Zeitgeist archaeology: Conflict, identity and ideology at Prague Castle, 1918-2018

Nicholas J. Saunders*, Jan Frolík, Volker Heyd

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The discovery of a tenth-century AD high-status burial at Prague Castle in 1928 led to multiple identifications in the context of two world wars and the Cold War. Recognised variously as both a Viking and Slavonic warrior according to Nazi and Soviet ideologies, interpretation of the interred individual and associated material culture were also entangled with the story of the burial's excavator, the remains and commemorative monuments of two Czech Unknown Soldiers and the creation of the Czechoslovak state. This epic narrative reflects the circumstances of Czechoslovakia and Central Europe across the twentieth century.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1009-1025
Number of pages17
Issue number370
Early online date1 Aug 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Aug 2019


  • identity
  • ideology
  • Nazi
  • Prague
  • Slavic
  • Viking


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