Feuersteinbergwerk von Abensberg-Arnhofen


Useful Information

Location: Dollingerstraße 18, 93326 Abensberg.
(48.814670, 11.845790)
Open: All year Tue-Sun 10-17.
[2022]
Fee: Adults EUR 3, Children (6-16) EUR 1.50, Children (0-5) free, Students (-26) EUR 2, Seniors (65+) EUR 2, Disabled EUR 2, Family EUR 5.
Groups (10+): Adults EUR 2, Children (6-16) EUR 1.
[2022]
Classification: MineStone Age Flint Mine SubterraneaMining Museums
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension:
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: wheelchair accessible
Bibliography: Michael M. Rind (2004): Zum Stand der Ausgrabungen im Arnhofener Hornsteinbergwerk In: Hans-Jürgen Beier und Ralph Einicke (Hrsg.): Varia Neolithica III – Gedenkschrift für Annemarie Häußer und Helmut Spatz (Langenweißbach 2004). Deutsch - German
Georg Roth (2009): Geben und Nehmen. Eine wirtschaftshistorische Studie zum neolithischen Hornsteinbergbau von Abensberg-Arnhofen, Kr. Kelheim (Niederbayern). Dissertation. Uni Köln 2009 online Deutsch - German
Alexander Binsteiner (2005): Die Lagerstätten und der Abbau bayerischer Jurahornsteine sowie deren Distribution im Neolithikum Mittel- und Osteuropas, Jahrbuch des Römisch-Germanischen Zentralmuseums 52, Nr. 1 (2005). ISSN 0076-2741 eISSN 2198-9400 doi online Deutsch - German
Frank D. Davis (1975): Die Hornsteingeräte des älteren und mittleren Neolithikums im Donauraum zwischen Neuburg und Regensburg Bonner Hefte zur Vorgeschichte Nr. 10. 124 S., Bonn 1975, Ulmer, Stuttgart. Deutsch - German
M. Moser (1978): Der vorgeschichtliche Bergbau auf Plattensilex in den Kalkschiefern der Altmühlalb und seine Bedeutung im Neolithikum Mitteleuropas Archäologische Informationen 4, 1978, 45 – 81. Deutsch - German
B. Engelhardt et al. (1988): Vorbericht über die Ausgrabungen 1984-1986 im neolithischen Feuersteinabbaurevier von Arnhofen, Ldkr. Kelheim Germania 66, 1988, 1-28. Deutsch - German
Address: Herzogskasten Stadtmuseum, Dollingerstraße 18, 93326 Abensberg, Tel: +49-9443-9103-500, Fax: +49-9443-9103-9500. E-mail:
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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History

1450 Herzogskasten (Duke's box) built.
1861 local history collection created by benefactor and priest Peter Paul Dollinger and merchant Nikolaus Stark.
1899 presented to the public for the first time in the town hall.
1926 Franz Xaver Osterrieder founds the local history society and local history collection.
Heimathaus museum with local history collection opened in Von-Hazzi-Strasse.
1963 collections united and opened as the Aventinus Museum in the former Carmelite monastery.
1975 F. Davis examines flint artefacts of the Early Neolithic between Neuburg and Straubing.
1978 M. Moser identifies the Neolithic mining districts of Arnhofen, Oberfecking and Schoißenkager as sources.
1981 first excavation in a prehistoric mining shaft cut by modern mining.
1984-1986 extensive excavations reveal numerous closely spaced shafts.
26-JUL-2002 Heimatverein transfers collection to the city.
2004/2005 Herzogskasten renovated.
JUL-2006 museum opened to the public.

Geology

Abensberg is located south of the Danube, the area lies at the border area of the Molasse with the Mesozoic sedimentary rocks of the South German Scarplands. The subsoil here is the Malm or Upper Jurassic, covered by a thick layer of unconsolidated rock, which was deposited as a ground moraine. This ground moraine contains a lot of flints because they were harder and more resistant, but also because there is probably a source of these concretions in the rock nearby. Because they are in loose sediments, they were very easy to mine. Apparently they are also young enough not to have become unusable through weathering.

In Bavaria, flints are usually called Hornstein, but this is not a specific type of flints, just a local name. However, they do have one small peculiarity: they are banded, which is very characteristic and easy to recognise. This special feature only applies to a small-scale deposit area, in other words, worked flints can be relatively easily assigned to this deposit.

Description

The Feuersteinbergwerk von Abensberg-Arnhofen (Flint Mine of Abensberg-Arnhofen) is a Neolithic flint mine. Near the small village of Arnhofen, only 500 m north of Abensberg, there was a small settlement between 5500 and 4000 years before Christ. People lived here for a long time, probably a millennium, and mined the flint that can be found here. Obviously there were flints on the surface of the earth, but soon it became necessary to dig into the ground. And so, over time, they dug more than 20,000 shafts up to 8 m deep in an area of 50 ha. It is not clear whether they would not have dug even deeper, but at a depth of 8 m the White Jurassic Plattenkalk is exposed. Only the 8 m thick layer of gravel and sand is rich in flint.

The excavation site itself is not open to the public. But the Heimatmuseum Herzogskasten Stadtmuseum in Abensberg has an exhibition dedicated solely to this flint mine. It even has a replica of a mine shaft. The mine is particularly interesting because, with an age of 7,500 years, it is currently the oldest known mine. It is also the biggest known flint mine. In general, flint mines are quite common, but most are small or destroyed, there are only ten open to the public in Europe.

The flint mine in Abenberg is extremely important archaeologically, which is due to a special feature of the flint. They are banded, which is very chracteristic and easy to recognise, in other words worked flints can be relatively easily assigned to this deposit. In 1975 F. Davis examined flint artefacts of the Early Neolithic between Neuburg and Straubing. He recognised that many of them came from the same deposit and assumed that they were from the area around Kelheim. In 1978 M. Moser identified the Neolithic mining districts of Arnhofen, Oberfecking and Schoißenkager as the source. After an initial excavation in 1981, numerous closely spaced shafts reaching vertically into the ground to a depth of 8 m were excavated between 1984 and 1986. Since then, flint tools from a wide variety of excavations have been tested for the special banding. The result was quite astonishing: the flint was obviously traded all over central Europe.

Das Museum befindet sich im Herzogskasten, ein Kornspeicher und Zehntscheuer, der 1450 erbaut wurde. Später wurde er als Lager, zur Unterbringung der Kriegsgefangenen, und als Hopfendarre benutzt. Die Sammlungen von drei heimatkundlich interessierten Abenbergern wurden für das Museum. Beneficiate and pastor Peter Paul Dollinger and merchant Nikolaus Stark founded a local history collection in 1865. Later it was exhibited in the town hall. Franz Xaver Osterrieder founded the local history society and a local history collection. All three collections together were then opened as the Aventinus Museum in the former Carmelite monastery. Finally, the Herzogskasten was renovated by the city, the collection was transferred to the city and opened as a city museum in 2006.