CRC 1266 - Scales of Transformation




Continued excavation at the Dobbin site autumn 2020, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern

Zu nebelig zum Messer (Foto: J. Kneisel)
Too foggy to measure (Photo: J. Kneisel)

Despite corona, having packed distance rules and a good hygiene concept in our luggage, the investigations from Spring could be continued in Autumn 2020; this time with a larger team and on a larger area.

The trench from the beginning of the year was extended to the north and east to detect the end of the pit structure in the NW, and to record any possible features east of the house structure. In addition, a 125m2 section was opened in the east, parallel to the investigations of the gas pipeline. In unfortunately sunny weather, which made it considerably more difficult to identify the features, further structures of the settlement were uncovered.

The large pit in the north of the excavated area turned out to be an Iron Age pit house, which was surrounded by at least 6 posts and also had wooden interior structures in the form of stake holes under the floor. It contained typical Iron Age pottery and a spinning whorl. This confirms previous assumptions that the site was a multi-period site.

In the east, the students were able to examine five fireplaces encircled by stones, the original upper edges of which were preserved up to the humus layer. The stone circles were already clearly visible when the humus surface was excavated. Ceramic finds from the excavation prove that originally whole pots, presumably cooking vessels, stood on top of the fireplace. This made it possible to uncover undisturbed working areas in the settlement. The construction of the high-voltage power line in the 1960s and the previous forest cover had preserved the finds for the last 2000-3000 years, undisturbed by ploughing; a stroke of luck for the researchers.

As always, the scientific samples from the settlement were processed directly on site. The archaeologists were accompanied by a 5-woman botany team, who floated the soil samples directly on site and examined them for preserved macro remains. The close cooperation and communication on site made it possible to develop a common sampling strategy.

The open day, organised by the local history association "Kiek in't Land" Below, was very popular. The combination of archaeology and botanical investigations was especially well received by the visitors.

Planum mit großer steinumkränzter Feuerstelle. (Foto: A. Heitmann)

Planum with large stone-encircled fireplace. (Photo: A. Heitmann)

Studierende beim Abtiefen des Grubenhauses (Foto: S. Jagiolla)

Students deepening the pit house (Photo: S. Jagiolla)

Die östliche Grabungsfläche mit den dunkel verfärbten Feuerstellen. (Foto: S. Jagiolla)

The eastern excavation area with the dark coloured fireplaces. (Photo: S. Jagiolla)

Frisch geputztes Planum, wo sind Befunde zu erkennen? (Foto: J. Kneisel)

Freshly cleaned planum, where are the features? (Photo: J. Kneisel

Tag der offen Tür organisiert vom Heimatverein Below (Foto: L. Rose)

Open day organised by the Heimatverein Below (Photo: L. Rose

Der Schlämmplatz (Foto: W. Kirleis)

The flotation area (Photo: W. Kirleis)

Was hält das Sieb bereit? (Foto: W. Kirleis)

What does the sieve hold? (Photo: W. Kirleis)

Feierabend, letzter Tag (Foto: L. Rose)

Last day at the end of work (Photo: L. Rose)


September 23, 2020

Excavation on the Hunte river near the Dümmer in Lower Saxony 2020

Aerial photograph of the excavation trenches at the Hunte site in summer 2020
Fig.1: Aerial photograph of the excavation trenches at the Hunte site in summer 2020 (Photo J. P. Brozio

This year's excavation campaign was carried out in cooperation with the archaeological heritage management in Lower Saxony north of the Dümmer on the bank of the river Hunte. Excavations in the 1930s and 1940s discovered a large number of sites in the lowland moor region, some of which have already been excavated. These led, for example, to the excavation of a settlement site with houses and a palisade, as at the Hunte 1 site, or enabled the reconstruction of the transition from the Mesolithic to the Neolithic in Northern Germany, as at the Hüde I site.

The site investigated this year has also been known since the 1940s. In the documentation that has been preserved, the good preservation conditions are particularly emphasised in addition to extensive find material from the period between approx. 2600 and 2200 BCE.

This was the reason for the first test excavations by subproject C1. In addition to the localisation of the site, which was identified 80 years ago, a quern stone as well as fragments of further querns were found, which indicate settlement activities on site. A discontinuation of the settlement site is probably connected with repeated flooding events.

The excavation at the Hunte site in summer 2020
Fig.2: The excavation at the Hunte site in summer 2020 (Photo J. P. Brozio)

In addition to taking sediment samples to reconstruct plant production and consumption by Subproject F3, Subproject F2 also carried out test drilling in the direct surroundings of the site and in nearby fens. The objective of the drilling was to estimate the potential for high-resolution environmental reconstruction by analysing and dating sample material taken from different layers. In connection with this, geophysical investigations by Subproject G2 in the area of the site were also carried out in order to reconstruct the relief of the landscape, which is no longer recognisable today, and to discover further potential settlement remains.

April 02, 2020

Continued excavation at the Dobbin site 2020, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern

Planum with large shallow pit in the foreground

The excavation at the Bronze Age site of Dobbin are executed by subproject D3. earlier excavations at Dobbin took place in summer 2019 and autum 2019.

In spring 2020, the previous year's trench was extended to the north and west by 125 m2 to cover the western end of the house area. In changeable weather ranging from rain and hail to storm and sunshine, the house floor plan of the previous year could be completed.

Even on the west side of the house the cultural layer was still preserved up to 20cm and contained many rolled ceramic fragments and flint flakes (Fig.1). A beautifully worked hammer stone was among them. In the area numerous post holes and three silo pits were found (Fig. 2). In one of them the negative imprint of the basketwork had been preserved in the ground (Fig. 3). Interesting was a flat pit of 3.5m width in the west of the area, whose lower part consisted of a 10cm thick charcoal layer (Fig.4).

Georadar measurement by the geophysicists of project G2In addition to the excavation, the neighbouring field could be magnetically investigated and prospected. The aim of the investigation was to locate the centre of the settlement. In addition, the geophysicists of the University of Kiel from subproject G2 examined the archaeologically investigated area with the georadar before the excavation (Fig. 5).


Open dayThe Open Day (Fig. 6), organized by the Heimatverein "Kiek in't Land" Below, followed by a lecture (Fig. 7) with coffee, cake and sausages, was very popular.

Fig. 1-5: J. Kneisel; Fig. 6-7: D. Bradke



Palaeoecological Investigations

Preparing the drillOn 11.3.2020, subproject F2 went to Dobbin for field work in bright sunshine. The aim was to recover a sediment core sequence in the vicinity of the archaeological excavations of the subproject D3. In a nearby lowland area, c. 200m from the excavation area, gouge corings revealed c. 6m thick lake sediment and peat deposits. As these have been accumulating since the end of the last glaciation they offer the possibility of reconstructing the local vegetation and land use history of the Bronze Age settlement by palynological and sedimentological analyses.

Photo: K. Schöps


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


Further articles on field work in the archive

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