© Förderverein Bronzezeithaus Hahnenknoop e.V.
The Bronze Age House
In 1971, a new canal, the “Strohauser Sieltief“, was constructed in the area
around Rodenkirchen in the district of Wesermarsh. During dredging work
on the grounds of the Hahnenknooper Mill, pre-historic remains were
found. The remains of two farms dating from the Late Bronze Age, were
discovered, but were almost completely destroyed through the dredging
work. From 1996 to 2001, the Lower Saxony Institute for Coastal Research
in Wilhelmshaven, completely exposed the main building of a third farm.
The first farmers in the Marsh
The Bronze Age settlement at the Hahnenknooper Mill is unique. Around
900 BC, nearly 3,000 years ago, the settlement was inhabited by people of
the Late Bronze Age. So far, this is the oldest settlement to have been
discovered on the German North Sea coast.
The settlement was built on flat land. The artificial hills used for houses
and whole villages which are typical for the marsh landscape, were built
many centuries later.
The site of the settlement was situated at the foot of the back of the River
Weser levee, or one of the river`s tributaries, in Sietland. The Sietland
region which bordered on to the river embankment, was characterised by
moors, and was first cultivated and drained from the Middle Ages onwards.
The three-aisled dwelling which was also a byre, was made mainly of alder
wood, with small amounts of ash. Reeds were used for both the roof and
floor covering in the stable. The living area was slightly raised through
grass sods, in order to provide protection against the surrounding damp
Animal husbandry was the basic economical support of the settlement.
The most important domestic animal was the cow, which was much
smaller then. Also, sheep were kept for milk and wool. Most of the protein
requirements were possibly provided by fish. Game was very rarely
caught. Apart from these, agriculture was used. Barley was the main crop,
followed by emmer and einkorn, archetypes of wheat, millet, oats, field
beans, and oil plants such as flax and gold-of-pleasure, also known as
false flax. Relatively plentiful remains of plants such as blackberries,
juniper, sloe, rosehips, strawberries, wild apples, and hazelnuts, were
Tools and machinery
Among the remains more frequently discovered, were fragments of clay
pots. Apart from these, remains of vessels made of wood, and remains of
machinery made from bones, horns, rock stones and flintstones, were
found. Clay fragments, probably from a small model boat, and an animal
figurine, as well as a very small container made of clay which was an
imitation of a bronze belt box, were probably children`s toys.
The remains of clay pots and shapes used for casting, were an important
discovery, which proved that a bronze forger had worked in the
Hahnenknooper Mill settlement. The remains also demonstrate that both
smooth and ornamental neck rings as jewellery, were produced.
The Bronze Age Hahnenknoop eV Support Group
In 2005, the support group reached its goal of re-building the excavated
farm, traced back to 900 BC, as close to the original as possible. The
Lower Saxony Institute for Coastal Research in Wilhelmshaven, supported
the project in all aspects of research.
The re-building was financed by the EU programme “Leader +”, the fund
“Wesermarsh in Bewegung” and sponsors in the region.
The Bronze Age house is mostly financed by donations, member’s
subscriptions and contributions to expenses. Extra-curricular projects are
supported by the Regional Council of The Wesermarsh.
Address: Bronze Age House, Hartwarderwurp, 26935 Stadland
GPS: longitude: 08° 25´ 06´´ east, latitude: 53° 24´ 15´´ north.