New research project on the Elbe river as transport route during the Roman Iron Age and the Migration Period
In Northwest Germany, the topographical setting of the coastal landscape (Marsch, bog, and Geest) in combination with a network of waterways connected to the North Sea offered an ideal basis for the development of trade and communication structures. This becomes especially clear by foreign and imported goods from the Roman Iron Age, which have been recorded in large numbers along the river courses and the former coastline. The way in which the Elbe river was integrated into this system and how the expected landing, reloading and market places were structured is largely unknown.
This deficit is adressed by a new research project led by Dr. Saryn Schlotfeldt, which has been funded since October 2022 as part of the program "Pro*Niedersachsen program - Cultural Heritage - Collections and Objects" of the Lower Saxony Ministry for Science and Culture. In the next 3 years, the previously known find material from two sites in the Elbmarsch near Assel, district of Stade, which has been collected primarily through metal detector prospections by the district archaeology department of Stade, will be researched in detail. These material legacies form the basis to enable further statements on the function and importance of the Lower Elbe area during the Roman Iron Age and Migration Period.