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2009 | 54 | 1 | 37-66

Article title

THE NATURAL CONDITIONS OF PRE-CHARTER LUBLIN'S DEVELOPMENT (Naturalne uwarunkowania rozwoju przedlokacyjnego Lublina)


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The Early Middle Ages witnessed the emergence in Polish territory of a system of territorial communities reflecting the gradual transition from nomadic to settled existence. Settlement favored loess regions characterized by surface features favourable to defense, a river network pattern facilitating economic relations within the micro- and macro-regions, and fertile soils for agricultural cultivation. Natural narrowing of river valleys afforded easy crossings. Such was the location of the Lublin settlement complex which developed from the Early Middle Ages in the vicinity of the Naleczów Upland escarpment zone, at the outlet of the Czechówka into the Bystrzyca river. It encompassed an area that was practically uniform in terms of surficial deposits (prevailing loess) and soils (prevailing fertile Cambisols and Fluvisols), but differentiated with regard to the orography (height differences up to 40 m). Within the boundaries of the area occupied by this group, settlements gradually spread to most of the natural promontories and meander and pseudo-meander erosion remnants. The features of local river valleys and the mechanical properties of the loesses made earthworks easier to manage and aided in properly protecting access to the early Lublin settlements. The development of the Lublin complex falls in two stages. Stage I (6th through 10th-11th c.), which corresponds to a dry and warm period, saw the occupation of particular hills and adjacent territories. The territorial expansion of Lublin at this time was conditioned mainly by economic factors, including a favorable location at the border of two production zones - agricultural on the Lublin Upland and forest in Masovia and, primarily, on the long-distance trade routes between East and West, facilitating barter and monetary exchange and thus conditioning the development of trade. The local river network was conducive to a development of economic relations in the Lublin Upland and adjacent regions. In the late 9th and throughout the 10th c. settlement activity within the Lublin complex generally subsided. It flourished again in areas north of the Czechówka at the turn of the 10th and 11th c. Stage II (11th through 13th-14th c.), which corresponds to a warm and wet climate period, resulted in the emergence of an early urban center in the Lublin area. The political situation was the other factor which determined Lublin's spatial development. The complex played an important role not only in military terms but also as a state and church administrative center (seat of the royal castellan and the archdeacon). The Lublin settlement complex occupied an area of about 7 square km, if one includes the land around the settlements which was made use of by the local inhabitants. Lublin's growing importance favored rapid economic development which stimulated in turn Lublin's spatial and functional development. The area managed under habitation, production, services, communication and defenses grew from 13.6 ha in the 8th-9th c. to 20.3 ha in the 12th-13th c. Figs 6.








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  • D. Kociuba, Uniwersytet Marii Curie Sklodowskiej w Lublinie, Instytut Nauk o Ziemi, ul. Krasnicka 2c,d, 20-718 Lublin, Poland


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