Cite this as: Tomášek, M. and Mařík, J. 2023 Archaeology and the Natural Environment in the Czech Republic. Recognition, documentation and protection in a time of climate change, Internet Archaeology 62. https://doi.org/10.11141/ia.62.6
A considerable part of the Czech Republic has been forested with spruce monocultures, which are nowadays at risk of disastrous bark beetle infestation and consequently the destruction of forest stands. Such a development forces us to seek common grounds for landscape conservation and more consistent communication in setting forest management rules. Nevertheless, the trend of rapid deforestation implies a considerable threat to the hitherto unknown but also known archaeological heritage resource. Joint advocacy of the values associated with archaeological sites incorporated within the processes of landscape change assessment constitutes a distinct task aimed at ensuring that such an essential part of the landscape's memory becomes a publicly accepted value.
Corresponding author: Martin Tomášek
National Heritage Institute, Czech Republic
Figure 1: Landscape conservation zones and cultural monuments of an archaeological nature in the territory of the Czech Republic (Image credit: NHI, J. Ambrožová)
Figure 2: Small- and large-scale (natural and landscape) protected areas in the Czech Republic (Source: AOPK ČR)
Figure 3: The intensity of bark beetle infestation in Czech forests (open sources). 1. Údraž (Písek district), 2. Mitrov (Žďár nad Sázavou district), 3. Komárovice (Třebíč district), 4. Petrovice (Bruntál district), 5. Utín (Havlíčkův Brod district)
Figure 4: Údraž (Písek district). The state of preservation of the barrow site prior to its damage by harvesting bark beetle-infested timber (NHI, photo by J. Havlice, 2021)
Figure 5: Údraž (Písek district). The visible outline of a completely destroyed barrow, which disappeared in 2020/2021 due to forest management activities related to the bark beetle infestation (NHI, photo by J. Havlice, 2021)
Figure 6: Mitrov castle (Žďár nad Sázavou district). The picture illustrates the onset of timber harvesting, already damaging the relics of the walls (NHI, photo by P. Macků 2018)
Figure 7: Komárovice (Třebíč district). Forest Obora preserves traces of ore mining, locations Ko-1 to Ko-4. The arrow indicates the Ko-1 shaft. Ko-4: ore treatment area with a water supply and a defunct water reservoir. Ša-1-3: sites where spurs and pottery were found during prospecting in 2019 (J. Mazáčková, MUNI Brno, 2020)
Figure 8: Komárovice (Třebíč district). Ko-1 site, the shaft is marked with an arrow. A part of the site destroyed by logging adjoins it (NHI, photo by P. Macků 2018)
Figure 9: Valštejn (Jeseníky), Velký lán. Terraces with fields adjusted along the contour line (NHI, photo by T. Nitra, A. Halamíčková)
Figure 10: Petrovice - Devil's Mountain (Jeseníky). Petrovice, a clearance cairn completely eroded by driving along it (Photo by T. Nitra, A. Halamíčková)
Figure 11: Utín (Havlíčkův Brod district). Medieval mining area after deforestation (IAP, J. Unger 2020)
Figure 12: Utín (Havlíčkův Brod district). Medieval mining area after replanting of new trees (IAP, J. Mařík 2021)
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