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Monumental enclosures, non-megalithic and megalithic tombs of the early and middle Neolithic in Schleswig-Holstein: Studies on the construction history, age determination, function and landscape relations within the micro regions Büdelsdorf and Albersdorf

Working schedule

The primary archaeological work on the Büdelsdorf enclosure has to be the refurbishment of finds and features. Everything has to be applied to a GIS, which consists of a find- and feature database and vectorized feature units. Natural scientific disciplines will accompany the whole data inventory. Already existing and new samples of excavations will be used. 40.000 potsherds from 11.000 vessels are expected and have to be feed into NoNeK (a special method of inventory). This find database builds up the basis for the entire database of Büdelsdorf/Borgstedt. Besides pottery, also rock artefacts and burnt clay will be collected in a database. There is a huge number of flint artefacts (80.000) that are also to be integrated into the database. In the end the database will contain about 100.000 artefacts. The features, which are already written down in a manuscript, will be feed in the feature database. The exact description of features and their stratigraphy, especially of the ditches, has to be done. Basis for the collective evaluation is the vectorized map of the collected territorial-topographical informations. Radiometric datings have to be conducted to specify the age determination of single sections of the enclosure by using different calibration methods (e.g. sequential calibrations of developed stratigraphies). Existing soils samples have to be analysed with respect to archaeobotanical, anthrakological and sedimentological aspects. A new transect has to be installed to get further information for the reconstruction of the environment, especially the Eider lowlands and tide controlled water-levels. The obtained information will also be useable for natural scientific analysis. In the end a model should be developed that deals with the function of single sections of the enclosure and the whole complex for the specific time periods.

Comparable to Büdelsdorf the documentation of the 12 well excavated megalithic tombs of Borgstedt is also available. Within the first year of the project all plans of the megalithic and non-megalithic tombs have been digitized and feed in a GIS. The record of the about 11.000 pottery sherds from the Borgstedt tombs after the NoNeK System has begun and first fieldmappings of finds have been conducted. Moreover the preparation of a manuscript of features was started. Next steps concern the handling of natural scientific samples (palaeobotanical, dendrochronological and palynological analysis). Also bone fragments have to be analyzed for natural scientific, anthropological reasons and radiometric age determination.

Analyses have to be carried out with the gained data which include the single tombs but furthermore the precise chronology of the whole cemetery. At this the comparison of different types of tombs will play a decisive role.

In the micro region Albersdorf further selective fieldwork has to be carried out to clarify the character of the megalithic tombs in respect to chronology, function and spatial relationship between each other and to the causewayed enclosure. Therefore palaeoecological reconstructions are indispensable. Both is based on the named preparations, which leads to the following propositions:

Within the first year of the project intensive surveys were carried out at the megalithic graves Brutkamp, Gieselau-Süd and the Bredenhoop long barrows and round tombs, as well as at the causewayed enclosure Dieksknöll. The geophysical investigation at the site Gieselau-Süd gave clear hints of a dolmen covered by a circular mound. In the Bredenhoop the existence of a further long barrow could be detected which was formerly unknown. At the Brutkamp a test excavation provided secure data for the temporal placement of construction and occupation as well as the structure of the site. A larger area of the causewayed enclosure was excavated. At this the crossbar like passway construction that was observable on the aerial picture could be verified. A couple of radiocarbon datings from this construction and the adjacent ditch segments offered on the one hand the expected erection time in the early neolithic, on the other hand a formerly unknown young neolithic occupation phase. Moreover the excavation provided indications of further ditches outside of the enclosure. In which direction these structures run and if there is a relation to the neolithic enclosure has to be clarified by large-scaled geophysical surveys. Although an absence of internal constructions within the enclosure can be assumed at the present state of research this instance should be definitely examined by an extensive displacement of the surface soil. Therefore three trenches of 175m length are planned to be opened by an excavator.

Further fieldwork has to ascertain if the other tombs within the micro region of Albersdorf are contemporaneous to the causewayed enclosure, too or if they start later. Therefore excavations respectively test trenches are scheduled at two long barrows at the site Bredenhoop. The common natural scientific steering will help to provide particularly palaeoecological information on AMS-samples. Based on the results of the test trenches one grave shall be selected for a larger excavation. A soil scientific transect that was dug at the south of the AÖZA terrain towards the Gieselau (Reiß et al 2006) should be expanded to get samples for dating and anthracologic investigation. The steps of evaluation include the refurbishment of finds and features, the documentation and the analysis of excavated finds and features based on a GIS.

The proven ritualistic function of the causewayed enclosure raises the question of a settlement which belongs to the Funnel Beaker sites. The survey of such a settlement in the environment of megalithic tombs and enclosure is meant to answer elementar questions in respect to the conception of spatial structure and land use. Therefore three areas are intended that are situated in a circumference of about 500 m around tombs and enclosure. At these grounds intensive surveys in combination with precise measuring of finds are planned.