Article: “The floor: a voice of human lifeways—a geo-ethnographical study of historical and recent floors at Dolní Němčí Mill, Czech Republic” (2020)

Lisá L., Kočár P., Bajer A. et al. (2020), The floor: a voice of human lifeways—a geo-ethnographical study of historical and recent floors at Dolní Němčí Mill, Czech Republic. Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences, vol. 12, Article number: 115.

Abstract

Is there a story that floor layers tell us about human history? A set of former floors were investigated using a combination of micromorphology, ethnography and macroremain analyses at a former mill in Dolní Němčí in the eastern part of the Czech Republic. The floor layers had been accumulating since the end of the eighteenth century. A recently made earth floor, maintained for nearly 20 years, four times per year, in accordance with local knowledge passed down from mothers to daughters, formed the topmost layer. The main aim of the paper is: (1) to examine and contrast morphological characteristics of floors against known practices, which will be a useful reference for archaeological examples; (2) to compare the observations/findings to established knowledge of processes of floor formation. The structure of former floor layers preserved below the recent floor provided an indication of how floor care practices changed over the centuries, how these differed in different parts of the house and possible accumulation rate of the floor layer. This research illustrates that the micromorphological study of recent floors combined with ethnographic knowledge and macroremain analyses is a valuable methodological approach for the interpretation of archaeological case studies.


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