Reconstruction of the old cultural surface of a Bronze Age Settlement - An example for a multi-methodological interaction of soil science and archaeology in Southern Germany

Matthias Leopold, Jörg Völkel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

During the excavation of a Late Bronze Age settlement at Mintraching (near Regensburg, Germany) the on-site pedological and geomorphological settings were studied in order to collect data regarding the palaeopedological and geomorphological conditions of the settlement area, as well as to elaborate further on the former Bronze Age surface. Pedological and geophysical field methods in combination with laboratory analyses were used in close proximity to the archaeological excavation site. Studies about the terrace stratigraphy of the river Danube and associated soil profiles provided data to determine the altitude of the ancient surface. This assisted in calculating the altitude of the former surface of the highest prehistoric building found in Bavaria to date. Since Bronze Age, a minimum amount of 80 - 100 cm soil loss referring to the original Holocene surface could be calculated. Furthermore, the accumulation history of black sediments distributed nearby is described. The black sediments, which are rich in organic matter, accumulated in an old palaeo channel close to the settlement since the Neolithic period. The deposits are not the remnants of a Tschemosem soil as previously thought. Erosion and deposition of the black material give an indication of anthropogenic activities like clearing and farming in the close vicinity of the former settlement area which was located next to an old water filled channel.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)257-265
Number of pages9
JournalGeodinamica Acta
Volume20
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2007
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Bronze Age
  • Geoarchaeology
  • Palaeoenvironment
  • Pedology
  • Regensburg
  • Surface reconstruction

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