About the Laboratory

Laboratory of Archaeobotany and Palaeoecology (LAPE) is specialized research body of the university founded in September 2002 at the Faculty of Science, University of South Bohemia as part of the Department of Botany. Since 2014 LAPE is a separate department of Faculty of Science.

Research activity of laboratory members is targeted at the area of bioarchaeology and palaeoecology, namely archaeobotany, archaeozoology, but also other specializations dealing with interaction between humans and environment in history. Bachelor, magister and doctor theses namely in botany, zoology and environmental archaeology are developed within the laboratory. In the case of environmental archaeology, laboratory closely collaborates with the Institute of Archaeology, Faculty of Philosophy. LAPE comprises research in the Czech Republic as well as abroad. LAPE also offers services for other research bodies. Besides consultancy concerning natural sciences in archaeology LAPE provides analytical work in several areas of bioarchaeology. LAPE co-edits the international journal Interdisciplinaria Archaeologica, Natural Sciences in Archaeology (IANSA).

Head of LAPE

Jaromír Beneš, Assoc. Prof. Dr.

Archaeologist and archaeobotanist. His area of research is the interaction between humans and the environment in the Holocene, archaeology of the Neolithic period and archaeobotany. In 1983–1992 he leaded large scale rescue excavation in NW Bohemia, including the Neolithic site of Hrdlovka with large amount of houses. In 1990-1995 was co-director of Ancient landscape reconstruction in Bohemia project with Sheffield University. Project has been supported by British Academy. In 1995–2000 he was member of research team of University of South Bohemia for study the Holocene history of Šumava Mts. landscape. In the 2002 he founded the Laboratory of Archaeobotany and Palaeoecology USB. His analytical specialization is archaeological wood and anthracology. He is also member of the Institute of Archaeology, Philosophical Faculty, USB, where he teaches environmental archaeology, bioarchaeology of the Neolithic period and landscape archaeology.

Since 2005 he is appointed as co-worker in Czech Institute of Egyptology and was member of 5 expeditions in Abusir, Egypt. From 1997 he is member of International Workgroup for Palaeoethnobotany. He was in 2010 appointed as Chair of Editorial Board of the international journal Interdisciplinaria Archaeologica. Since 2013 is the director of PAPAVER - Centre for human and plant studies in Europe and Northern Africa in the postglacial period. In years 2016–2018 he is involved in bioarchaeological research project of the Neolithic tell-site at Vrbjanska Cuka, Republic of North Macedonia, since 2019 he does bioarchaeological research around Ohrid lake. In 2018 Jaromír Beneš started project of Traces in Savanna. Abandoned villages in Niokolo-Koba National Park, Senegal.

Research grants in last 10 years

  • NAKI - Ministry of Culture CZ, research grant co-director: Identification a preservation of historical field remains – pluzinas in Czech Republic (2018-2022)
  • NSF -  Soil Erosion, Floodplain Sedimentation, and Agricultural Sustainability Over Centennial Time Scales. (member of research team NSF 14537)
  • GAČR - 13-08169S – Prior to the Neolithic: Contextual Analysis of Environmental Dynamics During Early Postglacial Transformation of Central Europe (co-solver, 2013-2017)
  • Czech Ministry of Education Grant Agency - PAPAVER - Centre for human and plant studies in Europe and Northern Africa in the postglacial period (since 2013) – Head of the Centre
  • GAČR – P405/12/2173 – Neolithic houses from Hrdlovka, change of shape and meaning, NW Bohemia (director, 2012-2014)

Publications in last 5 years (selected)

  • Janovský, M. P., Karlík, P., Horák, J., Šmejda, L., Asare Opare, M., Beneš, J. and Hejcman, M., 2020. Historical land-use in an abandoned mountain village in the Czech Republic is reflected by the Mg, P, K, Ca, V, Cr, Mn, Fe, Ni, Cu, Zn, Rb, Zr, and Sr content in contemporary soils. Catena, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.catena.2019.104347
  • Fanta, V., Zouhar, J., Beneě, J., Bumerl, J. and Sklenička, P., 2020. How old are the towns and villages in Central Europe? Archaeological data reveal the size of bias in dating obtained from traditional historical sources. Journal of Archaeological Science, 113. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2019.105044
  • Beneš, J., Vondrovský, V., Divišová, M., Kovačiková, L., Šída, P. 2019: The Neolithic site of Hrdlovka. České Budějovice - Most.
  • Kučera, L., Peška, J., Fojtík, P., Barták, P., Kučerová, P., Pavelka, J., Komárková, V., Beneš, J., Polcerová, L., Králík, M., Bednář, P. 2019. First direct evidence of broomcorn millet (Panicum miliaceum) in Central Europe, Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences, https://doi.org/10.1007/s12520-019-00798-4
  • Beneš, J. 2018: Počátky zemědělství ve Starém světě – Origins of Agriculture in the Old World. České Budějovice (Epistémé). 351s.
  • Kovárník, J., Beneš, J. 2018: Microscopic Analysis of Starch Grains and its Applications in the Archaeology of the Stone Age, Interdisciplinaria Archaeologica 9.1. 83-93. DOI: 10.24916/iansa.2018.1.6
  • Kučera, L., Peška, J., Fojtík, P., Barták, P., Sokolovská, D., Pavelka, J., Komárková, V., Beneš, J., Polcerová, L., Králík, M. and Bednář, P., 2018. Detetermination of milk products in ceramic vessels of Corded Ware culture from a Late Eneolithic burial. Molecules, 23(12), 3247; DOI:10.3390/molecules23123247
  • Beneš, J., Naumov, G., Majerovičová, T., Budilová, K., Bumerl, J., Komárková, V., Kovárník, J., Vychronová, M., Juřičková, L. 2018. An Archaeobotanical Onsite Approach to the Neolithic Settlements in Southern Regions of the Balkans: The Case of Vrbjanska Čuka, a Tell Site in Pelagonia, Republic of Macedonia, Interdisciplinaria Archaeologica  9.2., 121–145. DOI: 10.24916/iansa.2018.2.1
  • Beneš, J., Vondrovský, V., Šída, P., Divišová, M., Kovačiková, L., Kovárník, J., Vavrečka, P. 2015: The rare deposition of the Neolithic (SBK) grinding tools and longhouse 8 from Hrdlovka (Czech Republic): analysis and 3D virtual reconstruction, Interdisciplinaria Archaeologica 6.2, 161-179. DOI: 10.24916/iansa.2015.2.3

Where to find us?

Laboratory of Archaeobotany and Palaeoecology

  • Faculty of Sciences,
  • University of South Bohemia
  • Na Zlaté stoce 3
  • 370 05 České Budějovice



+420 38 903 6306
+420 38 903 6308

© 2013 LAPE  |   Administration