Institute of Prehistory is one of the oldest scientific institutions at Adam Mickiewicz University. It was one the first departments being founded along with the creation of the University in 1919. Its founder and first head was Prof. Józef Kostrzewski, one of the founders of the University itself.
Institute of Prehistory, from the very beginning of its existence, carried out extensive scientific and educational activities.
Among its alumni are numerous eminent professors, members of many local and international associations, scientific organizations and leading specialists from almost all important archaeological institutions in Poland.
An active publication policy has been one of the most important activities of the Institute since the beginning. It publishes its own journal Folia Praehistorica Posnaniensia, as well as a few scientific series. The Institute’s staff are members of editorial committees from three of Poznań’s archaeological journals.
The Institute has been conducting extensive field surveys, comprising at the first stage, Wielkopolska and the Kujavia regions, as well as Eastern Pomerania, albeit to a smaller degree. From the 1960s onwards they were further supplemented by Western and Middle Pomerania. Archaeological investigations in Middle Pomerania and the Kujavia regions, over the last 25 years, were dominated almost exclusively by the research activities of the Institute. One of the most important recent activities of the Institute, is its considerable contribution to extensive rescue of archaeology projects connected with the construction of the Jamal gazpipe to Western Europe, as well as, the network of new highways.
In the period before World War II, research projects of the Institute’s staff were focused on ethnogenesis of Slavs and the massive strongholds in the Wielkopolska region, these being the political centers of the early Piast dynasty. In the period between 1948 and the mid 1960s the Institute put considebrable attention on the study of genesis and the development of the early Piast’s state. This was part of a much bigger national project, set up in order to commemorate the millennial anniversary of the Polish state and Christianity celebrated in 1966. It is worth mentioning that the Institute was one of the main initiators of the whole project. The following years brought increasing interest in prehistory, mainly Neolithic and the Roman Iron Age.
Of great importance was the Institute’s study of methodological and theoretical frameworks of archaeological enquiry, as well as, its interest in a broad range of interdisciplinary studies, including bioarchaeology, petroarchaeology and archaeometry. These have turned out to be very stimulating for the development of the whole spectrum of issues in Polish prehistory. Another important element of the Institute’s scientific activities, has been the south-east frontier of the Nordic circle and archaeological cultures of Eastern Europe. The Institute takes an active role in various international exchange programmes with archaeological institutions from Europe and Asia.
ul. Św. Marcin 78