Archaeology at Büchel: experts find medieval jar
Updated: Jan 23, 2021
While heads in many offices are currently spinning to advance the Büchel-Planungswerkstatt (Büchel planning workshop) demolition preparations for the car park and much more, archaeology experts on site in Aachen are once again taking up their shovels. Since mid-December, their gaze has once again been directed towards the soil: what lies dormant in the depths of Büchel?
After the first archaeological investigations at Büchel just over a year ago, two further excavations are currently being carried out by Archaeonet on behalf of the Stadtentwicklungsgesellschaft Aachen GmbH & Co. KG – SEGA (Aachen Urban Development Association and under Aachen Stadtarchäoloog Andreas Schraub’s supervision. These two current sondages (test excavations), which are being carried out in the area behind the car park, are part of a larger preliminary exploration of the entire Büchel area. At least two more sondages are planned in the medium term, so that a total of five such test pits will be located for assessment. The current status was presented on Friday (15 January) by excavation director Felix Kunze and SEGA executive director Christoph Vogt, who commissioned the archaeological investigations.
Photo: Excavation director Felix Kunze and executive director Christop Vogt © Stadt Aachen/Stefan Hermann
Although no preserved Roman settlement remains have been found during the previous excavations, the experts were able to make a few small individual finds from the Roman period, such as pottery fragments, in younger layers. In addition, Kunze and his team have recently discovered medieval pits and wall remains in the soil, which indicate that the area around Büchel was used for craft work at that time. The current excavation’s eye-catcher is a very well preserved jug measuring about 30 centimetres. Excavation director Kunze dates the medieval find to the 13th century.
"Perhaps it is an indication that there was once a medieval public house in this area. For well-founded statements, however, further investigations must be carried out first."
Photo: Medieval find: This jug, around 750 years old, was discovered by the experts in one of the two pits where archaeological investigations are currently taking place at Büchel. © Felix Kunze/Archaeonet
Also well-preserved remains of an early modern / new age vault outcropped during the excavations.
Photo: © Stadt Aachen/Stefan Hermann
All findings are taken into account in the overall view when it comes to the question at which depths historical finds can be expected. This is a decisive factor according to Vogt – especially in view of the future development and potential construction projects at Büchel.
"The glimpse we are taking today into the earth and thus into the past of the Büchel and the long history of the Stadt Aachen reminds us of our responsibility in designing the new urban quarter at Büchel."
The entire investigation project is closely coordinated with the Landschaftsverband Rheinland – LRV-Amt (Rhineland Regional Association) for the Preservation of Archaeological Monuments via the Aachener Stadtarchäologie (Aachen City Archaeology Department).