Archaeologists Unearth A Millennia-Aged Animal Oss Skate In Czechia

Uncovered within the Olomouc Province of Czechia, the oss skate is seen as a fragment of a broader European custom of fashioning skates for traversing frosty landscapes.

Whilst delving into the cellar of a domicile in Přerov, Czechia, researchers from the Comenius Museum stumbled upon a remarkable find: a 1,000-year-old skate hewn from animal bone.

Scholars posit this revelation as part of a larger historical practice spanning the 10th and 11th centuries across Europe, where bone skates were fashioned to navigate the continent’s colder terrains. It’s speculated that the possessor of this skate likely utilized it for traversing icy thoroughfares during winter or for hauling hefty sledges.

The Extensive Background Of Přerov This revelation unfolded amidst a broader archaeological undertaking within the historical township of Přerov in Czechia, situated along the Bečva River.

In recent periods, archaeologists affiliated with the Comenius Museum have been conducting excavations across the municipality’s Upper Plaza. Throughout the 10th and 11th centuries, this zone was marked by a formidable citadel.

“The Upper Plaza rests atop a prominence overlooking the left embankment of the Bečva River,” elucidated Zdeněk Schenk, an archaeologist engaged in the project, in an interview with Radio Prague International. “However, during that era, the entire early medieval conurbation, excluding the fortified plaza, was essentially an amalgamation of several minor settlements dispersed along the river’s tributaries and bends.”

According to municipal records, Přerov was first documented in the 12th century, highlighting its administrative significance under the Bohemian royal dynasty.

“The area around the Upper Plaza housed a highly significant fortress,” Schenk remarked. “It served as a bastion for Boleslav the Brave, the Polish monarch who held sway over Moravia during that epoch and stationed his troops there.”

Cognizant of the region’s archaeological potential, scholars commenced their excavations, inadvertently encountering the enigmatic bone skate.

An Unanticipated Discovery In A Cellar The excavation crew unearthed a lengthy, arc-shaped object within a cellar in the Upper Plaza.

“The artifact possesses a distinct contour,” noted Schenk. “One side is curved into a point with perforations, while another hole adorns its rear. These apertures facilitated the threading of a strap, affixing the skate to footwear or a wooden sledge.”

It was observed that the skate’s craftsman likely fashioned it from a horse’s tibial bone, with recreational use being unlikely.

“Rather than gliding, individuals likely shuffled across frozen surfaces aided by one or two sticks,” elaborated Schenk. “Alternatively, they affixed the blades to sledges for transporting goods over frozen waterways.”

Adjacent to the skate, researchers discovered fragments of pottery, aiding in the dating process.

Analysis of the pottery revealed a timeframe ranging from the latter half of the 10th century to the initial half of the 11th century. It is surmised that the bone skate hails from a corresponding era.

This chronological alignment aligns with the known European tradition of bone skate craftsmanship.

“We have knowledge of analogous artifacts unearthed in Central Europe, particularly in northwestern regions such as Scandinavia,” Schenk disclosed. “They predominantly originate from the same epoch as the Přerov discovery and are often linked to 10th-century Viking settlements.”

A comparable bone skate was previously unearthed nearby in 2009. Researchers aspire to unearth additional artifacts of this nature to deepen our comprehension of this facet of European heritage.

2 thoughts on “Archaeologists Unearth A Millennia-Aged Animal Oss Skate In Czechia”

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