The county of Dithmarschen is a rural landscape region in the west of Schleswig-Holstein,
Germany. Eastern Dithmarschen, the so-called "Geest" is characterized
by a pleistocene moraine landscape, subdivided into raised bogs, valleys, forests
and farmland.To the West the Dithmarscher Geest is limited by sand bars, bogs
and salt marshes.
From an economic point of view the region of Dithmarschen can be characterized
as a remote rural area. Thanks to the areas remoteness a great number of archaeological
monuments since the Neolithic and Bronze Age have survived. In the Geest itself,
no systematic archaeological inventory and research have been done in the past.
Since 1997 the "Archaeological-Ecological Centre Albersdorf" (AÖZA)
is working -at re-creating a cultural landscape from the Neolithic (about 5.000
years ago) on an area of about 80 acres. To realize this idea, the project uses
the following tools:
Through sustainable and near-natural development laid down in landscape-planning,
AÖZA wants to control development in order to allow the long-term establishment
of a landscape, the structure, proportion and other aspects of which, show strong
resemblance to the Neolithic environment. The principle habitat required for
such a landscape-development is fairly open pasture woodland, which was originally
formed through grazing pressures from the domestic animals of the first farmers.
In a second step the AÖZA is - since the summer of 1999 - building a "Neolithic
village" as an open-air museum on the project site in the immediate vicinity
of original prehistoric grave monuments.
In the Albersdorf-Project the FTZ and the AÖZA will pay attention to all
aspects of the environmental and cultural history of the landscape in the Albersdorf
Geest region. Today, the landscape and cultural-historic heritage is under rapid
transformation because of changes in agricultural practices, urbanization and
industrialization. Palaeological and archaeological studies on selected periods
from Stone Age to Medieval times, will describe the interactions between man
and environment through this time frame.. The Albersdorf project provides a
basis for decision-making regarding sustainable development and tourism in the
The cultural landscape of the Albersdorf Geest area shall be presented to the
public by means of cultural paths, seminars and exhibitions. Communication between
the project participants (meetings, exchange of staff, internet, conferences)
and informing the general public is one of the most important aims of the project.
University lectures, the extension of the educational program of AÖZA (lectures,
evening classes, excursions) and communication with special interest groups
(local authorities, environmental protection groups, farmers, potential sponsors)
will be used as the main platform for relating information on the area and the
project to a wide audience.
Starting point of the cultural path ways is the Neolithic landscape park AÖZA.
The AÖZA also performs additional measures like reconstructions of buildings,
exhibitions and special programs for young people.
Community of Alberdorf
Archeological and Ecological Centre Albersdorf (AÖZA)
Research- and Technology Centre Westcoast of the Christian-Albrechts-University at Kiel
Museum for Prehistory of Dithmarschen and Local Heritage Museum Heide