As some people may remember, I do quite a lot of work with the City of
Prague Museum. Most of the stuff I deal with is either too recent or much to
early to be appropriate here, but some panels for the new permanent
exhibition being set up at the moment might be interesting. When the whole
text (about 15 pages) is ready, I'll gladly send it to anyone interested. In
the meantime, some of the less site-specific material I'll post to the list.
So here we go...
HOW DID THEY LIVE?
During the 8th and 9th centuries, the Slavs in the Prague Basin established
their colonies close to watercourses, on agriculturally favourable sites,
and built well-fortified enclosures on naturally defensible spurs at S'arka,
Butovice, Bohnice-Zamka and nearby at Levy Hradec (Roztoky).
Fig.4/1 Agricultural colonies preserved the traits of an earlier time: they
comprised square or rectangular dwellings, 5-20m2 in area, which were
sunken or free-standing. Their walls, supported by posts, were of wattle and
daub, or were timber, made of rough logs or split trunks. These dwellings
were generally covered by a ridge roof with straw or reed thatch.
Fig.4/6 Pr'emysl the Ploughman, from the 12th century frescoes of the Znojmo
The Slavs were above all farmers. They cultivated wheat, millet, rye, oats
and peas, as well fruit, especially well-known varieties of plum, apple and
pears. They tilled square or rectangular fields, as is indicated for example
by the traces of cross ploughing found at Klárov. They also collected wild
fruit and nuts, especially hazelnuts. In the forests and meadows they kept
beef cattle and pigs, as well as rearing sheep, goats, chickens and geese.
To a lesser extent they also hunted wild animals, fished, and practiced
beekeeping. They had horses of a small, fast, steppe type, and kept dogs in
More over the next day or two ;-)
Alastair Millar, BSc(Hons)
Consultancy and translation for the heritage industry
P.O.Box 685, CZ 111 21 Prague 1, Czech Republic