Category Archive 'Czech Republic'

06 Feb 2020

Oldest Known Wooden Structure

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Science Alert:

The old well doesn’t look like much – a wooden crate-like object, dilapidated, crumbling a little. But according to new research, it’s really special. A tree-ring dating technique has revealed that the oak wood used to make it was cut around 7,275 years ago.

This makes it the oldest known wooden structure in the world that’s been confirmed using this method, scientists say.

“According to our findings, based particularly on dendrochronological data, we can say that the tree trunks for the wood used were felled in the years 5255 and 5256 BCE,” explained archaeologist Jaroslav PeÅ¡ka of the Archaeological Centre Olomouc in the Czech Republic in a press statement last year.

“The rings on the trunks enable us to give a precise estimate, give [or] take one year, as to when the trees were felled.”

The well was unearthed and discovered near the town of Ostrov in 2018 during construction on the D35 motorway in the Czech Republic. Ceramic fragments found inside the well dated the site to the early Neolithic, but no evidence of any settlement structures were found nearby, suggesting the well serviced several settlements at a bit of a distance away.

It was filled with dirt, so an archaeological team carefully excavated and extracted it. It consisted of four oak poles, one at each corner, with flat planks between them. The well was roughly square, measuring 80 by 80 centimetres (2.62 feet). It stood 140 centimetres tall (4.6 feet), with a shaft that extended below ground level and into the groundwater.

Even in waterlogged conditions, the state of preservation of the wood was exceptional, showing marks from the polished stone tools used to shape each piece.

“The construction of this well is unique,” PeÅ¡ka said.

“It bears marks of construction techniques used in the Bronze and Iron ages and even the Roman Age. We had no idea that the first farmers, who only had tools made of stone, bones, horns, or wood, were able to process the surface of felled trunks with such precision.”

And that amazing state of preservation also allowed for dendrochronological (based on tree rings) and radiocarbon dating, based on radioactive isotopes of carbon.

According to these techniques, the trees that supplied wood to the flat planks on the sides of the well were felled around 7,275 years ago. That’s probably when the well was constructed. But two of the poles told a different story.

Both were felled earlier – one around 7,278 or 7,279 years ago; and the other around nine years before that. This, the researchers concluded, meant that the two posts must have been used previously, and repurposed into posts for the well.

One of the side planks also had a different age. It was quite a bit younger, felled between 7,261 and 7,244 years ago. This is likely because of a repair to the well at some point.


31 Oct 2017

I Could Live There

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Červená Lhota Castle

ÄŒervená Lhota is a château about 20 kilometres (12 mi) north-west of JindÅ™ichův Hradec in south Bohemia, Czech Republic. …Its name ÄŒervená Lhota* meaning “red lhota” can be explained by the colour of the château’s bright-red roof tiles. … [Acquired by the knightly family of Káb of Rybňan sometime around 1530. The family had the original Gothic castle rebuilt and the basic Renaissance remodelling carried out between 1542-1555. …The four-winged two-storey château, with a small courtyard in the center, occupies the whole rock and juts into the fishpond. A stone bridge, built in 1622, links the château with the banks of the pond, replacing the original drawbridge.

* Lhota, name of Czech villages, founded during the Middle-age colonization in Bohemia, Moravia and Slovakia

31 Mar 2015

General Patton Agreed

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These days, the Russian aggression against Ukraine is causing NATO maneuvers all over Central Europe in an effort to send a message to Vladimir Putin. Upon arriving in the Czech Republic, US soldiers were welcomed with this sign.

03 Jul 2012

“Rogue Photographer With a Camera Out of the Garbage” (Russian Title)

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Miroslav Tichy, 1926-2011

EToday (Russian text, translated by JDZ):

The Czech photographer Miroslav Tichy produced his own cameras from whatever parts he could find in the garbage. From that source came everything – from camera bodies to glass lenses. He was considered a mad hermit, but he did not care. Covertly, Miroslav Tichy wandered around the city in tatters and photographed women with his home-made camera. Years passed and he was “discovered” – the former tramp became a celebrity, and his pictures are now worth tens of thousands of euros and are exhibited in top galleries.


One of Tichy’s home-made cameras.


One of Tichy’s characteristic soft focus female images.

Wikipedia article:

Miroslav Tichy… from the 1960s until 1985 took thousands of surreptitious pictures of women in his hometown of Kyjov in the Czech Republic, using homemade cameras constructed of cardboard tubes, tin cans and other at-hand materials. Most of his subjects were unaware they are being photographed. A few struck beauty-pageant poses when they sighted him, perhaps not realizing that the parody of a camera he carried was real.

His soft focus, fleeting glimpses of the women of Kyjov are skewed, spotted and badly printed — flawed by the limitations of his primitive equipment and a series of deliberate processing mistakes meant to add poetic imperfections.

Of his technical methods, Tichy has said, “First of all, you have to have a bad camera”, and, “If you want to be famous, you must do something more badly than anybody in the entire world.”

During the Communist regime in Czechoslovakia, Tichý was considered a dissident and badly treated by the government. His photographs remained largely unknown until an exhibition was held for him in 2004.


Hat tip to Viktorija Ruškulienė.

18 Sep 2009

DEBKAfile: Obama to Put US Missile Shield on Russian Military Base

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Debkafile, which reported August 29th a leak (apparently from Polish sources) that plans were underway to substitute defense facilities in Turkey and Israel for those originally intended to be sited in Poland and the Czech Republic, is now telling us that Obama has made a deal to site US missile defense systems on a Russian military base in Azerbaijan (!).

DEBKA also, with a note of contempt, reveals that the Israeli based systems is already in place and “working perfectly.”

DEBKA characterizes the Obama Administration’s move as a “surrender to Moscow.”

08 Aug 2007

Falconry: Roe Deer with Eagle

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Steve Bodio links this short 0:10 video of an eagle taking a roe deer in the Czech Republic.

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