Silicite daggers from the territories of the Czech Republic and Slovakia (a preliminary study)


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Year of publication 2015
Type Chapter of a book
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Description At the end of the Eneolithic (2200 BC) and in the Early Bronze Age (2200 – 1700 BC) silicite (flint) daggers appeared in the territory of former Czechoslovakia. They are believed to be prevalently imported because there is no evidence of their local production. We have recorded 88 daggers in the Czech Republic (42 pieces in Bohemia, 45 pieces in Moravia and one piece in Czech Silesia); while, in Slovakia, we found only five such artefacts (from a total of 94 pieces). In relation to raw material utilized, we could analyze only 58 finds from the Czech Republic. Northern flint (i.e. flint raw material of the Danian and Maastrichtian age, generally imported from the north based on the archaeological finds) is the most common in the studied collection. Only two daggers made of local raw material (Moravian Jurassic chert) have been recorded in Moravia. In the collection from Bohemia we also found, besides the previously mentioned northern flint, chocolate silicite from central Poland, chert breccia of red-yellowish colour and Cretaceous spongolite (the latter two of unclear provenance). The presence of Bavarian cherts, confirmed for three daggers from central Bohemia, has been ascertained for the first time. In one of these cases, the raw material is comparable with the Bavarian tabular chert (Plattensilex) of the Baiersdorf type; and one dagger was shaped from a Bavarian chert, probably of the Flintsbach type. Dominant flint daggers from the Czech territory and probably also from Slovakia most likely represent evidence of contacts with Poland, Germany or northern Europe where production centres of these artefacts were located. We suggest these raw materials were collected from glacial sediments in northern Central Europe; but, in some cases, we cannot exclude the primary sources on the northern coast of Germany or perhaps in Scandinavia.
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