CRC 1266 - Scales of Transformation

Archive Fieldworks

September 25, 2017

Excavations of a “mega-site” : Stolniceni 2017

Fieldworks Stolniceni     Zwei Studenten und eine Tasse Kaffee 

In cooperation with the Şcoala Antropologică Superioară in Chişinău, this summer the CRC1266-D1 project was involved in the excavation of another site of the Cucuteni-Trypillian Culture, Stolniceni, in northern Moldova. Similarly to the one of Maidanetske, excavated last year in central Ukraine, this site is an extended settlement of the beginning 4th millennium BCE. In Stolniceni, for a month the Kiel group collaborated with Moldavian, Romanian, Ukrainian and German colleagues of the RGK (Römisch-Germanische Kommission) in Frankfurt in a lively and collaborative working environment. About 500 qm of trenches were excavated, concerning different archaeological features, previously detected by geomagnetic prospection. Besides a kiln for pottery making, a ditch and several refuse pits, domestic structures were under focus. An entire house and some test-trenches including parts of other houses were brought to light, in order to understand the materials in use and the spatial activities in and around the houses. A program of radiocarbon dating was established, aiming at understanding if different structures were in use contemporaneously and therefore help the reconstruction of population density at the site. A previously unknown feature has been excavated too, which was corresponding to a visible anomaly at the border of the site in the geomagnetic plan; its interpretation is in progress.

Besides archaeologists, the Kiel team included different specialists dealing with plant remains, geophysics prospections and geoarchaeology. In addition, a student of the Muthesius Art Academy in Kiel joined the team and published live-impressions from the fieldwork in the Archaeo Lounge. During this month, a visit was paid to the interesting museums in Iasi and to the excavation of the village of Scanteia (excavation by Erlangen University) in Romania. Altogether, the time in Stolniceni was rich of experiences, in contact with the local people and traditions, embedded in a beautiful hilly landscape with pastures.

Pictures: Marta dal Corso

September 13, 2017

Findings in the turf: Excavation in Duvensee

Luftbild Duvensee      Duvensee

The Duvensee Moore in Northern Germany is internationally reknown especially for its mesolithic finds. Still one of the few neolithic settlements of the Single Grave Culture in the Northern German Lowland can be found on an island within this wetland. The settlement dwelling place no. 15 which has already been recorded on a small scale in 1994 is currently beeing surveyed within the CRC project C1. The excavations aim at recording the construction and the spatial extension of the settlement. Up to now, more than 1000 finds have been recorded.

Spatial concentrations of artefacts within the settlement area have the potential to to reconstruct workplaces which suggest by their composition different sections of the chaîn opératoire of flint tools. In addition, a grinding plate and production waste indicate beside the ad hoc production the the manufacturing of bigger devices within the settlement like axes. Despite the many finds we presume a seasonal use of the settlement because of the lack of building structures. Hence the site is part of a category of settlements in the Northern German Lowland which 4500 years ago were frequented deliberately.

Pictures: Katharina Fuchs & Jan Piet Brozio

September 13, 2017

Subproject E3 explores Hellenistic landscapes in Greece

Ascepieion of Kos      Sanctuary of Athena Lidia

Asja Müller, postdoc in subproject E3, is currently touring the Greek islands for the duration of three weeks. She is studying Hellenistic architecture and its landscape embedding. Her project focuses on a new quality of architecture-landscape-interaction that emerged in the Hellenistic age. During that period, interesting geographical sites where intentionally selected and reworked in order to trigger certain reactions of the ancient visitor. Thus, an influencing of architecture and landscape as well as landscape and architecture happened likewise. Sanctuaries, as a certain kind of Hellenistic architecture, have been selected as a particular well-suited case study in order to approach that target.

So far, Asja Müller has visited several archaeological sites on the islands of Thasos, Samothrake, Kos, Rhodos, Kreta, Thera and Paros. Currently, she investigates the Sanctuary of Poseidon and Amphitrite on Tenos. Before her return to Kiel, she will spend some time on Delos and Mykonos to survey local sanctuaries.

Pictures: Asja Müller

September 11, 2017

Settlements of the Linear Ware period – Subproject C2 Excavations in Slovakia       

Feldarbeiten in Ungarn    Zwei Studenten und eine Tasse Kaffee

This year’s excavation campaign of project C2 „Dynamics of Settlement Concentration Processes and Land-Use in Early Farming Communities of the Northwestern Carpathian Basin" with participants from Germany, Slovakia and the United States focused on two passages through the ditch that surrounded the southwestern settlement as well as houses adjacent to these passageways. From the point of view of architectural sociology, the positioning of the entrances is intriguing as it appears as though they were deliberately turned away from the other two settlements to the north and east.

The results so far indicate that the passages were far more complex than hitherto suspected on the grounds of magnetic prospections. Additionally, a surprisingly large number of human bones were found in the ditch - among these at least two formal burials with ceramic vessels as burial goods, -and, judging from the bones already visible on the first planum, more will likely be uncovered in the following weeks.

The first weeks of excavation were accompanied by intensive prospections by the project G2 (geophysics) in the areas prepared for excavation; furthermore, the projects F2 (geomorphology) and F3 (botanics) are providing real-time, in-depth scientific analyses.

Fig. 1. Overview over trenches 21 and 22.
Fig. 2. Trench 21 during uncovering. Prominent are the ends of the surrounding ditch as well as additional features.

September 7, 2017

“Kakucs”: SFB 1266 & GSHDL Archaeological Expedition Hungary 2017         

Fieldworks in Hungary     Zwei Studenten und eine Tasse Kaffee

This year the “Kakucs Archaeological Expedition”  focused on investigating non-household activities at the Kakucs-Turján mögött settlement. Since excavations of the household area were accomplished in 2016 the aim is to develop a coherent view of Middle Bronze Age (2000-1450 BC) settlement practices in the Hungarian part of the Carpathian Basin.

Investigations were preceded by a selection of activity areas on the basis of geomagnetic imagery, followed by drilling of potential archaeological features. Combination of information resulted in selection of four trenches with the highest excavation potential. Apart from investigating chronological issues, the aim is to recognise what structures and activities characterised non-household areas of the site. Special emphasis is made on material culture and its relationship with widely understood plant processing in the second millennium BC.

The excavation are part of the on-going co-operation of the CRC 1266 and the Graduate School “Human Development in Landscapes” with the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and Adam Mickiewicz University Poznań. Sonja Filatova investigates the plant macro-remains as part of her PhD thesis in the scope of subproject F3.

Pictures: R. Staniuk, Graduate School “Human Development in Landscapes”

September 6, 2017

Ongoing excavation in Mang de Bargen     

Fieldworks in Mang de Bargen

The ongoing excavation conducted by subproject D3 “The Bronze Age in North Central Europe: Scales of transformation” is situated between the rolling hills (“Mang de Bargen”) in Schleswig-Holstein, district of Segeberg. Nomen est omen. In cooperation with the geophysicists from subproject G2 we are looking for Bronze Age barrows and traces of settlements. With the help of the shovel excavator we opened an area almost in the size of a half soccer field. We were able to locate one barrow and are already looking forward to what awaits us in its midst. The second barrow turned out to be a miss, but brought other interesting features to light. It will be exciting to see what will be next. In addition to pits and stone structures, we found traces of old trees, which once surrounded the grave. Findings are rare so far, so the students are happy when finding one of the rare sherds. Now it is necessary to document the huge areas and to excavate the pits.

Picture: Jutta Kneisel

July 11, 2017

Fieldwork of the sub-project D1 on Tripolye settlements of the Southern Bug-Dniester interfluve 

Fieldwork in Ukraine

In June, the sub-project D1 is carrying out archaeological excavations in Tripolye settlements of the Southern Bug-Dniester interfluve in cooperation with the Ukrainian Academy of Science. Colleagues of the Borys Grinchenko University Kyiv and students of the Vinnytsia State Pedagogical University participating on the fieldwork. On the one hand, settlements of different Tripolye periods are investigated in order extract finds for typo-chronological studies and samples for scientific analysis and dating. On the other hand, selected kind of objects are under examination at the Tripolye BI-BII site Trostianchyk: Among other things, geomagnetic anomalies are investigated which are interpreted preliminary as pottery kilns. These objects might help to clarify further the course and significance of technological innovation in the transformations in pottery production of Tripolye societies.

Picture: Robert Hofmann

June 04, 2017

Subproject B1: Fieldwork in Dätgen 

Fieldwork in Dätgen

On Friday, 2nd June, subproject B1 conducted some fieldwork in Dätgen in the Großen Moor, which is associated to a Late Glacial site from that region. The team members Tobias Burau (student assistant), Sascha Krüger (PhD) and Sonja Grimm (PostDoc) were looking for turf sediments suited for further palaeoecological investigations. The main inspection aims for reconstructing the environmental developments and the role of the human impact in this respect. The fieldwork was kindly supported by the regional collectors René Ender as well as the local families Wulf, Schumacher and Hülsen from Dätgen, who allowed access to the research area.

Unfortunately, the coring investigations did not deliver profiles from the period of interest. Below the topsoil, only Glazial marlstone horizons or marginal turf layers, probably from the Holocene, were found. Neither of the profiles matched with the chronological period looked for, which is also true for the sediments located in a basin-shaped depression western from the Late Glacial site. Although these negative results, the B1 project enjoyed the field work in good weather.

Picture: Tobias Burau und Sascha Krüger during a drilling session (Foto: Sonja Grimm).

May 02, 2017

Extraction of soil profiles in Greece 

Extraction of soil profiles in Greece

On March 24th, the members of sub-project E1 headed towards Greece, the mini-truck of the Institute of Ecosystem Research fully packed, for a 3-week long field campaign. After 3 days of driving across the Alps to Venice, taking the ferry to Patras, and a total driving distance of 1600 km, the team finally arrived in the study area of Stymphalia (Prefecture Korinthia). There, they were joined by their collaboration partners Pavlos Avramidis and Eleni Zagana from the Department of Geology at Patras University. Together, a total of 28m of sediment cores were retrieved from the 3 adjacent valleys of Pheneos, Stymphalia and Kaisari, and several soil profiles were described at the slopes of the respective valleys. The analyses of the sediments shall provide information, whether and to what extent climatic changes have contributed to the cultural transition from Bronze Age to Iron Age in the region (around 1200-800 cal BC), and which impact human activities had on the environment during the respective period.

April 25, 2017

Within the framework of the D3 project in SFB 1266 about Bronze Age transformation processes, current fieldwork at Bornhöved show new results

Cooking pits Geomagnetic prospection of cooking pits

On the basis of the geomagnetic prospection, concentrations of anomalies could be determined in a section of the site. A selective test-excavation in this area showed that we are dealing with cooking pits. On the basis of the geomagnetic prospection, the cooking pits appear to be arranged in circles. The arrangement of cooking pits in circles is mainly known from Denmark. Exceptionally is that the cooking pits at Bornhöved are located in a valley and that parts of the culture layer are still preserved, which also contain ceramics. In addition to cooking pits, stone fillings and stone settings could also be identified.

In the summer months the fieldwork at Bornhöved will continue.

April 24, 2017

Survey in Ukrainian settlements of the Cucuteni-Tripolye-cultural complex in March and April 2017

Survey in Ukrainian settlements

Researchers of the subproject D1 (“Population Agglomerations in Tripolye-Cucuteni Mega-sites”)  and colleagues of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences carried out a survey in two different test regions of the Cucteni-Tripolye cultural complex between 5th of March and 7th of April. During this expedition, large parts of eight sites from the period between 4200 and 3500 BCE have been surveyed geomagnetically and materials for typo-chronological investigations and absolute dating have been collected by means of test trenches and surface collections. Near Talne and Nowoarchangelsk in the Southern Bug/Dnieper interfluve the investigations were focused on sites from stages with very limited knowledge of settlement layout from which, however, already large pottery assemblages are available. A similar strategy was pursued in the regions Krishopil and Winnizia in the interfluve of Southern Bug and Dniester where, however, the current state of research is still poor. For both regions, the survey provide very important data for a better understanding 1. Of regional patterns und cultural relations regarding the spatial settlement layouts, 2. Of absolute chronology, 3. Of transformations regarding the social organisation, and 4. Of the demographic dynamic in Tripolye communities.

April 23, 2017

A prospection campaign in Southwest Slovakia in Februar and March 2017

Geological prospection

Within the framework of the CRC and in close cooperation with the subproject G2 (geophysics), from 26 February to 16 March a prospection campaign took place in Southwest Slovakia. In the valley of the Žitava 24 potential Neolithic sites were visited and partly intensively surveyed (PDF: Sites visited). The central result is the realization that, according to the current state of research, the three settlements of Vráble had no simultaneous neighbouring settlements within a radius of 5 km. On the other hand, the prospections along the Žitava river terrace showed that at least in parts a densely network of settlements is to be expected. Furthermore, the geophysical surveys (Photo: Geophysical prospecting in action) enabled the identification of dozens of houses, which force us to rethink the existing population estimates.

In the summer, the excavations in Vráble are continued, but the spring exploration has clearly demonstrated the importance of further research in the surrounding area, where a considerable amount of insights can be achieved with a moderate amount of work.

Dec 10, 2016

Geomagnetic surveys and surface inspections near Segeberg

Extensive geomagnetic prospection
Currently, first fieldwork in the area of a Bronze Age burial ground near Bornhöved is in progress.



Dec 08, 2016

Fieldwork in the area of Duvenseer Moor

Fieldwork in the area of Duvenseer Moor
With comprehensive sedimentological analyses and georadar measurements ongoing research of the Mesolithic in the Duvenseer Moor is continued.


Nov 28, 2016

Fieldwork and excavation in the Ukraine: The Copper Age Mega-Site Maidanetske

Fieldwork and excavation of the mega-site Maidanetske
The research collaboration of sub-project D1 sheds light on formation and decline processes of population agglomerations in Chalcolithic Cucuteni-Tripolye mega-sites. During August and September 2016, extensive fieldwork and excavation of the mega-site Maidanetske (ca. 3900–3600 BCE) took place in central Ukraine.


Nov 24, 2016

Fieldwork and excavation: Westlicher Oldenburger Graben

Activities Oldenburger Graben
In summer 2016, the excavation of a Neolithic settlement site revealed organic preservation in the
Oldenburger Ditch.


Nov 14, 2016

Excavation and collection of botanical macro remains in Hungary

Activities Ungarn
International project collaboration of the CRC in the course of the investigation of a Middle Bronze Age settlement (Vatya Culture).


Nov 07, 2016

Linear pottery settlement archaeology in southwestern Slovakia

Activities settlement southwestern Slovakia
Extensive excavation and fieldwork deliver first results of early sedentism and settlement dynamiks in the Carpathian Basin.