25 May 2024 The Future is the Product of the Past

3000 years old wooden wishing well discovered in Germany

In the town of Germering, in the Germany state of Bavaria, archaeologists have unearthed the remains of a well-preserved Bronze Age wooden well filled with ritual deposits.

People may have sunk jewelry and ceramics as offerings in the special water spring, similar to how coins are still thrown into so-called wishing wells today, according to the archaeologists.

The area of ​​today’s town of Germering in Upper Bavaria was a settlement area early on. Numerous finds from prehistory and early history bear witness to this. Many new ones have been added since the beginning of 2021: In the run-up to construction work, numerous traces of settlements from the Bronze Age to the early Middle Ages were discovered on an excavation area of ​​around seven hectares.

This also includes the remains of wells that were used by people of different eras to supply water. But one of the wells discovered on the site differed significantly from the others, reports the Bavarian State Office for the Preservation of Monuments (BlfD).

Photo: Marcus Guckenbiehl

This wooden water point is dated to be more than 3000 years old and, at around five meters (16.4 feet), reached particularly deep into the ground compared to others.

“It is extremely rare for a well to survive more than 3,000 years so well. Its wooden walls have been completely preserved at the bottom and are still partly damp from the groundwater. This also explains the good condition of the finds made from organic materials, which are now being examined more closely. We hope this will provide us with more information about the everyday life of the settlers of the time,” adds Dr. Jochen Haberstroh, a responsible archaeologist at the Bavarian State Office for the Preservation of Monuments.

Medieval pottery from well fill. Photo: Marcus Guckenbiehl
Medieval pottery from well fill. Photo: Marcus Guckenbiehl

The team of archaeologists discovered in what was once the base of the fountain: 26 bronze clothing pins, a bracelet, two metal spirals, a mounted animal tooth, amber beads and more than 70 ceramic vessels. The archaeologists emphasize that this filling makes this well fundamentally different from the others on the excavation site.

These expensive items, which were typically discovered in Middle Bronze Age graves, were not items for everyday use (1800-1200 B.C.). The state they were in when discovered at the bottom of the well suggests they were carefully lowered into the water rather than dropped or thrown.

“Even today, fountains have something magical about them for many people. They drop coins in the hope that their wishes will be granted. We cannot exactly explain what motives our ancestors 3000 years ago made to offer jewelry and other valuable gifts. But it can be assumed that they were intended as sacrifices for a good harvest,” explains Mathias Pfeil from the BlfD.

Among other things, the archaeologists discovered numerous bronze clothing pins at the bottom of the well. © Marcus Guckenbiehl
Among other things, the archaeologists discovered numerous bronze clothing pins at the bottom of the well. © Marcus Guckenbiehl

There may also be a clue in the unusual features of the well: “The depth of this well shows that it was used at a time when the groundwater level had dropped considerably, which indicates a long drought and certainly poor harvest yields. One can possibly see a reason why the people who lived here at that time sacrificed part of their possessions to their gods in this well,” says Marcus Guckenbiehl, city archaeologist and archivist of Germering.

Archaeologists have been working in advance of construction work for a letter distribution center on the site where the well has now been discovered since the beginning of 2021. The excavations are among the largest area excavations in Bavaria this year. In the meantime, scientists have documented approximately 13,500 archaeological finds, primarily from the Bronze Age and early Middle Ages. Some of the discoveries are currently being examined and conserved at the Bavarian State Office for Monument Preservation.

Related Articles

Medieval Ring with a Skull Emblem Found in Wales and The Gold Coins are Declared Treasure

11 April 2021

11 April 2021

Located in wales nine treasure finds dating from the medieval and post-medieval periods have been declared treasure. Metal detectors in...

Medieval double grave discovered with majestic objects inside the circular ditch

22 August 2022

22 August 2022

An early medieval double grave was discovered in Kirchheim am Neckar Friedrichstrasse, southern Germany, during excavations supervised by the State...

Archaeologists Discovered 1,500-Year-Old Maya Palace in Mexico

25 September 2023

25 September 2023

Mexican National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) archaeologists have discovered a palace at an ancient Maya city in southeastern...

1,400-year-old temple from the time of the East Anglian Kings discovered at Suffolk royal settlement

21 November 2023

21 November 2023

Archaeologists have uncovered a possibly pre-Christian temple from the time of the East Anglian Kings at Rendlesham, near Sutton Hoo...

A 2,000-year-old Roman sewage system has been discovered in western Turkey

19 September 2021

19 September 2021

The archaeological excavations carried out in the ancient city of Tripolis in the western province of Denizli’s Buldan district have...

600 Years Old Sword and Equipment Found in Olsztyn

22 April 2021

22 April 2021

Aleksander Miedwiediew, a history buff, and detectorist discovered a bare sword, a sheath, and a knight’s belt with two knives...

Remains of a Submerged Roman Harbor Discovered in Slovenia

7 March 2024

7 March 2024

Archaeologists from the Institute of Underwater Archaeology (ZAPA) have uncovered the remains of a submerged Roman harbor, off the coast...

A rare 3,300-year-old wooden yoke found in northern Italy

30 October 2023

30 October 2023

After eight years of complex excavation, recovery, and restoration, a rare 3,300-year-old wooden yoke discovered in a Late Bronze Age...

8,000-year-old Musical Instrument found in northwest Turkey

4 July 2021

4 July 2021

Archaeologists in northwestern Turkey’s Bilecik on Tuesday discovered a musical instrument that dates back to an estimated 8,000 years. During...

Treasure Hunters’ permission given to raise mystery canister in hunt for lost Nazi Gold

5 August 2022

5 August 2022

Treasure hunters claim they have permission to lift a buried canister that they believe may hold the loot next month...

Ötzi the Iceman Had Dark Skin, Bald Head and Anatolian Ancestry -New study rewrites ancient history

17 August 2023

17 August 2023

New DNA analysis by German researchers shows that the famous glacier mummy Ötzi may have had dark skin, dark eyes,...

Sumatran fishing crews may have found the legendary Gold Island in the Mud of the Indonesian River

24 October 2021

24 October 2021

The site of the Srivijaya kingdom, known in ancient times as the Island of Gold, may have been found by...

Detector finds rare Merovingian gold ring refers to a previously unknown principality

22 February 2024

22 February 2024

A metal detectorist has unearthed a very rare, 1,500-year-old Merovingian gold ring made of 22-carat gold at Emmerlev in Southwest...

Remains of 2 houses belonging to the founding period of the city were unearthed in the ancient city of Hierapolis

5 November 2021

5 November 2021

During this year’s excavations in the ancient city of Hierapolis-Pamukkale in Turkey’s Aegean province Denizli, the remains of two houses...

Freshwater and marine shells used as ornaments 30,000 years ago discovered in Spain

7 June 2023

7 June 2023

In Malaga’s Cueva de Ardales, up to 13 freshwater and marine shells that were carefully transformed by humans between 25,000...