Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.3390/rs13224647
Licence creative commons licence
Title (Primary) High-resolution direct push sensing in wetland geoarchaeology—First traces of off-site construction activities at the Fossa Carolina
Author Rabiger-Völlmer, J.; Schmidt, J.; Werban, U. ORCID logo ; Dietrich, P. ORCID logo ; Werther, L.; Berg, S.; Stele, A.; Schneider, B.; von Suchodoletz, H.; Lindauer, S.; Linzen, S.; Stolz, R.; Wilken, D.; Ettel, P.; Zielhofer, C.
Source Titel Remote Sensing
Year 2021
Department MET
Volume 13
Issue 22
Page From art. 4647
Language englisch
Topic T5 Future Landscapes
Keywords SQUID magnetic survey; direct push sensing; multi-method prospection; Fossa Carolina; early middle ages; off-site construction activities; heated sediments; high-resolution wetland exploration
Abstract Wetland environments, with their excellent conservation conditions, provide geoarchaeological archives of past human activities. However, the subsurface soil is difficult to access due to high groundwater tables, unstable sediments, and the high cost of excavation. In this study, we present a ground-based non- and minimal-invasive prospection concept adapted to the conditions of wetlands. We investigated the Fossa Carolina in South Germany, a canal that was intended in 792/793 AD by Charlemagne to bridge the Central European Watershed. Although the resulting Carolingian banks and the fairway with wooden revetments are very imposing, archaeological traces of off-site construction activities have not been identified hitherto. Based on a geophysically surveyed intensive linear magnetic anomaly parallel to the Carolingian canal, we aimed to prove potential off-site traces of Carolingian construction activities. In this context, we built up a high-resolution cross-section using highly depth-accurate direct push sensing and ground-truthing. Our results showed the exact geometry of the canal and the former banks. Thus, the magnetic mass anomaly could be clearly located between the buried organic-rich topsoil and the Carolingian banks. The thermoluminescence dating showed that the position of the magnetic mass anomaly reflected Carolingian activities during the construction phases, specifically due to heat exposure. Moreover, we found hints of the groundwater supply to the 5-metre wide navigable fairway.
Persistent UFZ Identifier
Rabiger-Völlmer, J., Schmidt, J., Werban, U., Dietrich, P., Werther, L., Berg, S., Stele, A., Schneider, B., von Suchodoletz, H., Lindauer, S., Linzen, S., Stolz, R., Wilken, D., Ettel, P., Zielhofer, C. (2021):
High-resolution direct push sensing in wetland geoarchaeology—First traces of off-site construction activities at the Fossa Carolina
Remote Sens. 13 (22), art. 4647 10.3390/rs13224647