Millennia-old settlements found on building site
Ludwigsburg, 11th November 2013 – Archaeological finds have been unearthed during the construction of a new MANN+HUMMEL production hall in Uherský Brod, Czech Republic. A grave, as well as the remains of a longhouse and a pit-house, including a millstone, were found.
All MANN+HUMMEL actually wanted to do, was build a new plant for automotive cabin filters, three kilometres away from its existing location. However, one of the requirements for building permission was an accompanying archaeological investigation. "We already assumed there could be something there," says Bernd Oetinger, an architect in MANN+HUMMEL's Property Management department.
And this proved to be the case. The archaeologists made the find just where the sprinkler system will be built. They immediately informed their colleagues and six or seven archaeologists then spent two weeks digging in an area of around 400 m². Parts of two settlements from different eras were unearthed.
One settlement stems from the first arable farming culture in Europe, the so-called Bandkeramik culture, which dates back to around 5700 B.C, in the neolithic era. This is the oldest farming culture to establish permanent settlements in Moravia and in the whole of central Europe. The archaeologists found post holes which represent the remains of a large longhouse in which people and animals lived together. Nearby, clay was gathered by these farmers for building and agricultural purposes. A further find, the millstone, was used as a base for grinding cereal grains.
The discovery of the grave came as a great surprise. "The interred corpse was lying on its right side, with its legs bent," explains Marek Lecbych from the Instutute of Archaeology in Brno. "As we didn't find any artefacts in the grave, we haven't yet been able to precisely date the burial. But if the person really does belong to the Bandkeramik culture, then it's an absolutely unique find in the Uherský Brod region."
The more recent find dates from the La Tène period (5th to 1st century B.C.). It consists of the remains of a pit house, dug into the earth. "Built of wood, these houses or huts were sunk into the ground because they were used for storage purposes or craft activities requiring cool and damp conditions," explains Lecbych. "In the vicinity, we found numerous ceramic vessels, animal bones, pieces of iron objects, as well as a fragment from a bracelet made from blue glass."
For the next six months, the archaeologists at the Brno Institute will examine, analyse and assess the findings in detail. Only then will the final report be published. By that time, the MANN+HUMMEL plant will be nearing completion as the dig has not delayed the construction work.
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Press photo: 1. Grave in Uhersky Brod, Czech Republic, with male skeleton, approx. 5700 years old
2. Post holes of a neolithic settlement, approx. 5700 years old
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The MANN+HUMMEL Group is a leading global expert for filtration solutions and development partner and original equipment supplier to the international automotive and mechanical engineering industries. Employing 14,575 people at more than 50 locations worldwide, the company achieved turnover of about 2.6 billion euros in 2012. The group’s product portfolio includes air filter systems, intake manifold systems, liquid filter systems, cabin filters and plastic sound components (known as 'symposers'), as well as filter elements for vehicle servicing and repair. For general engineering, process engineering and industrial manufacturing sectors the company’s product range includes industrial filters, a series of products to reduce carbon emission levels in diesel engines, membrane filters for water filtration and filter systems.