The head of the Czech archaeological mission in Egypt, Miroslav Bárta, was due on Monday to return to Cairo for talks with officials responsible for national monuments. Mr. Bárta is hoping to be able to visit the site of Czech excavations at Abusir outside Cairo to assess damage done during recent disturbances. The site, where Czech archaeologists have worked for around 50 years, is currently under military guard. Spring excavations at the site have already been delayed.
Petr Hlaváček is a man with a passion for shoes. The dean of Zlín’s Bata University knows the technology of shoe-making inside out. He has reconstructed shoes worn by Oetzi the Ice Man 5,000 years ago and is working on the latest technologies for shoes intended to help diabetic patients, among many other projects. So when Czech experts studied the contents of the St Maurus reliquary said to contain the remains of John the Baptist –among them a small piece of a leather sandal which may have been his – it was only natural that they should turn to
Professor Miroslav Bárta is the head of a Czech team of archaeologists working at a long established site in Egypt. He recently got back from Egypt and is seeking clearance to resume work there again in the face of the uncertainty about the situation in country. In this week’s One on One Professor Bárta describes the new theories about the collapse of the Old Kingdom he has contributed to and his thoughts about the more recent demise of the reign of president Hosni Mubarak. I asked him first of all when he had begun to be interested in
Czech archaeologists say that a burial site of the pharaohs where they are excavating not far from Cairo, Egypt, has been put under army guard. The move has been taken to stop the site being pillaged and vandalised according to excavation team leader Miroslav Bárta. Objects at the site were attacked on Monday with the extent of the damage still to be ascertained, he said. The attacks came during unrest in the country and demonstrations calling for the current rulers to step down. Czech archaeologists have been working at the site for more than 50 years.
Specialists have opened a crypt beneath the famous Sedlec Ossuary in the Central Bohemian town of Kutná Hora. The crypt was built on to the ossuary in 1710 by the celebrated architect Jan Blažej Santini and has not been opened since 1833. Thursday’s reopening was part of a study seeking to determine why the monument is gradually tilting; probes will be dug in order to determine the structure’s disposition. According to historical records, the crypt contains the remains of 14 local townsmen.
Archaeologists working in the Blanka Tunnel construction site near Prague Castle have discovered 24 tombs that they believe are either from the Thirty Years War in the 17th century or the War of the Austrian Succession a hundred years later. The discovery means a further delay for completion of the tunnel, as the researchers believe dozens more graves lay in the vicinity. Prehistoric artefacts from roughly 7,000 years ago have also been found in the area. The Archaeological Institute predicts a delay of four months, but says it is impossible to be certain as each scoop of a bulldozer brings up more findings.
An archaeological expedition organised by the National Museum has made remarkable finds in the area of Wad ban Naqa – ruins dating back to the Kingdom of Meroe in today’s Sudan. The Náprstek Museum is currently holding talks on the expedition’s progress after the first two seasons, including research at a temple dedicated to Nubian lion gods. They have also been studying a circular structure whose origins have remained a mystery since it was first excavated in the 1950s.
A lesser known quarter of Prague, somewhat off the tourist beaten track is under the spotlight at Prague’s main municipal museum. The area is Libeň which was transformed from a downriver district of fields, farms and vineyards by the industrial revolution and largely made over again from the middle of the 20th century.
Danish and Czech researchers have just completed the first part of a project that should throw more light on the death of the 16th century astronomer Tycho Brahe. Legend has it the Dane died of a burst bladder, though tests of his hair indicated possible mercury poisoning. The scientists this week took fresh samples from Brahe’s remains, before returning them to his tomb at the Týn Church in Prague. Just prior to the reinterment, Radio Prague spoke to the head of the team, Jens Vellev.
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