Department of Barbaricum and the Roman Provincial Archaeology

Address: 00-927 Warszawa, ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 26/28, Szkoła Główna, tel. 55-22-805 (806, 807), room 3.05, 3.06, 3.07, 3.09

Head of the Department:
dr hab. Adam Cieśliński, prof. ucz.

Dr. Vadzim Beliavets
Dr. Sylwia Domaradzka
dr hab. Bartosz Kontny, prof. ucz.
dr Martin Lemke
Dr. Andrzej Maciałowicz
Dr. Andrzej Szela
dr hab. Paweł Szymański, prof. ucz.
dr hab. Agnieszka Tomas, prof. ucz.

Information about the Department:

The present Department was created in 2020 from two other departments in the former Insitutute of Archaeology UW: Department of Archaeology of Ancient Europe and Department of Archaeology of the Roman Provinces.

The department employees specialize in the archeology of barbarian Europe from the Bronze Age to the early Middle Ages (2nd millennium BC – 1st millennium AD) and in the archeology of Roman provinces (2nd century BC – 6th century AD), with particular emphasis on the European part of the Roman Empire and frontier (limes) studies, as well as the issues related to Roman army. An important aspect of the research conducted by the staff of the department is the mutual relations between the barbarian and Roman world, including military, trade and diplomatic relations.

Fig.7 - Klamerki esowate ‒ typowy element stroju kobiecego w kulturze wielbarskiej. Fot. I. Łukajniuk
S-claps – a typical element of women’s garment in northern Poland in the first centuries AD (Nowy Łowicz). Photo I. Łukajniuk.

The current research on Barbaricum concerns mainly various aspects of the material and spiritual culture of the Baltic and Germanic peoples, including burial rituals, settlement structures, weapons and methods of fighting, the ancient “fashion” and interregional contacts.

Reconstruction of part of the elite burial inventory from northern Mazovia (Zgliczyn Pobodze). Photo M. Bogacki.

A great part of our research focuses on the archival archeology, which aims to restore the scientific circulation of “forgotten” sources, often scattered during World War II.

The field research focuses on the area of ​​northern Poland and includes sites with various characteristics: cemeteries, settlements and ceremonial sites.

Novae 2012. The view on the central part of the site from south-east before the creation of the Archaeological Park (phot. M. Pisz)

The research on the Roman frontier and Roman army is realised through the excavations in Novae – a Roman legionary fortress and a late Roman town in today’s northern Bulgaria. It is the site with the longest history of Polish research abroad, where Polish archaeologists have been excavating continuously since 1960.

Novae 2018. Fibula type Riha 6.3 found in the area of the annex (phot. A. Tomas)

The research in recent years has focused on recognizing the chronology of the least explored part of the site, the so-called late antique annex – the area included in the fortress at the end of the 3rd century.

Novae 2018. A set of vessels found in one of the graves in the eastern necropolis (phot. A. Tomas)

Thanks to non-invasive and then excavation research, it was possible to conclude that there was a previously unknown civilian-military necropolis in this place, functioning at least until the 1960s.

Since 2021, we’ve started excavations in the center of the legionary camp, at the rear of the legion’s headquarters building. Similarly to other Roman legionary camps, there should be buildings very important for the functioning of the unit.

Over the last decade, employees and doctoral students associated with the Department have also carried out research projects in other positions related to the Roman army – in Herzegovina (Tomasz Dziurdzik at Ljubuški, Roman Dalmatia,) and Romania (Emil Jęczmienowski at Pojejena, Roman Dacia).

An important part of the research on the Roman army is also the non-excavation research project, the aim of which is to recreate the appearance of the building of the headquarters of the camp (principia) in Novae and its decoration, in particular the statues and altars that adorned both the temple of banners and the courtyard of the building. More on that project you can find here.



Czerwony Dwór, site XXI, commune Kowale Oleckie, voivodeship warmińsko-mazurskie. A cremation cemetery of the Sudovian culture.

Nowy Łowicz, site 2, commune Kalisz Pomorski, voivodeship zachodniopomorskie. The barrow cemetery of the Lusatian and Wielbark cultures (in cooperation with the Museum in Koszalin).
53°20′57″N 15°46′29″E

Lake Lubanowo, commune Banie, voivodeship zachodniopomorskie. Sacrificial site from the Roman Period and early Middle Ages (research in cooperation with the Department for Underwater Archaeology, University of Warsaw). 53°07′46″N 14°36′44″E

Zgliczyn Pobodzy, site 8 and 9, commune Bieżuń, voivodeship mazowieckie. A settlement and a cemetery from the pre-Roman, Roman and Migration Periods.


Novae (today Svishtov, northern Bulgaria). Legionary camp and late Roman town (1st-6th century AD). Research conducted in cooperation with the National Institute of Archeology and the Museum of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences in Sofia.


English translation of the book by Bartosz Kontny, “Archeology of War. Studies on the armament of barbaric Europe in the Roman and Migration Periods”. NPRH grant no. BPM.WPH.62.45.2020.SS.

Brudnice, site V. A Cemetery from the middle of a settlement emptiness. Co-financed by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage (program Protection of archaeological monuments).

Dąbek, site 9. A Cemetery of the Przeworsk and Wielbark cultures in northern Mazovia. Co-financed by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage (program Protection of archaeological monuments). Facebook information page    Facebook

Extramural settlement near the Roman legionary fortress at Novae (Lower Moesia) and its fate in Late Antiquity, NCN, OPUS 10, nr UMO-2015/19B/HS3/017/90. Implementation period: 5.06.2016 – 5.06.2021. More on the project and visit our fanpage

In medio castrorum. Sculptural and epigraphic landscape of the central part of the legionary fortress at Novae, NCN, OPUS 11, nr UMO-2016/21/B/HS3/00030. Implementation period: 02.02.2017 – 01.10.2022. More on the project