Friday, October 05, 2007


Underwater archaeologists find mediaeval artefacts in German lake


Earth Times
October 05, 2007

Arendsee, Germany - Archaeologists have made significant mediaeval finds in the northern German lake, the Arendsee, that reveal fishing activities linked to a nearby monastery. Speaking before the 14th annual meeting this weekend of European underwater archaeologists at the lake, Rosemarie Leineweber of the monuments and archaeology office of the state of Saxony-Anhalt noted in particular the discovery of a dugout.

"We estimate that the dugout dates back to the end of the 14th century and that fishermen used it to provide fish for a Benedictine convent," Leineweber said.

Archaeologists, with the aid of the local underwater diving club, have been researching the lake - at 30 metres one of the deepest in this part of Germany - since 2004.

They have found several vessels, as well as a fence-like construction for catching fish dated to the Stone Age.

The dugout has been removed from the lake and treated to conserve it.

The diving teams have also found a "Prahm" - a shallow-draught vessel used in the inland waters of north-western Europe to transport people and goods.

The Prahm, which measures 13 metres and has been dated to the 13th century, is thought to be unique to the region.

"Probably the Prahm was used to transport the convent residents, or possibly building material for the convent," Leineweber said. The vessel has not yet been raised.

Another significant find is the fence for catching fish. "The construction dates back to the years 2500 to 2700 before our era and is in excellent condition," Leineweber said.


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