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The „Stackdeich“ near Jarßum, City of Emden, Lower Saxony

Timber revetment of the Stackdeich, seen from the west. A central row of vertical timbers, supported by struts either side (Phote: S. König, East Frisian Landscape).

The term “Stackdeich” describes sea walls whose seaward base was reinforced with wooden revetments, the so-called “Stackwerk”. This kind of dyke construction was introduced along the German North Sea coast during the 16th century and in widespread use during the 17th and early 18th centuries. Remains of this type of historic sea wall were found and partially uncovered near Jarßum, City of Emden, in 2012 during the extraction of clay for the reinforcement of the modern sea wall. The land was owned by the Water and Shipping Office of the Federal Water and Shipping Authority in Emden (WSA). Client was the Aurich office of the Lower Saxony Agency for Water Management, Coastal- and Environmental Protection (NLWKN). The scientific investigation of the uncovered sea wall was jointly undertaken by the NIhK and the East Frisian Landscape. Soil science objectives were addressed by Annette Siegmüller, historical-geographical studies were carried out by Johannes Ey, and Steffen Wolters identified the timber of the wooden revetments. The archaeological documentation was analysed by Dr. Sonja König, Archaeological Service of the East Frisian Landscape. Determinations of the dendrochronological timber samples were carried out by specialist Danish laboratory dendro.dk (Aoife Daly, Ph.D.), returning a period between the second half of the 16th and the second half of the 17th centuries for the cutting of the trees. The main wood species was pine. The following institutions have funded the project, some also providing help in kind: Lower Saxony Ministry for Science and Culture, NLWKN Aurich, WSA Emden, City of Emden, the corporations for the maintenance of sea defences in the regions of Krummhoern and Moormerland, as well as the construction company  G. Herfeld, Rechtsupweg. Personnel were made available by the NIhK and the East Frisian Landscape, the latter additionally providing help in kind.

   

 

Map showing the various courses of sea walls and preserved remains of the Stackdeich, c. 1778 (oriented to the south), detail (Lower Saxony State Archive, Aurich, Dep. 1 K Nr. 83 – Digital editing: R. Kiepe, NIhK).

 

 

 

Timber revetment of the Stackdeich, seen from the west (UAV photo: W. Schröder, Emden).

 

 

 

Schematic section of the Stackdeich, structured according to phases of sea wall construction and flooding (Illustration: M. Spohr/A. Siegmüller, NIhK).


Bibliography

Sonja König, Johannes Ey, Annette Siegmüller und Steffen Wolters, 2015: Der Stackdeich bei Jarßum, Stadt Emden. Siedlungs- und Küstenforschung im südlichen Nordseegebiet 38, 313-351.

    Jarßum – StackdeichJarssum dyke