ArcheoPark Netolice Naleziste Muzeum

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The year 2001

In 2001 the archaeological excavations in the area of the main bulwark continued. This area is one of the key locations of the entire castle complex. The bulwark has been disrupted by a modern cut of a way (today surfaced with asphalt). In the 19th century it had an arched layout terrace system ending with a stone wall locally named “circles”. In the 20th century the entire system began to be overwhelmed by gradual destruction, which endangered the bulwark from greater erosion because the protective walls completely disappeared in certain places. The process in recent years has markedly speeded up.

The objective of the rescue in 2001

The body of the main bulwark was chosen to be one of the main elements in the arrangement of the objects of the future archaeological park. In order to secure it statically, it was necessary to ascertain the constructional elements of the bulwark and propose a conservation solution that would effectively and for a long time secure it statically. The second concurrent task of the probe (excavation) was to ascertain the succession and character of layers, and possibly the walls and other structural elements, and on the basis of these data propose the reconstruction of attractive elements of the archaeological park. Both tasks had to be resolved with the utmost regard to preserving the original terrain.

Due to limited funds, the excavations focused on only two eroded terraces. Two probes were staked out here the primary purpose of which was to document the vertical plane of the exposed bulwark in order to put together vertical and ground plan drawings and thus acquire at least a partial idea of the structure of the bulwark.

Probe S4-2001

The probe was set up at a higher location on the bulwark, on a higher terrace and had the dimensions of 450x100 cm. The depth of the probe was artificially limited to a level of –50 cm from the platform on the terrace. The primary objective of the probing was to document and take samples of the layers in the body of the bulwark. Probe S4 examined the vertical relative grade line from approximately –230 cm to approximately –400 cm and horizontally in the centre of the bulwark.

Probe S5-2001

The probe was set up at a lower location on the bulwark, at the zero level and had the dimensions of 200x100 cm. We artificially limited the depth of the probe to a level of –50 cm from the platform on the terrace. The primary objective was to document and take samples of the bottom layers in the body of the bulwark. Probe S5 examined the bottom part of the bulwark in the vertical relative grade line from approximately –450 cm to approximately –630 cm and in the horizontal fragments in the centre to the slight outer part of the bulwark.

Results of the probing

The bulwark structure. Probes S4 and S5 revealed only certain fragments of the stratigraphic sequence of the bulwark, which was due to their limited extent. A significant fact is the relatively unexpected finding of rocks deposited roughly at a depth of –630 cm from the crown of the bulwark in probe S5. In essence it has been established that the core of the bulwark was created from loose material, which contained, besides clay powder, relatively large rocks above the bedrock the number of which decreased in the up direction. A deposit of weathered rock material containing microscopic grains of carbon was located above bedrock 5009. Above that was approximately 50 cm thick layer 5007, which contained a considerable amount of larger rocks. Several layers of loose material having the character of sandy weathered rock cover followed (5006, 5005 and 5004). Deposit 5003 again contained a considerable amount of medium-sized rocks, whereas deposit 5002 again contained only loose sandy material. No signs of chambered or trussed structures were found in probe S5 as would be expected according to literature.

Probe S4 revealed the make-up of the fragments in the centre part of the bulwark. On the basis of the make-up, layer 4010 dominated. It had almost the same colour and texture of layer 5002. A noteworthy group of strata was found in deposit 4010. Carbonized board 4007 was documented here. Its location resembled the wood elements from the Budče-předhradí bulwark and Na Kašně location, which A. Bartošková (1992) interprets as a structural element of the bulwark. Important deposit 4004 is located several dm above carbon layer 4007. It had a powdery, ashy and burnt material character.

Many ceramic fragments come from layer 4004 that on the basis of their decorations and the way they were made can be classified to come from the 10th century. However, this does not unambiguously date the bulwark, and that is for two reasons. Primarily, it cannot be ruled out that the layer, sometime in the early phase of the Middle Ages, was carted in from a nearby unknown primary waste location, for example, inside the settled area of the acropolis, when the bulwark did not have to be standing yet. In any case, the presence of the ceramic fragments from the older phase of the fortified settlement can be considered to be the first clue for dating the bulwark. In order to definitively resolve this issue, it is necessary to not only complete the reference analyses of probes S1 and S2 from 2000, but to acquire additional ceramic material for dating from other layers of the bulwark.

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