Translation Wczesne i późne średniowiecze w powiecie biłgorajskim

Early and late Middle Ages in Biłgoraj county

 First Slavs appeared in the area circa the 7th century AD. In the period between the 8th and the 10th century, they lived in open settlements consisting of wooden huts with a stone hearth in the middle. In early Middle Ages first defensive structures were built in order to provide shelter for people and their belongings in the event of military conflicts. A 9th or 10th-century stronghold discovered by archaeologists in Pawlichy, Księżpol borough, might be an example of such structures. It was a few-acre construction consisting of a 2,5m wide earthwork conjunct with a wooden palisade, with a few open settlements situated around it.

Most probably, towards the close of the early Middle Ages, the river Tanew basin and Roztocze region were inhabited by the Lendians (Polish: Lędzianie), a Lechitic tribe.  At the turn of the 10th and the 11th centuries southern part of the Lubelskie region, including the east of Biłgoraj county, became part of Kievan Rus, and subsequently the Principality of Peremyshl, between the 11th and the beginning of the 14th century, and finally the Kingdom  of Galicia–Volhynia ruled by Daniel Romanovych and his successors. Meanwhile, western parts of the county were most probably claimed by the Kingdom of Sandomierz and its rulers, the Piast dynasty.

Polish and Ruthenian sovereigns had strongholds built in order to protect adjoining lands against attacks from their neighbours. Most probably Goraj and Tarnawa were such defensive places in Poland, whereas in Ruthenia they were built in Zamch and Tarnogród. This supposition can be validated due to future archaeological research. During tribal period and early state period these lands were an arena of military conflicts documented by numerous archaeological findings such as arrowheads, spears and axe heads.

In mid-14th century, the lands were conquered by Casimir III the Great, the King of Poland.  Eastern part was encompassed by Red Ruthenia. By the order of the King, and in later period by his successors, local rulers of the lands built first defensive structures made of stone. Again, most probably such structures were erected in Zamch and Goraj. Simultaneously, trade routes leading through those lands triggered the intensification of settlement processes. Written sources and archaeological discoveries, such as horseshoes and weaponry, also verify military actions taking place in the area.

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