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Ignimbrite from Baden-Baden

Material name: Ignimbrite
Synonyms: Quartzporphyry, silicified tuff.
Material (geologic): Permian (rotliegendes) silicified or fused tuff

Detail of flake
Foto: Matthias Rummer, 2001

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General characteristics

(In part adapted from Trunkó 1984 and Deecke 1933

Geographical setting: Baden-Baden lies on the western edge of the Black Forest, where this mountainous region falls off sharply to the plain of the Rhine. The geology in the larger region is very diverse, but the area around Baden-Baden is dominated by Permian volcanic material.
Material and colour: The material is a Permian fused volcanic ash, known as ignimbrite. In a very fine and homogenous, slightly vitreous matrix small crystals, mostly quartz, can be seen with the naked eye. The basic colour is a greenish grey (around 5GY 6/1) with pale to weak red (around 5R 6/3 and 5/3) clouds and schliers. Some pieces (see below) show slight layering. The "cortex" consists of coarser, porphyry-like material. Patination seems to have the same effect as in Gnandsteiner Bandjaspis, where the reddish patches turn to greenish grey.
Other information: There seem to be several places where this material is accessible at the moment. The only place where material fine enough to be knapped is exposed is, to our best knowledge, the disused quarry where we took our sample. To which degree this occurrence was accessible to or used by prehistoric man is not known.
Knapping notes: The texture of the ignimbrite is very similar to that of a very fine and dense quartzite like Skršin. Our sample did not comprise enough larger pieces for extensive experiments, but it seems that the material is more suited for the production of flakes rather than blades.
Archaeological description: We have no positive information on the prehistoric use of this material. In Deecke 1933 the material is mentioned as a possible stone-age raw material, but no examples of its use given. As the region is quite poor in high quality lithic sources and the material is optically attractive, we expect it to be used, at least on a local scale, during most of prehistory.

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Baden-Baden, road towards Yburg
Locality: Baden-Baden, road towards Yburg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Synonyms: According to the information given in Trunkó 1984, we heavily suspect that this site is identical with the "quarry Peter", although the given co-ordinates (East 3441 900, North 5400 600 in the German Gauß-Krüger system) differ by approximately 150 meters from those taken by us.
FlintSource sample 247.
Geographical description: The sampling site is a disused quarry along the road from Baden-Baden towards the ruined castle Yburg, south of the city.
Geographical co-ordinates: Lat. 48° 44' 23.3" N
Long. 008° 12' 37.8" E
(Mapdatum WGS 84)
Co-ordinate precision: Co-ordinates taken with a hand held GPS receiver, precision within a (few) arc-seconds.
Other topographical information: As the site is not very easy to find you'd best look out for the golf club in Baden- Baden (Fremersbergstr. 127) situated some three kilometres Southwest of the city-centre. One kilometre further to the South lies the sampled quarry. We'll try to give you some directions, but a map of Baden-Baden and surrounding countryside like the 1:50 000 topographical map L 7314 Baden-Baden would be very handy indeed.
Leave the A 5 motorway between Karlsruhe and Basel at the exit Baden-Baden, leading to the B 500. Stay on the B 500 in the direction of Baden-Baden for approx. 9 km, leaving the centre with its Roman Baths on the left hand. After passing through some hundreds of metres through a tunnel take the first possible exit. At leaving the tunnel, go left, and left again at the next traffic lights. If you keep to the main road, you should find yourself on the Fremersbergstrasse. Follow this street and after about 3 km you pass the golf-club Baden-Baden on the "Fremersberg". Stay on the road to the very top, after a few hundred metres in the direction of Steinbach you find a little road on the left with a sign "Abzweig Yburg". Drive into this road as far as you can to the quarry's parking place.
Additional information: View of the disused quarry
Foto: Matthias Rummer, 2001
  View of the disused quarry ("quarry Peter") south of Baden-Baden where the sample comes from.
Visitors information: If you are not an extremely wealthy female over 60 years of age, Baden-Baden is probably one of the most irritating cities in Europe. Being one of the most traditional health resorts in Germany, the whole place is crowded with overdressed elderly women, hung with jewelry like a Christmas tree, walking their lap dogs. The only positive thing about the place, if you care for it, is the very traditional casino, which is certainly one of the best gambling houses in the world.

Not far from the sampling site there is a restaurant called Klosterschänke and the nearby village of Steinbach seems to be a great place for tasting local wines.

Sampling information: We found the conditions for getting a fresh sample not very good. On the places we visited the walls of the vast, open quarry are too steep to get the stones from a primary seam, but there is enough material in the rubble on the foot of the cliff. Although very colourful when freshly struck, the secondary material has a nearly white weathered surface not easy to distinguish from the light creamy to orange matrix of porphyry/tuff.
  Typical flake of silicified tuff
Foto: Matthias Rummer, 2001
Typical flake of silicified tuff
size: 45 mm
Two-toned piece
Foto: Matthias Rummer, 2001
Piece of two-toned ignimbrite
size: 50 mm
  Flake with clearly visible clasts
Foto: Matthias Rummer, 2001
Flake with clearly visible clasts
size: 65 mm
Piece of green banded material
Foto: Matthias Rummer, 2001
Piece of green banded material
size: 65 mm
Sample description: The two pieces in the top row show the most typical material. Both have still some of the surrounding stone attached to it. The specimen to the left in the bottom row has more visible inclusions which show as glittering points. The right hand piece shows some banding and is slightly patinated.


Last modified on:
September 9, 2002
Contents primarily by:
Matthias Rummer & Rengert Elburg
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