2006-2007, Grzybowski Square, Warsaw;Centre for Contemporary Art, Ujazdowski Castle

In line with the Province Conservation Officer's order, archaeological excavations will be carried out on Grzybowski Square in April 2007. These will be conducted by two archaeologists, Magda Natuniewicz and Maciej Trzeciecki. Program of Emergency Archaeological Works on Grzybowski Square The planned site of the Oxygenator project is located in the eastern part of Grzybowski Square. The square was originally the main market square of the Grzybów jurisdiction founded around mid-17th century by the Warsaw starost Jan Grzybowski. Until the jurisdiction's incorporation with the city of Warsaw in 1794, the place was the central square of a separate municipal entity. In 1786, a classicistic brick town hall, designed by Karol Bogumił Schutz, was raised in the centre of the square, known from a watercolour painting by Zygmunt Vogel. Following the jurisdiction's incorporation with Warsaw, the building went through various ups and downs until it was eventually pulled down in 1830. The place served as a market square until early 20th century when an upgrade project was carried out - the cobbled paving and the stalls were removed, replaced by a lawn and paths. The square's historical layout fortunately survived the war and the various post-war plans for the development of downtown Warsaw. No stationary archaeological research has so far been carried out in the Grzybowski Square area. Archaeological works in this part of town were limited to simple record-taking during the development of the Za Żelazną Bramą estate in the late 1960s and 1970s. These data have never been properly studied, all that exists are some enigmatic entries in the Informator Archeologiczny and in the Warszawskie Materiały Archeologiczne, mentioning remnants in the area of wooden buildings and service layers with material dated roughly to the 16-17th centuries. The significant changes this part of town underwent from the late 19th century to the present have destroyed most of the stratifications and relics of earlier development. In this situation, Grzybowski Square remains the only place where cultural layers may have been preserved in inviolate condition, documenting the period of the Grzybów jurisdiction, and perhaps also traces of earlier settlements, preceding the foundation of Grzybów. Relics of the 18th century town hall can also be encountered. The scope of the planned excavations should cover the whole area that will be destroyed in the course of the planned project's execution. In this case, it is the site of a planned pond of a surface area of 150 sq m and depth of 1 m. The pond is of oval shape and the scope of the works should be adjusted to that. In practice, this will mean adopting the methodology used in the excavation of burial mounds or large, irregularly-shaped settlement sites. After demarcating the outline of the pond, the area should be divided into squares, and exploration will begin with two diagonal quarters in a 'windmill' fashion. This will produce two profiles documenting the stratification structure. The scope of the works should be limited to the depth of the planned pond, that is, approximately 1 m, with the possibility of making deeper probes or deepening the excavation if necessary (for instance, in the case of encountering the remnants of the former town hall). Upon the completion of the excavation works and the execution of the Oxygenator project, the area shall be tidied up and restored to its former condition. Maciej Trzeciecki
Curator: Kaja Pawełek
Coordination: Rafał Żurek
Architects: Lech Mill, Maciej Walczyna
Engineer: Piotr Kowalski
Ozonation and fog specialist: Roman Mrugałło
Production: Zielony Horyzont, Garden Service, Firestone Pond Liner, Toro, Dom-Wit Ogrody, Grima Projekt, Związek Szkółkarzy Polskich, www.roslinywodne.pl, J.J.Majchrzak Ogrodnictwo, Magnolia

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