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14 June 2006
Neolithic shrine unearthed in Prague

Archaeologists have uncovered a 6,200-6,500 year-old round shrine (rondel) from the Neolithic Age in Prague, archaeologist Milan Kucharik from the Museum of the Capital Prague said. The shrine served religious rituals, and it was probably also used for feasts and exchange of goods, said Kucharik.
     The rondel building with a 23-metre diameter was enclosed by two ditches with three palisades and it had two gates - one from east and the other from west. The shrine's age may be determined more precisely on the basis of the analysis of animal bones found in the rondel, Kucharik said.
     Archaeologists have been searching the spot at the construction site Prague a Na Hurce neighbourhood since March. Apart from the shrine, they have found two houses of a probably important Neolithic settlement as not all settlements had their own shrine, said Kucharik. It has been the third prehistoric rondel building uncovered on Prague´s territory. The other two are in Prague's Krc and Vinor neighbourhoods. Apart from the remains of prehistoric buildings, the archaeologists found a number of Neolithic tools, broken ceramic pieces and even some whole vessels. They have also revealed nine graves from the Early Bronze age on the site.
     Round Neolithic buildings have been uncovered in East Germany, Czech Republic and Hungary. Martin Kuna from the Czech Academy of Sciences' Archaeological institute said that over 10 rondels had been found in the Czech Republic, the most famous are in Tesetice, south Moravia, and in Bylany near Kutna Hora, central Bohemia. The Rondel shrines could have spread through Moravia to Bohemia from the Danube River valley where the Neolithic culture originated from.

Sources: Prague Daily Monitor, CTK Czech News Agency (9 June 2006)

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