Please find part I here. You can also pull up the map there. Part II is here.
The Acropolis was not only important for defense, but all ceremonies occurred here. Weddings, funerals, and important gatherings. The guide did not mention rituals (or she did and it didn't get translated to me!), but there were many drawings of people sitting semicircle around a person and a tree. I should probably google on slavic rituals and then hit the library. :)
Only the highest ranked people lived within the acropolis. Here are two of the three housing types:
I did not find out the distinction between the housing types, but the roofs were made with straw or reed. The lipa or linen tree was used as well in construction. The lipa leaf is the symbol of the Slavics.
Wiebrza was soaked and then used as rope.
Next we have the inside of the first house:
Note that the floors were actually dug out to 1.5m deep, and in this house the floor is only about 0.5m deep, though it is hard to tell. The subterranean section kept the house cool in the summer and hot in the winter. To the left, cut off from the photo, is the bed with skins on it.
Next is the interior of another house:
Note both houses have fire rings. There were no chimneys and smoke worked through the roofs.
I didn't have a chance to photograph the third house well. You can see it clearly in part II, however, in at least two different photos.
Next we have the kilns. This was used to melt and process iron.
This was one type of oven, for making flat bread:
And this was used to grind wheat into flour by turning the top part:
This then, is the long house. Unfortunately the guide could not say what happened within the large building.
You'll note some metal tools on the wall, along with various shields and skins. I'm not sure if that stick was for the chief or the religious leader or ? (So many questions, so little time on the tour.)
Next we have a writing tab, with the Russian-like alphabet shown on the card. The writing piece was used to inscribe and also to smooth over the tablet so something else could be written.
A few tablets listing part of the Slavic Pantheon. I have not had this translated yet. Anyone interested, leave a comment and I'll let you know when I find out.
Perun and Veles are listed on this set, and they are my favorite gods so far :)
Next, a showcase of all the natural dyes. The tags list their source, but again- not enough time to have it all translated to me. Indigo was rare and very expensive. If I recall correctly, it was only worn by people of status. The dress on the wall depicts typical woman's clothing.
This is typical men's wear:
And these are typical tools:
They had shackles for prisoners or possibly for slaves. The scissors were very sharp, and the tour guide demonstrated on a kid's hair.When a boy was 6 years old, he received his first hair cut. Afterwards he was no longer his mother's responsibility to raise, but his fathers.
Next, more shields!
I wish I had a close up of the bows and arrows...
Thus ends our tour. I managed to get a nice shot of the wall on the way out:
And one last shot of the bridge:
So, clearly there is still a lot for me to learn here. It was a nice glimpse into early medieval life, however, and I really enjoyed touring the site.