Abensberg-Arnhofen flint mine
The Abensberg-Arnhofen flint mine is a mine from the Neolithic, especially at the time of the band ceramic cultures , in which the flint and chert , which is popular for the manufacture of tools and weapons, was extracted. It is located two kilometers south-southeast of the Arnhofen district of the Lower Bavarian town of Abensberg . Researchers see a mining archaeological ground monument of international importance in the mine .
The flint mine is one of the largest of its kind in Central Europe and one of the largest ground monuments in Bavaria . The focus here was between 5000 and 4000 BC. The Bavarian chert , a type of flint in plate form, was mined in around 120,000 shafts by Neolithic miners on an area of around 40 hectares . Researchers suspect that the mine was used for about 1000 years. The excavation was carried out to a depth of eight meters. Because of its good processing properties, this flint was very popular and was processed both locally and widespread for more than 400 km, north to the Ruhr, but also along the Danube (see also Feuersteinstraße ). Since the Middle Neolithic, the Kelheimer Plattenhornstein replaced the Rijckholt flint as the most important raw material.
Since the raw material lay under layers of gravel and sand, mining methods had to be used. Traces of the so-called Duckelbau can be found in Arnhofen . This means that about 6 to 8 meters deep and about two meters wide, vertical shafts were sunk . These shafts were then partially widened to a diameter of about three meters at the bottom. After the flint had been extracted, the early miners backfilled the shafts.
The mine was discovered in the 1980s. The first excavations by the Bavarian State Office for Monument Preservation have taken place since 1984 . The existence of sand and gravel pits in the immediate vicinity of the archaeological site is threatened. New shafts were cut through new gravel pits. Therefore, the mine has been researched since July 1998 by the Kelheim District Archeology as part of rescue excavations .
The excavations are carried out in cooperation with the institutes for prehistory and early history at the universities in Cologne and Frankfurt. The excavation project is financed by the German Research Foundation (DFG).
A cross-section through a typical mine shaft can be viewed in the Abensberg City Museum .
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