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Slovakia Travel Guide
Slovakia History : Before the 5th Century


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Before the 5th Century - History of Slovakia

Radiocarbon dating puts the oldest surviving archaeological artifacts from Slovakia - found near Nové Mesto nad Váhom - at 270,000 BCE, in the Early Paleolithic era. These ancient tools, made by the Clactonian technique, bear witness to the ancient habitation of Slovakia. Other stone tools from the Middle Paleolithic era (200,000 - 80,000 BCE) come from the Prévôt cave near Bojnice and from other nearby sites. The most important discovery from that era is a Neanderthal cranium, discovered near Gánovce, a village in northern Slovakia. Archaeologists have found prehistoric Homo sapiens skeletons in the region, as well as numerous objects and vestiges of the Gravettian culture, principally in the river valleys of Nitra, Hron, Ipeľ, Váh and as far as the city of Žilina, and near the foot of the Vihorlat, Inovec, and Tribeč mountains, as well as in the Myjava Mountains. The most well-known finds include the oldest female statue made of mammoth-bone (22 800 BCE), the famous Venus of Moravany.

The statue was found in the 1940s in Moravany nad Váhom near Piešťany. Numerous necklaces made of shells from Cypraca thermophile gastropods of the Tertiary period have come from the sites of Zákovská, Podkovice, Hubina, and Radošinare. These findings provide the most ancient evidence of commercial exchanges carried out between the Mediterranean and Central Europe. From around 500 BC, the territory of modern-day Slovakia was settled by Celts, who built powerful oppida on the sites of modern-day Bratislava and Havránok. Biatecs, silver coins with the names of Celtic Kings, represent the first known use of writing in Slovakia. From 2 AD, the expanding Roman Empire established and maintained a series of outposts around and just north of the Danube, the largest of which were known as Carnuntum (whose remains are on the main road halfway between Vienna and Bratislava) and Brigetio. Near the northernmost line of the Roman hinterlands, the Limes Romanus, there existed the winter camp of Laugaricio where the Auxiliary of Legion II fought and prevailed in a decisive battle over the Germanic Quadi tribe in 179 AD during the Marcomannic Wars. The Kingdom of Vannius, a barbarian kingdom founded by the Germanic Suebian tribes of Quadi and Marcomanni, as well as several small Germanic and Celtic tribes, including the Osi and Cotini, existed in Western and Central Slovakia from 8–6 BC to 179 AD.

The Bronze Age in Slovakia went through three stages of development, stretching from 2000 to 800 BCE. Major cultural, economic, and political development can be attributed to the significant growth in production of copper, especially in central Slovakia and north-west Slovakia. Copper became a stable source of prosperity for the local population. After the disappearance of the Čakany and Velatice cultures, the Lusatian people expanded building of strong and complex fortifications, with the large permanent buildings and administrative centers. Excavations of Lusatian hill-forts document the substantial development of trade and agriculture at that period. The richness and the diversity of tombs increased considerably. The inhabitants of the area manufactured arms, shields, jewelry, dishes, and statues. The arrival of tribes from Thrace disrupted the people of the Calenderberg culture, who lived in the hamlets located on the plain , and also in the hill forts located on the summits. The local power of the "Princes" of the Hallstatt culture disappeared in Slovakia during the last period of the Iron Age after strife between the Scytho-Thracian people and the Celtic tribes, who advanced from the south towards the north, following the Slovak rivers.

Source: Wikipedia Encyclopedia










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