Archaeologists have just discovered what they say is the first evidence that the Czech Republic’s most important pilgrimage site was inhabited during the era of the Great Moravian Empire; pieces of ceramic material found during a dig at Velehrad are being seen as proof that it was indeed settled in the 9th century.
Archaeologists have discovered the Bronze Age tomb of a woman and a child near the Moravian town of Hulín. Near the tomb, and what was once a road, were several pits for food storage, decorated ceramics, animal bones and plaster wall fragments. The archaeologists said the burial was set according to the common ritual practices of the time, with both figures crouched face to face and the child in the woman’s arms, however it was unusual that they were interred in what was obviously a residential area. The animal bones will help researchers understand the eating and breeding customs of the early inhabitants of Moravia; in addition to cow, pig and goat bones they also found a large number of remains of river shellfish.
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.