Preserving prehistoric times in a little school museum
In Panorama today, we turn the hands of time back to the days of the mammoth hunters some 25,000 years ago. The country's biggest prehistoric burial grounds are found in Moravia - at Pavlov, Dolni Vestonice and Predmosti - and are among the most important archaeological sites in Europe.
"We should realise that the culture of the civilization of that time was unique - it is of unexpected quality. Valuable artefacts came out of the highly organised way of life and society that was characterised by the fact that it was in contact with the outside world. The community lived at the crossroads of trade routes and hunting paths. We were one of the most dynamic and sophisticated civilisations in Europe, not to mention the world at the time."
But in the basement of the Jan Amos Komensky School in Predmosti, a little prehistoric museum preserves the time when herds of mammoths passed through the region. I passed by the school during the winter holidays, where director Vladimir Peska was kind enough to give me a tour of the museum...
In prehistoric times, many animals migrated through today's Moravia and it has been scientifically proven that people and mammoths lived together, and that the mammoths served as sources of food:
"We do not know in what way the mammoths were hunted down. Originally, we thought that hunters dug a pit and waited for the mammoths to fall in it before they hit them repeatedly until they died. Today scientists think that the prehistoric hunters had a different strategy. The mammoths migrated along this path and the weakest were lured away from the herd and then beaten to death. But one cannot be a hundred percent sure that this theory is correct either. But we do know that the mammoth was the basic source of food at the time, and its parts were used as clothing and to build shelters."
The greatest excavations in the Predmosti area were undertaken in the 1920s and 1930s.
The grave was unearthed by archaeologist Karel Jaroslav Maska in 1894. Scientists discovered that the bodies were unique examples of human development; somewhere between Homo Neanderthalis and Homo Sapiens. The name given to them therefore, was Homo Predmostensis.