Category Archives: GERMANY

1400-Year-Old Folding Chair Found in a Woman’s Grave in Germany

1400-Year-Old Folding Chair Found in a Woman’s Grave in Germany

Archaeologists have made a very unusual find. A Medieval folding chair has been discovered in a woman’s grave. The excavation team unearthed the chair in a woman’s grave in Steinsfeld in Central Franconia in the Ansbach district.

An approximately 1,400-year-old iron folding chair was found by archaeologists in a woman’s grave in Middle Franconia, Germany. The chair has been underground at a depth of around 6.5 feet.

Franconia lies in the north of the Free State of Bavaria, parts of Baden-Württemberg, and South Thuringia and Hesse in Germany.

It is only the second discovery of an iron folding chair from the early Middle Ages in Germany, said the Bavarian State Office for the Preservation of Monuments. 

1400-Year-Old Folding Chair Found in a Woman’s Grave in Germany
A rarity: this iron folding chair was found during an excavation in Steinsfeld, Bavaria.

Across Europe, 29 sites of early medieval graves with folding chairs have been handed down, only six of which are made of iron.

According to the state office, it dates from around 600 AD, i.e., from the early Middle Ages. When folded, the chair, which was about 70 by 45 centimetres in size, had been placed at the feet of the dead.

“This find, which at first glance seems so modern, is an absolute rarity and of the greatest cultural-historical interest because it gives an insight into the burial equipment of prominent sections of the population and into the early use of furniture,” said the head of the state office, Mathias Pfeil.

People have been making iron and bronze folding chairs since ancient times.

They were considered essential official signs and symbolized power, authority, and dignity. According to the state office, they appear as grave goods in women’s graves.

Examinations of the woman’s skeleton showed she was around 40 to 50 when she died. The dead woman had a necklace of coloured glass beads around her neck.

On the belt was a fibulae hanger and a large pearl, among other things.

The millefiori pearl of the belt hanger.

In addition, the experts also uncovered a man’s grave in which they found, among other things, a belt with a bronze buckle and a complete set of weapons.

Early Medieval Graves Unearthed in Germany

Early Medieval Graves Unearthed in Germany

Archaeological treasures, including Stone Age pottery and medieval graves with swords and jewellery, have revealed a long history of human habitation near the Danube River in Germany. 

Early Medieval Graves Unearthed in Germany
Early medieval weapons and jewellery were found in southwestern Germany near the Danube River.

At the site, in the Geisingen-Gutmadingen district of Tuttlingen, in southwestern Germany, archaeologists discovered one grave from the Neolithic, or Stone Age, that dates to the third millennium B.C. and contains distinctive pottery from the Corded Ware culture.

They also found 140 early medieval graves, dating to between A.D. 500 and 600, that contain goods including swords, lances, shields, bone combs, drinking glasses and earrings. 

“Our Gutmadingen district is probably much older than we previously assumed,” Mayor Martin Numberger said in a statement.

The district had previously been dated to 1273 based on the first written records of settlement there. 

A corded ware pot, rock axe, and flint blade from a Stone Age grave were found in southwestern Germany.

The finds were made by a team from the archaeology firm ArchaeoTask GmbH in an area near the Danube river where a rainwater retention pond is planned.

The Stone Age grave points to the presence of Corded Ware people, who are now known mostly for their pottery decorated by geometric lines formed by pressing cord into clay and leaving the impressions to dry.

These people were probably pastoralists who kept animals such as cows and sheep, and some also practised early farming of crops such as barley. Graves from this period are rare in southwestern Germany, according to local officials.

The early medieval graves date to the century after the end of the Western Roman Empire, which fell in 476 A.D. when the German warlord Odoacer deposed the Roman emperor Romulus Augustus.

This period is part of what is known as the Migration Period, or the Völkerwanderung, when various tribes in Europe moved around, often conquering one another and pushing each other into new territories.

Historians consider this period the transition between antiquity and the early Middle Ages.  

In other graves from this period found in Germany, men are often buried with weapons, and women are interred with jewellery and beads. Burial rites sometimes changed as conquerors took over a particular village or region.

For example, a Germanic tribe called the Alemanni was defeated by the Franks in A.D. 496 and became absorbed into the Duchy of the Merovingian. 

During this transition, the Alemanni began burying the dead of their households together in graves called adelsgrablege (meaning “noble graves”), which also held rich goods, like armour and jewellery.

A 2018 study of one of these graves dating to about A.D. 580 to 630 found that the members of the household weren’t necessarily related by blood and that adopted members of the family were valued equally to those born or married into it.

A rare 400-year-old ship found in the German river is a stunningly preserved ‘time capsule’

A rare 400-year-old ship found in the German river is a stunningly preserved ‘time capsule’

Maritime archaeologists in northern Germany have discovered the wreckage of a 400-year-old cargo ship that “sank almost standing,” escaped decay from ravenous shipworms and still has the barrels of lime it was carrying for the stone-building industry centuries ago. 

A rare 400-year-old ship found in the German river is a stunningly preserved 'time capsule'
Divers have made 13 dives to the sunken vessel, totalling 464 minutes, to make a first report about the 400-year-old shipwreck.

The ship, a rare discovery, is from the Hanseatic period when a group of northern European trade guilds dominated the Baltic and North seas from the 13th to 17th centuries, Live Science previously reported. Wood quickly rots away underwater in this region, and few shipwrecks of this age have ever been found. But maritime archaeologists think the wreck survived beneath the waves because it was quickly engulfed and protected by a layer of fine mud carried there by the river Trave, which leads to the city of Lübeck about 5 miles (8 kilometres) inland.

The remains of the ship were first found in 2020 during a routine sonar survey by authorities of the navigable channel in the Trave. The vessel lies at a depth of about 36 feet (11 meters) in the predominantly saltwater outer stretch of the river, between Lübeck and the port of Travemünde at its mouth to the Baltic Sea.

The wrecked ship was between 66 to 82 feet (20 to 25 m) long and may have been a galliot, a single-masted cargo ship common during the Hanseatic period, Fritz Jürgens, the lead maritime archaeologist on the project and assistant chair of protohistory, medieval and postmedieval archaeology at Kiel University in Germany, told Live Science. At that time, the towns and guilds of northern Germany and elsewhere in Europe made up a successful bloc — the Hansa — that dominated trade throughout the Baltic and the North Sea.

The layer of river mud over the wreck may have prevented it from being colonized by Teredo navalis, a type of saltwater clam called “shipworm” that rapidly eats submerged wood, Jürgens said. The bivalve quickly destroys wooden wrecks in the western Baltic region, but it doesn’t live in the colder waters of the eastern Baltic; as a result, centuries-old wooden wrecks like the one in the Trave are almost never found in the west, he said.

Quicklime cargo

Maritime archaeologists think the wooden hull and cargo barrels of the ship were protected by a layer of mud from the Trave river against a destructive infestation of shipworm.

About 150 wooden barrels found almost intact on or near the wreck indicate that the ship was carrying a cargo of quicklime when it sank in the late 17th century. Quicklime is made by burning limestone and is a crucial ingredient for the mortar used in stonework. 

“The source for this would have been Scandinavia — in the middle of Sweden or in the north of Denmark,” Jürgens said. “We know that this cargo was coming from there, most likely to Lübeck, because northern Germany has no big sources of limestone.” 

Historical research may have pinpointed the date of the shipwreck as December 1680. A letter from that date in the Lübeck historical archives shows that the voight, or bailiff, of Travemünde asked an unknown recipient to recover the cargo of a galliot that had run aground in the river. That fits with what is known of the Trave shipwreck, Jürgens said, including the results of a dating technique called dendrochronology, which revealed that patterns of tree rings visible in its timbers were from trees felled in the 1650s.

It’s likely that the ship had been turning before its entry into Lübeck, when it ran aground on a shoal in the river — a shallow area that still exists today and still threatens ships that don’t know about it. It’s possible that 17th-century workers recovered some of the ships’ cargo, causing the ship to refloat; but the vessel soon sank due to leaks caused when it struck the shoal, he said.

The submerged wreck and its cargo have now been photographed in place by Christian Howe, a scientific diver based in Kiel, and the entire ship is expected to be raised from the riverbed over the next few years so that it doesn’t move again and present a danger to modern shipping in the region, Jürgens said.

Historic wreck

The ship may be a galliot, a single-masted cargo ship that was common in the Baltic Sea at the time it sank in about the second half of the 17th century.

Lübeck was famous for shipbuilding in the Hanseatic period, so it’s possible the ship was built there. But such vessels were common throughout the region at the time the ship sank in the Trave, so perhaps it was constructed elsewhere in Europe, said Manfred Schneider, the head of Lübeck’s archaeology department and a leader in the project to salvage the ship.

The wreck is notable for its remarkable state of preservation, not only due to the lack of infestation by shipworms and other marine organisms but also because of its weighty cargo.

“There are still about 70 barrels in their original location on the ship, and another 80 barrels in the immediate vicinity,” Schneider told Live Science in an email. “The ship, therefore, sank almost standing and did not capsize.” He added that archaeologists may uncover further archaeological finds in the sediment that fills the ship’s interior.

Raising the ship from the riverbed will give archaeologists a chance to fully investigate the hull and its construction, and perhaps identify its origin.

“The salvage will probably also uncover previously unknown parts of the wreck that are still hidden in the sediment,” Schneider said, such as rooms for the ship’s crew in the stern that may still hold everyday objects from the 17th century.

Although Lübeck was a centre for Baltic trade during the Hanseatic period, very few authentic maritime objects from that time had survived, Schneider said, so the discovery of almost an entire ship from this era is remarkable.

“We have something like a time capsule that transmits everything that was on board at that moment,” he said. “It throws a spotlight on the trade routes and transport options at the end of the Hanseatic period.”

Archaeologists Unearthed the tomb of a Giant Warrior, horses and a witch in Germany

Archaeologists Unearthed the tomb of a Giant Warrior, horses and a witch in Germany

Close to a burial ground in Theiben, a little town in Germany an unbelievable revelation was made. Two bodies were found close to each other with one being of a goliath and the other being of a young lady accepted to be a witch.

Authorities on the matter agree, these all date back to the Merovingian period which endured from the fifth to the eighth century and this could possibly be confirmation of Giants and witches living in old times.

As a matter of first importance, we should address the Giant. He was 7 feet tall, which probably won’t seem like much at the time yet the vast majority were 4 feet or so around that time so he’d be totally overshadowing any other individual.

A sword was found close to his body which means the way that he was a hero, doubtlessly the head of his clan. He was obviously either guarding the woman close to him or he was ensuring she doesn’t get away.

She then again was restricted and had an iron bar in her chest which is an obvious indicator that she was accepted to be a witch at that point. She was accepted to be 18 years of age and she was covered with her face down.

Three ponies’ skeletons were additionally found at the entryway, which was extremely normal for antiquated human advancements to do. They would kill the ponies so the dead could ride them into life following death.

Among the most amazing remaining parts are those of a lady matured somewhere in the range of 16 and 18, covered face-down “with her options limited and an iron bar penetrating her chest. It appears to be that she was covered this way so her spirit wouldn’t forsake the burial place. Purposes behind this might be that she was incapacitated or twisted, had unique, maybe baffling and accordingly alarming capacities, or that she was essentially viewed as a witch,” as made sense of by the lead prehistorian Nexus News Feed.

Paleologist accept that the iron bar puncturing the chest through her back was to forestall a restoration. Her head confronting the earth and situated toward the east – normally west – was to point the ‘perishing soul’ away from the living.

The grave of a GIANT middle age hero

Archaeologists likewise uncovered the body of a 2-meter-high man – exceptionally tall for the time span – with a blade and a lance. The remaining parts of the goliath man are likely those of a champion, maybe a pioneer.

Monster Germany prehistoric studies, Giant fighter found in Germany old goliath Germany

He holds an iron sword with his left hand and stays of a lance sits to his right side. His garments were shut with a pin

Three pony internments and a lot of bones

3 ponies have additionally uncovered almost a graveyard in Germany.

In the interim 3 pony skeletons have been uncovered. Archaeologists accept there is no connection with the dead, in spite of the fact that they should be visible as a means to head out to the next world while checking other antiquated civilisations out.

What’s more, the archaeologists uncovered a grave in which human bones were stacked up. They haven’t tracked down any conceivable clarifications for this mass grave.

Hoard of 5,500 Roman-era Silver Coins Unearthed in Germany

Hoard of 5,500 Roman-era Silver Coins Unearthed in Germany

Archaeologists in Augsburg, Germany, revealed unearthed a historical hoard including 15 kg of silver coins from the Roman Empire’s era. In a historic Roman camp in Augsburg, more than 5,500 coins from the first and second century AD were uncovered.

According to the local newspaper emphasis, it comprises swords, tools, jewellery, and tableware and is the greatest Roman treasure of silver in Germany thus far.

Archaeologists in Augsburg made a Roman-era find for the second time in a few months, and experts said the more than 5,500 silver coins discovered at a disused manufacturing site were among the most important findings of this type in Germany.

Hoard of 5,500 Roman-era Silver Coins Unearthed in Germany
Coins from Roman times: The silver treasure of Augsburg

The coins were found individually distributed in a construction pit in the Oberhausen district.

Rare silver coins discovered in Germany

The coins were discovered separately scattered in a construction trench near Oberhausen, the city’s core. Around 15 BC, Emperor Augustus’ stepsons built the city.

A military camp that eventually became a supply depot. That is why, behind Trier, Augsburg is Germany’s second-oldest city. Later, Emperor Hadrian awarded city powers to the “Augusta Vindelicum” town that had grown up around the military camp.

A period in Augsburg’s history about which virtually little is known.

The oldest coins date back to the reign of the Roman Emperor Nero, making them more than 1950 years old, and the wealth is worth 11 times the yearly income of a Roman soldier during this time period.

For his part, German archaeologist Sebastian Gerhaus said: “What makes this treasure particularly important is that it is dinars dating back to the first and second centuries AD, and they still contain a very large amount of silver, and weapons, tools, jewellery.”

Stefan Krmnicek from the Institute for Classical Archeology at the University of Tübingen, “This amount of money must have been enormous by ancient standards. It is certainly not owned by someone who belonged to the lower social pyramid. This is most likely to think of people who were active in the military or in trade,” he said.

Augsburg, is a city that is richer in Roman history than almost any other in Germany. For this reason, where the found coins will be exhibited will be determined after the research.

Well-preserved fossils could be a consequence of past global climate change

Well-preserved fossils could be consequence of past global climate change

Well-preserved fossils could be consequence of past global climate change
A fossil of a crustacean claw exoskeleton from the Posidonia Shale in Germany.

Climate change can affect life on Earth. According to new research, it can also affect the dead. A study of exceptionally preserved fossils led by a graduate student at The University of Texas at Austin has found that rising global temperatures and a rapidly changing climate 183 million years ago may have created fossilization conditions in the world’s oceans that helped preserve the soft and delicate bodies of deceased marine animals.

The fossils include squid-like vampyropods with ink sacs, ornate crustacean claws, and fish with intact gills and eye tissue.

Despite being from different locations and marine environments, the fossils were all preserved in a similar manner. Geochemical analysis revealed that the conditions needed to preserve such captivating fossils could be connected to Earth’s climate.

“When I started the research, I had no idea if they would preserve the same way or a different way,” said lead author Sinjini Sinha, a graduate student at the UT Jackson School of Geosciences. “I was curious what led to the exceptional preservation.”

The research was published in Scientific Reports.

Going from dead organism to eternal fossil is a complex, chemical process that involves the formation of minerals within biological tissues. The authors examined different parts of fossil specimens under a scanning electron microscope equipped with a tool to detect chemical elements present in the minerals.

Lead author Sinjini Sinha, a graduate student at The University of Texas at Austin’s Jackson School of Geosciences, examines images of fossil specimens in the scanning electron microscope lab. Sinha used the microscope to examine exceptionally preserved fossils and learn more about the fossilization process.

The fossils came from the Posidonia Shale in southern Germany, Strawberry Bank in southern England, and Ya Ha Tinda in Alberta, Canada. And in all of them, one element dominated: phosphorus.

“We expected there to be some similarities, but finding that they were so similar was a bit surprising,” said co-author Rowan Martindale, an associate professor at the Jackson School.

Phosphorus is common in bones, so finding it in fossilized fish skeletons wasn’t unusual. But when it appeared in tissues that don’t usually contain phosphorus, such as crustacean exoskeletons and vampyropod soft tissues, it signalled that the environment was the source of the phosphorus minerals.

Phosphorus, however, usually isn’t available in high concentrations within marine sediments, said co-author Drew Muscente, an assistant professor at Cornell College and former Jackson School postdoctoral researcher.

“Phosphorus is an element that you don’t expect to see in sedimentary rocks,” he said. “It generally doesn’t get buried in large amounts except in unusual circumstances.”

Lead author Sinjini Sinha holds a fossilized ink sac of a vampyropod, a squid-like animal. The black portion is the ink sac. The white portion is the tissue surrounding the sac. The fossil is from the Strawberry Bank fossil deposit in the United Kingdom.

The researchers think a period of extreme and rapid climate change caused by an influx of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere by volcanic eruptions during the Early Jurassic could be just that circumstance, with the rising temperatures causing increased rainfall that stripped large amounts of phosphorus-rich sediment from rocks on land into the world’s oceans.

Climate change today is also reducing oxygen in the oceans but it will be millions of years before anyone can say whether there is a boost in exceptional fossils, Martindale said.

The fossil fish Leptolepis from the Strawberry Bank fossil deposit in the United Kingdom.

Javier Luque, a research associate at Harvard University who was not part of the study, said that the study is important because it suggests that past climate change could have helped enable fossilization in a variety of environments.

“Perhaps one of the biggest takeaways of this work is that global events in the past could have set the stage for the exceptional preservation seen in fossil-rich marine deposits around the world regardless of their location, lithologies, environments, and depositional setting,” he said.

The study was also co-authored by researchers at the University of Missouri, the Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution, and the Stuttgart State Museum of Natural History.

Headless HORSE skeleton with rider unearthed in a medieval graveyard in Germany

Headless HORSE skeleton with rider unearthed in a medieval graveyard in Germany

The skeletal remains of a man buried 1,400 years ago near a headless horse have been discovered at an ancient cemetery in the town of Knittlingen in southern Germany. He likely was the horse’s owner/rider when he was alive. 

Headless HORSE skeleton with rider unearthed in a medieval graveyard in Germany
This decapitated horse, dating back about 1,400 years, was found next to the remains of a male rider.

The man was buried at a time when the Merovingian dynasty (A.D. 476–750) flourished in the area, ruling a giant swath of territory in what is now France and Central Europe. 

During his lifetime, the man likely served the dynasty’s kings. “He stood in a ‘chain of command’ with the Merovingian kings on its top, which meant he was obliged to participate in the king’s campaigns,” Folke Damminger, an archaeologist in charge of research at the site, told Live Science in an email. 

Part of the ancient cemetery that is currently being excavated is shown in this aerial image.

“As a member of the local elite, he most probably was the head of a farming household consisting of his family and his servants,” Damminger said.

However, the man was not a farmer in a strict sense, as other workers may have done much of the actual farming, Damminger said. 

Why exactly he was buried near a headless horse is not clear, but “most probably the decapitation [of the horse] was part of the burial ceremony,” Damminger told Live Science.

The horse may have been placed near its owner as a ‘grave good’ for the afterlife rather than a sacrifice, Damminger said. The horse’s head has not been found so far. 

His family members would have wanted to portray him as a wealthy and important individual so that they could benefit from his status.

“One function of this ceremony was the ‘staging’ of the deceased in his former status and wealth as a claim of his successors to maintain this status,” Damminger said. 

The archaeologists discovered the remains of several other people, who lived at around the same time as this rider, within the same cemetery.

Some of them were buried with wealthy grave goods, such as a woman interred with a gold brooch. Some of the men were buried with weapons such as swords, lances, shields and arrowheads. 

The researchers will continue to investigate the headless horse burial and excavate other burials at the cemetery.

Damminger said that the team is in the process of excavating and restoring the mysterious man’s grave goods, and future anthropological work of the man’s bones and teeth will be done to learn about his health, why he died and how old he was when he perished. 

Damminger works for Stuttgart Regional Council’s State Office for Monument Preservation. Much of the excavation work is being carried out by archaeologists from the cultural resource management firm ArchaeoBW. 

In Germany, a rare hoard of 2000-year-old Curved Celtic gold coins was discovered

In Germany, a rare hoard of 2000-year-old Curved Celtic gold coins was discovered

A volunteer archaeologist has discovered an ancient stash of Celtic coins, whose “value must have been immense,” in Brandenburg, a state in northeastern Germany. The 41 gold coins were minted more than 2,000 years ago, and are the first known Celtic gold treasure in Brandenburg,  Manja Schüle, the Minister of Culture in Brandenburg announced in December 2021.

In Germany, a rare hoard of 2000-year-old Curved Celtic gold coins was discovered
A selection of the 41 Celtic coins was discovered in Brandenburg, Germany.

The coins are curved, a feature that inspired the German name “regenbogenschüsselchen,” which translates to “rainbow cups.” Just like the legend that there’s a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, “in popular belief, rainbow cups were found where a rainbow touched the Earth,” Marjanko Pilekić, a numismatist and research assistant at the Coin Cabinet of the Schloss Friedenstein Gotha Foundation in Germany, who studied the hoard, told Live Science in an email. 

Another piece of lore is that rainbow cups “fell directly from the sky and were considered lucky charms and objects with a healing effect,” Pilekić added. It’s likely that peasants often found the ancient gold coins on their fields after rainfall, “freed from dirt and shining,” he said.

The hoard was discovered by Wolfgang Herkt, a volunteer archaeologist with the Brandenburg State Heritage Management and Archaeological State Museum (BLDAM), near the village of Baitz in 2017.

After Herkt got a landowner’s permission to search a local farm, he noticed something gold and shiny. “It reminded him of a lid of a small liquor bottle,” Pilekić said. “However, it was a Celtic gold coin.”

After finding 10 more coins, Herkt reported the discovery to the BLDAM, whose archaeologists brought the hoard’s total to 41 coins.

“This is an exceptional find that you probably only make once in a lifetime,” Herkt said in a statement. “It’s a good feeling to be able to contribute to the research of the country’s history with such a find.”

The first 11 coins were discovered in Brandenburg, Germany.

By comparing the weight and size of the coins with those of other ancient rainbow cups, Pilekić was able to date the hoard’s minting to between 125 B.C. and 30 B.C., during the late Iron Age.

At that time, the core areas of the Celtic archaeological culture of La Tène (about 450 B.C. to the Roman conquest in the first century B.C.) occupied the regions of what is now England, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria, southern Germany and the Czech Republic, Pilekić said. In southern Germany, “we find large numbers of rainbow cups of this kind,” he noted.

However, Celts did not live in Brandenburg, so the discovery suggests that Iron Age Europe had extensive trade networks.

A selection of the cup-shaped Celtic gold coins from Brandenburg, Germany.
A 2,000-year-old Celtic gold coin in the field where it was found.

What was in the hoard?

Of the 41 gold coins, 19 are coins known as staters, which have a diameter of 0.7 inches (2 centimetres) and an average weight of 0.2 ounces (7.3 grams), and 22 are 1/4 staters, which have a smaller diameter of 0.5 inches (1.4 cm) and an average weight of 0.06 ounces (1.8 g). The entire stash is imageless, meaning they are “plain rainbow cups,” said Pilekić, who is also a doctoral candidate of the archaeology of coinage, money and the economy in Antiquity at Goethe University, Frankfurt.

READ ALSO: HOARD OF 1,800-YEAR-OLD SILVER COINS DISCOVERED IN GERMANY

Because the coins in the stash are similar, it’s likely that the hoard was deposited all at once, he said. However, it’s a mystery why this collection — the second largest hoard of “plain” rainbow cups of this type ever found — ended up in Brandenburg. 

“It is rare to find gold in Brandenburg, but no one would have expected it to be ‘Celtic’ gold of all things,” Pilekić said. “This find extends the distribution area of these coin types once again, and we will try to find out what this might tell us that we did not yet know or thought we knew.”