Celtic History of Ancient Poland

The ancient history of Poland is more connected with Goths and other local tribes than with the Celts. However, during many excavations archaeologists have discovered links between the modern territory of Poland and old Celtic tribes. For example, archaeological excavations show that the Celts arrived and created a settlement in Poland. They probably came via the area of Morawy in the Czech Republic circa 400 BC. The first group arrived to Lower Silesia, south from the city Wroclaw. Another group of Celts created settlements in the area near Crackow (Kraków), and all the area of Lesser Poland Voivodeship. By studying the discovered sites, Polish researchers started to realize that the culture of the territory of Poland in the late Iron Age was highly influenced by the Celtic culture. Poland has never been a part of the Roman Empire, so the influence of mixed aspects of different pre-Roman tribes, including the Goths, Scythians, etc., created the earliest history of the country in Central Europe. 

Expansion of the Celtic peoples beginning with the core La Tène culture area (from 450 BC, orange), developing over the older Hallstatt culture area (green); maximum distribution around 300 BC (brown). 
The Peaceful Cultural Domination of the Celts
What’s interesting is that there is no proof of conflict between the Celts and the tribes which were conquered by them. It seems that they didn’t fight, but accepted each other and united their powers. The Celtic settlements contain elements of autochthonous cultures. They came to Poland perhaps due to economic issues. Poland has always been a very good place for farming and mining. The land was rich in iron ore, copper ore, salt, gold, etc. Moreover, previous settlements of the Celts were overpopulated. Controlling the land of current Poland was also important due to the value of the Amber Trail, which was one of the most important trade trails of the ancient world. 
The first groups were established in Silesia on the left bank of the Oder River. Excavations show that they were there in approximately 400 – 120 BC. The characteristic Celtic burials and other examples for Celtic sites were discovered in and around the village of Glubczyce. Another site, in Wojkowice, contained a well preserved grave of a woman from the 3rd century BC. Inside the grave, researchers discovered Celtic treasure of iron bracelets, rings, chains, and brooches.
The remains of a Celtic bracelet found in Pakoszówka near Sanok. – See more at http://archeolog.pl/odkrycie-celtyckiej-bransolety/
Other important settlements have been discovered near the San River and in the area of the city of Crackow. It is believed that Celts lived in this area between 270 and 170 BC. With time, the tribe changed their location and mixed with the local group of people in Tyniec, where they created a strong society. In the 1st century BC, the small group traveled to the North. In those times, the Northern part of Poland was dominated with different cultures – including the Goths. In the region called Kujawy, archaeologists have found proof for the existence of a Celtic settlement. The last time when the interaction between Celtic tribes and others is known, and dates to 170 AD when they were noted by the Puchov culture. 
The Celtic Influence on Other Cultures
Celts brought advanced agricultural and other skills to Poland. They had already made more complicated inventions, tools, and had other achievements which put their civilization higher than tribes they met in the new land. Celtic farmers knew perfectly what to do with the rich land they could farm. They also used plows with iron shares, fertilized fields, etc. It was something very new for this area. They also brought seeds which were unknown before. Apart from this, they conveyed advanced manufacturing techniques, including ceramic shops which used the potter’s wheel. Celts had the technologies of baking, painting vessels, making glass, and producing impressive jewelry with the use of gold and semi-precious stones. – See more at: http://www.ancient-origins.net/history-important-events/forgotten-celtic-history-ancient-poland-005584?nopaging=1#sthash.ATevP74R.dpuf
Classic potter’s kick-wheel at Erfurt, Germany.
Before the arrival of the Celts, there were no contacts with Greek cities and Etruria in this area. It is possible that they also influenced the trade between the Baltic and Adriatic seas. They were certainly selling Baltic amber to Southern Europe. In the 1st century BC they started to make gold, silver and other metals coins near Crackow. 

Celtic Coins in Kalisz
There are some Celtic coins that have been discovered in Poland. The biggest hoard of them was found in Gorzów, near Oświęcim. Celtic coins were discovered in archaeological sites in the city of Kalisz in central Poland as well. That was a very unexpected find because no resource had ever suggested that the Celts were in the area. 

Celtic coin of the 3rd century BC from Trepcza.

The results of a study of the coins was published in 2009. The coins confirmed that the Celts who lived in current territory of Poland were wealthy and powerful. They had strong contacts in all of Europe, but the economic and political center of the so called Polish Celts was located closer to the Baltic Sea than was previously believed.

Burials Help Explain a Forgotten Story

Celtic cemeteries have been found in many parts of southern and central Poland. The discovery in Nowa Cerkiew proved the existence of a settlement from the 4th to the 2nd century BC. The cemeteries discovered there and in Ślęża and Wroclaw in Lower Silesia confirm the strong religious traditions characteristic of other areas dominated by the Celts. Some graves contained a man and a woman buried together, which suggests the Celtic practice of killing the wife during her husband’s funeral. However, most of the women were buried separately with jewelry. 

Vandalic burial cemetery in Prusiek, Poland.

In Iwanowice, archaeologists discovered the tombs of Celtic warriors dated to the 3rd BC who were buried with weapons and decorations. On Mount Ślęża in Lower Silesia, archaeologists also discovered sculptures and ceramics proving the connection between the Celtic people who lived there and Lusaians, but also Celtic people of the Iberian Peninsula. 

The Disappearance of the Celts in Poland

Nowadays, the heritage of the Celts in Poland remains unclear. It is unknown what happened to the Celts, but perhaps they were dominated by the Przeworsk culture and later Slavs. Archaeologists suppose that there will be many more discoveries related to the Celts in the future. The oldest history of Poland is still not well researched. Much of this is due to the fact that pre-Christian sites have been destroyed over the centuries. Thus many of the sites which could bring new information are still hidden deeply underground or in forests.

Celtic costumes par in Przeworsk culture (3rd century BC, La Tène period), Archaeological Museum of Kraków.

Charles Fort: Pioneer in the Search for Scientific Anomalies or Anti-dogmatist who Collected Bizarre Stories?

harles Hoy Fort was an American “self-educated newspaperman, modestly-successful short story writer, unsuccessful novelist and inventor, and eccentric natural philosopher,” regarded by some, especially his devotees, who call themselves ‘Forteans’, as a pioneer of anomalistic. This is a term coined in 1973 by an anthropologist by the name of Roger W. Wescott, and has been used to describe the “interdisciplinary study of scientific anomalies (alleged extraordinary events unexplained by currently accepted scientific theory)”. Fort was fascinated by such anomalies, and spent much of his adult life collecting accounts of such events. 

Charles’ Troubled Early Life 
Charles Fort was born on August 6, 1874 in Albany, New York. Fort’s parents were Dutch immigrants who became fairly prosperous in the United States. Fort’s family owned a wholesale grocery business in Albany. Fort had a painful childhood, as it has been said that his father was abusive and often beat him. Some believe that as a result of these experiences, Fort became skeptical and distrustful of authority and dogma. 
Charles Fort.
In 1892, at the age of 18, Fort escaped his father’s authoritarian ways by leaving home. He began working as a journalist for a New York newspaper and eventually became an editor of a Long Island paper. He quit his job, however, in 1893, and hitchhiked around the world. His travels were cut short in 1896 when he contracted malaria in South Africa. After that, Fort returned to New York, and married Anna Filing. One source claims that Anna was “an Irish immigrant whom he had known in Albany”, whilst another says she was “an English servant girl in his father’s house”.   
Fort’s Writings
For the next couple of years, Fort lived in the Bronx with his wife. During this time, the couple lived in poverty, and Fort tried to make ends meet by writing stories for newspapers and magazines. Fort eventually gave up on writing fiction. In 1906, he began to collect accounts of anomalies. However, this was not his initial aim. Instead, whilst doing his research in the New York Public Library, he read about a whole range of subjects, including science, art, philosophy, and economics. It was here that he found reports of odd things, and started to collect them by scribbling them on small sheets of paper. In 1915, Fort had finished writing two books, X and Y. Unfortunately, publishers during that time were not interested in them, and hence they were considered failures. These books were later lost, as Fort destroyed both manuscripts later in his career. In the same year, Fort was encouraged by Theodore Dreisner (a magazine editor whom Fort met in 1905 and befriended) to compile his reports of anomalies into a book. In the following year, Fort received a modest inheritance from an uncle which allowed him to concentrate on his writing. Thus, in 1919, the Book of the Damned was published.  
Theodore Dreiser, photographed by Carl Van Vechten. 
The Emergence of the Fortean Society
Whilst Forteans regard Charles Fort as a pioneer in the study of anomalies, others are less certain about it. For example, one source describes Fort as an “anti-dogmatist who collected weird and bizarre stories.” 
Apart from collecting bizarre reports, it has been claimed that Fort did not actually do much else. For example, it has been pointed out that Fort did not question the veracity of the accounts he collected. Additionally, Fort was not really interested in making any sense out of the accounts he collected either. It has also been argued that Fort’s primary goal of collecting these accounts of anomalies was to embarrass and ridicule scientists with stories that could not be explained or answered by science. For Fort, scientists were on his list of authoritative figures he distrusted. Charles Fort died at the age of 57 on May 3, 1932 in the Bronx, New York. A year before his death, the Fortean Society was established by one of Fort’s friends, Tiffany Thayer. Fort, who was a skeptic even of his own authority, refused to join this society. Whilst some emphasize his hostility towards science, other regard him as a hero and an inspirational figure whose writings on anomalies has profoundly impacted the way we view and approach this subject. Fortean Societies can be found in different parts of the world, but Charles Fort also inspired magazines, such as the Fortean Times, and a short-run TV program called Fortean TV. Both the magazine and the show have a focus on anomalous phenomena that probably would have interested Fort.