Title of publication: Index of Time
Name of artist: Tereza Zelenkova and Peter Watkins
Additional contributor/s: Stories by Oliver Shamlou
Design: Tereza Zelenkova and Peter Watkins
Editor: Tereza Zelenkova and Peter Watkins
Publication date: 2012
Place of publication: London
Edition size: 100
Format: Gatefold softcover
Number of pages:32
Type of printing: digital, screen printed cover, and riso booklet.
Number of pictures: 26
Description of book: Býčí skála Cave is situated in the central part of the Moravian Karst in the Josefovské
Valley, between the towns of Adamov and Křtiny. Its current known length is over 13km, the
second-longest cave system in the Czech Republic.
Although the entrance to the cave has always been known, it was the explorer and
archaeologist Jindřich Wankel who in 1872 discovered traces of a Paleolithic settlement
thought to originate from between 100,000 to 10,000 BC. Wankel found the skeletons of one
man and forty young women at the site. Some of the women had been beheaded, some were
missing legs or hands. On a small, unassuming ‘altar’, Wankel claimed that he found a single
skull and a pair of skeletal hands. The remains, he said, were bejewelled with a crown and
rings. It was Wankel’s romantic interpretation, then, that he’d chanced upon the grave of a
nobleman accompanied by forty ritually sacrificed women.
Among the many artefacts found dating back to the Bronze Age (700–450 BC), perhaps the
most notable is the statuette of a small bronze bull—from which the cave derives its name
(Býčí skála means ‘bull rock’)—and various other tools decorated with circular symbols
thought to be of religious significance. The cave also contains a small Neolithic picture,
which was carbon dated back 5,200 years.
Nowadays, the cave is closed to the public, but a group of part-time speleologists and general
enthusiasts explore it at leisure with a kind of fierce devotion. Their progress is slow, and the
work dangerous, but their motivation lies in the adventure of possibility—to be the first to
uncover the uncharted territories of prehistory.