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Settlement- and Cultural History of the Lower Saxony Wadden Sea Region

Archaeological sites in the area of the Lower Saxony Wadden Sea (Illustration: J. Goldhammer, NIhK).

The aim of the project, which started in 2012, is the systematic archaeological study of the cultural heritage in the Wadden Sea. The analysis of geological base data facilitates the reconstruction of landscape changes and demonstrates the archaeological research potential of individual palaeogeographic zones. The study concentrates on the analysis of aerial photography, literature research and viewing of private collections in order to record archaeological features which will subsequently be verified through targeted field walking. The project has secured funding by the Lower Saxony Ministry for Science and Culture (MWK) for a period of 3.5 years and is carried out by Dr. Julia Goldhammer (archaeology), Dr. Martin Segschneider (archaeology) and Dr. Martina Karle (geology) of the NIhK in cooperation with the Lower Saxony State Office for Cultural Heritage (NLD) and the Office of the Lower Saxony Wadden Sea National Park. Over the course of the project so far it has become clear that the archaeological sites located in the Lower Saxony Wadden Sea are frequently revealed for a short period of time only, before being covered again by mud and sand or being destroyed by erosion. As a consequence, the project focusses upon reconstructive modelling of sediment shifts and spatial stratigraphic correlations in order to gather evidence about the three-dimensional extent of potential archaeological layers and features in the sense of “predictive modelling”. Further information is available here.

 

Root of an oak tree in the mudflats. The tree grew on the former peninsula – subsequently island – of Arngast which has been completely submerged during each high tide since the 1950s (Photo: J. Goldhammer, NIhK).



 

 

Archaeologists at work in the mudflats off Wremen. Medieval settlement sites are known to have existed in this area (Photo: J. Goldhammer, NIhK).

 

 

 

Bibliography

J. Goldhammer/M. Karle, Geoarchaeological research in the Wadden Sea area of Lower Saxony. Siedlungs- und Küstenforschung an der südlichen Nordseeküste 38, 2015, 59-70.

J. Goldhammer/M. Karle, Geoarchäologie im Schlick: Das Projekt „Besiedlungs- und Kulturgeschichte des niedersächsischen Wattenmeerraumes“. In: Tillmann, T. (Hrsg.): Aktuelle Küstenforschung an der Nordsee, Coastline Reports 25 (2015) 1-9.

J. Goldhammer/M. Karle/S. Kleingärtner, Das Wattenmeer als Forschungsgebiet, Berichte zur Denkmalpflege in Niedersachsen 2014, 1, 2-6.

 

 

    Wattenmeer KulturerbeCultural history wadden sea