Paleolithic stone with engraving of mammoth and horse discovered in Ostrava

Photo: Natálie Flajžíková, Czech Radio

Archaeologists from the Moravian Museum in Brno have announced a unique discovery. During a survey near the city of Ostrava they discovered a stone with an engraving of a mammoth and a horse, which dates back about 15,000 years ago. According to experts, the artefact has immeasurable historical value.

The engraved black stone, which measures roughly five by seven centimetres, was discovered at the archaeological site Holý vrch near the village Hošťálkovice on the outskirts of the Moravian-Silesian capital of Ostrava. It depicts a mammoth and a horse on a river mound.

Zdeňka Nerudová, curator of the Centre for Cultural Anthropology at the Moravian Museum, says the stone was most likely brought to the site by prehistoric reindeer and horse hunters, who found it in the gravel of the Odra or Opava Rivers.

“Stone is a fairly durable material that can survive almost anything. At the same time, it is relatively soft, so it was possible to carve into it with another stone, most likely a flint stone, thanks to which the engraving survived until the present day.”

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Authors: Ruth Fraňková, Tomáš Pancíř