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<b>Central Germany</b>Posted by NucleusHilgenstein - Werkel © Uwe Häberle 07/2018
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Caldener Erdwerk (Enclosure) — Fieldnotes

Only 100 m north of Calden II on the same track you'll find an information board for the Caldener Erdwerk. Four stone pillars mark the dimension of this impressive enclosure (470 x 390 m). Unique to such earthworks or enclosure was seven house like installations within the double ditch.

Unfortuantely there are no visibile traces of this once stunning site anymore.

To get to the site, use the directions of Calden II and simply walk further 100 m along the track.

Visited November 2019
Nucleus Posted by Nucleus
5th November 2019ce

taken from the on-site information board Eco Pfad Archäologie Calden:

The Neolithic earthwork Calden

On this area between the Kassel-Calden airport in the north and the forest in the south, the darkly colored traces of a double ditch were discovered in 1976 through aerial photographs. Archaeological excavations (1988 - 1992) confirmed that it is a Neolithic earthwork. It was built around 3700 BC.
Since 2006, four newly built stone steles (see plan, sign o) mark the extent of the earthwork.

Construction of the earthwork
The double ditch has an extension of 470 x 390 m. The excavated earth was probably piled up before, between and behind the ditches to ramparts. On the inside of the earthwork was a double palisade fence, the interior of which was probably also filled with excavated earth so that a person could look over the palisades.

The ditch work is interrupted in seven places. Here foundations of wooden, house-like installations were found. Each installation consisted of two rooms to be entered from the inside and the outside of the earthwork. The size and construction of the wooden fixtures are so far unique in European history.
Inside the earthwork, there were no development remnants or other settlement activities (such as hearths), but a younger urnfield grave of the Hallstatt period (around 800 BC).

Settlement or sanctuary?
The builders of Calden's earthwork were farmers of the surrounding villages. The complex building structure suggests a central organization, which had to take care of planning, material procurement and the supply of the numerous workers.

The earthwork was probably on a trade route between Fritzlar Bucht and the Warbuger Börde, where sites of the same age were discovered. The function of earthworks is not always clear. Depending on the state of research, an interpretation in the secular field is possible, such as marketplace, settlement, meeting place or refuge.

The interpretation of the earthwork of Calden refers to the religious area as a sanctuary or place of worship: The finds found in the ditches such as animal bones, deer antlers and human bones point to ritual, religious acts. Even later, when the piles and palisades had long since passed, people used the earthworks or its ditches. Intermittent use lasted from the 37th to the 19th century BC. That means 1800 years!
Nucleus Posted by Nucleus
5th November 2019ce

Calden II (Allee-Couverte) — Fieldnotes

Calden II lies immediately south of the Caldener Erdwerk, about 100 meters outside the double ditch. The grave was cut in 1969 when laying a water pipe, but interpreted as a ruined burial mound and not further investigated. Therefore, the grave was excavated only in the context of the excavations at the Caldener Erdwerk in 1990 - 1992.

The gallery grave is oriented southwest-northeast, with access to the northeast. The outer length is 11.9 m, the maximum width 3.8 m and consisted of 18 wall stones (eight pairs of supporting stones and one endstone each). The height of the chamber was about 1.4 m in the access area and 1.05 m in the back. As with Calden I and Züschen I, the endstone in the entrance area was a probably a soul hole. The number of capstones can only be estimated, it is believed that there were seven. The gaps between the wall stones were filled with dry masonry.

The easiest way to get to the tomb is to park either at the Calden Waldschwimmbad (forest swimming pool) or at the Lindenrondell at the end of the Lindenallee. From here, take the forest road to the west. At an intersection (on your right is a field), continue straight ahead on the main path that leads northwest now. After approx. 300 m you exit the forest and continue on the path along the edge of the forest (left). After 150 m, the trail turns west again and after another 625 m you reach another crossroads. Here you take the path to the right and after 90 m you reach the tomb, which is on the left of the path. The Caldener Erdwerk is just 100 meters further north along the same track.

Visited November 2019
Nucleus Posted by Nucleus
5th November 2019ce

Calden II (Allee-Couverte) — Links

Das Galeriegrab Calden II @ Journal of Neolithic Archaeology

Completely excavated between 1990 and 1992, the Calden II gallery grave offers, despite being largely damaged, detailed information on its construction principles. Foundation trenches for the sidestones and the grave floor had been dug into the limestone close to the surface. Architecture and ritual correspond to grave I 1 km distant, but finds and radiocarbon dating suggest a close connection with the re-use (phase B) of the nearby enclosure (c. 3200 - 3000 BC). Traces of cremations between the bones of the regular burials indicate the existence of different funeral rites. The "de-construction" of the grave in the course of ritual activities is well illustrated by the removal of a sidestone and the deposition of a sheep in the Middle Bronze Age.
Nucleus Posted by Nucleus
5th November 2019ce

Calden II (Allee-Couverte) — Fieldnotes

taken from the on-site information board Eco Pfad Archäologie Calden:

In addition to the Caldener earthwork, two so-called gallery graves (also passage graves or stone chamber graves) were discovered in Calden and archaeologically examined.

Tomb I is located in close proximity to the outskirts and was investigated in 1948.
Tomb II is located about 100 meters south of the earthworks along the wayside towards the forest. It was fully investigated in 1990 - 92.

Tomb I was built in the 34th century BC and used for 200 years as a place of burial.
Tomb II followed in the 32th century BC in the same construction with an occupancy until the 29th century BC.

Both tombs consist of paired wall stones, an endstone and a - presumed - soul hole stone in the entrance area. Capstones were also used as coverings that lay on the wall stones. They are made of quartzite and come from the immediate area. The interstices in the walls were sealed in drywall technique. The tombs were probably covered with a mound. The dimensions of the graves can be reconstructed at 12.60 m (grave I) or 11.70 m; the interior was about 2 meters wide. The ceiling height in the entrance area was approximately 1.40 m. Due to the rising ground of the grave, it was only possible to crawl in the back of the burial chamber.

Gallery graves were the burial place of a whole community. Also in the Calden graves were numerous skeletons and their remains. The original number of those buried here is extrapolated to 100-200 (tomb I) or over 200.

Examination of the bones revealed that infants as well as adults of all ages were buried here. The bone features indicate a hard-working peasant society with an average life expectancy of 30 to 40 years.

The survivors pushed the dead through the "soul hole", a circular, knocked out of the stone opening in the tomb entrance. Inside the tomb, they placed their heads in the direction of the entrance. The dead person did not receive any burial except for his personal belongings, such as a chain of animal teeth or a blade of flint stone. Food and drink offerings were deposited by the survivors in the entrance area outside the burial chamber. Broken drums of clay are mute witnesses of a death suit.
Nucleus Posted by Nucleus
4th November 2019ce

Calden I (Allee-Couverte) — Fieldnotes

Calden I (also known as the stone cist of Calden) is a megalithic site of the type gallery grave. The term gallery grave for German megalithic sites of a certain type ("long arcade") is a translation from the French (Allée couverte) and was due to the similarity of the German with East French sites.

The tomb was discovered during plowing in 1947 and scientifically examined for the first time. In 1988, the new excavations were started as part of the Calden project. The discovered capstones of the stone cist were reconstructed on the southern outskirts of Calden.

The tomb is actually quite nice, but unfortunately it is located directly opposite a school and a pole with a small information board was placed directly in front of the tomb, so that the general impression is rather mixed.

The easiest way to find the tomb is to turn off at Schloss Wilhelmshöhe into the Lindenallee. At the end turn right into the street Zum Lindenrondell and follow it north to the end. Then turn left into the road Weserstraße. The grave is then about 250 m on the left side.

Visited November 2019
Nucleus Posted by Nucleus
4th November 2019ce

Caldener Erdwerk (Enclosure) — Images (click to view fullsize)

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4th November 2019ce
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