Archaeologists are examining the remnants of an old forced labour camp from the Communist regime. 

Since January, members of the Institute of Archaeology of the Academy of Sciences in Prague have been investigating the site since it was discovered during the construction of a new water reservoir.

Jan Hasil of the Institute described some of the main components of the site to Czech Radio Plus.

“This area is laid out to show the remnants of one of the residential houses within the labor camp. Almost nothing has survived. Like with most of these types of facilities, it was destroyed by the same regime that built it. They usually took great care in erasing the traces of these facilities.”

Many of these sites exist throughout the country but were destroyed in the final hours of the Communist reign. Even when they were up and running, sometimes the outside world had no idea they were there.

“Here we can see a house, with dimensions of 10 x 18 metres, and accommodated 40 people. We can see it was taken down by a bulldozer, all the way down to its foundation. On the individual sections, we can dark remnants of tar, basically a very primitive insulation technique, inserted in between the foundation and the wooden structure.”

“There are also remnants of different utilities like plumbing, water supply, and sanitary areas that were built below the foundation and therefore were preserved after demolition.”

Another archaeologist explains how the team is gathering all the remnants for further processing and research. 

“This is where the basic treatment and classification of the discovered items are taking place. We divide it up into things like building ceramics, you can see various tiles, roofing, porcelain. Then here we have glass, for example packaging, sheet metal. These materials get recorded in a computer, put in their own bags and then sent to specialists for closer examination.” 

Excavation of the site should last until mid-April, and the researchers expect to find many more important items.

Alex Richardson

Alex Richardson

Originally from Vancouver, Canada, Alex is a writer and trader living in Prague. He likes economics, anthropology, and cactuses.
Alex Richardson