Archaeologists aim to discover Grunwald mysteries

The monument of the Battle of Grunwald. Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Albertus teolog

Dozens of explorers from Poland and abroad will conduct archaeological research that starts on Friday near Grunwald, northern Poland to discover the secrets of the famous 1410 battle.

The interdisciplinary research has been held annually for five years. According to the director of the Museum of the Battle of Grunwald it is the biggest venture in Poland involving archaeologists, students and amateur “explorers” equipped with metal detectors.

He said that over the next week, experts from Poland, Denmark, Norway and Lithuania will look for traces of one of the most important battle in Polish history over the fields they had no access to before due to sowing season.

One of the main goals of the project is to discover the exact location where the Polish-Lithuanian forces defeated the Teutonic Order on July 15, 1410 – an area that has been a contentious issue for many years.

“In my opinion, previous years have already brought us a lot of information about where major clashes could have taken place. They correspond to the theory of the Swedish scientist Sven Ekdahl, according to which the main battlefield emerged in the south-west direction from the place assumed by the Polish historians,” the director said.

Previous research seasons resulted in finding several hundred battle artifacts, including numerous arrowheads, crossbow bolts, axes, fragments of medieval swords, armoured gloves, belt fittings, parts of the horse’s row and equestrian gear.

One of the most interesting findings were two Teutonic clamps with the inscription “Ave Maria.” The location of the then Teutonic camp was also confirmed thanks to those research.

The participants of the annual search near Grunwald believe that other mysteries related to one of the biggest battles of the medieval Europe will be explained. They hope for, among others, discovery of the trace of collective graves of deceased knights.

No more than 200 remains of knights fallen in the Battle of Grunwald have been found so far, and they were probably reburied.

The Battle of Grunwald took place on July 15, 1410. The alliance of the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania defeated the German-Prussian Teutonic Knights which led to a major power shift (in favour of Poland) in the Central and Eastern Europe.