Friday, July 11, 2014

A 8,000-year-old dam found near Pilsen

...just a minor report of regional importance...

Four miles from my home, in the village of Kyšice, they are building the new tunnels and tracks for the sped up Pilsen-Prague railway path. I know Kyšice very well not just because it's only 3 miles from my home but because I like to pick walnuts over there every fall. You know, the tree dares to transcend the private garden and reach the public roads which has consequences. ;-)

See a blog post about the railway project. It's a standard practice that archaeologists are checking the place before they irreversibly transform it.

What happened in recent days seems remarkable, if they are right.
An article at Plzen.IDNES.CZ (autom. transl.)
It seems to be an artificial reservoir, or the constructions needed to make it, which was arguably built in the Neolithic Era – which, in our regional context, means something between 7,500 and 8,000 years ago. No other reservoir on our territory is believed to be this old. Note that the Egyptian colleagues hadn't even started to build their pyramids yet.

The dam was providing at least dozens of people with the drinking water. It's plausible that it was also a pond to grow fish – they will look for bones to confirm this hypothesis. Finally, it's also plausible that the Pilsner Empire was using the dam as a backup hydroelectric power plant for the situation that the Imperial Thermonuclear Power Plant of Kyšice is hit by an asteroid.


  1. Ceramic dating can be imprecise (esp. given possible mixing in soil through time). Bronze as well as Neolithic sherds are mentioned here, so be extra careful about dating. Dating of the Early Neolithic (Linear Pottery Culture) is closer to 7000 years BP, the Bronze Age starts in West Bohemia around 4000 BP, but most BA finds here date later (Urnfield Bronze Age, here Milavce Culture), that would be after 3500 years ago. Both Early Neolithic and Late Bronze Age are warm periods, probably warmer than recent less-significant warming to a large degree, so water management is a possibility in both cases.

    In other news, I was in central Ukraine at the end of May. I watched Channel 5 (the Chocoman's channel) for news on the war there (Donbas). Totally useless and worse than the RU news with respect to coverage quality.

  2. "'s only 3 miles from my home..."

    Excellent, Luboš — miles it is!

    And beer by the gallon. :)

    The age-old measures are best.

  3. I am planning to visit Prague and Plzen this August, but I kept reading about racism (toward foreigners) in CR as a major issue not associated with other European countries. I have been to many European countries(I have lived in US and UK) I just noticed that the danish are a bit snobbish but nothing major. I am getting conflicting views, can you give any hints as an insider. Thanks.

  4. Come on, Qsatheory. The first, Expats link you showed says that the Czechs are the most welcoming nation towards the foreigners, at least in the post-socialist Europe - according to systematic research.

    The second link, the rant on Yahoo, only shows one person who actually hates Czechs and everything that is Czech - it doesn't really say anything about us, only about him or her. I can show you similar pages where people show their hatred towards any other nation.

    So my view is that your first claim is complete bullšit, and a very insulting one.

  5. I did not make any claim, I just reported what seemed to be a widely discussed issue on the internet. Of course, I will be visiting, I am an avid traveler. Thanks for your feedback.

  6. What the word "claim" means may be debatable but I insist on my statement that you have spread an insulting fascist lie by your comment.

  7. My comment was out of slight concern for the safety of my children who will be travelling with me.It had nothing to do with the politics of your country, I have given up on figuring out my own country's politics let alone others. I hardly ever comment about politics on the internet, it is such a waste of time IMHO. Physics and math excite me much more, maybe even too much.

    However, I do read about other countries(and their histories) and travel to experience first hand. If people make their impressions from whatever they "hear", that is a reflection on their own intelligence and not the facts.

  8. Good luck with your children, if you're too worried, just don't travel here. I can't provide you with any extra insurance, especially if your comment suggests that you are likely to enjoy your visit by provoking and insulting my countrymates.

    Let me assume you are an Arab. In recent years, there's a new food-wise fashion here - Kebab. Sometimes it's run by Czechs, sometimes it's run by Muslims, and people are just fine with that and buying that even though 99% Czechs consider e.g. the idea that blood is dirty to be - what it is namely - an idiotic medieval superstition.

    According to polls, 98% of Czechs would also disapprove things like Muslim schools and similar things on our territory. But that doesn't mean that people have something against tourists.

    In Prague, you may communicate in English - and often in other languages. Outside Prague, the exposure to foreigners is much smaller in general and so is the knowledge of languages.

  9. I am an ethnic Persian. The Arab world is vast and has a diverse population mixing with its
    neighbors form Persia, Africa , Europeans(from crusader times), India, Turkey you name it. You can have dark black and blue eyed blond Arab and every thing in between, with myriads of religions. BTW, Jews are an Arab sect. Tourism is the second largest industry after oil, I am very sure you will enjoy each of the Arab countries. Thanks for the info.

  10. Great to have learned that the Jews are an Arab sect, LOL. Was that a joke or did you mean it seriously? It's nonsense from any non-vacuous perspective I can imagine. They are *Semitic* but not Arab.

  11. It is to much to go into all the theories of 3000 years old history. I will give just some brief indications