Megalithic graves, giant cairns or hunebedden are among the most famous archaeological monuments in northern Germany. Since archaeological research has been carried out, these collective graves and the associated settlements have been repeatedly investigated and many insights have been gained about the builders - the people of the funnel beaker culture. However, the conditions of the discovery pose great challenges to the scientists again and again. Almost never are such sites undisturbed; secondary burials, animal buildings, robberies and much more make it impossible to exactly find the situation 5000 years ago, when these graves were built.
First investigations show that in the Ahlen-Falkenberger Moor a unique "time capsule" is present, because the prehistoric landscape is covered by bog. Thus, there is the unique opportunity here to solve important questions about the life of this time.
The Geest islands Wanna and Flögeln are very common in the archaeological world. The finds of the Stone Age, which were made there and also the remains of settlements and graves are something very special. For a long time, however, the area in between was ignored because of the prevalent opinion that 5000 years ago it was already a bog area. However, research shows that this was not the case, but that here within a fjord landscape remains of Stone Age life can be found.
At least since the Iron Age around 800 BC the area is overgrown and the peat has buried and preserved these remains among themselves as in hardly any other place in Europe. The project "Relics under the bog", which is funded by the Ministry of Science and Culture (MWK) within the program Pro * Niedersachsen for three years (2019-2021), now has the unique opportunity of these legacies in the Ahlen-Falkenberg Moor and in the comparable small region around Hammah to search, find and explore.
In order to reconstruct the Stone Age landscape, various works in the Ahlen-Falkenberg Moor are to be carried out. In the project, under the direction of Dr. Moritz Mennenga, geological investigations on the reconstruction of the paleo-surface (Dr. Martina Karle), botanical investigations on the bog dispersal and vegetation history (Dr. Steffen Wolters) and geomagnetic and archaeological investigations at the newly discovered and well-known sites (Dipl.-Prähist.Anja Behrens) are planned. If the results of these investigations are considered together, the world of humans 5000 years ago can be reconstructed in detail in the Ahlen-Falkenberger Moor, as hardly anywhere else.
A. Behrens u. A. Hüser (im Druck): Was vom Grabe übrig bleibt – Die unterschiedlichen Erhaltungsbedingungen von trichterbecherzeitlichen Großsteingräbern im Landkreis Cuxhaven. Nachrichten des Marschenrates zur Förderung der Forschung im Küstengebiet der Nordsee.
A. Behrens, M.Mennenga, S. Wolters u. M. Karle (accepted): A Neolithic landscape under the bog – new investigations in the Ahlen-Falkenberger Moor, dist. Cuxhaven.
M. Mennenga (accepted): Danish cult houses in north-western Germany? Rethinking the Funnel Beaker buildings of Flögeln and Hainmühlen, District of Cuxhaven. Prähistorische Zeitschrift.
M. Mennenga, A. Behrens, P. L. Frederiks (im Druck): Relikte im Moor – Die überwachsenen Megalithgräber im Elbe-Weser-Dreieck. Archäologie in Deutschland
A. Behrens, M. Mennenga, S. Wolters u. M. Karle 2019: „Relikte im Moor“ – ein neues Projekt zur Erforschung der mittelneolithischen Landschaftsentwicklung im Ahlen-Falkenberger Moor, Ldkr. Cuxhaven. Siedlungs- und Küstenforschung im südlichen Nordseegebiet 42, 9–22.