Archaeologists have uncovered a burial site from the Bronze Age at the site of the future highway near Olomouc

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“The research is coming to an end. In total, we uncovered approximately 130 graves of the Nitra culture from the period between 2000 and 1800 BC,” Vendula Vránová from the Archaeological Center Olomouc told Novinkám on Thursday last week.

According to her, the largest burial sites of this culture from the beginning of the Bronze Age are in southwestern Slovakia and eastern Moravia. “To the west of the Morava River, the burial grounds are only small. It is usually only a few units of graves,” said the archaeologist.

Photo: Miloslav Hradil, Novinky

Archaeologists discovered approximately 130 graves in the prehistoric burial ground.

According to her, the deceased were buried in graves in a position according to gender. “Men were buried on their right side, women on their left side in a crouched position. Then everyone looked to the south,” pointed out Vránová.

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In addition to skeletal remains, experts found a number of objects in the graves. For example, small spiral copper jewelry or clothing ornaments, bone beads that were part of clothing, but also bone awls or boar tusks ornaments.

“Flint arrows for bow arrows were also quite frequent finds. “The people of the Nitra culture also put alms in the form of large beef ribs in their graves, which is proven by our findings,” the archaeologist stated.

Prehistoric surgery

During the research of the burial site of the Nitra culture, scientists came across, among other things, evidence of prehistoric surgery. “One of the skulls shows a therapeutic intervention called trepanation. It is a deliberate opening of the cranial cavity,” archaeologist and anthropologist Lukáš Šín told Novinka.

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Photo: Miloslav Hradil, Novinky

Archaeologists are investigating the location where the D35 highway will lead in the future.

According to him, the procedure, using primitive tools, was probably mainly used for skull fractures to relieve pressure and clean the wound.

“In our individual, however, the trepanation opening is only tiny. The intervention in this case was apparently carried out as a precaution. It could be, for example, a person who suffered from some mental illness or suffered from a headache,” said Šín.

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In the locality, archaeologists also discovered ten graves from the previous culture with corded pottery, i.e. from the end of the Late Stone Age.

“It’s certainly interesting. Those graves do not violate each other. We think that the older ones must have been marked on the surface in some way, probably with burial mounds, and the subsequent culture knew that this was some kind of cult place and started burying here as well,” noted Vránová.

The youngest graves are from Great Moravia

Archaeologists have already discovered about two dozen graves along the route of the future highway above Olomouc, the oldest of which came from the Late Stone Age and the youngest from the period of Great Moravia. In two of them there was a wooden chamber with stone tools, axes and ceramic vessels. Bronze parts of belts or bracelets belonging to the Celts were also found.

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Photo: Miloslav Hradil, Novinky

The burial site discovered above Olomouc is one of the largest of its kind west of the Morava River.

At the same time, everything indicates that the current research revealed the prehistoric burial grounds only in part. The survey only concerns the route of the future highway. However, even the burial ground from the last surveyed location continues to the adjacent field. “It was shown to us by the geophysical survey that we had done,” added Vránová.

The construction of the approximately three-kilometer section of the D35 highway began in February this year and will cost approximately one billion crowns. Its construction, which is expected to last 26 months, will complete the western bypass of Olomouc. At the same time, there will be an uninterrupted stretch of D35 between Mohelníc and Lipník nad Bečvou.

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The article is in Czech

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Tags: Archaeologists uncovered burial site Bronze Age site future highway Olomouc

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