Witnesses of old archaeological findings
Archaeological findings proved the city location settlement as early as in the younger Stone Age, i.e., approx. 2000 years BC. This period is represented by settlement with cannel ceramics, Hallstatt necropolis of the Podolian culture and La Tne settlements. Strategic importance of the Slovak gate region has neither decreased in the following Bronze (2000 – 700 BC) and Iron (700 – 0 BC) Ages. This fact is supported by new established fortified settlements or large hill-forts on the left bank of the river Hron (hill-forts Kusá hora and Krivín). These hill-forts were supported by agrarian background in lowland unfortified settlements. In the late Bronze Age, population of these settlements dealt with agriculture, hunting and fishing, but also with production of bronze objects. The region kept its significance even in the Rome period (0 – 400 AD). Presence of the Roman legions in the Slovak gate region can be highly probably connected with traces of the Roman way found on the right bank of the river Hron between Tlmače and Kozárovce. This road could be still observed in 1952 in form of two embankments running north – south for approx. 500m.
The Slovak gate region was well settled namely in the Great Moravian Empire period (Veľkomoravská ríša) (9th century) and during the period of Slovakia incorporation into the Hungarian state (10th century). This is witnessed not only by unfolded graves, but also by lowland settlements and namely hill-forts. Precious findings include strategic Slavic hill-fort of the 9th century Festunok or Hrádza on the steep rock above the bridge in Tlmače, hill-fort Grác (Pipiška) in Malé Kozmálovce and Krivín (Solid rock) in Rybník.