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styczeń 2020
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październik 2018
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Project 2020
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Project 2014-2015
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What is our project about?

Archaeology Live & Online is a unique project promoting archaeology and history field research. We want to let our guests experience archaeology work at the excavation site - both directly, through participation in classes at the site, and indirectly via the Internet. Our main goal is to show the nature of the archaeologist's work at the excavation site and to explain the role of archaeology in preserving cultural and historical treasures.
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There will be surprises so follow our virtual journal and engage in archaeological excavation live and online.
Contact us to share your opinions, comments or suggestions on how to develop our project if you want to work with us.
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Archaeology LIVE ...
…visit us at archaeological digs! 

Come to excavation sites. An archaeologist will give you a tour of the site where you can learn about its history, the results of our research to date, and learn about the archaeological methods and tools.  

Archeology ONLINE…
... join us online to engage in archaeological work!

Follow our virtual research journal on our Facebook or Twitter and play Excavate! (2015) and Waterworks! (2020) - games developed based on authentic historical and archaeological findings.

Waterworks! is a free, card-based strategy game.

Travel back to the past and take on the challenge of supplying old Grudziądz with water! Hire water carriers, expand the water supply network, use new inventions!!

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Water in the city

The goal of the game is to distribute water and meet the needs of residents. As the city and its population develop, so does the need for increasingly complex technological solutions.

Development and inventions

As the game progresses, new opportunities and diverse technical solutions will appear that will streamline the water supply process. The city's development and the final result depend on your right decisions.

From the Middle Ages to the 19th century

The game starts in the Middle Ages, shortly after the foundation of the city and ends with in the early 19th century and when the era of the industrial revolution begins. The game is divided into several stages closely related to the history of water and water supply in Grudziądz.

Based on research

The latest results of historical, archaeological and field research were used to create the game. Please note that there are some simplifications in the game as we needed to balance 'playability', science and the real image of the city.

  • On your marks, get set, go!

    The launch of 'Waterworks!' is scheduled for mid-2020.

  • All rivers must have a beginning

    Our game is financed from the funds of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education intended for the Dissemination of Science

  • Stay up to date!

    Follow our journal on Facebook and Twitter for the latest news.

The results of historical research conducted in archives and research centres in Poland, Germany and Sweden were used to develop the game.
We found documents and information which told us the history of water supply to Grudziądz from the Middle Ages until the construction of the modern water supply system at the end of the 19th century.
Old maps, prints, illustrations and technical plans also turned out to be valuable sources, some of which had not been previously discovered. 
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Lithograph from 1795 by H. Aschenbrenner depicting Grudziadz from the west side of the Vistula;
HB Meyer, Graudenz. Eine Stadtgeschichte in Bildern, Danzig 1941.

Grudziądz, a city built on the bank of the Vistula and surrounded by wetlands, paradoxically struggled with difficulties in accessing clean drinking water from the very beginning. Due to the altitude, digging traditional dredging wells was costly, time consuming and insufficient. 

The development and the growing number of inhabitants of medieval Grudziadz resulted in the necessity to provide more and more drinking water. Water in Wisła was unfit for consumption, and taking it directly from the mill channel was an impractical solution considering the ever-increasing demand.

A publicly accessible water supply network was needed that would supply clean drinking water directly to the city. The invention of a water supply system was not unknown in the Teutonic state: Elbląg, Gdańsk and Toruń had their own waterworks in the fourteenth century. However, the altitude of Grudziądz meant that traditional water supply systems based on gravitational water fall would not be an adequate solution. Innovative solutions were implemented, including the construction of an unusual device: waterworks.

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Water supply tower in Grudziądz. The photo was taken from a drone.

We also conducted field research in Grudziądz and identified the remains of former hydro-technical facilities.

One of the most interesting and oldest surviving buildings is the water tower. It adjoins the inner line of the southern city walls and has not been the subject of separate scientific research so far.

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We started our field research here by taking aerial photos with a drone. The photos and videos not only made it possible for us to meticulously document all the architectural details of the water tower but also covered a much wider area, including the preserved historic part of the southern city walls.

After documenting the external elements of the water tower, our next step was to explore its interior. Both the entrance to the inside of the tower and the descent to the very bottom of the deep chimney were carried out at high altitudes, so we had to use ropes and other security measures. 

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The interior of the water tower in Grudziądz. Bottom view.
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The interior of the water tower and the southern city walls in Grudziądz. 
X-ray view.
The next stage of our fieldwork was the use of a 3D laser scanner, thanks to which we made very precise measurements of the entire object - both from the outside and inside. In this way, we obtained a realistic, digital tower model.

Finally, we conducted GPR studies to identify the remains of former hydro-technical devices located underground. 

Our research was non-invasive. We did not interfere in the structure of hydro-technical facilities and did not conduct excavations. The research was approved by the President of Grudziądz and the Provincial Office for the Protection of Monuments in Toruń.

The detailed results of our research was published in the journal Water History, Springer Nature, in 2022:
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  • "Modern methods of disseminating historical research results: a computer game" – a task financed under contract 521/P-DUN/2019 from the funds of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education allocated to the Dissemination of Science Activity. Project manager Wacław Kulczykowski.
  • "Construction of medieval water supply systems for settlement centres in the Osa River Valley in the Chełmno Land" – a project financed by the National Science Center as part of the PRELUDIUM 12 competition (research project number 2016/23/N/HS3/03168). Project Manager: Wacław Kulczykowski.
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  • Miejskie Wodociągi i Oczyszczalnia sp. z o.o.
  • Miejskie Wodociągi i Oczyszczalnia sp. z o.o.