Archaeological research on the Hanseatic towns established in the Middle Ages in the Baltic region has been conducted on a large scale since the 1980’s. Discoveries made since then allow to formulate a thesis about the cultural unity among the inhabitants of towns situated on the South Baltic coast between the 13th and 15th centuries. Based on selected instances of the urban culture, widely discussed in archaeological sources, the paper is an attempt to prove that a number of similarities can be revealed in various spheres of life led by the inhabitants of towns located in the Baltic region, often situated far away from one another. The analysis covered the following aspects: architecture – quoting the example of tenements with entrance halls which in the 14th century became a common element of the cultural landscape in towns located in the Baltic region; pottery – quoting the example of popular in this part of Europe stoneware and red glazed jugs; and, last but not least, devotional objects – quoting the example of pilgrim badges that revealed evident preferences demonstrated by the pilgrims as to their pilgrimage destinations, paying special attention to supra-regional sanctuaries located in German-speaking area, particularly on the Rhine and the Moza rivers.
Archaeology of north-eastern Poland has been poorly recognized owing to vast forest areas and numerous lakes. This particularly refers to the Warmian–Masurian Voivodship, where forest covers over 30% of its area. Prospection of forested areas has become possible in Poland just over 10 years ago with the Airborne Laser Scanning (ALS) and Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR). These techniques allow obtaining 3-D documentation of recognized and also unknown archaeological sites in the forested areas. Thanks to ALS/LiDAR prospection a significant number of archaeological structures have been identified also in the Warmia and Masuria regions. Among them oval-shaped hillforts, surrounded by perfectly spaced concentric moats and ramparts, located mainly on islands and in wetland areas, have raised particular attention. Based on field prospection and results of preliminary excavations, these objects have been considered as Iron Age hillforts. One of the best preserved objects of this type is on the Radomno Lake island, located several kilometres to the south of Iława town. Integrated geoarchaeological prospection of this hillfort emphasized benefits of using LiDAR in combination with results of geophysical prospection and shallow drillings. Applied methodology enabled to document the hillfort shape, and to study its geological structure and stratigraphy. The results clearly indicate that integration of LiDAR data with geophysical prospecting is indispensable in future archaeological surveys. It is a perfect tool for remote sensing of archaeological objects in forest areas, so far not available for traditional archaeology.