Tachovien – new prehistoric discovery locality by the town Tachov in the west of the Czech Republic

   In the small area of gentle slope near peripheral part of the town Tachov almost 2000 prehistoric stone tools were withdrawn by the surface collection during the years 2012-2015.
   There are predominantly stone lacerate tools, stone scrapers and stone cutters. The discovery of the special stone implements of different shapes and sizes is also numerous. Blunt stone crushers prevail, but there are also sharp forming stone shoppers and stone tools for shedding the bark of trees. So we have a deal with highly specific stone tools.
   Forming of the initial stone materials is not based on the core of the minerals, but the technology of nips was used. However the shaping is very rough and unsightly, although it meets the ergonomic requirements for the ideal hold of its prehistoric user. The great variability in size of the tools is also very obvious.
   The majority of the stone tools is middle-sized, but there is a great number of tools which are extremely big or on the other hand the tools which are miniature.
Only one half of the tools is shaped for the right hand. One third of the inventory served solely to left-handed people. More flawlessly shaped tools were intended for grasp with the left as well as the right hand. The most commonly used materials for the production of the stone tools were various kinds of silica minerals. Local quartz of hydrothermal origin was used to make three quarters out of the total number of the tools in the Tachovian collection evaluated so far.
   It was quartz which was used predominantly to make stone lacerate tools and stone scrapers. The stone cutters were made by knipping of the local mineral amphibolit. One of the favourite minerals for making the stone implements was apart from silicits also quartzrock.
   There are also imported minerals in the collection such as versatile flint extremely tough flintrock and pegmatite. Very unique are also tools made from breccia and eucarite.
   There are about 15 different kinds of minerals specified by the experienced geologist which were used to make the stone tools found in Tachov discovery locality.
According to the level of knapping and in some cases even percussion reduction, the way of retouching of the working surface of stone implement parts as well as the imperfect look of the prehistory products we can rank these artefacts to early young paleolithic period most likely the Aurignacian era or the late Gravettian era.
   This temporary estimation must be verified by further research. Usefulness and flawlessness of the ergonomics of the tools is also noteworthy. Aesthetics of the visual aspect of the prehistoric stone tools was not considered to be prime for their originators. Thier functionality was important. The level of roughwork of the handhold is considerably different, too. Also the wearing of the working part of the tools differs. And thus the tools could have been made and used for work at this location for a relatively long period of time. Presumably within the period of many centuries even thousands of years.
But one fact is for sure. The tools discovered in this location were used by prehistoric inhabitants to process plant and animal products.
   Considering the ammount of the prehistory products found in this area and their specific features which can not be compared with any other surrounding paleolithic areas, the name Tachovien was chosen to designate this location. The name chosen for the newly discovered prehistoric culture located by the banks of the river Mže evokes situating the discovery locality to the immediate neighbourhood of town Tachov.
   The area by the banks of the river Mže used to be inhabited by quite numerous prehistoric community of hunters as well as people who processed the caught animals. In the prehistoric processing center where animals were transported by the river Mže they were able to flay and carve them professionally and further on they could also work them perfectly in a very high professional level. Not only could they tan the skin by tannedthrough but perhaps maybe the prehistoric people also made clothes out of the processed material.
   The stone implement for decoration use found in the location was used for the printing of the surface of clothes by stamping and it is the evidence of the first clothing design.
   The stone crushers show marks of work with tough matrials not only of bone crushing but also of plant substances. It was predominantly the bark of the trees used to gain tan waste. If the further research proved that the prehistoric people were truly familar with the technology of fur processing by the method of tanning it would mean the essential progress in our knowledge about the cultural and technological development of the prehistoric inhabitants of the west Czech basin area.
   It is not yet unequivocally possible to state taking into account the discoveries obtained so far, whether there were neandertal people, or yet they were modern cromagnon type of people who lived and worked in the area by the banks of the river Mže next to the present day town Tachov in the west of the Czech republic twenty or thirty thousand years ago.
   However, the already found stone tools unambiguously give evidence about the extraordinary abilities which helped people in that period to survive in rough natural conditions of the Palaeolithic period.

Author: MVDr. Pavel Kroupa
Český les, 2015.