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Yotvingian sword found in cemetery. Photo by Jakub Mikołajczuk/Muzeum Okręgowe w Suwałkach.


Archaeologists have discovered rare swords, spears and knives among hundreds of items belonging to a long-disappeared people famed for their warrior culture in the Suwałki region of eastern Poland.

The weapons were among 500 items dating back around 1,000 years dug up on the site of a cemetery belonging to the Yotvingians.

A Baltic people the Yotvingians had cultural ties to the Lithuanians and Prussians. Occupying an area of land that now straddles parts of Poland, Lithuania and Belarus they spoke a language related to Old Prussian but were, over time, absorbed into the larger Slavic and Germanic groups that surrounded them

A scene from a Yotvingian festival in Suwałki last year. The Yotvingians were famed for their warrior culture.Artur Reszko/PAP


They were famed for their warrior culture and were regarded as good fighters and hunters.

The new find, described by archaeologists as the “biggest Yotvingian cemetery from the early Middle Ages,” has helped historians gain fresh information on an ancient people long lost to time.

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