CRC 1266 - Scales of Transformation


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