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Triassic chert from Dinkelberg

Material name: Dinkelberg chert
Synonyms: Trigonodus-Hornstein, Muschelkalk-Hornstein
Material (geologic): Middle Triassic (Muschelkalk) chert

Detail of chert from Dinkelsberg
Foto: Matthias Rummer, 2001

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General characteristics

(In part adapted from Stetter 1999 and Deecke 1933)

  As we are redesigning the navigation for this region, this preliminary page is meant to give you in the meantime an impression of the locality and the material therefrom.
Geographical setting: View across the Dinkelsberg near Adelshausen
Foto: Andreas Kinne, 2001
  The Dinkelberg is a small region in the southwesternmost corner of Germany at the Southern tip of the Black Forest, measuring approx.15 by 10 kilometers. It is an island of Muschelkalk sediments, bordered in the South by the deep Rhine valley, in the West by the Floodplain of the Rhine graben and on the other sides by the Paleozoic rocks of the Black Forest. Most of the higher ground, especially at the Western side, is covered by fertile loess sediments.
Material and colour: The chert found on the Dinkelberg has mostly been eroded out of the massive banks of the Muschelkalk dolomite that build the region. According to Deecke 1933 the silicious material a chemical excretion and therefore free of fossils. The material we found suggests that the chert occurs mostly in round and flattish nodules, embedded in the hard limestone, but thick banks arte reported in the literature too. Most pieces seem to have been tectonically fractured, with some of the fractures filled with secundary quartz and/or calcite.
The colour of the material is mostly gray to dark gray (N6 and 5Y 4/1 to 5/1) and grayish brown (2.5Y 5/2), occasionally with yellowish (around 10YR to 2.5Y 7/6) schliers or light bluish gray (around 10B 7/1) spots. Some nodules show slight banding parallel to the cortex which is mostly thin and irregular.
Other information: Not much is published about this type of material, apart from the two publications mentioned in the top of this section, we didn't find any references yet. As the material is easily accessible on the surface in the form of weathered out nodules and pieces, we don't expect extensive mining to have taken place, especially as the parent rock is extremely hard. There might have been some digging into residual loams with chert, like in Lengfeld or Flintsbach but nothing about this is known at the moment.
Knapping notes: The stones in our samples, from the primary exposure as well as from the secundary deposits, are all internally flawed and fractured and are hardly knappable. Most pieces just shatter and the detached pieces, you can hardly call them flakes, have irregular and jagged edges. According to the literature, there must be very fine and well-knappable banks and tablets too, but we haven't located them yet. During our sampling, we didn't find any cultural material either, so we might have been looking in the wrong places.
Archaeological description: The "Trigonodus-Hornstein" seems to be the major raw material in the regions at both sides of the Rhine. Archaeological use is known mainly from the Mesolithic and Neolithic, but in both periods there seem to have been quite a lot of imports of better material like "Bohnerzjaspis" (for an example see Marbach) and material from Schliengen and Kleinkems too, which indicates that the Dinkelberg-chert is not everybodys favourite.

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Locality: Riedmatt, Baden-Württemberg, Germany.
Synonyms: N/A
Geographical description: The exposure where we did our sampling lies at the Southern side of the Dinkelberg. It is a road-cut on the B34, about 100 meters West of the village of Riedmatt. On this location banks of Muschelkalk that dip to the East with several levels of chert are exposed.
Geographical co-ordinates: Lat. 47 35' 19" N
Long. 007 49' 04" E
(Mapdatum WGS 84)
Co-ordinate precision: Taken with a hand held GPS-receiver. As the exposure lies directly beside the road, you can hardly miss it.
Other topographical information: To rech the site by car is extremely easy as it lies directly North of the road B34, which follows the Northern bank of the Rhine between Rheinfelden and Bad Säckingen, about 15 kilometers to the East of Basel. To reach te site by public transport, take the train to Beuggen, just North of Rheinfelden, and walk for a kilometer or so along the B34 towards Riedmatt.
Additional information: Exposure with chert near Riedmatt
Foto: Andreas Kinne, 2001
  In the picture above you are looking at the primary exposure from the East. In the lower part the nodules of chert are visible as a row of dark blobs.
Visitors information: As this region is extremely popular with (mostly German) tourists, the infrastructure is very well developed. In Riedmatt itself you will find Hotel "Storchen", but restaurant "Rheinblick" (Rhineview) in Beuggen seems a better choice. Beware of Rheinfelden, which is a nice enough town but a classical tourist-trap, overflowing with mostly elderly German tourists.
A more interesting visit can be made of the erosional cave of "Tschamberhöhle" at Riedmatt. This more than 1.5 kilometer long cave is open for visitors on a length of well over 500 meters.
Sampling information: The site was sampled by Andreas Kinne on a small tour of the region in April 2001. When visiting the exposure beware of the heavy traffic on the road, and leave your car somewhere in Riedmatt instead of parking directly on the road..
For a full-blown picture of this sample, click here (77 KBytes). Flake of chert from primary exposure
Foto: Matthias Rummer, 2001
Not too high quality nodule with cortex
Foto: Matthias Rummer, 2001
For a full-blown version of this picture, click here (65 KBytes).
Sample description: The material from this primary exposure is heavily fractured and unsuited for knapping. Visiting this site is more to get an impression of how the material occurs in the parent rock than to get a sample of good material.

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Locality: Adelhausen, Baden-Württemberg, Germany.
Synonyms: N/A
Geographical description: The residual chert on the Dinkelberg can be found on large trackts on the plateau, especially east of Adelhausen.
Geographical co-ordinates: Lat. 47 37' 04" N
Long. 007 46' 09" E
(Mapdatum WGS 84)
Co-ordinate precision: The co-orinates above were taken on the fields East of Adelhausen with a hand-held GPS-unit. The chert can be found on several other locations too like in the "Hagenbacher Wald", 3 km Southwest from Adelhausen (N 47 36' 08"; E 007 43' 34") or at the Northern side of the near Maulburg (N 47 38' 09"; E 007 46' 32"). In the quarries at the road between Adelhausen and Maulburg no chert was to be found.
Other topographical information: The sites are easily reached by car from all sides (better take a map like the 1:50 000, Nr. 508 "Lörrach", but a good road map will do too). Getting there by public transport always involves long walks as the nearest train staions are located in Reihnfelden, Lörrach or Maulburg.
Additional information: Sampling location with view of Adelhausen towards the west
Foto: Andreas Kinne, 2001
  In the picture above you are looking from the east towards Adelhausen. The fields in the foreground are where we did most of our sampling.
Visitors information: The plateau is a bit less well stocked with touristic infrastructure, as most visitors stay in the Rhine valley. The nearest pub is to be found in Adelhausen.
Sampling information: Again, a sample taken by Adreas Kinne during his spring 2001 tour of Southern Germany. As you can see in the site picture above, the best pickings are to be made on the cultivated fields. This means you have to visit the region either in autumn or early spring as in winter the area is mostly covered in snow.
size of flake: 40 mm
For a full-blown picture of this sample, click here (61 KBytes).
Flake of whiteish chert
Foto: Matthias Rummer, 2001
Slightly internally fractured piece
Foto: Matthias Rummer, 2001
size of piece: 50 mm
For a full-blown version of this picture, click here (75 KBytes).
maximum length: 130 mm
For a full-blown picture of this sample, click here (84 KBytes).
Nodule of slightly coarser chert
Foto: Matthias Rummer, 2001
Sample description: The picture in the upper row left is a slightly patinated fragment, the piece on the right is of the typical brownish gray variety with lighter spots and banding under the cortex. The split nodule in the lower row is one of the largest we found.


Last modified on:
Sometime, 2001
Contents primarily by:
Andreas Kinne & Rengert Elburg
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