Category Archives: SLOVAKIA

Bronze Figurine with Gold Eyes Unearthed in Slovakia

Bronze Figurine with Gold Eyes Unearthed in Slovakia

In the village of Jánovce, near Poprad, the Spiš Museum in Spišská Nová Ves has presented an important discovery: a Celtic bronze statue.

The museum conducted archaeological research in Jánovce in the location of Pod Hradiskom (Under the Hillfort) in spring and autumn of this year, explained archaeologist Mária Hudáková.

It is a locality known since the 19th century, but had not been systematically researched until now, she said.

The excavation works revealed more than 800 objects from different historical time periods, from prehistory to the modern era.

“These are mostly Celtic coins, bronze clips and other parts of clothing, products from clay, ceramics, wharves and glass beads and bracelets,” Mária Hudáková said, as quoted by the TASR.

The Celts were almost everywhere within the European borders. Their movements began during the Great Celtic Migrations that took place, in approximately around 500 BC and ended in c. 100 BC.

During these 400 years, the Celts, in seemingly endless waves, spread out throughout Europe and lived in large parts of Europe during the Bronze Age and Iron Age.

By 200 BC, the Celtic language was being spoken in the modern-day nations of Britain, France, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Italy, and, even to a lesser extent, Turkey.

Undoubtedly, the most precious find discovered in Jánovce is the bronze figurine of the man who is depicted naked but he wears a piece of jewellery in the form of a neckerchief.

The man’s golden eyes are another unique detail in this very realistic depiction.

Tourist finds ancient silver coins under an uprooted tree

Tourist finds ancient silver coins under an uprooted tree

The Slovak Spectator reports that a cache of medieval coins was discovered under an uprooted tree in western Slovakia by a tourist who reported the find to the Regional Monuments Board. 

He has reported it to the Regional Monuments Board (KPÚ) in Trnava. Its workers found 147 middle-age silver coins after searching with a detector.

The coins are mostly Wiener pfennigs but there are also Hungarian imitations of Wiener pfennigs that were minted in the years 1251 and 1330.

Tourist finds ancient silver coins under an uprooted tree
The Regional Monuments Board Trnava

The coins were probably stored in a leather or fabric wrapper, Matúš Sládok of KPÚ Trnava opined, but there were no traces left of the wrapper.

Died or did not remember

Mass findings of pfennigs, which were hidden during the mid-14th century, are not uncommon, according to Sládok.

“Owners hid their movable property, especially finances, in unstable times when they were trying to protect it from enemies and robbers,” Sládok said, as quoted by the TASR newswire.

The fact that these coins were discovered means that the owners probably died or forgot to unearth their hidden money, Sládok explained.

An expert will now estimate the value of the discovery. The tourist who found the coins has asked for a finder’s fee.

Ancient Coin Found at Pub Site in Slovakia

Ancient Coin Found at Pub Site in Slovakia

The Centre of the town Spišské Vlachy in the Spiš region was settled in the 4th century. Archaeologists discovered proof that people lived in the town soon after The Migration Period.

The most precious finding is a coin from the 4th century.

A coin depicting the emperor Constantius II, who ruled between 337 and 361, is among the oldest findings, Spiš Korzár reported.

Archaeological research was ongoing from October 2019 to March 2020 in the extension of the Assumption of Mary church in Spišské Vlachy. Locals know the extension as the Old Town Hall. The research was linked with the renovation of the monument.

“We tried two probes,” said the head of the archaeological research at the Museum of Spiš Territory in Spišská Nová Ves, Mária Hudáková, as quoted by Spiš Korzár.

“The first uncovered object is from the Roman era. The coin was found here. The second revealed findings connected with the construction and reconstruction of the objects.”

These included older entrances to the object, remains of the wooden floor from the second half of the 18th century and a heating device for the object, Hudáková added.

Tiny kitchen ceramics were found as well. Coins of Polish and Hungarian mintage show that space could have been used as a pub.

Trade between Spiš and Rome

The Roman coin is significant for the town. Archaeologist Matúš Hudák said there are not so many coins in the objects, which is why it is of great historical value.

The coin could have also been placed in the town hall as a building sacrifice, a practice that used to be done to protect the building.

People used to process iron here in the 4th century, said Hudák. Spiš was quite rich for this material. Iron slag was found here. The object was originally constructed from wood.

The discovery of the coin also documents trade with Rome.

“It is interesting that coins made it from the west to Spiš,” Hudák noted, as quoted by Spiš Korzár. “How could they do trade at such distances and use coins as currency?”

Open for the public

Probes also uncovered layers from the Middle Ages and modern history.

“We see floors and plastering from this era,” said an archaeologist, as quoted by Spiš Korzár. “The original layer where people walked is right at the bottom. The original level of terrain was about half a metre lower than it is today.”

The terrain rose as a result of a huge fire at the end of the 19th century when this building was damaged and walling was used as a cave-in. Later, the building was used as a fire station, the archaeologist said.

There is an oven with a sweeping opening in the corner of the probe. It was used for heating. “We assume there was some kind of pub. There is also wall graffiti, pictures of gallows, and a sword. These are probably the remains of guests. There is also an entrance to the cellar where beer and wine were kept.”

Town Mayor Ľubomír Fifik noted that they would like to share these discoveries with the public. Uncovered layers of the archaeological discoveries will be visible for visitors of the town together with some of the small ceramic findings.

Site of 18th-Century Steam Engine Uncovered in Slovakia

Site of 18th-Century Steam Engine Uncovered in Slovakia

In recent day’s Nová Baňa, approximately 40 volunteers have worked under the expert supervision of archeologists to unleash a special Potter atmospheric steam engine, the first one of its kind on the continent of Europe.

In the Althandel shaft, the atmospheric steam engine was built and was used in the 18th century. Enthusiasts from the mining group Novobanský had decided a while ago to reveal this treasure to the public, hidden in the garden of one house.

Matej Styk, an expert assistant from the Department of Archaeology of the Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra, said that two-week research followed last year’s findings of the archaeologists. Its aim was to research the discovered construction and the discovered features, proving mining activity in the 18th century.

“In two weeks, we succeeded in uncovering the entire measurement of the Potter engine room, about eight and 14 meters,” he said, as quoted by the TASR newswire. He added that the masonry is compact, undamaged, located about 30 to 40 centimeters under the ground surface.

Bigger than anticipated

Thanks to research, they can prove that activities were ongoing not only in the 18th but also in the 19th century. In the interior of the engine room, the bases of another construction were found, about which there was no knowledge until now.

“There were many tiles from a stove inside,” Styk noted for TASR. “We think that the building was wooden. It has a stone foundation wall and inside another production activity was ongoing.”

Styk noted that the measures of the engine room itself were surprising. The building was bigger than they anticipated.

They succeeded in finding several interesting objects during the research, a mining button from probably the 19th century, a pipe or various iron nails, and components.

Mining failed

The steam engine served to drainage of water from mine. The head of the Slovak mining archive in Banská Štiavnica, Peter Konečný, said that it was built by Isaac Potter in the Althandel shaft in the years 1721-1722.

“Isaac Potter operated this machine alongside his colleagues within the mining industry, which received the right to mine local ores,” Konečný noted, as quoted by TASR.

However, mining was not successful, over in a few years and the machine put out of the operation, Konečný said. Potter remained for several years, but the state, which paid the construction, offered the opportunity to shift it to another private miner, to Hodruša.

“There we lost its traces because the supposed shift to Banská Štiavnica did not happen,” said Konečný for TASR, adding that this assumption is not proven.

The remains of the unique machine should be accessible to the public in the future. The association would like to build an open-air folk museum at the site. They succeeded in persuading the municipality in purchasing the house with the garden where the engine room was discovered.

Museum and replica planned

The head of the association, Zoltán Vén, said that the original owners did not have a clue as to the treasure in the ground. The association was behind the finding, which discovered it inaccessible documents.

Vén noted that they have big plans with the compound. They would like to build a replica of the machine and they have some ideas on how to use the house as well. It should be the headquarters of the mining association and a museum exhibition.

Vén said that last year, British Ambassador Andrew Garth, who is leaving Bratislava at the end of July, also visited the place.

“We would like to have contact with him to be able to go to the UK, as they have one museum piece working. We would like to see it,” Vén summed up, as quoted by TASR.

Coin Cache Discovered Under Church Floor in Slovakia

Coin Cache Discovered Under Church Floor in Slovakia

Under the floor of a church in the town of Obišovce, near Košice, eastern Slovakia, a cache of 500 early 18th century coins has been uncovered. The trove of coins had been stashed in a ceramic mug covered with a slab or stone.

It was found in the foundations of the Renaissance church which was demolished in the 19th century and the current church built over it.

When the floor of the church was demolished, the foundations were built. Archeologists explored the structural remains and came across the hoard that had been stashed under the original stone floor near the western entrance.

The coins in what was then Upper Hungary are mostly salary plates issued by the many mines. Copper, iron, silver, and gems had been mined in the east Slovakian fields since the 9th-century arrival of the Hungarian tribes. In the 15th century, the five main mining towns including Košice had united to promote their interests.

They had mints that produced coinage and salary plates with which the miners were paid. The hoard also includes silver coins, believed to have been wrapped separately in a linen textile, and a few Polish coins. From the dates on the coins, the earliest the hoard could have been buried was 1702.

When the coins were cached, Slovakia was part of the Kingdom of Hungary ruled by the Catholic Habsburgs and under regular attack by the Ottoman Empire.

In the 17th century, Protestant Magyar nobles fleeing Turkish incursions moved to Upper Hungary, modern-day Slovakia, temporarily tipping the demographics of the region to majority Protestant.

They allied with Transylvanian prince István Thököly in the failed Magnate conspiracy to overthrow Leopold I in 1670, and again with his son Imre Thököly in his anti-Habsburg rebellion in 1678.

Imre, allied with the Ottoman sultan, took control of territories in eastern and central Hungary, creating the short-lived Principality of Upper Hungary which largely conforms to the boundaries of Slovakia.

By 1685 he had managed to be defeated in battle by the Habsburgs and to piss off the Turks so the putative principality was no more. The Great Turkish War between the Ottoman Empire and the Holy League ended in 1699 with the Habsburgs in control of Hungary.

Thököly’s peasant army kept fighting against the Habsburgs, however, and in 1703, Hungarian prince Francis II Rákóczi led them in an uprising against the Habsburg Holy Roman Empire, then engaged in the War of Spanish Succession. The Rákóczi rebellion lasted until their surrender in 1711.

With the region mired in so much religious and political turmoil in the late 17th and early 18th century, hoarding and hiding coins doubtless seemed prudent.

Preservationists say it is probable that the priest from the local church and parish collected the money and hid it under the floor in times of unrest. It is probable that when he left, he omitted to say anything about the money under the floor and it was forgotten about.

The historic sources state that after the Thӧkӧly uprising was over, sometime between 1685 and 1687, a Catholic priest returned to Kysak parish. Obišovce at that time belonged to this parish.

The priest was a Pole, he was blind in one eye and sometime in the 1690s, he went blind completely. The church was under the administration of the Catholic church until 1705 when rebels plundered it and it was left as a ruin for three years. The Polish priest was expelled and he returned to Poland.

Neolithic Artifacts Unearthed in Slovakia

Trnava archaeologists made a 6,000-year-old discovery

Ceramic fragments found under the fortification wall prove the skilfulness of the Lengyel culture.

In Trnava’s Zelený Kríček settlement pit, archeologists found several decorated ceramics fragments, antler tools and fragments of stone tools older than 6,000 years.

The investor is building a polyfunctional object near the gallery and the research, according to its head, Andrej Žitňan, uncovered an object which could be a part of the larger settlement discovered four years ago at Františkánska Street.

The discovery is located outside the middle age center of the town just in front of the town’s fortification wall.

 “Its existence until these days is a matter of lucky circumstances because it was preserved in the narrow area between the wall and filled town ditch,” said Peter Grznár of the Regional Monument Board in Trnava, as quoted by the TASR newswire

The finding dates back to the Neolithic Age, more specifically to the era of the Lengyel culture. Grznár said that the discovery contributes to the knowledge about the settlement of Trnava following the significant findings of the locality near Františkánska and Štefánikova Street.

So-called Trnava Venuses were also found here; they are the oldest artistic display ever found in the town’s area with an estimated age of 6,700 to 6,800 years.

Archaeologist Žitňan said that the Neolithic settlement was wider than expected based on the previous findings because all surrounding lands are already built-up.

“Ceramic fragments found under the fortification wall have beautiful decorations. They prove the skilfulness of the Lengyel culture,” he said, as quoted by TASR