Archaeologists Discovered a Unique Prehistoric Mound with a Buried Child
Archaeologists of the Faculty of Arts examined a unique mound from the Stone Age which was discovered near the village Dušníky in the Ústí nad Labem Region.
It is a so-called
long mound, which is one of the oldest in Europe. They discovered a well-preserved
mound, a grave chamber with well-preserved timbering, containing a child burial
site and artifacts from about 3800 BC.
in Dušníky is the best-preserved burial monument of this type in Bohemia. Our
research revealed a massive grave pit in which the remains of a wooden
structure have been uniquely preserved. There is no such a thing from this
period in our territory," which describes the significance of the finding
the Head of research Petr Krištuf from the Department of Archeology of the
Faculty of Arts.
carried out the research in collaboration with the Center for Theoretical Study
of Charles University and the Czech University of Life Sciences. All three
institutions are connected by a joint interdisciplinary project entitled
"Eneolithic Long Barrows in Bohemia and Reconstruction of the Ritual
Landscape Around the Hill of Říp". The works began in the spring of this
year with aerial photography, soil or pedological probing and geophysical surveys.
It transpired that the mound is in fact approximately 86 meters long and 26
meters wide, with its longer axis oriented in the east-west direction,
narrowing to 17 metres towards the west.
undertook non-destructive research in the spring and got an idea of its shape.
We managed to determine the probable position of the burial chamber and
discovered a mound embankment about a meter high. Such high mound
embankments from the Stone Age are not preserved in Bohemia. Most of the mounds
of this period were situated in areas that were used for agriculture and their
embankments were ploughed or deliberately dismantled," notes Petr Krištuf.
archaeological excavation of selected parts of the mound began on August 7, and
students of the University of West Bohemia and the Czech University of Life
Sciences were given the opportunity to participate in the works. "Research
showed that the mound was built at the beginning of the funnelbeaker culture.
The child was placed in a crouched position on its side in a massive grave pit,
about a metre deep, which had an internal wooden structure. The mound itself
was probably modified several times and served as a ritual site for several
centuries,” adds Petr Krištuf. The above-mentioned activities are primarily
evidenced by the findings of hundreds of ceramic fragments in front of the
eastern facade of the mound, which come from vessels used for unknown purposes.
The research of
the mound in Dušníky uses knowledge and methods from various fields. In
addition to archaeology, researchers analysed the chemical composition of the
mound and the prehistoric soil. Further environmental analyses will follow
to help archaeologists discover how and when the mound was built and to
discover more information about the buried child.
On Tuesday, August 24, the results of the research will be presented
to members of the public who booked a tour of this year’s Archaeological Summer. The mound in
Dušníky is one of the places on the map of the event, during which
archaeologists accompany participants to interesting localities throughout the
country. "The public will be able to get acquainted with the results of
our research on the spot, to see the exposed parts of the mound and the
collected artifacts," concludes Petr Krištuf.
Faculty of Arts
| Pavel KORELUS
20. 08. 2021