Havalda (Hochwald) near Chvalšiny (depot) Hořice na Šumavě (depot) Novosedly near Kájov (Settlement) Dobrkovická Cave Český Krumlov Dívčí Kámen Celtic Settlement of Třísov Celtic Settlement of Třísov Novosedly near Kájov The Primeval Settlement in the Český Krumlov Region

View from the top of Hill Kleť (1084 metres above sea-level) towards the east-west Chvalšiny-way, photo: Michal Ernée, 1998  
In the Primeval Times the Český Krumlov region never ranked among typical farming regions with a large density of population and a big share of cultural countryside. It was caused by the elevation (approximately 400 - 1,225 metres above sea-level), and not very favourable climate conditions for farming. Therefore there are much less archaeological discoveries than, for example, in a very fertile Polabí region or some other parts in South Bohemia. Some settled islets in several more fertile enclaves (for example, Chvalšiny, Boletice and Kájov surroundings) were connected to local thoroughfares. The thoroughfare leading from Podunají region was definitely the most important. Its prosperity dates back to the early Bronze Age. Copper - one of the most important raw material of that period was transported to Bohemia along the thoroughfare. The first mass used metal - bronze was made from copper and tin. Copper was mined in the Alps area and transported in the shape of "ribs" or talents. Mass discoveries - depots of those primeval ingots, as well as upland fortified settlements or sites of a fortified settlement located in strategic areas support evidence of important thoroughfares. Local raw material could have played a very important role in the Český Krumlov region during the Primeval Times. The use of local graphite had been proved since the Iron Age. Washing for gold can also be supposed.

Dobrkovice Cave near the town of Český Krumlov, photo V. Šimeček  
The Český Krumlov region was probably settled during the whole Primeval Times. However, archaeological discoveries have not proved that yet. We still do not have any or almost any signs of settlements from several Primeval Periods. The situation is very similar in the whole South Bohemia. Some more meaningful localities from the late Stone Age - Paleolithic are very rare and can be counted very easily. There is a large number of settlement evidence from the middle Stone Ages - Mesolithic (approximately 8300 - 5500 BC). Real settlements of first farmers from the early Stone Age - Neolithic (approximately 5500 - 4000 BC) are very exceptional. Stone tool discoveries discovered in upland settlements prove the South Bohemia settlement during the Eneolithic Period- the late Stone Age (approximately 4000 - 2200 BC). The density of population in South Bohemia may have probably grown from the beginning of the late Bronze Age and reached its top during the Celtic settlement (approximately 400 - 50 BC). During the two millenniums, the Bronze Age (approximately 2200 - 750 BC) and the late Iron Age- the Halstat Period (approximately 750-450 BC) the density of population had grown slowly. After the Celts left Bohemia, the first Germanness settled in South Bohemia. When the Slavic people came to Bohemia in the first half of the 6th century - the beginning of the early Middle Ages, South Bohemia had probably been almost depopulated.

The late Stone Age - Paleolithic Period (until approximately 8300 BC).

Dobrkovice Cave is the oldest archaeological place of finding in the Český Krumlov region, and one of the oldest in South Bohemia at all. Our ancestry used to live and hunt here in the middle Paleolith Period, approximately 50,000 - 35,000 years ago. Discoveries of stone tools from the early and late Paleolithic Period (approximately 40,000 - 10,000 / 8,300 years ago) discovered in a small cave between Třísov and Holubov or in Dolní panská zahrada (Lower Mansion Garden) in the town of Český Krumlov have been very rare so far.

The middle Stone Age - Mesolithic Period (approximately 8300 - 5500 BC)

Places that were permanently populated by Mesolithic hunters and plant-pickers are situated in the Bohemian Forest foothills (Křemže, Třísov) and the Upper Vltava River - Lipno dam surroundings (Lipno Dam Mesolithic Settlement). Remains of short-period settlements at the elevation of about 700 metres support the Mesolithic upland settlement in Bohemia.

The early Stone Age - Neolithic Period (approximately 5500 - 4000 BC)

The Neolithic men - first European farmers - came to Central Europe from the south-east in the 6th century BC. So far not very numerous remains of their occurrence have been known from the territory of the Český Krumlov town and castle. Linear pottery creators had left a cultural layer with fragments of pottery vessels and stone cut tools in Dolní panská zahrada (Lower Mansion Garden) . A drill stone hammer dating from the late Neolithic Period (break of the 5th and 4th century BC) was discovered in the 1st courtyard of the Český Krumlov castle (Primeval Settlement of the Castle Knoll in the Town of Český Krumlov).

First farmers in Český Krumlov -  the 5th millennium BC, drawing Michal Ernée

The late Stone Age - Eneolithic Period (approximately 4000 - 2200 BC)

The period of social changes in the Český Krumlov region represented by several exceptional discoveries of stone cut and drill axes dating from the late Eneolithic Period (approximately 2700-2000 BC). For example, from Michnice (1911) or Benešov nad Černou surroundings (1932).

The Bronze Age (approximately 2200 - 750 BC)

Únětice culture creators lived in South Bohemia in the late Bronze Age (approximately 2200 - 1500 BC). So far archaeological researches have been very rare in the Český Krumlov region (altogether three grave-mounds were searched south-east of the village of Holubov in 1930 and 1968/69). The situation changed at the break of the late and middle Bronze Age, the 2nd century BC. They started to build fortified settlements and hide bronze articles - mass discoveries called depots. Four upland fortified settlements dating from that period are known from the Český Krumlov region (Primeval Sites of a Fortified Settlement in the Český Krumlov Region). Today the upland settlement of Hohensiedlung in the locality of Dívčí Kámen castle (Girls´ Stone Castle) (Site of a Fortified Settlement at Dívčí Kámen from the Bronze Age). The Český Krumlov castle (Primeval Castle Settlement in Český Krumlov) and the medieval redoubt of Velešín - stone tower were also built in localities of upland fortified settlements in the late Bronze Age. The redoubt of Velešín does not exist any longer. It used to be situated on the hill in Vyšný near Český Krumlov. Those fortified settlements had been built in strategic localities above the Vltava and the Malše rivers. They had been responsible for safety on the trade thoroughfares. Mass discoveries of bronze (copper) articles - depots are usually found in such places- thoroughfares. The only one is known from the Český Krumlov region. It was discovered in Havalda (Hochwald) near Chvalšiny in 1904, and consisted of several copper ribs (bars) at the weight of 35 kilograms. It has been the largest copper depot discovered in South Bohemia from that period so far (Mass Discoveries - Depots from the Bronze Age in the Český Krumlov Region).

Havalda near Chvalšiny. Mass discoveries (depots) of copper ribs - bars, the late Bronze Age, approximately 2000 - 1500 BC. The Collection Fund of the Local History and Geography Museum in Český Krumlov

The middle Bronze Age ( approximately 1500- 1200 BC )
South Bohemia was impressed by the Bohemia-Falz grave-mound culture closely connected with the present settlement of the Podunají locality. It is called after grave-mounds - burial monuments. Some of them were searched in the Český Krumlov region near Boletice in the first half of the 20th century. Upland settlements had been built in the region in the middle Bronze Age. Some of them had been settled previously, for example, Vyšný near Český Krumlov or the locality of the medieval Dívčí Kámen Castle (Sites of a Fortified Settlement at Dívčí Kámen from the Bronze Age), and several newly built ones - Raziberg near Boletice (Primeval Sites of a Fortified Settlement in the Český Krumlov Region). A few rare discoveries of bronze articles - bronze axes from Radslav and Kájov, a sword from Boletice surroundings, and depot from Hořice na Šumavě supply the discovered fund from that period. The discovery of two bronze swords (Grave-mound Culture, the middle Bronze Age) done near the redoubt of Vítkův Kámen (Vítek´s Stone) in 1883 (Mass Discoveries - Depots from the Bronze Age in the Český Krumlov Region) is very unique.

The early and late Bronze Age (approximately 1200 - 750 BC)
South Bohemia was closely connected with the Central Bohemia area - knovízská culture. Several settlements from that period are known in the Český Krumlov region. For example, Kájov, Boletice and Chvalšiny surroundings. In 1994 one of them was partly searched by archaeologists in Novosedly near Kájov.

The late Iron Age - Halstat Period (approximately 750 - 450 BC)

The Halstat Period belongs to the top periods of the primeval settlement in South Bohemia. It refers to the settlement extent as well as the large number of archaeological localities and discoveries. Since then some smaller grave-mounds, several remains of sites of a fortified settlement and signs of village settlements have been preserved in the Český Krumlov region. Numerous grave-mounds had been searched in Kájov, Boletice (Weiherbühl, Pfarrwald, Raziberk) and Chvalšiny (Oberen-Hinteren, Mühlberg, Höltschel-Bühl) surroundings before the Second World War, and the area between Zlatá Koruna and Kamenný Újezd (near Záluží in 1888). Village settlements were discovered near Chvalšiny, Boletice and Kájov. For example, on Hill Háj near Lazce, in Raziberk near Boletice (Redoubt of Raziberk near Boletice) or in the headland above the Vltava river near Přísečná.

Boletice surroundings, pottery vessels from grave-mounds, the late Iron Age, approximately 700-500 BC, archaeological researches:  K. Brdlík. The Collection Fund of the Local History and Geography Museum in Český Krumlov

The early Iron Age - Lathenic Period (approximately 450 - 50 BC)

The Celtic Period - the first nation known by the name in our territory. The Celts came to South Bohemia gradually, from the 3th - 2nd century BC. At first local raw material sources - ore, graphite and mainly gold was the only aim. The Celtic settlement of Třísov is the best-known archaeological locality in the Český Krumlov region. It had been settled close to the important thoroughfare. A number of other archaeological monuments from that period is known from its nearer and farther surrounding. Pottery vessel fragments made of graphite clay, ornamented with typical perpendicular crest of waves are sometimes discovered in older Halstat Period grave-mounds. Some of them had already been searched in the last century (Chvalšiny - Panischen Bühl, 1925 and 1931), and the century before (Záluží - Kopřivna Forest, 1888). The Celts had left Bohemia during the 1st century BC due to the growing pressure of the Germanness tribes. Their settlement near Třísov had remained isolated as well.

Discovered localities of Celtic settlement during the 1st century BC are marked in the Český Krumlov region map (according to P. Zavřel) : red-colour points – remains of Celtic settlements and exceptional pottery discoveries; blue-colour rhombus – Celtic settlement of Třísov; orange-colour point – location of the primeval settlement of Novosedly near Kájov. Drawing: Michal Ernée.

The Roman Period and migration of peoples - the Germanness (approximately 50 BC - the 6th century AD)

The evidence of the settlement in the Český Krumlov region has not been proved so far. However, two exceptional discoveries of coins (Coins Discoveries in the Český Krumlov Region) indicate to a not very often stay of the Germanness in the Bohemian Forest foothill and use of local thoroughfares leading to Podunají area.

Interactive map of important primaeval archaeological localities in the Český Krumlov region

The research of primeval settlement in the Český Krumlov region is only in its beginning. It does not concern only the life of hunters and plant-pickers in the Paleolithic and Mesolithic Period, but also "farming" in the Primeval Times. People started to settle permanent settlements, keep some animals and grow plants in the Neolithic period. The enumeration of single interesting archaeological localities can be offered to readers at present. Meanwhile we are not able to write the comprehensive idea of the region development during the last 6,000 years before the Slavic people (The early Middle Ages (Slavic) Settlement in the Český Krumlov Region).


Further information :
Archaeological Researches in the Český Krumlov Region
The Primeval Upland Castle Settlement in the Town of Český Krumlov
Primeval and Middle Ages Settlements in the Town of Český Krumlov

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