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Hill Fort in Drahovice 

The locality is freely accessible. You can reach the site above the river either from the valley of the Ohře River where on the right side of the road from Karlovy Vary to Dubina approximately 500 metres from the road sign marking the end of town in a left bend behind Červená kyselka you can find a would-be path that climbs from the water course up the left slope of the hill, or you can walk up a path from the former Šárka Pension by the road from Karlovy Vary to Prague, which continues to the left across a meadow and further on through the woods above the river and up to the site.

In 1989, a new hill fort was discovered in the cadastral territory of Drahovice above the right bank of the Ohře River near Soví skály (Owl Rocks) in addition to the well-known Late Bronze Age hill forts in Radošov and Velichov.
On-site investigative archaeological research was carried out by the Karlovy Vary Museum (Jiří Klsák) with the discoverer of the site, Jaroslav Bašta, in the same year. The discovery of the fortified settlement has significantly enriched our knowledge in relation to the prehistory of the district of Karlovy Vary.
As luck would have it, the selected archaeological probes revealed the most essential parts of the fortified settlement. It was therefore possible to reconstruct the original layout and the fate of the valuable site.
A log house partially sunken into the slope stood in the central part of the settlement. It was quite large for a primeval structure (600 x 250 centimetres). Its surroundings were terraced. As evidenced by the research of the fortification system, the rampart enclosing the whole settlement was built using traditional primeval methods, i.e. from wood, stone, and soil. From the very beginning of the research, the unearthed stones with traces of heat cracks and layers of red sand formed by disintegrated granite suggested that the hill fort was destroyed by a catastrophic fire, possibly resulting from a war. The conclusion brought hope that the finds could be more abundant than in the case of a settlement voluntarily abandoned by its inhabitants. The findings largely comprised pottery, partially subject to secondary burning caused by the fire. The large variety of ceramic products revealed many interesting facts about the occupations of the inhabitants of the settlement. Many colanders used for milk processing were found. Some of the large earthen containers that were discovered served for storing grain. Moreover, the many fragments of stone crushers found on the site verify that, apart from breeding livestock, grain growing and processing was the main source of the livelihood of the inhabitants. A bronze fragment chipped from a riser of a two-piece casting mould of a sickle, which was discovered in the central dwelling structure, indicates metal founding.

A quite remarkable finding was an Eneolithic stone hammer axe unearthed in the foundation groove of the log house. With a view to the fact that the hammer axe was non-functional (its clutch opening was chipped) and that it did not bear any traces of secondary use, its presence may be thus explained as superstitious (i.e. thunder hammers, well known from ethnographic materials). Another quite astonishing finding was the discovery of an item made of organic material; such items are usually not preserved for centuries or even millennia.
When digging through the rampart, a small bracelet carefully sewn from birch bark was found under a layer of fine clay. The size of the bracelet suggests that it had belonged to a child or a small woman. A conclusion can be made based on the circumstances that it probably slipped off the owner's hand while carrying or emptying baskets with soil during the building of the fortification. Paradoxically, the destructive fire contributed to its preservation due to creating a suitable environment for the preservation of organic material.

The basic question was the reason for building the settlement and its function. The small size of the settlement is somewhat confusing as the hill forts so far known dating back to the same period are all much larger. At the time of its foundation (1000 B.C.), indications appeared of ethnic migration and social conflicts arising from, among other things, the worsening climate. One of the elements of these changes is the existence of hill forts. Considering the unambiguously strategic position of the settlement in Drahovice above the bending river, its task was obviously to guard the major trading trails leading along the Ohře River. Therefore, a small group of people was sufficient to fulfil this task given the favourable terrain conditions. Findings from neighbouring areas suggest, however, that an unfortified settlement was situated in its vicinity, which supplied the hill fort. Above all, because distinct evidence of social differentiation in the Late Bronze Age exists, the possibility that the hill fort served as the residence of an individual with a higher social status and his family and that its function was similar to later castles cannot be ruled out.