Leipzig University

Rescue Excavation at Rochlitz Castle

June 29, 2012 – Welcome to my day.

My Name is Marcel Dallinger. I got my Magister degree in classical archaeology at Leipzig University in November 2011.

Currently I am working on an excavation in the castle of Rochlitz executed by the State Office for Archaeology Saxony.

Rochlitz itself is a medium-sized town in Saxony/ Germany.

My day starts at 6 a.m. in Sörnzig. After getting up and doing all the things that have to be done in the morning my way leads me to Rochlitz Castle which is approximately 3km away. Fortunately I own a little motorbike so the ride is rather a little trip through fields than a typical commute.

Work starts at 7am. The excavation team meets in our lunchroom. It is luckily the same room where all our equipment is stored therefore we have short distances to everything we need.

The excavation we are working on is a ‘rescue excavation’. The castle yard is about to be renewed completely. This includes new pipes for waste water, fresh water, rain water, earth-wires and all power supply lines. Finally the whole castle yard will get a new cobbled paving.

Thus our task is to excavate all parts of the castle yard which had not been excavated before- and this is approximately 70%. Most of them dates from the late Middle Ages.

The salvage of findings, their documentation and to save them from the dredger is exactly what we are doing there. But I have to say that all the other workers and especially the operator of the dredgers are very friendly and take care of us and the work we are doing. The normal dig goes on with well-known trowels. For measuring we use a tachymeter connected to AutoCad. Because of our lack of time we also do photogrammetrie. Sometimes it is better to draw archaeological records but this needs time that we don’t have. We have our morning break around 9am. After recharging our batteries we keep on revealing the secrets of history from the ground. Of course not every day we make great findings but thanks to the still opened castle museum there is a lot of public business. One day we were surprised by a visit of a television crew. But they were doing a documentary about the new exhibition in the museum so we could watch them filming and interviewing while continuing our work.

The last period of our day is from lunch break at 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. . At the end of our day we give ourselves a pat on the back for another great and interesting day working in the job with the most public Interest: archaeology.