Research methodology of the zolnik (ash hill) at the Scythian cultural circle hillfort in ChotyniecSylwester Czopek, Tomasz Tokarczyk, Katarzyna Trybała-Zawiślak, Joanna Adamik-Proksa, Marcin Burghardt, Ewelina Ocadryga-Tokarczyk, Wojciech Rajpold
The article presents the methodology of archaeological research on the hillfort in Chotyniec in south-eastern Poland. In addition to other elements, the research project included the discovery and examination of an object known as a zolnik. A zolnik is a unique object which functioned as a cult place where rituals took the form of communal feasts. Similar objects can be found among those located in the forest-steppe zone of Eastern Europe, which in the early Iron Age was influenced by the Scythian culture. The research methodology presented in the article deviates significantly from that used so far in relation to the investigation of zolniks. This is due to the focus on identifying the most complete spatial and functional context possible, as well as creating a permanent excavation documentation for further analysis and verification. Particular emphasis was placed on the accuracy and meticulousness of documenting the discoveries, which would not have been possible without the application and implementation of spatial information systems. Due to its innovative nature, the article is also intended to start a discussion about the way in which the proposed change in the methods of zolnik examination translates into greater interpretation possibilities. This applies to both functional and chronological issues, which in turn leads to a fuller knowledge and reconstruction of these objects.