Tracing settlement history in Franconia through geophysical prospection
In cooperation with the Bavarian State Office for Heritage Management (BLfD) we are conducting ground penetrating radar (GPR) surveys to trial the archaeological prospection method on a variety of soils and historic structures buried in the subsurface, with the goal to establish a database on the potential use in the region. Franconia is rich in cultural remains of the Neolithic, Bronze and Iron Age period, as well as early to late medieval times, of which many have left none or few masonry traces. The aim is to figure out the GPR’s value for particular research questions and then concentrate on sites with the most archaeological prospection potential (Michl & Sonnemann 2017) Wherever the gpr application successfully records underground cultural features, the results help to better understand settlement history in this region, and provide assistance to local heritage management.
These GPR surveys are usually being conducted as part of exercises with local and in cooperation with colleagues from the institute to introduce them to one of the most versatile archaeological prospection method. The intention is to provide an overview on the method, a basic theoretical idea on the function, application of the equipment in the field, and a closer look into processing and visualization steps.
Article in the Regional Newspaper Mainpost: Die Suche nach dem Mittelalterlichen Siechhaus (Gerolzhofen, Franconia)
GPR surveys were conducted at these sites::
|August 2020||Wiesenttal, Upper Franconia||Castle Neideck||BLfD (as part of the summer school)|
|July 2020||Forchheim, Upper Franconia||Museum of the Palatinate||M. Hoffmann|
|December 2019 & June 2020||Forchheim, Upper Franconia||St. Martin church||M. Hoffmann|
|August 2018||Bamberg, Upper Franconia||Bamberg Cathedral||Cathedral Masonry Workshop (Dombauhütte, as part of the summer school)|
|July & November 2018||Werneck, Unterfranken||Castle Werneck||Historischer Arbeitskreis Werneck|
|Juni & Oktober 2018||Hetzleser Berg, Upper Franconia||Early medieval fortifications||M. Hoffmann|
|September 2017||Königsfeld, Upper Franconia||Bronzeage Settlement||T. Seregély|
|June 2017||Hollfeld, Upper Franconia||Medieval oven||H. Losert|
|June 2017||Staffelberg, Upper Franconia||Celtic oppidum||BLfD|
|May 2017||Schweinfurt, Lower Franconia||Medieval church||A. Schäfer|
|February 2017||Gerolzhofen, Franken||medieval Infirmary||E. Michl|