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Archaeo News 

20 October 2010
Ancient wooden constructions found in the Czech Republic

Czech archaeologists have uncovered unique wooden constructions, part of a water reservoir connected with an ancient settlement at the Vladar Mountain in west Bohemia, Miloslav Chytracek, from the Archaeological Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences, reported.
     Tree-ring dating has found that the oaks from which the beams were made were felled roughly 2500 years ago, Chytracek said. The tree-ring dating has distinguished two groups of wooden constructions. For one of them, relatively young and fast-growing trees, felled at about 480 BCE, were used. Beams for the other were made from old, slow-growing oaks felled shortly after 463 BCE, he added. "It is quite a unique finding of a European, if not global importance," researcher Petr Pokorny said.
     Pokorny said the researchers would mainly use the sediments from the reservoir discovered at Vladar and a peatbog they found near the mountain this year. A peatbog is an ideal natural archives that perfectly conserves information on the development of the surrounding landscape and human intervention, Pokorny said. Animal and plant remains, in particular pollen grains, and carbon from wood can be used. This will make it possible to reconstruct the development of the Vladar 10,000 years back into the past, Pokorny said.
     The beams will be conserved by a specialised center of the museum of Archaeology and History in Lausanne (Switzerland) because there is no similarly equipped laboratory in the Czech Republic. The longest beam is 520 centimetres long, Pokorny said. Their conservation will last about a year and then they will return to the Czech Republic, he added. The settlement at the Vladar flourished in the 5th to 4th centuries BC. Shortly before 200 BCE some dramatic events, still obscure, accompanied by a devastating fire, occurred there. The settlement never fully recovered.

Edited from Prague Daily Monitor (14 October 2010)

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