Introduction to Old Nieszawa

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A medieval city brought back to life

Welcome to the non-invasive survey project of the medieval location of Nieszawa. The research project is being carried out by The Scientific Association of Polish Archaeologists (Łódź branch). The project has been financed in 2012-2014 from the „Archaeological Monument Protection” priority of the „National Heritage” programme run by the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.

The research programme has been created basing on standards & guidelines of English Heritage (Geophysical Survey In Archaeological Field Evaluation) and Archaeological Data Service (Archaeological Data Service/Digital Antiquity, Guide to Good Practice). Complementary use on non-invasive prospection methods included magnetic gradiometry and earth resistance survey, topsoil magnetic susceptibility survey, aerial prospection and documentation, creation of orthophotomaps, use of LIDAR ALS data, thermovision and geodesy with use of GPS RTK and integration of all above in a digital environment.

As a result, thanks to the use of a wide range on non-invasive methods of prospection, it was possible  to establish the extent, reconstruct the spatial organisation and define the role of this forgotten medieval town.

Old Nieszawa existed less than 35 years. Build upon the shore of the Vistula river, on the opposite bank to Toruń (Thorn), it became a potent economic organism in the safe shade of the Dybow Castle, weakening the commercial power of the Teutonic Order. The townspeople of Thorn were pushed this way into rebellion against the Order and obtained a promise from the Polish King of demolishing the rival town of Nieszawa. Yet the king simultaneously decided in appreciation  of Nieszawa’s townspeople to move the town 30km up the Vistula river, to the place where it is located today. The fields under the Dybow Castle in Thorn’s Podgórz district carefully guarded its secrets, which were revealed by the archaeologists applying non-invasive methods of prospection.

Implementation and financing of the project

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The Scientific Association of Polish Archaeologists (Łódź branch)

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Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage
„Ochrona zabytków archeologicznych” priority of the „Dziedzictwo Narodowe” programme