Prehistory and protohistory of Poland

The prehistory and protohistory of Poland can be traced from the first appearance of Homo species on the territory of modern-day Poland, to the establishment of the Polish state in the 10th century AD, a span of roughly 500,000 years.

The area of present-day Poland went through the stages of socio-technical development known as the Stone, Bronze and Iron Ages after experiencing the climatic shifts of the glacial periods. The best known archeological discovery from the prehistoric period is the Lusatian-culture Biskupin fortified settlement. As ancient civilizations began to appear in southern and western Europe, the cultures of the area of present-day Poland were influenced by them to various degrees.

Among the peoples that inhabited various parts of Poland up to the Iron Age stage of development were Scythian, Celtic, Germanic, Sarmatian, Roman, Avar, Vlach and Baltic tribes. In the Early Middle Ages, the area came to be dominated by West Slavic tribes and finally became home to a number of Lechitic Polish tribes that formed small states in the region beginning in the 8th century.