Truso, situated on Lake Druzno, was an Old
Prussian (Pomesanian) town near the
Sea just east of the Vistula
River. It was one of the trading posts on the
Amber Road, and is thought to be the
antecedent of the city of Elbląg
- Distinguish from trousseau.
In the words of Marija
, "the name of the town is the earliest known
historically in the Baltic Sea area". The main goods of Truso were
, furs, and slaves.
situated in a central location upon the Eastern European trade
routes, which led from Birka in the north
to the island of Gotland and to
Visby in the Baltic
Sea and later included the Hanseatic city of Elbing (Elbląg).
there, traders continued further south to Carnuntum in the Alps.
called the Amber Road
. The ancient amber
roads led further south-west and south-east to the Black Sea and eventually to Asia. ""For East Prussia, Truso played the same role as
Haithabu (Schleswig) or Hedeby for
north-western Germany or Slavic Vineta for
Pomerania", Gimbutas has
trade route went from Truso and Wiskiauten (a rival centre in Prussia which sprang up at the
south-western corner of the Courish Lagoon), along the Baltic Sea to Jutland, and from there inland by river to
Haithabu/Hedeby, a large trading center in Jutland. Hedeby, which lay near the modern city of
Schleswig in Schleswig-Holstein, was pretty centrally located and could be reached
from all four directions over land as well as from the North Sea, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Baltic Sea.
Around the year 890, Wulfstan of
(by his own account) undertook a seven-days boat journey
from Hedeby to Truso at the behest of king Alfred the Great
. One possible reason for
this expedition was because Alfred needed aid in his defense
against the Danes or Vikings
, who had taken
over most of England. The reasons for this journey are
fundamentally unclear, since Truso was at the time little more than
a trading center, and Alfred the
, the West Saxon ruler, already kept in close contact with
the continental Saxons and the Franks.
archaeological finds in 1897 and excavations started in the 1920s
had located Truso around Gut Hansdorf, Prussia, since 1945
(Janów Pomorski), in the
south-eastern suburb of Elbing (Elbląg).
These artifacts, dating from the 7th to 12th century, were put into
the Elbing Museum and are now on exhibition at the Elbląg Museum.
In the 1980s, the Polish archaeologist Marek F. Jagodziński
and cleared a c. 20 hectare site, which was burnt down around the
year 1000, whereupon the inhabitants found it prudent to
Whether the site excavated near Elbląg should be identified with
Truso is open to question. "To the present no true town has been
found and excavated. Instead there have been finds of Norse
weapons, and there is a large Viking Age cemetery near the modern
town's railway station containing many Scandinavian graves, these,
too, showing a Sweden-Gotlandic pattern". This statement is
contrary to the Elbląg Museum brochure: Truso- A Discovered
, by Marek F Jagodziński, which speaks of a large number
of buildings found during the recent excavations, with burnt
remains of posts suggesting buildings of c. 5 x 10 m and long
houses of about 6 x 21 m.