Corduroy Trackway near Petřvaldík

This site familiarises visitors with a unique discovery that is peerless in European archaeology – the torso of a medieval 'corduroy trackway' (as this kind of ancient transportation infrastructure is known) embedded in the river plain of the Oder (Odra) River.

In 1997, floods revealed a segment of a row of mighty logs laid parallel to one another, which had been buried beneath the Oder riverbank under two meters of soil. Local conservationists were intrigued, and they put their heads together with scientists from Mendel University in Brno and archaeologists from the National Heritage Institute to find out more.

The results of the dendrological analysis surprised everyone: for the most part, the submerged logs were the trunks of fir trees that had grown between the 11th and 12th century. These tree trunks, along with a large quantity of fir cone fragments and the seeds of other woody plants, survived in this particular spot thanks to their sudden submersion in mud and the high level of groundwater, which preserved them in excellent condition. The structural elements, to the extent that they could be identified, showed that the researchers were dealing with an authentic medieval corduroy trackway – that is to say, a kind of road or footpath through bogs and marshlands made of logs laid perpendicular to the direction of travel.

One mystery remains: Why did the course of the trackway need to be kept near Petřvaldík, even at the price of necessitating expensive repairs, and was not simply rerouted when the original track became submerged (as was customary at the time)? The answers become clear when one studies the info panel installed on site in 2018 by the Studénka chapter of the ČSOP, thanks to the NET4GAS Closer to Nature programme.

place:Petřvaldík, District of Nový Jičín, Region of Moravia-Silesia
Way there:In the municipality of Petřvaldík (Petřvald), walk approx. 250 m to the west from the municipal transport bus stop Petřvald, Petřvaldík, Garáže ČSAD, in the direction of the footbridge; GPS: 49.7231392N, 18.1308036E
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