Surveying in the snow: Dzierżęcin and Cisowo (Poland)

AMU team members (Lidia on the left and Sonia on the right) measuring the artefacts in winter conditions (Photography by W. Rączkowski).

Surveying in the snow?! Yes, it is possible. From Wednesday to Saturday (11-13.03.2021), despite weather conditions, we decided it was high time for surveying areas mentioned in our project. Three sites were marked out, one in Dzierżęcin and two in Cisowo. The goal of our prospection was to find and mark artefacts visible on the ground while walking through the area. In a team of four people (Włodzimierz Rączkowski, Lidia Żuk, Filip Wałdoch and Sonia Tomczak), equipped in a GPS, each of us, we walked in the distance of stretched arms between each other to cover the area as detailed as possible. All the fragments of pottery and two pieces of glass, that we found, were marked with red dots. First, when a piece of human activity in the past, like a piece pottery, was spotted, we marked it with a flag. And then we measured their location by the use of RTK to achieve high accuracy in positioning.

Fortunately, we have marked all the pieces with flags before it started to snow. So there was no problem with finding the right spots for measurements. Snow and wind were too intense to continue surveying later this day. We went back to our base to check the results of our research.

The field in Dzierżęcin has not been cultivated for a few months and we could witness a strong animal activity there, especially traces of roe deers and boars. We have even discovered a den. Fortunately, nothing came out of it.

The next two days the weather was better and despite the strong wind, we have managed to cover the whole area between the falls of rain. The rain even helped to improve the visibility of pottery fragments on the ground. We got also a few moments of sunny weather, which didn’t really help to trace the pottery. An additional attraction was a wind farm located next to the surveyed area.

Our plan is to go back after a few months to cover the area again using the same prospection method and check if we could locate the same fragments of pottery (that is the reason behind marking them) and how they change location because of cultivation and erosion. Results might shed light on the influence of alluviation on archaeological heritage.