Czech archaeologists are best-known for their work in Egypt, spanning five decades, but some specialists have begun making headlines for excavation work in a different part of the world: Mesopotamia – the cradle of ancient civilisation that is now present-day Iraq. Recently an eight-member team headed by Karel Nováček of the University of West Bohemia, returned from northern Iraq after having uncovered Stone Age tools that were used by either our ancestors or our distant relatives (Homo neanderthalensis). The tools date back some 150,000 years,
Czech authorities recently granted permission to experts from Denmark’s Aarhus University to explore the grave of astronomer Tycho Brahe. The famous Danish-born scholar died in Prague in 1601 under suspicious circumstances. Peter Andersen, who has a theory linking Danish king Christian to the astronomer’s death, says research should be done in Denmark as well, and that the consequences could be far reaching.
Archaeological research in Prague’s St Haštal church failed on
Wednesday to discover the remains of the 13th century Czech saint, Agnes
Bohemia. The archaeologists lowered a camera into a vault near the altar
the church that was believed to be the saint’s tomb. However, the
found there come from the 18th century, rather than from the Middle Ages.
St. Agnes, a daughter of the Bohemian King Přemysl Otakar I, renounced a life of wealth and comfort to found a Franciscan Convent in Prague in 1232. She died in 1282 and was canonized a few days before the start of the Velvet Revolution in November 1989. Her remains are believed to have been hidden during the Hussite wars and were never rediscovered.
Some of the earliest silver coins discovered in the Czech lands feature in a new exhibition that has just begun at the National Museum. Many were minted in Prague, and some were found during reconstruction work at Prague Castle. And, says the show’s curator, the coins were used in the buying and selling of slaves.
Archeologists began excavations Tuesday in a Prague church to find the remains of the 13th century Czech saint St. Agnes of Bohemia. The excavations are taking place at two locations near the altar of St Haštal’s Church where hopes have been raised that the remains could be found. A vault was discovered after part of the 19th century floor was removed at one point. The vault, however, appears to be from the Baroque period rather than the Middle Ages. St. Agnes, who was canonised a few days before the start of the Velvet Revolution in November 1989, was a noblewoman who renounced a life of wealth and comfort to found Franciscan Convent in Prague in 1232. Her remains are believed to have been hidden during the Hussite wars and were never rediscovered.
The Czech president, Václav Klaus, met with his Egyptian counterpart Hosni Mubarak on Monday during a three-day visit to Egypt. According to Mr Klaus’ office one of the points discussed was the prospect for a major exhibition of Egyptian archaeological finds at Prague castle within the next two years. The Czech President also invited Mr Mubarak to the Czech Republic with hopes raised that the visit could occur this year. The Egyptian president last visited in 1994. Talks also covered trade relations and relations between Israel and Palestine. Mr Klaus was also due to take part in a signing of the Arabic version of his book Blue Planet in Green Shackles, which questions the belief that mankind is responsible for global warming.
The House of Rosenberg was one of the most powerful noble families in Czech history. They were the de facto rulers of Bohemia for much of the Middle Ages, but their dynasty came to an end with the death of the celebrated Petr Vok, in 1611. Now, archaeologists in South Bohemia, where the family had its seat, have come across their family tomb, and in doing so have set straight a well-known legend that surrounds them.