Field of Focus III - Funded ProjectsUncovering Hidden Cultural Heritage

Visualizations of Historic Cultural and Natural Landscapes on the Example of ‚Zullestein‘

Project leader

PD Dr. Roland Prien (HCCH)


Within the project a cultural heritage site of importance for the northern Upper Rhine region was re-investigated. A re-evaluation of the archaeological investigations revealed that the late Roman burgus, that was discovered underneath the medieval castle “Stein” had two building phases. The burgus was closed to the river side and, contrary to older assumptions, was located along a flat anabranch of the Rhine river in ancient times. The archaeological material shows that after the abandonment of the fortress in the middle of the 5th century, the site was occupied again at least from the 7th century onwards. 14C-dated sediments from the channel show a profound change in the waters connection between the 8th and 10th century. This can possibly be related to extensive anthropogenic interventions in the water network in the course of the foundation and expansion of the Imperial Monastery of Lorsch. On the basis of the project results obtained, further research on the course of the Weschnitz, which today flows into the Rhine near the Zullestein, should clarify to what extent the place known as Portus in Carolingian times was connected to the Monastery by hydraulic engineering measures. An analysis of historical images sources showed that the water courses around Stein Castle as depicted in the 16th/17th century corresponds to the modern situation. The project results allow the reconstruction of the burgus and its surroundings as a 3D visualization. 


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    Burgus Zullestein, Abb. 1
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    Burgus Zullestein, Abb. 2
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    Burgus Zullestein, Abb. 3