Z historii czeskiej archeologii średniowiecza. Wykopaliska archeologiczne Ivana Borkovský’ego na Placu Loretańskim w Pradze na Hradczanach
FROM THE HISTORY OF CZECH MEDIEVAL ARCHAEOLOGY. THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL EXCAVATIONS OF IVAN BORKOVSKÝ IN LORETÁNSKÉ SQUARE IN PRAGUE – HRADČANY
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Funerary range with more than 700 graves in the vicinity of the Prague Castle, at Loretánské Square (Bohemia, Prague – Hradčany) was investigated in the 30s of the last century. The excavation was one of the earliest surface interventions in the complex stratigraphic environment of the Bohemian pre-urban and urban organism. Moreover, it was one of the most extensive excavations carried out in the pre-war period. The excavator, Ivan Borkovský, did not complete a study of his material, hence the present reevaluation, which was based on a manuscript of Borkovský’s excavation report, on the original field documentation and on a new analysis of the sources. The complex settlement stratigraphy of this medieval site had been disturbed extensively and repeatedly by burials already during the Early Middle Ages, later by High Medieval and Modern burials, and also by developments in the Modern period. The cemetery represents the most extensive Medieval burial ground within Prague’s historical core and has produced a large collection of Late Hillfort period grave furnishings. Modern period graves are one of the most extensive examples of burials of execution victims anywhere in Europe. An analysis of the topography of the site and the burial rite leads to several general conclusions. A basic chronology based on the archaeological record has been confirmed by a 14C analysis of skeletal remains. The overall trend observed in this highly complex stratigraphical position is from an extensive linear Early Medieval burial ground to a superimposed (Early?) Medieval graveyard typical of Medieval church cemeteries. An empty space in the intensively used part of the Early Medieval as well as High Medieval burial ground has suggested the presence of a church at the core of the cemetery. The transfer of burials into an area of intensive settlement in the Hradčany area around the middle of the 11th c. is linked to a progressing Christianization of Czech society in Early Medieval times.
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