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Bojna hill fort – Slovakia

In autumn 2019, Heidi Carine Brimi from Hands on History visited Bojna hill fort on invitation from the mayor of Bojna municipality, Mr. Jozef Stankovsky.

The purpose of the trip was to find out how Hands on History could contribute to the municipality’s planned EEA project to establish a new museum in connection with the old hill fort. Hands on History’s role in the project is to prepare dissemination plans for visitors to the museum and the hill fort itself. Surveys were made, meetings were held and the partnership established. The application for EEA and Norway Grants was submitted in autumn 2019 with assistance from Rra-Nitra. Answers to the application are expected in spring 2020.

Hands on History received travel support from the EEA and Norway Grants.

About the hillfort

Text from Wikipedia:

Bojná is known for an archeological complex which belongs to one of largest Great Moravian agglomeration in Slovakia. The system of Slavic hill forts lies on the southeast foot of Považský Inovec on the strategic point between Váh and Nitra river basins. The pass near Bojná was guarded by hill forts Bojná I (Valy), Bojná II (Hradisko), Bojná III (Žihľavník) and the location Bojná IV (Nové Valy). The locality is close to other pre-Great Moravian and Great Moravian sites like Pobedim, Ducové or Nitrianska Blatnica.

The hill fort Bojná I was protected by multiple walls as high as 6 meters with ditches and gates. In the 9th century, the hill fort was intensely populated. Several craft workshops (mostly smithies) and thousands of artifacts were unearthed on the place. Along with artisanal and agricultural tools, a large amount of weapons including typical battle axes, large knives, fragments of swords and seaxes. The presence of elite warriors can be documented by spurs, chain armors, gold-plated parts of military equipment, gold-coated and silver-coated adornments and other luxury objects. The religious articles belong to the oldest Christian articles in Slovakia. The most important findings are a bronze bell of Canino type, fragments of other three bells and six gold-coated plaquettes with angels and Christ dated to 780-820, dozen years before the mission of Saints Cyril and Methodius. Two short inscriptions in Latin alphabet are the oldest evidence of writing in the Slovak history.

A large amount of weapon can be related to the violent destruction of the hill fort, probably by the old Hungarian units. According to radiocarbon data and other dating methods, the hill fort could be used less intense in the 10th century, later settlement is not documented. The artifacts are displayed in Ponitrianske múzeum of Nitra. A local museum has opened in August 2007. Valy locality is currently being researched by an international archaeologist team.

About EEA and Norway Grants

The EEA and Norway Grants represent the contribution of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway towards a green, competitive and inclusive Europe.

There are two overall objectives: reduction of economic and social disparities in Europe, and to strengthen bilateral relations between the donor countries and 15 EU countries in Central and Southern Europe and the Baltics. The three donor countries cooperate closely with the EU through the Agreement on the European Economic Area (EEA). The donors have provided €3.3 billion through consecutive grant schemes between 1994 and 2014.

For the period 2014-2021, the EEA and Norway Grants amount to €2.8 billion.

The priorities for this period are:
#1 Innovation, Research, Education, Competitiveness and Decent Work
#2 Social Inclusion, Youth Employment and Poverty Reduction
#3 Environment, Energy, Climate Change and Low Carbon Economy
#4 Culture, Civil Society, Good Governance and Fundamental Rights
#5 Justice and Home Affairs