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Chert from Flinsberg

Material name: Keuper chert from Flinsberg
Synonyms: Knollenmergelfeuerstein, Keuper-Feuerstein
Material (geologic): Upper Triassic (Middle Keuper) chert

Detail of chert from Flinsberg
Foto: Matthias Rummer, 2001

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General characteristics

(In part adapted from Bachmann & Brunner 1998)

  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 towards the top of the Flinsberg
Foto: Andreas Kinne, 2001
  The Flinsberg (literally: Flint mountain) lies at the western edge of the Mainhardter Wald in the large nature reserve "Schwäbisch-Fränkischer Wald". Most of the hill itself consists of Middle Keuper sandstones of the so called Stubensandstein- or Löwenstein-Formation. On its top there are some rests of the Knollenmergel- or Trossingen-Formation, a marl with chert nodules, notorious for its erosional instability. Most of this weaker material has been eroded away, leaving a deposit of chert fragments, covering the sides of the hill. On its top , around 535 m asl., several very large but heavily fractured boulders have been preserved.
In the foto above you are looking across some of the fields on the southeastern hillside towards the wooded top.
Material and colour: The chert from Flinsberg is mostly medium to coarse grained of a whitish to light brownish colour. Most pieces are heavily fractured due to weathering. All material is to be found as an erosional residue, no in situ exposures are known.
Other information: Until now, nothing is known about the possible prehistoric exploitation of the chert at Flinsberg. As the geological situation hasn't changed very much in the last few thousand years, no mining is to be expected as most material lies directly on or below the surface.
Knapping notes: All in all, the material leaves a very bad impression. The pieces up to approx. 20 cm are difficult to knap, larger blocks are quite impossible to split. Even from edges with a favourable angle, flakes are hard to detach, often only after several blows. Most blocks are heavily internally fractured and show a tendency to shatter, especially as so much force is needed to flake. The flakes that do come off are mostly irregular and have a rough surface.
Archaeological description: We have no positive data on the archaeological use of this type of material yet.

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Flinsberg near Oberrot

Locality: Flinsberg near Oberrot/Ebersberg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Synonyms: N/A
Geographical description: The Flinsberg lies directly to the west of the village of Ebersberg, which lies a bit to the northwest of Oberrot, the next larger settlement on a more or less through going road. The whole region lies ca. 40 kilometers to the Northwest of Stuttgart.
Geographical co-ordinates: Lat. 49° 01' 20" N
Long. 009° 38' 08" E
(Mapdatum WGS 84)
Co-ordinate precision: Co-ordinates taken with a handheld GPS-unit at the top of the Flinsberg, rounded to the nearest arc-second.
Other topographical information: Getting to the Flinsberg takes a bit of navigation on winding roads, the 1:75 000 regional map of the Stuttgart area we used on our tour was not really the topographical basis you will be wanting when you're as unfamiliar with the region as we are. Basically you drive to Schwäbisch Hall, which has its own exit on the main motorway (Autobahn) A6 between Heilbronn and Nürnberg. From there you take the B19 southwards in the direction of Aalen. After a few kilometers, make a right turn and take the narrow and locally quite steepish road towards Oberrot. In Oberrot take the road towards Mainhard. As you are about to leave the town, take a left turn uphill towards Ebersberg. The Flinsberg lies just to the west of this village. Parking can be a bit of a problem around here. You can leave your car at one of the tracks, taking care not to block the passage.
Additional information: Boulder of chert on top of the Flinsberg
Foto: Andeas Kinne, 2001
  Like described above, the top of the Flinsberg is covered with very large boulders of chert. As you can guess already from the picture above, this material is so badly fractured and weathered, that is of no use to even try and knap it.
Visitors information: The infrastructure in the area is good. The small village of Ebersberg sports a guesthouse with the appropriate name of "Flinsberg-Stüble" and in nearby Oberrot you can find pubs with classical names like "Lamm" or "Krone". Especially the latter is a classical local place, where you can get a generous portion of the local "Spätzles" for a decent price. The table for the regulars ("Stammtisch") seems to be permanently occupied, and even our native speaker sampler didn't catch a word from the local dialect.
Sampling information: The site was sampled by Andreas Kinne on the occasion of a larger tour of Southwest Germany in the spring of 2001. Then, as now, we didn't have any hard information of prehistoric use or distribution, and the sampling was done because it is chert and it is accessible.
The material can be found all over the Flinsberg, but most abundandly on the fields at the southwestern side, as shown in the foto above.
Size of flake: 45 mm
For a full-blown picture of this sample, click here (67 KBytes).
Flake of coarse chert from Flinsberg
Foto: Matthias Rummer, 2001
Block of brownish chert with cortex
Foto: Matthias Rummer, 2001
Size of block: 70 mm
For a full-blown version of this picture, click here (69 KBytes).
Sample description: N/A


Last modified on:
December 22, 2001
Contents primarily by:
Andreas Kinne & Rengert Elburg
Comments to: