Project Part 05: Excavation at the Krahnsattel 2009 (Thomas Bachnetzer)

 

Head:

A.o. Univ.-Prof. Dr. Walter Leitner

Staff:

Thomas Bachnetzer Bakk. phil. 
Mag. phil. Beatrix Nutz
Julia Hammerschmied Bakk. phil.

University of Innsbruck
Institute for Archaeologies
Center for Ancient Cultures
Langer Weg 11
A-6020 Innsbruck

Krahnsattel2009 

 

In the course of exploratory research in the Rofan Mountains 2007 a spatially limited rockfall was detected very close to the Krahnsattel, a pass of the southern Rofan Mountains at an altitude of 2002 m above sea level. Among the fallen rocks an on two sides overhanging rock stands out that provides the only natural shelter in the vicinity.

A first excavation was carried out at the Krahnsattel in 2009.

The overhanging rock faces are situated on the south and west sides of the rock shelter. While the western side offers only a small shed roof the southern sides protrudes up to 4.5 m at its widest and is high enough to allow several people to stand erect under it. To the east and west this area is encompassed by Modern Age dry stone walls and to the south it is bordered by a natural rock slope.

According to contemporary witnesses this area was used by shepherds as milking place till the 1950s.

Two sections were excavated on the south and west side of the rock shelter.  On the slightly sloping west side only a few bones and charcoal were found but on the south side several occupation layers could be detected in a 6x1 m big trial trench.  Below the uppermost clearly Modern Age layer a fireplace, Iron Age pottery sherds and mostly unburnt animal bones surfaced. Iron Age alpine pasture farming may be assumed. In the lowest layer, directly above the sloping native rock, a Stone Age occupation layer with debris and partially retouched flakes of red radiolarian rock and grey-white chert were discovered.

A nearby radiolarian rock deposit at the Grubalacke suggests Stone Age hunter gatherers having brought at least the red flint variety from this area and used it for their purposes under the protective rock shelter.

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