during systematic excavations. Multidisciplinary studies are coordinated with specialists in paleobotany (reconstruction of natural environment and  prehistoric economy), paleozoology (reconstruction of animal stock and prehistoric meat consumption), and physical anthropology. Annual meetings at Igolomia – „Archeobotanical and Archeozoological Workshops” – are devotes to these questions.



Funnel Beaker-Baden multiple burial at Bronocice

A vessel with wagon motifs from Bronocice


In the last few decades a joint Polish-American research project, involving  IHKP PAN, the University of Michigan (An Arbor) and the State University of New York (Buffalo), has been one of the most important projects of the Branch. Excavations aimed at Neolithic and Early Bronze Age settlement issues were carried out in 1966-1975. Extensive excavations were conducted at Olszanica (Linear Pottery culture), Niedzwiedz (Funnel Beaker culture), Bronocice (Funnel Beaker and Baden cultures), and Iwanowice (Baden and Mierzanowice cultures). Artifacts from these excavations continue to be analyzed by research staff of the Branch. 



Iwanowice, Babia Góra Site. The Mierzanowice culture grave

Neolithic artifacts from Bronocice


The most important archaeological sites recently excavated are: Nowa Biala, Nowy Sacz province (1985-1995; a Middle and Upper Paleolithic rock shelter), Slonowice, Kielce province (1979-1997; cult site, settlement, and Kujavia-Type tombs of the Funnel Beaker culture, and a Trzciniec culture settlement), Szarbia, Kielce province (1980-1985; a Mierzanowice culture ettlement and cemetery), Zofipole, Kraków province (1986 and 1997; a Late Roman settlement and a pottery production site), Myslawczyce, Kraków province (1988-1994; a long-term settlement mostly dating to the Late Roman Period), Lekawa, Kielce province (1991, 1992; cemeteries of the Corded Ware and Lusitian cultures), Kocmyrzów, Kraków province (1996, 1997; cemeteries of the Corded Ware culture and Lusitian cultures), Wielka Wies, Tarnów province (1996, 1997; a multi-cultural Bronze Age and Early Iron Age site), Czchów, Tarnów province (1997; Corded Ware culture and Otomani culture settlements), Loniowa, Tarnów province (1997; a Linear Pottery culture house); and Stradów, Kielce province (1997; chronology of an Early Medieval hillfort).

An important aspect of the Branch’s activities is international cooperation. Long-term research with the Archaeological Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic in Brno focuses on the Stone Age to Bronze Age transition in the western Carpathian Zone. It has already prodused studies of stone assemblages of the Moravian Corded Ware and Moravian Proto-Unetice cultures.

A joint project with the Archaeological Institute of the Slovakian Academy of Sciences, Nitra, focuses on early agriculture and husbandry in the Ondava Upland. Other projects involve the “Neolithization” of the central Polish Carpathians and technology and typology of prehistoric and Early Medieval pottery.



Oblazowa Rock, Bialka River Gorge, Pieniny Mts

Upper Paleolithic mammoth tusk boomerang. Photo M. Biernacki


The prehistoric settlement between the San and Dniester rivers is being studied in cooperation with the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences, Lvov. Also underway are projects in the Western Sudeten, supported by the Polish-German Foundation, research in the Bavarian Forest, Germany, with  Erlangen University, and in the German part of the Sudeten, with Landesdenkmalamt in Dresden.



Corded Ware culture mound. Upland south of the Lower Beskids (Slovakia)

The Murg Valley in northern Schwarzwald - an area of archaeological and paleobotanical research


The research staff of the Branch has directed nine major grant-supported projects related to key issues of the prehistory of southern Poland. A major undertaking, publication of information on the biggest cemeteries from La Tène and Roman periods has also been successfully concluded (7 monographs).

It should be noted that the Branch, together with Jagiellonian University and the Archaeological Museum in Cracow, form a research unit of the Cracow Group for the Freeway Project. The Group is involved in vast rescue excavations in the area of A4 Highway construction (e.g. site at Aleksandrowice, Kraków province). Another project, aiming at protection of archaeological objects damaged by the 1997 flood (e.g. site at Pilice, Walbrzych province) is also directed by the Branch.

The Branch issues two periodicals: Sprawozdania Archeologiczne (Archaeological Reports) and Acta Archaeologica Carpathica.