Two tombs, nearly 6000 years old, were found this spring near Suchdol -- a village located north of Prague. This unique discovery corresponds to a little-known period in the ancient history of the Czech Republic, which has contributed a better understanding on the part of French archaeologist Yann Béliez. He said in an interview that a survey that was done in advance of building a residence revealed archaeological evidence of a little-known period in European prehistory. In the process of examining the site where a house foundation was to be built, Beliez said “we found evidence of human occupation, dating back to the prehistoric Iron Age."
Skeletal hand and arrowhead
"The Bronze Age site consisted of several post holes, along with some fragmentary ceramics and several more recent graves of the Iron Age containing many ceramics and animal bones. But, principally, two much older graves that would probably date to the Chalcolithic (Copper) age in the Czech Republic, which is the equivalent of the middle Neolithic in France. We are thus around the 4th millennium before Christ." The post holes are impressions left behind by posts or poles that were sunk into the soil to form the structure of dwellings or storage in ancient times.
When asked whether the site is representative of the Michelsberg Culture, Béliez answered, “At the moment, we in the period of transition between the Michelsberg Culture and the Funnelbeaker Culture. We are between 4000 to 3500 years before Christ, which is a little-known period in the Czech Republic. That is certainly the case with Funnelbeaker, but even more so for Michelsberg of which we have scant evidence.”
Regarding the two tombs that apparently date to the Michelsberg period, Béliez said “What we have here are two individuals who are oriented east to west and west to east, and located about five meters from each other. We also have a ceramic in each grave that gives us a fairly clear chronological stage of the Middle Neolithic or Eneolithic period here in the Czech Republic. The position of individuals, the form of the burial pits, we really have the keys to dating them to the Michelsberg and Funnelbeaker periods. The two skeletons were found with their knees drawn up to the chests in a position reminiscent of fetuses in utero. This fetal position is often repeated in ancient burials found elsewhere in the world.
The Funnel(-neck-)beaker Culture (German: Trichter-rand-becherkultur) represents the period 4300 BC–2800 BC. It was found in north-central Europe between the lower Elbe and middle Vistula rivers. It developed as a technological merger of local neolithic and mesolithic cultures, farming and animal husbandry to the pottery-using hunter-gatherers north of this line.
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