Petr Charvát

Ancient Oriental Studies/ History, Pilsen
Fellowship: 01.10.2011–30.09.2012


Born in 1949 at Prague, then Czechoslovakia, Petr Charvát is currently Professor of the University of West Bohemia at Plzeň (Pilsen), Czech Republic. He has also teaching commitments at the Faculty of Education of Charles University, Prague, and at the Masaryk University of Brno. In addition to this, he is also active in the Archaeological Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic at Prague. He received a John William Fulbright grant in 2003-2004, studied Near Eastern archaeological materials at the University Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. Invited Lecturer at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes (Section des Sciences Historiques et Philologiques), Paris, France in 2008, with a course of lectures entitled »Les voies du commerce avec l’Orient, les trouvailles de monnaies islamiques et la naissance de l’étatisme chez les Slaves occidentaux au Haut Moyen Âge.«


Fields of Research

  • The origins of state and literate society in the area of the cuneiform civilizations of ancient Western Asia 
  • The origins of state in early medieval East-Central Europe 
  • Contacts between early East-Central Europe and non-European civilizations, especially those of Western Asia, in the Middle Ages


Publications (Selection)

  • Czechoslovak Excavations at Abusir. The mastaba of Ptahshepses. The pottery. Praha: Univerzita Karlova 1981 (293pp).
  • Ancient Mesopotamia - Humankind's Long Journey into Civilization. Prague: Oriental Institute 1993 (Disertationes Orientales No. 47) (368pp).
  • On people, signs and states - Spotlights on Sumerian Society, c. 3500-2500 B.C. Prague: The Oriental Institute, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic 1997 (117pp).
  • Mesopotamia Before History. London and New York: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group 2002 (304pp).
  • The iconography of pristine statehood – Painted pottery and seal impressions from Susa, southwestern Iran, Prague: Karolinum Press 2005 (322pp).
  • Zrod českého státu 568-1055 (Birth of the Bohemian State – 568-1055, in Czech), Praha: Vyšehrad 2007 (264pp).
  • (co-author, with Václav Marek and Pavel Oliva): Encyklopedie dějin starověku (Encyclopaedia of ancient history, in Czech), Praha: LIBRI 2008 (535pp).
  • The Emergence of the Bohemian State, Leiden and Boston: Brill 2010 (239pp).
  • Slyšte volání muezzinovo – České země a arabský svět ve starším středověku (do roku 1300) (Hark the call of the mu´azzin – Czech-spekaing lands and the Arab world in the earlier Middle Ages up to 1300 AD, in Czech), Plzeň: Západočeská univerzita v Plzni 2010 (210pp).
  • Zrození státu – Prvotní civilizace Starého světa (The birth of the state – Pristine civilizations of the Old World, in Czech), Praha: Univerzita Karlova v Praze – Nakladatelství Karolinum 2011 (333pp).