Project  Zuchering: Analysis of 550 sites

Hundreds mostly stone age-like surface-finds of 30 years of collector-activity are investigated, dated and classified  in the deposit of a gigantic cellars in Zuchering, south of Ingolstadt -in the job offered by the Bavarian Landesamtes für Denkmalspflege (state office of monument patronage). The prehistoric silex-finds are from a time without written tradition.  They range from the early bronze age 4000 before today up to the older Middle Palaeolithic 70 000 before today.  Some silex-artifaktes can reach back  into the time of Lower Palaeolithic.

In the summer 2005 the work is done  for the government-district Upper-Bavaria - time for a balance for a big rectangular area of investigation. 

East:  Highway Munich-Nuremberg, south: river Danube, west: Pappenheim - Eichstätt, what is  the border line to the government-district Swabia. At all we have  550 find-locations. Now its time to analyse the Swabian part - another work of years.

A computer-generated 3-D-view of the hilly landscape of the Danube to the Wellheimer dry-valley and the northward ascending Jurassic. A third of the surface is covered with forest and unapproachable for surface-investigations.


A geological fix-excerpt from the center of the investigation-area. Above  winds the river Altmühl from west to east, incised in the limestone of the Jurassic, left  the white course of the archaic Danube entering the valley of  Altmühl. During Riss-time the river profoundly changed its course leaving the Wellheimer channel  so that we have today a dry-valley. From Riss- times the Danube cleared itself a way into the direction eastward to today Ingolstadt. But not the mostly disturbed valley-meadows were the main focus of the searches but the clayey fields on the geological calm heights of the limestone Jurassic. The computer-generated 3-dimension view shows  the  landscape of the Danube to the Wellheimer dry-valley and the northward ascending Jurassic.

Another 3-dimension-map: Left up the junction of the Wellheimer dry-valley at the medieval town of Dollnstein into the river Altmühltal with steep dry-lawn-walls and climbing rocks. Behind it on the plateau of the Jurassic the villages of Schönfeld and Schönau with rich sites.


In a cross-section from north  to south through the Jurassic up to the Danube is the waved plateau, that subsides slowly to the Danube. Just as to see are the profoundly incised Schutter and the Danube, where the lime-formation deepens into the tertiary embankments into the  direction of the Alps.
The surface structure of the Jurassic has preserved since Tertiary. Quickly the water on the plateau trickles away, therefore the horizontal erosion is low. This is an important fact for the collector to find undisturbed sites of old man. The present-day surface of the Jurassic reflects the old landscape-contours before millions of years.


Important epochs of the mankind are located within the 550 sites.  Some should be presented in the following:



4500 years ago 

Daggers of Ochsenhart of early Bronze time, partly shattered. The platesilex has been digged out from one of the oldest mines of mankind and been chipped at the place to half-products. The final fabrication took place at an other location. The tools are standardized by specialists. It seems to be certain that the tools were exported. 






The same knives appear a few kilometres east in Schönau . The reddish coloring is caused by the influence of fire. Probably the Silex was tempered to harden its inner structure, a methodology, that the older Mesolithic , but also the Indians knew.



6000 years ago..... 

Ceramics, cores and flake reductions of the oldest farmers in Middle Europe, the Bandkeramiker from the Rennertshofener settlement-chamber.




20 000 years ago and older  

Jungpaläolithikum (Magdaleen) or older: blad scratchers from Ried-Dollnstein, when excavation-working of a ditch took place. Maybe they are older (Gravettien). The tools are 6 cm long in the original.





28 000 years ago     

The first modern people in Central Europe has settled on the Windhöhen (wind-heights) shortly, in order to hunt big game. We have blade cisles of the Aurignacien.




50 000 years ago 

A rare finding: a cordial  handaxe of a Neanderthal on the heights of Schönfeld. It carries the same deep-brown patina like the surrounding findings of the Neolithic. Its relative smallness may be the result of reshaping after  frequent application





250 000 years ago - possibly 

In view of the geological data - old, quiet surfaces - there would also be the chance to collect artifacts of older periods than the last ice age. Left a cortex flake with bulb and a thick black-patinated surface from the Riss gravels of the Altmühl above Böhming; right a Clactonien-flake with old wearied surface near Biesenhard.





Before??? ?years

Not all finds can be analysed unequivocally. One site , Hard 15, is such an example. Do all artifacts belong to an ensemble or have different periods been mixed together?  We have only one chance: investigator go ahead!




Statistical survey of dating the 550 sites  Depot Zuchering



Insgesamt (Mehrfachzählung)


Altpaläolithikum     Low Palaeolithic



Mittelpaläolithikum Middle Palaeolithic



Jungpaläolithikum   Late Palaeolithic




Mehr als 21.  (präzise Zahl nicht erfasst)



Mehr als 35



Mehr als 235











Röm. Kaiserzeit      Roman Empire



Mittelalter               Medieval times






Natur-Trümmer        trash

Mehr als 9


unbestimmt             uncertain




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