Tomb of Germanic prince might return to the Tatras in 2020

Archaeologists and scientists from Slovakia and abroad have been conducting research on the tomb from Matejovce for 15 years.

(Source: TASR)

A tomb of a Germanic prince dating back to between the 4th and 5th centuries discovered in the Poprad borough of Matejovce could return to Poprad in 2020.

It should be placed in the reconstructed parts of Podtatranské Museum in Poprad.

Karol Pieta of the Archaeological Institute of Slovak Academy of Sciences in Nitra said that the findings are ready, and currently they are waiting for results of the architectonic competition on a project of its installation.

“It is important not to hurry when installing such a precious finding,” he said, as quoted by the SITA newswire. He added that this discovery is not of local importance and the tomb should become one of the most attractive places of cultural tourism in Slovakia.

Scientists from abroad

Archaeologists and scientists from Slovakia, Germany and Denmark have been conducting research on the wooden tomb found at a depth of 5 metres.

Pieta stressed that a finding of this importance requires the best care and the most focused work possible.

“It is even more important when the findings have an organic component,” he said, as quoted by SITA.

In this case, it is a wooden tomb and 1600-year-old wood that requires special methods of conservation.

New technologies developed

The whole inner chamber and components of the tomb are located in the Archaeological Institute of SAS. The outside chamber, the timbering that covered the log house, or the so-called house of the death, is still located in specialised labs in Germany. It will stay there for another two years because the process of drying these old woods requires more time than originally expected, Pieta explained.

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The team developed new technologies to dry and preserve woods specifically for the tomb.

“The outdoor chamber has been dried up with an absolutely new method, specially developed for this tomb,” he said, as quoted by SITA.

Pieta added that archaeologists in Slovakia have the most precious parts, the inner chamber – sarcophagus, furniture and all other objects that were kept in the tomb. A team of experts are testing the resistance of the wood, determining whether it will be possible to build up the tomb without support construction. Pieta said that it seems no deformation was made during the preservation so it is possible to rebuild the construction.

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