Thursday, May 24, 2012

Prague dig yields 5500 BC settlement

You could almost say that Prague keeps getting older. Not long ago, archaeologists found evidence of the oldest ploughed field here, tended five and a half thousand years ago. Now the imprints of structures have been found in the same location, dating back even further, some 7,500 years. 

View of the excavations [Credit: Czech Television]
The dates of the earliest settlements in the area of Prague are continuously being pushed back – just about anytime someone puts a shovel to the northern district of Bubeneč. The spot in the bend of the Vltava river apparently offered an unparalleled living space, a river terrace with fresh water in plenty, defence on three sides and fertile land. The site makes headlines again and again as the ground yields up fascinating finds from the mysterious peoples who inhabited Central Europe before the Europeans. That they farmed in at least 3500 BC, and that they lived there long before that, is well known. Now though comes the first hard evidence of a settlement as old as agriculture on the Nile, from around 5500 BC. Radek Balý is the director of the Czech Archaeological Society and heads the team that made the find.

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