Medieval mining settlement Utín, Vysočina Region (CZ)

After some surface surveys on a medieval mining site in the 1990s by the local museum, the Masaryk University of Brno conducted between 2013 and 2016 geophysical measurements and small test excavations resulting in the existence of a large mining settlement of the 13th and 14th century. The Extraction of poly-metallic ores and the production of silver and other non-ferrous metals (copper, lead) could be documented. The local name of the site (Poperek) could be traced back to the German word “Buchberg” which is named in a mining document from 1258 AD. The importance of the site is that beside the miners' houses special workshops like an ore mill, a stamping mill or furnaces as well as a hospice and a filial chapel were archaeological discovered or historically identified.

LiDAR scan of area with visible mining relicts and geophysical survey results of mining settlements (picture: P. Hrubý, Masaryk University of Brno) )


Urban sprawl, agricultural purposes as well as infrastructure and construction activities are increasingly endangering the pilot site. A serious threat to the pilot site may also caused by forestry, e.g. by harvesting operations or careless forest development, that at various stages of the forest cycle can adversely impact on both under and on ground archaeological ground monuments. Identifying the site and its full extend will foster future protection by e.g. creating protective exclusion zones.

Sinkhole of mining shaft (photo: P. Hrubý, Masaryk University of Brno)


Thanks to the Masaryk University extensive results from previous survey and research of the pilot site are already available. The next step there will be an extension of LiDAR and geomagnetic prospection to detect boundaries of the mining settlement as well as detailed documentation of all mining relics. The planned result is a 3D reconstruction of the whole area. Regarding the settlement photogrammetric data of existed archaeological features and objects will be processed to 3D models. To improve a realistic visualisation as much as possible, some structures like furnaces will be even physically rebuild and later on 3D scanned. In the end a complete medieval mining area could be virtually explored via a mobile application. As on all other pilot sites, local outdoor information points will be set up. 


Within the project a close cooperation with urban planning authorities as well as the regional authority of Vysočina Region will be established. It is foreseen that also local actors like representatives of forest industry, whose activities may endanger the pilot site, will also be included into the implementation phase.