Panning gold in the River Otava started in ancient times. Gold found there was used by Celts to make jewelry as well as the first coins to be used in this region. After them, many other settlers came to the region to search for this valuable metal in the sand in the river. Sand in Czech in Písek, and that is how the town of Písek got its name. By the 14th century, almost all the gold in the River Otava had been „panned out“, so the people here had to resort to mining techniques.
Several gold ore mines appeared near the town. At the end of 1966, during building work on a new sewage plant by the Otava, workers discovered the torso of the wooden construction and many circular mill stones and their fragments. And that was quite a find, as it involved the discovery of what is thought to bet he oldest medieval gold ore mill in the world. The millstone was driven by a waterwheel. The ground ore was then poured onto a wooden sluice covered with fur. The water washed away the ground rock and the heavier fragments of gold were caught in the fur. All they had to do then was to wash the fur in a vat and scoop out the gold with a bowl. This story might encourage you to jump into the water and start gold-washing, but unfortunately you cannot travel wet in our cars.