Monday, April 2, 2012

An Early Neolithic Well from Leipzig-Halle airport

Every year about 100 archaeological excavations take place in the Free State of Saxony. The projects are varying in their extent from a few square meters to hundreds of hectares. The aerial photograph was taken over Leipzig/Halle airport during extensive excavations in the summer of 2005. The surface examined on the airport totalled 280 hectares. The recovery of a neolithic well together with its construction pit was still under way when this picture was taken. The entire block weighing over 90 tons and standing 4,5 m high was eventually hauled to Dresden where the archaeology excavation of its content began in spring 2008.

archaeology excavation

archaeology excavation

archaeology excavation

archaeology excavation

Not only the wooden frame structure made of oak is remarkably well preserved. The sediment contained numerous clay vessels - partly intact, partly fragmented. The individual oak logs used for the construction of the shaft are ca. 160 cm long, while the shaft measures ca. 100 x 110 cm. A dendrochronological analysis of two logs gave a date of 5108 +/- 10 B.C. The excavation project will last for another two years.

Still until the end of January 2009 digs are taking place in the city centre of Dresden between Scheffelstraße and Wilsdruffer Straße. Prior to the expansion of the Altmarktgalerie shopping mall archaeological examinations will concenrate on the north side of the Scheffelstraße and the lane itself.

While the mall was built in 2000/2001 the Archaeological Heritage Service had completed extensive excavations in the area west of the Altmarkt, now occupied by the shopping mall. The quarter between Scheffelstraße in the north and Breite Straße in the South used to be a densely populated urban area, characterized by small businesses, craftsmen’s workshops and pubs. The area was destroyed in February 1945.

In Scheffelstraße archaeologists could document well preserved basements and vaults of 16th - 18th century buildings as well as latrines dating back to the 13th century.

Archaeological investigations of the open-pit coal mining in Nochten and Reichwalde, district Görlitz, resumed in fall 2008.
The project is based on a long term agreement between the Archaeological Heritage Service and Vattenfall Europe, the energy company running the pit. Vattenfall is funding the major part of the archaeological research for the coming 10 years.

The survey of 2008 discovered vestiges of two settlements, probably from the Bronze Age, as well as of periodical Mesolithic resting sites. Besides, a number of charcoal kilns and tar ovens dating from medieval times have been documented. Scientists involved in the project will also examine the geographical ahnd geological structure of the area in prehistoric times.

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