Excavations of a polycultural site in Neplachovice

The village of Neplachovice belongs among the important archaeological sites. Finds of various ages are known from several places in the village cadastre and cover a long period from the Neolithic (6th millennium BC) to the early Middle Ages.

The rescue archaeological research was carried out in two phases. The first phase was triggered by the construction of the new kindergarten on Zámecká Street in 2020 and the second phase continued the following year in the playground area behind the new kindergarten.

The site is located almost on the top of a small hill (290 - 300 m above sea level) between the chateau and the school building near the Heraltický stream, which flows about 300 m south of the hill. Archaeological excavations have previously been carried out in the vicinity by the National Heritage Institute, during the construction of new houses on Krátká Street, which is located to the south about 250-300m in a gentle slope below the surveyed area. During these excavations, prehistoric objects dating back to the Late Bronze Age (1000-800 BC) and also to the so-called Roman period (0-400 AD) were discovered.

During the first phase of the rescue excavation, a total of 26 objects dating mainly to the Early Eneolithic (Upper Silesian Lengyel Group III - ca. 4000-3800 BC) were examined; artefacts belonging to the Lusatian culture (ca. 1200-800 BC) were also recorded. Eight objects were typical storage pits used for storing food or grain. Two of the objects were so-called clay pits, i.e. pits in which clay was extracted. The other objects were pits of various other functions. The most interesting objects, however, were two rectangular graves. These were skeleton burials with attached offerings in the form of ceramic vessels. Grave No. 510 (100x70 cm) with an E-W orientation contained two footed bowls and a smaller amphora vessel. Only fragments of teeth were preserved from the buried individual. Grave No. 518 (140x100 cm) with SE-SW orientation contained a hardly recognizable negative of the skeleton of the buried individual and fragments of teeth. The individual was probably lying in a crouched position on the right side, facing NE. An amphora with four handles, a jug with a handle inserted into a thin-walled vessel, and a footed bowl were included as grave goods.

Within the second phase of the research, 65 buried objects of the same date as those in the area explored in the first phase have been examined and identified so far. Nineteen objects can be described as typical storage pits. In addition, three clay pits and a further thirty-six settlement pit features were investigated in the area. One elongated object filled with a layer of daub and a layer of ash fill and one massive weaving weight. Similar objects, dating to the Lusitanian Urnfield culture, were also identified during the older excavations on the parcel south adjacent to the survey area. Human remains were found in four storage pits. In particular, two individuals of younger age were deposited in object 538. One was lying in the standard crouched position on his right side, facing NW. The other individual was in a semi-sitting position leaning against the pit wall with his legs slightly bent and his arms folded across his chest. There were also the remains of a rodent (probably a hare) in the pit. Two adults were examined in object 545. The first in a crouched position on the right side, facing W. The second individual had been thrown into the pit and was lying partly on its stomach with its arms and legs splayed in the centre of the pit, partly over the first individual. Object 546 contained the skeletal remains of one individual placed in a crouched position on his right side, facing NE. The individual's right arm was placed with the hand over his face. The last skeletal remains so far were discovered in object 527. These were the remains of a small child, from which only the skull was recovered, the bones of the rest of the body were completely digested. The child was lying on a layer of burnt daub. On the basis of a fragment of a bowl with a flat ear found at the bottom of the pit, we can date the remains of the child to the Lusatian culture.