image/svg+xml99 V/2/2014 INTERDISCIPLINARIA ARCHAEOLOGICA NATURAL SCIENCES IN ARCHAEOLOGY homepage: http://www.iansa.eu Decoding the Neolithic Building Complex: the Case of the Extraordinarily Large House III from Hrdlovka, Czech Republic Jaromír Beneš a,b* , Václav Vondrovský a , Lenka Kovačiková a,b,d , Petr Šída b,c , Michaela Divišová a,b a Institute of Archaeology, Faculty of Philosophy, University of South Bohemia, Branišovská 31a, 370 05 České Budějovice, Czech Republic b Laboratory of Archaeobotany and Palaeoecology, Faculty of Science, University of South Bohemia, Na Zlaté stoce 3, 370 05 České Budějovice, Czech Republic c Department of Archaeology, Philosophical Faculty, University of Hradec Králové, nám. Svobody 331, 500 03 Hradec Králové, Czech Republic d Department of Anthropology, Faculty of Philosophy and Arts, University of West Bohemia, Sedláčkova 15, 306 14 Plzeň, Czech Republic 1. Introduction Analyses of Neolithic houses in Central Europe are usually based on artefactual and other material characteristics associated with a content of sunken features in the near surrounding of the building structure. It is believed that discarded material from long sunken features, usually referred to as “loam pits”, refects human activity around the house (Pavlů 2000). Another concept emphasizes the material and chronological heterogeneity of such deposits, refecting the extended period of the space use and the complicated taphonomy of the archaeological assemblages (Květina, Končelová 2011a; 2011b). This paper presents a methodological approach which refects both concepts. The subject of investigation is one house from the area of the Neolithic site of Hrdlovka. The site was excavated by the corresponding author of this article in 1987–1990 (Beneš 1991a; 1991c) as part of large rescue excavations undertaken in the forefeld of the open-cast mining area. The form of analysis presented here could be useful as a methodological approach for further research and a complete evaluation of the site. A specifc aim of this paper is to present an analytical approach specifcally in connection with the extraordinarily large house III from the Hrdlovka site. Prior to initiating a detailed description analysis of the house III, a short outline of the archaeological history of the site discovered needs to be provided. The Neolithic site of Hrdlovka was situated in north-west Bohemia in the Czech Republic in the lowlands of the Podkrušnohoří basin extremely close to the foothills of the Krušné Hory Mountains (Figure 1). Volume V ● Issue 2/2014 ● Pages 99–118 *Corresponding author. E-mail: benes.jaromir@gmail.com ARTICLE INFO Article history: Received: 21. November 2014Accepted: 28. December 2014 Keywords: HrdlovkaNeolithic Linear Pottery Culture (LBK)Stroked Pottery Culture (SBK) longhouseceramicslithicsanimal bonesmultivariate analysis ABSTRACT The article presents the methodological approach used in the case of a Neolithic building complex, where the subject of investigation is the long tripartite house III from the Hrdlovka site in the Czech Republic. A method of chronological analysis is suggested and demonstrated. The site located in north-west Bohemia was excavated in the area of an open-cast mine between the years 1987 and 1990 as part of a rescue excavation. The house is an extraordinarily long building of a slightly trapezoid shape with a length of 47.5 m. Archaeological assemblages originating from sunken features around the building enabled the formulation of the relative chronology, based on data acquired from ceramic fragments decoration, supported by a multivariate analysis. An analysis of ceramics individuals, lithics and animal bones combined with radiocarbon data made several argumentation steps possible, attempting to shed some light on the house III chronological position with respect to the transitional Linear Pottery Culture/Stroked Pottery Culture (LBK IV/SBK I) period. The majority of the sunken features appertain to the house unit; however, certain sunken features in the chosen 5 perimeter were assigned as chronologically unrelated. Analysis of lithics recorded the use of local quartzite and northern Bohemian metabasite, while the investigation of animal bones detected a common structure of a domestic herd. Finally, the extraordinarily large house itself is discussed, representing an example of huge Neolithic architecture, which may have demonstrated prestige and power.
image/svg+xmlIANSA 2014 ● V/2 ● 99–118Jaromír Beneš, Václav Vondrovský, Lenka Kovačiková, Petr Šída, Michaela Divišová: Decoding the Neolithic Building Complex: the Case of the Extraordinarily Large House III from Hrdlovka, Czech Republic 100 The primary activity here was, and still is, open cast coal quarrying where a major part of the lowland landscape, including a vast portion of prehistoric and medieval sites, was destroyed including the Hrdlovka site itself (Beneš et al . 1993). Broadening of the open cast quarries in the 1960s stimulated a number of archaeological rescue events, which pre-dated the systematic feld salvage activity by the Institute of Archaeology, Academy of Sciences in Prague, Branch Most. Field identifcation of the Neolithic site of Hrdlovka was connected with the systematic control of the approaching huge open quarry Maxim Gorkij in 1987 (Beneš 1991b). The entire site was mined away and currently no longer exists (Figure 2).The Neolithic site of Hrdlovka was situated at the bottom of a moderate valley of the Loučenský potok creek. The area with archaeological remains was located on a slightly elevated plane between the Loučenský potok creek and a small unnamed stream. The subsoil was built up here by yellow Tertiary clay, which was infltrated by sand and with remaining small islands of Quaternary loam. The topsoil was partially scraped away by a quarrying company and the uncovered area has been surveyed by an archaeologist. The rescue feld activity began here immediately after the site discovery in the spring of 1987 (Beneš 1991b). The strategy of the feld activity was determined by the progress of the open cast quarrying front. Archaeologists had to calculate