Stefan Woyda (1938–2006) – archaeologist, animator of cultural life, creator and long-serving Director of the Museum of Ancient Mazovian Metallurgy in Pruszków.
Stefan Woyda was born in the summer of 1938 in Warsaw. After secondary school, he studied archaeology at the then Prehistoric Archaeology Department at the University of Warsaw. After graduation, his extensive experience in fieldwork, skills and knowledge acquired during his student years led him to the post of the Heritage Conservation Officer for the Warsaw Voivodship, which he held between 1964 and 1975. Those eleven years were a period of intensive fieldwork (archaeological digs, inspections, etc.). In order to protect the local archaeological heritage, he designed and implemented a programme of surface surveys called the Mazovia and Podlasie Archaeological Record (see PAR). Stefan Woyda’s exploration of Mazovia led to the discovery of over 1,000 archaeological sites, including one of the largest industrial centres of Ancient Europe – the Mazovian Centre of Metallurgy. Its discovery inspired him to champion the establishment of the Museum of Ancient Mazovian Metallurgy – an institution dedicated to the preservation, research and popularisation of knowledge about this phenomenon. The Museum, opened in 1975 in Pruszków, quickly became a local cultural centre, with activities reaching far beyond the frames of the broadly understood archaeological heritage. This breadth of scope was in large part due to the founder’s and first Director’s creativity and ceaseless efforts. In 2006, the Museum was named after Stefan Woyda and bears his name to this day.