image/svg+xml161 VI/2/2015 INTERDISCIPLINARIA ARCHAEOLOGICA NATURAL SCIENCES IN ARCHAEOLOGY homepage: http://www.iansa.eu The Rare Deposition of Neolithic (SBK) Grinding Tools and Longhouse 8 from Hrdlovka (Czech Republic): Analysis and 3D Virtual Reconstruction Jaromír Beneš a,b , Václav Vondrovský a , Petr Šída b,c , Michaela Divišová a,b , Lenka Kovačiková a,b , Jaromír Kovárník b , Petr Vavrečka d 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, Faculty of Arts, University of West Bohemia in Plzeň, Sedláčkova 15, 306 14 Plzeň, Czech Republic d Institute of Archaeology of the CAS, Letenská 4, 118 01 Praha 1, Czech Republic 1. Introduction The Neolithic site of Hrdlovka was situated in northwest Bohemia, Czech Republic, in the lowlands of Podkrušnohoří basin, very close to the foothills of the Krušné Hory mountains (Figure 1). The main industrial activity here is open-cast coal mining, which has substantially affected the larger part of this lowland landscape. A large proportion of the prehistoric and medieval sites were destroyed, including the Hrdlovka site itself (Beneš et al. 1993). The expansion of the open-cast mining during the 1960s was a stimulus for a lot of archaeological rescue actions. Field identifcation of the Neolithic site of Hrdlovka itself was connected with the systematic control from the approaching huge open mine of Maxim Gorkij in 1987 (Beneš 1991a; 1991b). The entire site became no more than mine spoil and today does not exist.Hrdlovka was a polycomponent site, but most attention was paid to the Neolithic, namely the Linienbandkeramik Linear Pottery Culture (LBK) and Stichbandkeramik – Stroke Ornamented Ware Culture (SBK) period. The area excavated reached 8.35 hectares with 59 longhouses recognized. Due to the salvage character of the excavation, some areas were only sampled; however, the area SJ was investigated in detail (Figure 2). From 2009 a team from the University of South Bohemia started to process and investigate this site as the topic of a research grant (Beneš et al. 2014; Vondrovský et al. 2015).This contribution deals with an extraordinary deposition of grinding stones in feature 838, their analysis and possible relation of the feature to longhouse 8. 1.1 Deposition of grinding tools in feature 838 and longhouse 8 The feature 838 and longhouse 8 were situated in the northern part of the excavated area SJ (Figure 3). This area was characterized by particularly well-preserved traces of longhouse constructions. The sunken feature 838 can be described as a roughly oval settlement pit of maximum depth 50 cm with a prolonged extension towards the northwest. Volume VI ● Issue 2/2015 ● Pages 161–179 *Corresponding author. E-mail: benes.jaromir@gmail.com ARTICLE INFO Article history: Received: 23 rd December 2015Accepted: 31 st December 2015 Key words: Stroked Pottery Culturelonghousegrinding stonesofferingstarch analysisvirtual reconstruction ABSTRACT This paper discusses the grinding stones deposit in feature 838 from the Neolithic site of Hrdlovka, northwest Bohemia, which spatially interferes with the longhouse 8 ground plan. According to the relative chronology, based on an analysis of the ceramics recovered from feature 838, the context belongs to the Late SBK, the last phase of Neolithic occupation of this settlement. The grinding tools were subjected to starch analysis, which proved that they were used prior to their deposition, as evidenced also by macrolithic stone analysis that stated, that the grinding tools were used, broken and one was even burnt. The paper discusses the possible relationship between feature 838 and longhouse 8. The possibility of building offering, which represents a phenomenon known also from other Neolithic settlement areas, is also discussed. The paper further presents hypothetical 3D images of longhouse 8 by presenting two versions of its virtual reconstruction that emphasise the presence of the grinding stones deposit and its possible importance.
image/svg+xmlIANSA 2015 ● VI/2 ● 161–179Jaromír Beneš, Václav Vondrovský, Petr Šída, Michaela Divišová, Lenka Kovačiková, Jaromír Kovárník, Petr Vavrečka: The Rare Deposition of Neolithic (SBK) Grinding Tools and Longhouse 8 from Hrdlovka (Czech Republic): Analysis and 3D Virtual Reconstruction 162 The character of feature 838’s infll could be described as a mixture of coarse yellow and dark brown gobbets. This observation contrasted with the infll of the majority of the common Neolithic features at the Hrdlovka site, which contained homogeneous fne-grained dark infll. The bottom was straight and regular; it constituted a slightly banked plane from southeast to northwest.An extraordinary situation was noticed in its centre, where an accumulation of 35 grinding stones, and particularly their fragments, was located (Figure 4). The stones were arranged as a circular structure in one layer starting ca. 10 cm beneath the infll’s upper limit and ca, 10–15 cm above the feature’s bottom. During the feld excavation only samples of the grinding stones were collected. They were deposited separately outside of the main artefactual assemblages, without any processing or surface cleaning. Their current identifcation was performed by matching individual stones with feld excavation photography (Figure 4: C). Therefore, the stones are numbered in non-consecutive order as 1, 2, 4, 6, 11, 17, 24 and 31.The deposition of grinding stones divided the feature 838 infll vertically in two contexts. The upper part and the deposition layer did not contain any fnds except for one rare ceramic fragment, but the lower context differed: it contained the vast majority of fnds such as ceramic fragments, animal bones, daub and a small amount of charcoal. The only structure visible in the grinding stones layer was an oval posthole, indicating a half-post situated in the eastern part of the accumulation. According to its spatial arrangement the posthole could be said to be surrounded by particular grinding stone fragments. The infll of the posthole was the typical dark soil, which differed from the rest of the infll of feature 838. According to its spatial position the posthole could be considered part of house 8’s eastern wall, but the mutual relationship of both these structures will be discussed below.House 8 was 30.5 m long with a slightly trapezoidal ground plan and an area of 242 m 2 . The ground plan represented a type of house with one-row walls, dense internal rows of postholes, and exhibited signs of a three-part division of its internal space. The orientation of the house’s long axis was exceptional in being towards the west-northwest, whereas its geographical inclination was 52º 37ʹ to the west. The southern section was relatively small (43.3 m 2 ) and separated from the central section by three posts, which were oriented askew to the main axes of the house. The central section (173.3 m 2 ) was shaped as a large robust space with irregularly-distributed postholes, whose northern cluster was aggregated within a “Y” shape. The northern section was small (24.2 m 2 ), and divided from the central section by three robust postholes. This part, defned by the slightly trapezoid foundation trench, was asymmetrically joined to rest of the house. Cross-sections of the trench yielded traces of a wall construction: the dark soil “shadows” of the original wooden elements (Figure 5).The eastern wall of longhouse 8 constituted one row of postholes (931, 932, 933, 837, 836, 834, 833, 831, 1512, 1508, 1507, 1506, 1505, 1504, 1502 and 1501). Feature 838 is thus the only structure interrupting the wall’s line. The standard image of house 8’s ground plan is accompanied by postholes forming regular line structures. A short row parallel to house 8’s eastern wall was defned by postholes 1513, 1514, 1515, 1516 and 841, 840, 839 plus 835. Other shorter structures could be traced near the western wall created by postholes 922, 923, 924, 925 and 810, 811, 812, 813. Some posthole rows could also be observed within the framework of house 8’s ground plan ( e.g. 803, 805, and 807), and therefore the association of these postholes lying within the direct vicinity of longhouse 8 and the house itself is questionable. 2. Material and methods2.1 Artefactual analysis of ceramics Ceramic fragments were assigned to ceramic individuals at the level of their archaeological context (layers or features). Stroked ornamented pottery was described according to the system of M. Zápotocká (1978; 1998) in some general categories and characteristics accompanied by the Bylany site description system (Květina, Pavlů 2007; Pavlů, Zápotocká 1978; Soudský 1967).