CZECH REPUBLIC - Researchers at the Czech Republic's University of Pardubice have discovered a 7,000-year-old well in Eastern Europe. They believe it is the oldest wooden structure remaining on Earth.
 
After analyzing the wood's tree rings, researchers think the square well - which was built with oak from felled trunks - was made by farmers in 5256 B.C. 
 
"It is interesting that the corner posts were made of previously felled trunks, namely from the trunk which had been cut in the autumn or winter 5259 B.C. or the winter of early 5258 B.C.," said Michal Rybníček of the Department of Wood Science at Mendel University in a release.
 
Researchers say it is admirable that the first farmers, who only had tools made of stone, bone, horn, or wood, were able to process the surface of felled trunks with utmost precision.
 

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"This is evidenced by the shape of the individual constructional components and the traces of tools on the surface of the wood. It is also worth mentioning that the individual trunks used to make the constructional parts of the well had to reach a minimum diameter of about 60 cm," added Rybníček.

Thankfully, the well was submerged in water.
 
"The well was only preserved because it had been underwater for centuries. Now we cannot let it dry out, or the well would be destroyed," said Karol Bayer of the University of Pardubice's Department of Restoration.
 
Researchers are developing a process to dry the wood and preserve it without deformation using sugar to reinforce the wood's cellular structure. They also wrote that hoisting the well was incredibly challenging.
 
"This operation took place in cooperation with Samson Praha and was a technically and logistically demanding task the kind of which was the first ever in the Czech Republic. It was followed by a meticulous preparation of the individual layers and disassembly of the wooden structure. More than a month of work on the archaeological site has brought unique findings," said research leader, Radko Sedlacek of the Olomouc Archaeological Centre.
 
 

 

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