This Czech Well May Be the World’s Oldest Wooden Structure
Katherine J. Wu/Smithsonianmag.com
A 7,200-year-old oak-lined water well recently unearthed in eastern Europe may be the world’s oldest known wooden structure—and to keep it from deteriorating further, archaeologists are now scrambling to preserve the vessel in a solution of sugar.
Discovered by construction workers on a strip of Czech motorway in 2018, the oak-based well—newly described in the Journal of Archaeological Science—measures about four and a half feet deep and boasts a square base. Though the structure’s complete history has yet to be unraveled, the team behind the find suspects the well stayed intact because it spent several centuries underwater.
“When blessed by such conditions—wetness and lack of oxygen—oak almost gets fossilized,” study co-author Jaroslav Peška tells Radio Prague International’s Tom McEnchroe. “It becomes very hard and durable.”
To pinpoint the well’s origins, a team led by Michal Rybníček analyzed the annual rings naturally found in tree trunks and their products. In conjunction with the radiocarbon dating of some nearby charcoal fragments, this method revealed that the well was likely constructed from oak trees cut down around 5255 B.C.
Carol graduated from Riverside White Cross School of Nursing in Columbus, Ohio and received her diploma as a registered nurse. She attended Bowling Green State University where she received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History and Literature. She attended the University of Toledo, College of Nursing, and received a Master’s of Nursing Science Degree as an Educator.
She has traveled extensively, is a photographer, and writes on medical issues. Carol has three children RJ, Katherine, and Stephen – one daughter-in-law; Katie – two granddaughters; Isabella Marianna and Zoe Olivia – and one grandson, Alexander Paul. She also shares her life with her husband Gordon Duff, many cats, and two rescues.