After several years of COVID-19 interruption, our 10th Ergersheim Anniversary Experiment took place on the weekend of 31 March to 2 April 2023.

The work included in-depth experiments on well box construction with slotted posts based on finds from Uničov and Ostrov. Attempts were made to determine whether the slots in the posts were made with chisels with shoe-last celts or bone chisels. One team dealt with the use of Neolithic hollow ground blades, nother on the detailed documentation of felling with Roman steel axes.. Furthermore, various oak trunks and branches were sampled in 1-metre increments to complete a dendrological reference collection and tree slices were collected from suitable root stumps for the extension of the recently established Ergersheim oak chronology, which so far goes back to 1805.

More detailed findings will follow here shortly. Feel free to drop by again.


Tool blades from shell limestone

Thomas Bartz tested the tool suitability of shell limestone as axe or hatchet blades, which he reconstructed according to finds from the Late Neolithic ritual site of Herxheim (Germany). Since shell limestone appears to be rather unsuitable as a material for tool blades, the question arose whether the axes deposited there and previously rendered unusable had rather a votive character or whether they were practical tools.

Tool Blades From Shell Limestone


Flint chiselsSilex chisel with mallet and mortise

Wulf Hein started an experiment that he had wanted to carry out for a long time. While flint axes have been used many times, the use of flint chisels has been little studied and tested. Wulf had been given a chisel each by Marquardt Lund and Kai Martens, sharpened them and used them on an oak trunk. In about 2 hours net working time, two mortises of about 7 × 7 cm and 2 cm depth could be chiselled out, although most of the work was done in the sapwood. To the pleasant surprise of the experimenters, the chisels also withstood stronger blows with a mallet and cut a clean mortise in the oak.
The experiment will be extended next year. The chisels used now are currently in Denmark for wear analysis..



Modern statt primitiv: So funktionierte der Hausbau in der Steinzeit. BR Fernsehen Frankenschau aktuell, 03.04.2023 (German)