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10 July 2013
Prehistoric flint mines discovered in Poland

A chocolate flint mining site has been found in the Holy Cross Mountains by archaeologists from Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski University in Warsaw. The outcrop extends nearly 100 kilometres in a narrow strip from the Vistula valley to south of Radom.
     According to Doctor Janusz Budziszewski, "Historical material coming from the surface of the newly discovered site differs substantially from the other known sites of similar type. Contrary to previous assumptions, Lublin-Volyn culture population probably used relatively simple methods to mine secondary flint deposits."
     This community used the chocolate flint to make impressive tools, including flint daggers, specimens of which have recently been discovered in the culture's unique burial ground in Ksiaznice.
     "Chocolate flint is extremely easy to work with, which in prehistoric times made it one of the most commonly used raw materials in the manufacture of small tools. It had been used since the appearance of people in our land, until the end of the Bronze Age," explains Doctor Budziszewski.
     The first study in the area was initiated by geologist Jan Samsonowicz and archaeologist Stefan Krukowski in the early 1920s. "Remains of more than twenty sites associated with prehistoric mining activity have been discovered," said Budziszewski.
     According to the archaeologist, the ongoing project involves an inventory of all prehistoric mining sites of the region, and developing a strategy to protect them. Researchers are also planning to prepare a digital model of the terrain, along with aerial photography. Geophysical studies will be carried out at a few select sites.

Edited from Science & Scholarship in Poland (17 June 2013)

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