NATURAL SCIENCES IN ARCHAEOLOGY
A look at the region
Rescuing the Past – Preventive Archaeology and Archeoenviromental
Services, Labrys, o. p. s., Czech Republic
Labrys, o. p. s., Hloubětínská 16/11, 19000 Prague 9, Czech Republic
1. Aim and scope of the company
Labrys Company focuses on a wide spectrum of activities
related to the research of historic monuments, primarily on
preventive archaeology and scientifc research activities
in the Czech Republic. From the very beginning, we
have directed our activities towards multidisciplinary
environmental research. Building on our projects to rescue
historic monuments in 2011, we have expanded our activities
into felds that focus on standing architectural monuments
(historical building research).
The mainstays of our activity are the increase of
archaeological capacities in the region, feld research on
prehistoric sites and medieval stratigraphic locations,
standardisation of processes in feld archaeology, and
multidisciplinary research of cultural heritage.
2. Institutional history
The non-governmental organisation Labrys, o. p. s., was
established in 2006 as a private research institution focusing
mainly on preventive archaeology (or “rescue” archaeology).
Between 2006 and 2008 we operated exclusively in Prague.
In 2009 we expanded to the Hradec Králové and Pardubice
regions and later to the rest of the Czech Republic.
It was our goal to implement and intensify functional
preventive archaeology in the Czech Republic region where
this type of research activity is still rather underdeveloped.
3. Organisation structure and employees
Currently, the company is comprised of its headquarters
and the departments of feld research, project preparation,
environmental research, and internal services. Headquarters
is in charge of administrative support while the department
of project preparation communicates with investors,
prepares research, and reports on territorial archaeological
studies including prospecting the terrain. The department
of feld research uses specialists to conduct excavations.
The department of environmental research ensures
preparation, expert evaluation of samples, and drawing up of
assessments. The department of internal services is in charge
of the conservation, documentation, and proprietary record
keeping of archaeological fndings. At the moment, there are
two workplaces in Prague, one in Dvůr Králové nad Labem,
and the other in Pardubice.
Volume VII ● Issue 1/2016 ● Pages 143–147
*Corresponding author. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The non-governmental organisation Labrys, o. p. s., was established in 2006 as a private research
establishment focusing mainly on preventive archaeology. The Labrys Company focuses on a wide
spectrum of activities related to research on historic monuments, primarily on rescue archaeology
and associated scientifc research activities. The mainstays of our activities are the increase of
archaeological capacities in the regions of the Czech Republic, feld research of ancient and medieval
stratigraphic locations, standardisation of processes in archaeology, and the multidisciplinary research
of our cultural heritage.
IANSA 2016 ● VII/1 ● 143–147
Milan Kuchařík: Rescuing the Past – Preventive Archaeology and Archeoenviromental Services, Labrys o.p.s., Czech Republic
The company has twelve permanent professional employees:
seven archaeologists, a geologist, an anthropologist, an
archaeozoologist, and two archaeobotanists. There are ten
other employees on the technical staf. During the season,
we hire up to 120 workers for our feld activity.
4. Preventive archaeology
Preventive archaeology is the process of protecting the
archaeological heritage from landscape planning and onto
rescue excavation. During the longest building boom in
Czech Republic’s history (until 2008) we completed up to
450 feld research projects a year, ranging from small-scale
supervision to large-scale excavation. Currently, we conduct
about 150 feld research projects a year. Between 2011 and
2014, our main activity was rescue research completion for
structures fnanced by EU Structural Funds. This period
included rescue archaeological excavations associated
with the revitalisation of historical sites, such as: Litomyšl
Castle (Figures 1, 2), Kuks Hospital, the Benedictine
Monastery in Broumov and Sázava Glassworks. Major
projects have included research on the heart of medieval
cities, the revitalisation of the central square and adjacent
streets in Dvůr Králové nad Labem, the reconstruction of the
Municipal Court in Prague and reconstruction of the Museum
of Decorative Arts in Prague, which uncovered an abundance
of large collections of medieval and early modern fndings.
Signifcant research on the transportation infrastructure
includes the extension of the tramline Podbaba – ČD Podbaba