Laying preserved beneath a mantle of chalky sediment , subsequently deposited here by millennia of Ice Age winds, are the ground plans of settlements and hearths, the remnants of workshops, evidence for the manufacture of tools and other items of the Paleolithic household, as well as bone waste from hunted and consumed animals (middens of mammoth bones and the remains of other animals). Some of the site’s most precious finds are the skeletons of the people themselves, and evidence of technologies which according to current knowledge were used here by people for the first time ever, and, last but not least, the artistic artifacts that demonstrate the inhabitants’ aesthetic sensibilities.
The archaeological sites on the slopes of the limestone ridge of the Palava (Pavlov Hills) represent one of Europe’s most important settlement areas, created by modern Homo sapiens on the continent 30,000 years ago.
That is Archeopark Pavlov. Museum was open in 2016 and its main aim is to present the Gravettian culture of the Upper Paleolithic which begun before more than 30,000 years BC.
Culture of “mammoth hunters“ was really settled around Palava and local archeological findings are one of the most important worldwide.
The complexity of finds gives some idea as to the broad range of behavior, and they enable us to investigate not only activities, technology and relationships to the natural environment, but also the implied social, symbolic and ritual structures that somewhere lay behind such activities.
The long-term excavation and research of the hunting sites below the Palava show that, during the Gravettian period, Moravia lit up the world of its day as a civilizational and cultural center. This strategically critical territory, connecting the east and the west of the continent, gained primacy across a whole series of technologies, such as pottery, weaving textiles or grinding stones. Also documented has been the grinding of vegetation for food. All these features have until now been considered foundations for the crossover to agrarian societies that occurred 10,000 years later.
As a comprehensive system, the Moravian Gravettian represents one of the most successful adaptation models in pre-agrarian human history. The territory of Moravia has another outstanding claim – by coincidence, our Gravettian sites have provided anthropologists with the largest and demonstrably oldest available collection of bone remnants of modern humans in the world.
Archeopark Pavlov is open to public most of the year and offers guided tours and a lot of extra culture programs and activities for children.
For more information about the South Moravian region, from which this museum comes, click here and here.