AZP is a national research programme aimed on the conservation of Poland’s archaeological heritage through their identification and recording in the field. The core activity of the project is surface survey, carried out in spring and autumn. Information about the location of previously unknown archaeological sites is entered on standardized cards under the following headings: administrative data, location, chronology and description of the site, complete with a sketched map of the extent of the site. The cards are submitted to the national database and are used as a key resource in planning future archaeological conservation activity.
The AZP programme was initiated in 1978. One of the proponents of the idea to standardize the surface survey methods and develop a consistent method applied everywhere in Poland was Stefan Woyda. As the Heritage Conservator for the Warsaw Voivodeship he had been making regular archaeological fieldwalking survey since 1968. The first projects covered the eastern area of the Łowicz-Błonie Plain. The results of this forerunner research made
in Mazovia soon proved spectacular – the first seasons resulted in the discovery of 700 new sites, among them – the Mazovian Centre of Metallurgy.