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Underwater archaeology of lake Arendsee, Altmark, Sachsen-Anhalt

For the ZBSA: Dr. Harald Lübke

Publication project

Since 2004, a systematic interdisciplinary investigation of underwater archaeological sites and monuments has taken place in lake Arendsee, Altmark, Sachsen-Anhalt, under the direction of Dr Rosemarie Leineweber, Landesamt für Denkmalpflege und Archäologie Sachsen-Anhalt, in co-operation with, among others, the Landesamt für Kultur und Denkmalpflege Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, the Römisch-Germanischen Kommision of the German Archaeological Institute and the local scuba-diving club Arendsee. Lake Arendsee is an expanse of water which has emerged since the Late Pleistocene through dissolution and subrosion processes in the sub-surface above a salt dome. Several times during the Late Pleistocene and Holocene, these processes caused collapses of the surface. As a result of these processes, the size and depth of Lake Arendsee changed several times during the Holocene until the lake reached its present shape. Of remarkable scientific significance was the discovery of a Late Neolithic fishing weir by the northern shore of the present lake, at a depth of between 9 and 11 m. A scientific investigation of this unique archaeological discovery ensued in the winter of 2005/2006 and in the spring of 2007, involving an archaeological research diving group under the direction of H. Lübke (ZBSA). As a consequence, a large number of scientific samples were collected and two parts of wattle fences were recovered in blocks. The latter are presently under conservation in the laboratories at ALM Schleswig; the fish remains are being analysed in the section “Archaeozoology and Faunal History” of the ZBSA. Following completion of the fieldwork, the most important results of the investigation were described immediately in a series of preliminary reports. A complete account of the project, within the framework of a comprehensive concluding publication, is planned after the completion of final natural scientific analyses.

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