CRC 1266 - Scales of Transformation

Archive Fieldworks

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

November 1, 2018

Coring and magnetic measurements: Survey in Vráble, Slovakia

Stefan and Raphael

Subproject G2 conducted during the first two weeks of August fieldwork in Slovakia near Vráble in cooperation with colleagues from C2 and F2. The main objective was a coring campaign with a 22 mm diameter auger corer. The corings targeted the house-accompanying ditches of the Neolithic site with high-resolution of up to 25 cm distance between two corings. 116 boreholes have been cored manually up to a depth of 2 m. The magnetic susceptibility has been measured down-hole and will be used to derive a quantitative interpretation of the magnetic map. Based on the distribution of the susceptibility and the description of the corings, the depth and shape of the ditches can be deduced.

Vrable Geophysics
Furthermore, the susceptibility is measured directly on the archaeological sections in the excavations close to Vlkas and Ulany. This yields further high-resolution distributions of the magnetic susceptibility, which can be directly compared to the archaeological documentation.

Additionally, the magnetic map of the site near Vlkas was completed. It shows that the neolithic settlement spans a larger area than the modern villageN


Coring (Natalie Pickartz, CAU Kiel)

Sensor geomagnetic device (Natalie Pickartz, CAU Kiel)

October 12, 2018

Geomagnetic campaign at the Late Neolithic and Copper Age site of Monte da Contenda

Geomagnetik Portugal

This summer subproject F1 conducted a geomagnetic campaign at Monte da Contenda, Portugal, which ran from the 10thto 23rdSeptember.

Monte da Contenda is located in the Alentejo region of Portugal and is one of the many recently identified Late Neolithic and Copper Age ditched enclosure sites of this region.

Pfeilspitze Portugal

Previous work done at this site, by one of our Portuguese collaborators, Antonio Valera, had disclosed a series of circular and oval enclosures but given its large dimensions it was not possible to identify the full extent of the site at the time. However, during this last summer campaign, we finally obtained a full picture of the site revealing many more enclosures and several smaller scale structures. 

Sites like Monte da Contenda are important because they reveal, alongside sites such as Perdigões, Santa Vitória, and Valencina de la Concepción, a very interesting phenomenon in which occupation ends abruptly towards the end of the III Millennium in Southwest Iberia. This abrupt end, which still requires considerable amount of research to fully understand, entailed the complete abandonment of previous economic, social, and ideological practices associated to ditched enclosures. 

Sensor geomagnetic device being operated by Christophe Rinne and Katrin Anna Lehnen (Photo: Sebastian Schultrich, CAU Kiel).

Jaspoide schist arrowhead found on the surface of the site (Foto: Artur Ribeiro, CAU Kiel).

October 2, 2018

Sommer campaign of subproject C2 in Slovakia

C2 Slowakei 2018

This year's excavation campaign of CRC subproject C2 took place from 30 July to 7 September in Slovakia at two neighbouring settlements of the project's previous main focus, Vráble.

C2 Slowakei 2018 Fund

These two settlements, Uľany and Vlkas, had been intensely geophysically prospected and surveyed during previous campaigns. Parallel to the excavations, the prospections were completed in cooperation with subproject G2, so that the extent of the settlements can be given relatively exactly as 5.5 ha and 10.5 ha respectively. In addition, the Maña site was prospected. This showed that the LPC settlement there actually consists of several settlement cores, each situated on bumps and only between 1.5 and 2.5 ha in size (5.5 ha in total). In addition to presumably Eneolithic houses and undated ditches, a previously unknown, probably Bronze Age ring ditch with a diameter of 80 meters was discovered.

The excavations concentrated on several long pits accompanying the houses in order to extract material comparable to Vráble. In addition to considerable amounts of burnt clay and pottery (fig. 1), some bone artefacts were uncovered (fig. 2), which provide promising material for further research.

Vlkas, trench 15. Excavating a massive burnt clay package, which in turn covered a shard plaster (already visible in the profile) (picture: N. Müller-Scheeßel, CAU Kiel)

A set of bone awls from Vlkas (picture: A. Heitmann, CAU Kiel)

September 21, 2018

Helenistic Sanctuary: Archaeological and geographical fieldworks in Messene/Greece

In August 2018, CRC sub-project E3 together with the Society of Messenian Archaeological Studies and the Heinrich Schliemann-Institute of Ancient Studies at  Rostock University conducted a four-week field campaign in the sanctuary of Artemis Limnatis in Messene.

Messene Site

The hellenistic sanctuary is situated in a prominent location at the slope of the Ithorne high above the city of Messene. This year, the adjoining buildings were graphically recorded and archaeological soundings in the area of the adjoining building D and the terasse E were carried out in order to sort out their former use and dating. Drone flights by members of the Geographical Institute of Kiel University (chair for landscape ecology and geoinformatics) served to create a topographical map and a to visualise the site and selected buildings. 
The topographical visualisations as well as the records of the buildings now provide a basis to examine the mutual influence of built and natural space of this for the city of Messene important sanctuary.

Text: Stefan Feuser / Photos: Torben Kessler

July 28, 2018

Geophysical fieldwork in Horsens, a Lateglacial site   

Horsens 1      Horsens 2

At the beginning of July (9th-13th) subproject G2 conducted geophysical measurements in an area of multiple kettle-holes in the vicinity of Horsens (Denmark). With support by subproject B1 and staff from the Horsens museum as well as the Danish National Museum a multi-method approach was used.

Geophysical  measurements

Electrical resistivity tomography (ERT), ground penetrating radar (GPR), electromagnetic induction measurements (EMI) as well as in-situ measurements of the electrical resistivity at geological profiles and drillings were performed. The aim of the fieldwork was to compare the results of the geophysical measurements with the actual stratigraphy to improve the interpretation.

In February and March 2017 excavations of a Lateglacial site were conducted in the same area by subproject B1. At the moment, a sediment column deriving from that kettle-hole is palynologically investigated by subproject B1 and the Danish National Museum.

Text and pictures: S. Krüger

April 23, 2018

Excavation of a Neolithic site by subproject C1

Magnetik      Oldenburg
The present wetland of the Oldenburger Graben in Ostholstein was shaped 5000 years ago by a fjord that turned into a lagoon over time. Nowadays the landscape is characterised by an island-peninsula situation that exhibit a variety of Mesolithic and Neolithic sites. In order to develop a high-resolution model of transformation processes in the time frame from the late Mesolithic to Neolithic, subproject C1 “Late Mesolithic and Neolithic Transformations on the Northern and Central European Plain“ excavated a settlement place at the peripheral zone of the Oldenburg Graben in March 2018. Known by surface findings, the spot is located near a Neolithic site associated with the transformation phase of the funnel beaker to single grave culture around 2900 BCE that we investigated in summer 2016.

Ceramic finds found during the latest excavation in the Oldenburger Graben prove a Neolithic phase for the site, but other findings also indicate an earlier Mesolithic occupation. The archaeobotany investigations that were carried out on-site by subproject F3 "Dynamics of plant economies in ancient societies" obtained botanical macro-remain for further analysis, such as the reconstruction of food acquisition and agricultural practices in this period.

Pictures and text: Jan Piet Brozio

January 31, 2018

Subproject D2: Last Geomagnetic Survey in 2017


One week before Christmas, subproject D2 went on the last fieldwork campaign in 2017. The aim was to investigate the Late Neolithic (ca.2900 BC) settlement “Ebsdorfergrund-Wittelsberg 7”. The settlement is situated in a depression surrounded by the Central Germany Lower Mountain Range. Together with 3 students the measurement was successfully carried out. With the team, also winter arrived to Central Germany and the christmas spirit was enhanced by snow and ponies. 

In 1988 and 1990 the south-eastern part of the settlement was excavated. A few houses, pits and a ditch system gave important insights to the economic practices of the Wartberg Culture. Although a geomagnetic survey was already carried out in the 90’s, the dimension of the settlement as well as the course of the ditch system remained unclear. The survey of D2 clarified these issues and added a few new pit houses to the settlement.

Text: Clara Drummer
Picture: Clara Drummer


December 18, 2017

Geomagnetic surveys: Subprojekt C1 investigates Late Neolithic settlement places in Schleswig-Holstein   

gender-workshop      Geomagnetische Prospektionen

Affiliated to subproject C1, geomagnetic measurements have been undertaken in Westre (district Nordfriesland) and Oldenburg (district Ostholstein) on the 12th and 13th of December to investigate potential Younger Neolithic (2850 – 2250 BC) settlements. A central aspect of the subproject is to examine the transition to the period which is linked to the emergence of the so-called Corded Ware Culture. This transition is lively being debated in recent research, as it is accompanied by massive changes in material and immaterial culture. The Younger Neolithic in the North German Plain is predominantly represented by numerous of Burial mounds. These mounds testify that social transformations happened, as they consist of single inhumations highlighting social status, in contrast to the formerly anonymous burials in megalithic tombs. Compared to burial sites, Younger Neolithic settlements are very infrequent in Northern Germany. However, investigating those settlements is of high importance in order to better understand the processes that took place in the early third millennium BC. The aim of the geomagnetic measurements in Westre was to detect places which might be worthwhile for future investigations.

Text: S. Schultrich

PIctures: B. Breske, S. Schultrich

November 6, 2017

Subproject G2: Geophysical Surveys in Summer 2017

 in-situ resistivity measurements in Stolniceni      GPR measurements in Vráble

Since the middle of August until the beginning of October the subproject G2 ‘Geophysical Prospecting, Classification and Validation of Settlement Remains in Changing Environments’ conducted fieldwork at the sites ofVráble (Slovakia) in cooperation with subproject C2 and Stolniceni (Moldova) as well as Maidanetske (Ukraine) in cooperation with subproject D1. A multi-method approach consisting of the methods electrical resistivity tomography (ERT), ground penetrating radar (GPR), electromagnetic induction measurements (EMI) and magnetics was used to map the archaeological features of the different sites. ERT, GPR and EMI have not only been conducted on the surface but also in open archaeological trenches. Furthermore, in-situ measurements of the electrical resistivity and the magnetic susceptibility have been conducted on the surface, in open archaeological trenches and boreholes in cooperation with subproject F2. The campaigned focused on gathering high-resolution multi-method data of key-targets.

In-situ resistivity measurements in Stolniceni / GPR measurements in Vráble

Text and pictures: Natalie Pickartz

October 23, 2017

Coring campaign: Late glacial sites of the Hamburgian and Ahrensburgian culture in the district of Segeberg

Luftbild Brodersby      

Near the village of Nahe (district Segeberg), a coring campaign of the subproject B1 took place on Tuesday and Wednesday (17th-18th October). The coring site is located in a rich archaeological landscape close to Lateglacial sites attributed to the so-called Hamburgian and Ahrensburgian. The Hamburgian people were pioneers that were the first humans to settle in northern Germany after the retreat of the vast inland glaciers of the last glacial maximum. The Ahrensburgian reindeer hunters mark the end of the Palaeolithic in northern Germany at the transition to the Holocene. With the help of Walter Dörfler (F2) and Jan Weber (E1), a total of 34 m of sediment could be obtained from a former meltwater lake. Those sediment cores showed that in the lower part of this stratigraphy laminated sediments from the Lateglacial were preserved. Previous pre-investigations by Hartmut Usinger during the early 2000s have suggested that sedimentation conditions in the deeper part of the lake sequence were mainly undisturbed and dated to the end of the Pleistocene. These conditions make diverse, high-resolution analyses possible. In the next weeks and months, subprojects B1, E1 and F2 are going to analyse the sediments with different palynological, geological, and geochemical approaches. The numerous analyses will contribute to study human-environmental interactions from various points of view and help answering archaeological questions with natural scientific methods.

Text and pictures: S. Krüger


October 6, 2017

Subproject C1 uncovers Neolithic findings in the wetlands of Brodersby-Schönhagen

Luftbild Brodersby      Grabungssituation Brodersby

After excavating a Neolithic site in Duvensee, subproject C1 proceed with their fieldwork at the eastern coast of Schleswig-Holstein, between Kappeln and Eckernförde. Nowadays surrounded by wetlands, the site Brodersby-Schönhagen was in Neolithic times an island or peninsula. A cultural layer covers the settlement, which is characterised by a high number of finds and several activity areas, such as workplaces for flint production. In the wet areas, bone fragments and bone tools have been found. Currently, the archaeological material includes more than 2000 artefacts. Decorated ceramic shards and flint axes enable to date the settlement of Brodersby-Schönhagen in the transition phase from Middle Neolithic to the Younger Neolithic. To that time, the change from funnel beaker culture to the single-grave culture in the third millennium BC took place. This is a transformation process in Northern Germany and South Scandinavian Neolithic characterized by substantial changes in social organisation which are the focus of subproject C1.

Pictures: J. P. Brozio

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.



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