CRC 1266 - Scales of Transformation


March 18, 2020

Experimental crop cultivation at the Archaeological-Ecological Centre Albersdorf (AÖZA), Dithmarschen

Sowing the spring grain at the Archaeological-Ecological Centre Albersdorf

Before the archaeobotanists from the Institute of Prehistoric and Protohistoric Archaeology due to the Corona-crisis were forced to do home office, the annual sowing was quickly completed at the Archaeological-Ecological Centre Albersdorf (AÖZA). With the diligent support of two employees of the Dithmarschen Stone Age Park, Neolithic crops such as einkorn, emmer, naked barley and this year also durum wheat could be sown as summer cereals. The Nordic Bronze Age is additionally represented on the experimental plot with common representatives such as broomcorn millet, the oil-bearing gold of pleasure and the protein-rich broad bean. However, flax and broomcorn millet will not be sown until the end of April. For comparison, the respective crops are grown on a fertilised area and an area without cattle manure. Unfortunately, last year's harvest failed completely due to the strong bite of deer and rabbits. The theme of this year's cultivation is therefore "protection from damage caused by animal feeding". In order to keep the animals out of the area, the AÖZA employees have installed a dense fence with a gate around the cultivation area, made of natural materials such as willow branches, bast and leather. A thread construction above the field, equipped with bones and other noisy objects available in the Neolithic period and serving as a sound installation, is intended to also drive away birds. The new constructions also introduce new aspects to the cultivation: The protection of the plants from wind and possible shading in the marginal areas of the plot. We thank the diligent helpers of the AÖZA team very much for their creative and energetic support!

November 08, 2019

Excavation (D3 project) Dobbin 2019, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania

Excavation at Dobbin 2019, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern

This year's excavation campaign took place in late autumn in cooperation with the Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania State Office for Culture and Monument Conservation. Despite regular showers and heavy rain, the atmosphere was excellent. The Late Bronze Age site had already been discovered in 2011 during investigations of the gas route and was examined. It lies on a moraine crest between two lakes, of which the north-eastern one is now silted.

Excavation at Dobbin 2019, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
This year, a small cut north of the route brought more than 130 features, mostly post-holes, and 4 silo pits. In the planum a floor plan could be clearly seen, which continues in the old excavation and belongs to at least one house. The culture layer above contained numerous ceramics, but was disturbed by the modern plough. The casting mould found in 2011 was supplemented this year by a fragment of a crucible and documents the local metal production. Fragments of a grindstone, knocking stones and the fragment of a bronze spiral arm bear witness to a well-established settlement. The accumulation of post-holes and small pit areas, rather unusual for this period, speaks for a small hamlet. The excavation team was supplemented by botanists of subproject F3 who examined soil samples for charred grain residues and charcoal. Furthermore, a core for pollen analysis was taken from the silted lake by subproject F2.

Time: October 7th-20th 2019

Excavation at Dobbin 2019, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern

Figs. 1-3: Excavation at Dobbin 2019 in autumn 2019.

July 29, 2019

D3-fieldcampaign 2019: Excavations at the Bronze Age site Dobin, Germany

SFB1266 Bornhöved Excavations

Photo: Documentation of Postholes from a barrow in 2018 in Bornhöved, Kr. Segeberg. (Photo S. Jagiolla)

The subproject D3 start new archaeological and palaeo-environmental investigations at an already known site in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. The site Dobbin, Lkr. Ludwigslust-Parchim was already discovered and partially excavated during a pipeline investigation in 2011. It shows Late Bronze Age material and interesting settlement structures, which suggest a hamlet-like settlement. The aim is to complete the only partly excavated houses in order to better describe the settlement processes to the younger Bronze Age in this region.

With the neighbouring pollen archive of Lake Woserin, it is possible to reconstruct the landscape from the environmental data and compare it with the local settlement history.  How large were their fields and pastures and how dense was the forest? The numerous rubbish pits also promise rich finds, not only for the reconstruction of everyday objects, but also for further botanical analyses, which provide information about subsistence and diet in the Bronze Age. In this second part of the transect, we move from Schleswig-Holstein to the East to better understand the different of settlement and landscape processes during the Bronze Age in Northern Europe and to better understand the transformations in society and the environment.  Prospection and geophysical surveys accompany the investigations on site.

Time: October 7th-20th 2019 and in spring

SFB1266 Bornhöved Grabungsfoto
Photo 2: Excavation Stuff ready for work. (Photo S. Jagiolla)

SFB1266 Bornhöved Grabungsfoto
Photo 3: Visitors inform themselves about the excavations in the year 2018 in Bornhöved, Kr. Segeberg. (Photo S. Jagiolla)

July 17, 2019

Excavations in the mega site Stolnicieni in August 2019!

Ceramic finds from Stolniceni recovered in 2017 (Foto: Sara Jagiolla)

Photo: Ceramic finds from Stolniceni recovered in 2017. (Foto: S. Jagiolla)

This summer the CRC 1266 is carrying out excavations in the large Moldavian settlement of Stolnicieni! The D1 team will excavate together with the Moldavian project partners in an interdisciplinary approach the remains of houses and path systems in the large settlement. Of particular interest are three mighty pits belonging to three houses of different sizes (3950-3700 BCE). We hope that the legacies will provide us with indications of the role played by households of different sizes in the transformation processes of the Late Tripolye period. The excavations take place in August and September.

Time: August and September 2019

July 16, 2019

Sondages at Late Neolithic sites at Parchim-Löddigsee, Germany, of subprojects C1 start in August 2019

View of the excavation site from the late 1980s in Parchim-Löddigsee.

Photo: View of the excavation site from the late 1980s in Parchim-Löddigsee.

In August 2019 the subproject C1, besides the excavations of a cremation burial field of the 3rd millennium near Brunau in the Altmark, district Salzwedel, will excavate in Parchim-Löddigsee, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. The area of the Parchim-Löddigsee is a lake which is today mostly sedimented, but was in the late Neolithic a river landscape characterised by islands and peninsulas. In the late 1980s, a Neolithic domestic site from the period between 2900 and 2600 BC was investigated. It is characterized by its exceptional preservation condition. In addition to wood artefacts and tools made of antlers and bones, more than 17,000 animal bones were recovered.

The C1 subproject aims to carry out sondage excavations at two sites in Parchim-Löddigsee: On the one hand, the old excavation areas will be re-located, and the sizes and preservation conditions of the site checked. On the other hand, evidence of a further settlement site is to be investigated. This is a 500 m distant site of unknown size and function which was discovered about 30 years ago during melioration work. Due to the excellent conditions for preservation, archaeobotanical and palynological investigations will be carried out by subprojects F2 and F3 during the excavation.

Time: August 5 to 30 in 2019

July 15, 2019

This year’s archaeological field work of subproject C1 starts in August as well on sites of the Late and Final Neolithic at Brunau, Germany

Profile picture with an urn of the cemetery Brunau

Photo: Profile picture with an urn of the cemetery Brunau "Fuchsberge".

This year two separate field work campaigns are planned as part of the subproject C1: Sondage investigations in the area of a Young Neolithic wetland settlement near Parchim-Löddigsee in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and investigations of a Late Neolithic urnfield near Brunau in the Altmark region, which is located in northern Saxony-Anhalt and represents the southernmost part of the working area in the North German Plain.

The region is characterised by various cultural phenomena during the Late Neolithic period. The urnfield near Brunau, which had already been partially investigated during an emergency excavation, can be assigned to the late Single Grave Culture (2300-2150 calBC) based on typological classification of vessels and radiocarbon analyses. The connection of cremation burials with Single Grave phenomena is rather atypical, since the latter is more often associated with individual inhumation burials in or under burial mounds. However, cremation burials are characteristic for the Schönfeld group and widespread in the eastern Altmark at the same time, so that strong mutual influences of both phenomena can be observed in the study area, especially regarding burial customs.

Time: August 12 to 30 in 2019

July 14, 2019

This year’s archaeological field work of subproject B2 at Mesolithic sites in the Duvensee peat bog, Germany, start in August 2019

Excavation at Duvensee WP 10 in 2018.

Photo: Excavation at Duvensee WP 10 in 2018.

This year’s archaeological field work of subproject B2, will focus on three Mesolithic sites at the Duvenseer peat bog to evaluate the preservation conditions in the former shore zones. Food remains of the Mesolithic people can usually be found here, which, in addition to transformations in the diet, can also provide information on the environment at the time of colonization.

The Duvensee peat bog is one of the most relevant sites for the Early Mesolithic research in Germany. Extraordinary preservation and a large number of sites render it possible to get detailed insights into Early Mesolithic settlement strategies. Due to several areas with preserved hazel nut roasting facilities, the sites are of special interest when the subsistence economy of hunter-gatherers is of interest. Furthermore, Duvensee is well known for extensive lithic scatters and Mesolithic tree bark mats.

Time: August 5-30 in 2019

July 13, 2019

Geophyiscal prospections of subproject D1 in Bordos, Serbia, start in summer 2019

Geophysikalische Prospektion Bordos 2014

Fig.: Geophysical prospection at Bordos 2014.

In the focus of a survey campaign of the subproject D1 are late Neolithic settlements on the lower course of the Tisza River in Serbia. In the study region located at the interface of the Pannonian Plain and the Balkan Uplands and Vinča and Tisza societies, a strong trend towards population agglomeration in large complex settlements with tells and flat settlements and multi-regional interlinkage are documented between 5200 and 4700 BCE. The complex settlement Borđoš shows analogies to Tripolye settlements in terms of their spatial layout, possibly based on a similar social and economic configurations.

The purpose of the geophysical-magnetometric surveys and test excavations, carried out in cooperation with the Museum of Vojvodina Novi Sad and the University of Oslo, is to explore at the regional level how singular such central settlements are, to what extent their catchment areas or territories can be reconstructed and the underlying regional settlement dynamics can be reconstructed in a multi-cultural environment.

Time: July 22 to August 11 in 2019

March 25, 2019

Evaluation of the Late Neolithic findspot Westre for further investigation by subproject C1

Site Westre

The localisation and investigation of settlement sites of the third millennium before Christ in the North German Plain are in the focus of the project C1 Late Mesolithic and Neolithic Transformations on the Northern and Central European Plain. Within this framework, archaeological preliminary investigations were carried out in March 2019 in Westre, near Flensburg in the district of Nordfriesland in the immediate vicinity of the German-Danish border. The site had already been visited by collectors for several years and is characterised by extensive lithic find material of the single grave societies between 2800 and 2200 BC. The investigations were carried out systematically by five excavation sections, up to 80 m long  and situated side by side.

Site Westre
However, no Neolithic contexts such as pits or postholes were detected. Several clearly visible structures in the ground were identified as remains of former field fortifications of the 20th century in the form of trenches by the excavation as well as by the report of residents present. The prospection demonstrated that further investigations at this site would not be promising. Therefore, further potential Young and Late Neolithic settlement sites are now being tested for their potential in subproject C1.

Photos: J.P. Brozio

Further articles on field work in the archive

New Publications