Biskupin is the most famous archeological site in Poland and one of the best sites in Europe. The site was reconstructed and serves as a life-size model of Iron Age fortified settlement. The site was probably established more than 700 BC (over 2700 years ago), in the same time when Roman empire was founded.
It was discovered in 1933 by students who noticed some sticking wooden poles from the lake. They informed their teacher and he informed profesor Kostrzewski from Poznan. Prof. Kostrzewski with his group started excavating the site and the work was continued until World War II (1939).
First the site was considered to be the unique proof of high-level of civilization of Slavs and Poles in this region especially since the site was excavated in the region close to the first capitals of Poland: Gniezno and Poznan. When Nazi army invaded Poland in September 1939, the German scientists tried to prove... that the site belonged to pre-Germans.
In the present time there is a common consensus that the site is a place of highly developed civilization, so called Lusatian culture. It is impossible to establish the clear ethnicity of this highly developed culture. Lusatian culture existed in Central Europe and ranged from Eastern Germany, most of Poland, parts of Czech Republic and Slovakia to the parts of Ukraine.
Biskupin is located on the Lake Biskupin for better defense. It is on the island and this helped the site to be well preserved by the waters of the lake. The settlement was surrounded by a fortification that is 3,5 m wide. It is made up of oak trunks that form boxes filled with earth. The rampart (defensive wall) is more than 450 m long and accompanied by a wooden breakwater in the lake. There are two settlement periods at Biskupin, which is due to the change in a climate and following increase in the level of the lake surrounding the site. Both settlements were laid out on a rectangular grid with eleven streets that are three meters wide.
Eyewitness Travel Guide to Poland (Eyewitness Travel Guides) by Teresa Czerniewics-Umer, Malgorzata Omilanowska, Jerzy S. Majewski, DK Travel Writers