A multi-proxy reconstruction from Lutomiersk-Koziówki, Central Poland, in the context of early modern hemp and flax processing.

Kittel, P., Muzolf, B., Plóciennik, M., , Scott Elias

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

463 Downloads (Pure)


During an archaeological investigation at LutomierskeKoziowki in central Poland, deposits indicative of an old rettery from the 16the17th century AD were discovered. The artifacts found in the lacustrine deposits, together with historical sources and radiocarbon dates of organic matter, show that the pond at
a local mill was present from ca. AD 1525 to at least AD 1620. The high content of Cannabis and Linum subfossil macro- and micro-remains in the sediment indicate that the pond was most probably used as a rettery for hemp and flax fibre production. Pollen analysis revealed strong deforestation of the local
landscape at the beginning of the pond history. Despite high pollution caused by plant retting, species-rich chironomid, cladoceran and diatom communities occupied the pond. Our investigations reveal that the rettery was situated on the artificial channel of a local stream. High abundance of yellow flatsedge (Cyperus flavescens) fruit remains and coprophile beetle subfossils indicate that pond was also used as a watering place for cattle. Decline in the concentration of aquatic invertebrate subfossils, diatoms, aquatic and cultivated plant macrofossils, reveals rapid abandonment of the rettery in the mid-17th century AD.
For some time after the basin was a telmatic ecosystem overgrown by sedges and bulrush. The basin was finally filled by a high-energy overbank deposition not later than in the beginning of 19th century AD.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)318-337
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science
Publication statusPublished - 24 Sept 2014


  • Rettery, Environmental Archaeology, Cannabis, Liinum, Early Modern Period, Central Poland

Cite this