image/svg+xml93XIV/1/2023INTERDISCIPLINARIA ARCHAEOLOGICANATURAL SCIENCES IN ARCHAEOLOGYhomepage: http://www.iansa.euThe Possibilities and Results of Magnetometer Survey in Small-Sized Fortifcations of the High Middle Ages. A Case Study on Research into Manorial Residences in the 14thto 15thCentury in East BohemiaPavel Drnovský1*1Department of Archaeology, Faculty of Arts, University of Hradec Králové, Rokitanského 62, 500 03 Hradec Králové, Czech Republic1. IntroductionHigh medieval fortifed manorial residences located in contexts with built-up areas of villages used to be inseparable components of the medieval cultural landscape. However, most of these fortifcations gradually vanished or completely disappeared. But the recent use of non-destructive archaeological methods has made a signifcant contribution to our knowledge about these fortifcations. As yet unknown sites can now be identifed with their help (digital terrain models, cropmarks) and in the case of the use of geophysical measurements, current knowledge about the nature of a particular residence can be expanded. This study deals with the possibilities of applying magnetometer measurements to the lowest level of medieval fortifcations – the rural residences of the petty nobility (fortifed manor houses) of the 14thto 15thcentury – where only scarce surface remains, or even none at all, have survived.Although geophysical methods are already well established among the various basic forms of non-destructive archaeological research, their application to the site type mentioned above is fairly uncommon in the context of Central Europe. More specifcally, the use of geoelectric resistivity measurements and ground penetrating radar measurements (GPR) may indicate the presence of masonry structures. Geoelectric resistivity measurements over the entire area of a site have been conducted for example in the case of the fortifed manor houses at Čimice (Bárta, 1983) and Mastnice in central Bohemia (Dohnal et al., 2000; Křivánek, 1999, p.19) and at Rataje (Baierl et al., 2013, p.10) and Tichá in South Bohemia (Durdík et al., 2013). The GPR measurement method has been applied in the case of the manor house at Dolný Poltár in Slovakia (Tirpák, Fottová, 2008) and the so-called Upper fortress at Kestřany in South Bohemia (Dejmal et al., 2013). Stone structures were detected in all these cases.In contrast, the use of a magnetometer survey remains underappreciated. This method has been applied in the Volume XIV ● Issue 1/2023 ● Pages 93–104*Corresponding author. E-mail: pavel.drnovsky@uhk.czARTICLE INFOArticle history:Received: 24thFebruary 2022Accepted: 12thSeptember 2022DOI: words:geophysical prospectingmagnetometrynon-destructive surveyMiddle Agesfortifcationsmanorial residencefortifed manor houseABSTRACTThe results of magnetometer measurements carried out in small-sized fortifcations of the High Middle Ages are presented. In most cases these fortifcations were partly or completely abandoned sites. At all sites, structures of anthropogenic origin were discovered. Thanks to the survey various components of residences were identifed: internal buildings, fortifcations, moats, ramparts. The survey method chosen proved to be suitable for detecting most parts of the 14th to 15th century residences of the petty nobility, particularly in regions with prevailing earthen and wooden architecture. Archaeological structures were detected by way of the survey measurements even at seemingly completely destroyed sites. However, the results of such a magnetometer survey need to be supplemented by other methods of geophysical and archaeological survey.
image/svg+xmlIANSA 2023 ● XIV/1 ● 93–104Pavel Drnovský: The Possibilities and Results of Magnetometer Survey in Small-Sized Fortifcations of the High Middle Ages. A Case Study on Research into Manorial Residences in the 14thto 15thCentury in East Bohemia94fortifed manor house at Obrubce in Bohemia (Křivánek, 2004, p.178), Kersko (Křivánek, 2008) and Neumětely (Křivánek, 2015). Other fortifcations have recently been investigated in South Moravia (Dresler, Tencer, 2016; Pelikán, 2017; Vágner et al., 2018; Vágner, 2021, pp.136–138) and one in Lower Austria (Filzwieser, 2018, pp.130–136). Several measurements have been applied in Poland (Bis et al., 2019, p.30; 2020; Kittel et al., 2017, Wroniecki et al., 2017). Despite the above examples, geophysical measurements conducted at such site types are still rare. Moreover, the above sites represent residences of a varied nature in terms of structure and chronology.The aim of our research was to carry out a targeted magnetometer survey within several abandoned medieval fortifcations in a specifc region that would be linked by common attributes, and, in so doing, test the use of this method in various excavation situations. The reasons for the application of a magnetometer survey are the positive results that this method can yield when attempting to identify anthropogenic activity (Křinávek, 2004; Milo, 2014).The main questions asked during the survey are the following:to establish the potential of a magnetometer survey in small-sized medieval fortifcations,to try to identify fortifcation elements and delimit a residence’s grounds (depending on the size and limitations of the feld measurements),to observe which types of structures could be surveyed by magnetometer,to observe the infuence of the current state of a site on the measurement results,to be able to verify a newly-identifed site.The investigated area was central north-eastern Bohemia, which represents a region for which the occurrence of numerous small-sized residences of the petty nobility was typical during the High Middle Ages. In this landscape, small-sized fortifcations (fortifed manor houses) located close to village centres were typical types of manorial residences.2. Materials and methodsMeasurements were performed at all available sites in the selected area (Figure 1, Table 1). Sites without visible terrain remains were identifed on the basis of observations of cropmarks and research into archival maps. A part of them were localised and recognised for the very frst time. The locations were in diferent habitats (feld, meadow, forest, garden) and with various degrees of preservation (terrain remains, without surface remains). The selected sites are only little known: with no archaeological excavation having been conducted at any of them.The lifespan of most residences can be deduced from a few or rare written records pertaining to their owners and possibly specifed on the basis of discovered pottery fragments. All the residences were used during the 14thand 15thcenturies. The demise of some 50% of the manor houses can be placed to the close of the 15thcentury. As late as the beginning of the 16thcentury, the existence of six residences was still documented; however, they ceased to exist shortly Table 1. Overview of investigated residences, and their characteristics.DistrictIndicative lifespanTerrain remainsSurfaceApproximate extent of on-site measurementsSubsoilBabiceHradec Králové14th–15thc.yesmeadow100 %FloodplainBělušiceJičín2ndhalf of 14th–15thc.yesforest40 %SandstoneBříšťanyJičín14th–early 16thc.nomeadow75 %FloodplainDobešJičín14th–1sthalf of 15thc.yesmeadow40 %MudstoneDohaliceHradec Králové14th–17thc.yesgarden30%LoessHabřinaHradec Králové14th–1sthalf of 15thc.yesgarden75 %LoessKalthausHradec Králové2ndhalf of 14th–early 16thc.yesforest50 %MudstoneKosiceHradec Králové14th–early 16thc.nofeld85 %FloodplainMlazoviceJičín14thc. –1424yesmeadow35 %LoessNedabylicePardubice14th–1sthalf of 15thc.nofeld90 %FloodplainNechaniceHradec Králové14th–16thc.yesmeadow25 %FloodplainPřestavlkyHradec Králové14th–15thc.yesforest50%FloodplainRadostovHradec Králové14th–early 16thc.yesfeld100%FloodplainRakovJičín14th–early 16thc.nofeld100 %LoessTřebověticeJičín14th–17thc.nogarden50%FloodplainTřesiceHradec Králové14th–16thc.nomeadow80 %FloodplainVysokáJičín14th–15thc.yesforest50%Mudstone
image/svg+xmlIANSA 2023 ● XIV/1 ● 93–104Pavel Drnovský: The Possibilities and Results of Magnetometer Survey in Small-Sized Fortifcations of the High Middle Ages. A Case Study on Research into Manorial Residences in the 14thto 15thCentury in East Bohemia95