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Hertingen chert

Material name: Hertingen chert
Synonyms: N/A
Material (geologic): Upper Jurassic (Oxfordian ?) chert

Hertingen chert
Foto: Matthias Rummer, 2004

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General characteristics

(In part adapted from Affolter 2002

Geographical setting: Hertingen is a village in the footslopes of the Black Forest, a hilly, wine-making country known as the Markgräfler Land, in the southwestern corner of Germany. It lies centrally in the triangle formed by the cities of Basel in Switzerland (20 kilometres to the South), Mulhouse in France (20 kilometres to the West) and Freiburg/Breisgau in Germany, which lies 30 kilometres to the Northwest. The wider area is quite a worthwhile goal for an excursion: there are chert sources not only in the Markgräfler Land, but also in the adjacent parts of France (Sundgau, link to be added) and Switzerland (see the map for Northern Switzerland), and the whole area at both sides of the is famous for its excellent wines.
Material and colour: This source is quite problematic, as very little has been published on the area, and the publications that treat the cherts in the region are not very helpful. We visited the presumed source near Hertingen the first time in 2000, following the third edition of the catalogue of prehistoric flint mines of the German Mining Museum in Bochum (Weisgerber et al. (eds.) 1999), where a site called Hertinger Wald is mentioned as an extraction site of light grey chert. We then surveyed the area, with the results listed below.
As that first trip was quite unsatisfactory, we came back in 2003, this time following instructions from the then freshly published work by Jehanne Affolter (2002), which listed a site as Hertingen-Alter Steinbruch. The coordinates published point to the centre of the village, but a kilometer to the East there is a lone quarry indicated on the topographical maps, just to the South of the area investigated in 2000. Although not spectacular either, we could collect some more material from the surface, as can be seen lower on the page.
As we still weren't satisfied with the results, we came back again in 2004 and 2006, to survey the wider area to the South and North, where on the geological map of the area (No. 8211 Kandern), large tracts of residual loams of the Bohnerzformation are indicated. This material was formed in the Tertiary as the Upper Jurassic limestones were weathered away, and are known to contain locally large amounts of residual cherts (see the pages for Liel and "Blood-jasper"). On both occasions some flint was found, the samples will be published in the future.
Knapping notes: The most material we found was small and quite weathered, and was of very mediocre quality. Only a spot half a kilometer to the east of the quarry yielded more material, and chert of a reasonable quality, best compared with the finer flint from Liel. With the sources of Liel and Kleinkems in the immediate surroundings, we would prefer the material from those places anytime.
Archaeological description: Apart from the entry in Weisgerber et al. (eds.) 1999, where it is mentioned that the material was used in the Neolithic of the area, nothing about the archaeology of this material is known. In the most exhaustive publication on prehistoric flint use in the region (Affolter 2002), the source is mentioned and was sampled, but the chert hasn't been found on any of the large number of archaeological site that Affolter analyzed. So we suspect that the prehistoric inhabitants of the region shared our preference for the other cherts, and the silex from Hertingen is only used on an extremely localized scale.

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Hertinger Wald
Locality: Hertingen, Lörrach district, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Synonyms: Hertingen in Bad Bellingen; "Hertinger Wald"; Mining site D 45, according to the catalogue of the museum in Bochum (Weisgerber et al. (eds.) 1999); FlintSource sample 111.
Geographical description: The site we visited lies in the woods directly to the Northeast of the village of Hertingen. It lies in a wooded area, and there are ample signs for mining activities, although we suspect these to have been caused by historic iron-ore extraction.
Geographical co-ordinates: Lat. 47° 43' 34" N
Long. 007° 35' 52" E
(Mapdatum WGS 84)
Co-ordinate precision: The coordinates given were taken at the southern end of the mining site with a handheld GPS. Because of the dense woods in the area, the might be off by a bit more than we are used too, but they will be good enough to find the site with a GPS or a detailed map.
Other topographical information: Follow the instructions given for the source of "blutjaspis" in Schliengen to get to the B 3 and Schliengen, but don't leave the main road at Schliengen, follow it another 5 kilometres until you come to an exit marked Bad Bellingen. Leave the road here, but turn right after the ramp, towards Hertingen. Drive through the village and leave it at the Northeastern side, where after a few hundred meters you can leave your car at a parking place. The site is just a short walk to the Southeast from here. Carrying a detailed map like the 1:50 000 "Freitzeitkarte 508 Lörrach-Belchen (Naturpark Südschwarzwald blatt 3)" will help a good deal in finding your way.
Additional information: Mining area in the woods near Hertingen
Foto: Rengert Elburg, 2000
  Alas, again another example of a mining site number given prematurely. In the 1999 edition of the Bochum catalogue of prehistoric flint mining sites (Weisgerber et al. (eds.) 1999) it is listed as D 45, with the shortest description possible, and without any references to literature. The entry states that a very light grey hornstone was mined in pits, worked on the spot, and that artefacts made of it are found in Neolithic settlements. Period. Not very helpful if you want to know a bit more about the stuff.
We tried to locate the site (no coordinates are given) and found the mining area depicted above. We are quite sure the pits here were dug to get to the so-called Bohnerz ("bean-ore") iron ore of and are quite a lot more recent than the Neolithic. After a careful survey of the wooded area with dense ground cover, especially of the several tree-tips in the area, were unable to find any signs of prehistoric flint mining. After nearly two hours, only one piece of mediocre eluvial chert was all we got for our troubles. If there has been any chert extraction in the area, it wasn't here. We hope more information on this site and material will become available in the future. If any of our visitors knows more about the location of this presumed mine, we would be happy to hear from them.
Visitors information: See under Kleinkems.
Sampling information: As outlined above we are less than enthusiastic about the site and material. If you are around and have a look in the area, please inform us of any additional information you might discover.
  Piece of brownish chert
Foto: Matthias Rummer, 2001
Piece of brownish chert.
Size 80 mm
Sample description: As we found only the one piece on the specific, we haven't got a clue if this is the only material of the area, but it seems fairly typical when compared to the material from the other sites in the neighborhood. It is a lot coarser than the Kleinkems-chert/Blutjaspis, it lacks the clear banding or the intense colour, so we suspect it could be something else than residual Oxfordian chert, but don't know what it could be.
The largest part of the siliceous core is light yellowish brown to pale yellow (2.5Y 7/3 to 6/3) with a grayish brown band (2.5Y 5/2). The lighter patches are white to pale yellow (2.5Y 8/1 to 8/3) and the reddish yellow to strong brown (7.5 YR 6/6-5/6) cortex is more porous and much softer than the residual material from Schliengen. Only the darker band is a bit translucent, the rest of the specimen is completely opaque.

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Locality: Disused quarry, Hertingen, Lörrach district, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Synonyms: Hertingen-Alter Steinbruch or Source E 4, according to Affolter 2002
Geographical description: The sample was taken at a disused quarry, a bit under a kilometre East of the village of Hertingen. The location is marked on the topographical maps 1:50 000 and 1:25 000 of the region. On the geological map 1:25 000 no. 8211 Kandern the quarry is indicated as a disturbed spot (signature "y") within an area of Upper Jurassic/Oxfordian reef-limestones (Korallenkalke, for further information on the lithostratigraphy of the area, see Kleinkems).
Geographical co-ordinates: Lat. 47° 43' 30" N
Long. 007° 36' 00" E
(Mapdatum WGS 84)

In cooperation with our technical partner I/O-graph, we offer a transformation-service for the coordinates of the sampled sites. Just click here to send a mail.

Co-ordinate precision: The coordinates given were taken with a handheld GPS-unit directly in the former quarry and will get you within metres of the spot where we were standing. The coordinates as published in Affolter 2002 are on the Swiss National System, and point to the centre of the village, not to the quarry.
Other topographical information: To get to Hertingen, see above. Either leave your transport at the parking lot mentioned above, and walk, or just go on foot from the village; there are several marked footpaths that actually pass the quarry.
Additional information: As we visited the site at the end of the day and it is located in wooded terrain, there wasn't enough light left for a decent picture, and you probably know what a disused quarry looks like.
Sampling information: We just visited this spot once, and that at the end of the day, so we don't claim we surveyed the site exhaustively, but there wasn't much material lying around. The few pieces we picked up were lying on the surface, and are probably residual. WSe didn't see any chert embedded in the limestones quarried here. In the only publication where this site is mentioned, Affolter 2002, the source is classified as being of Eocene Age. This probably refers to the residual loams in the area, but even on the most detailed geological map, the 1:25 000 8211 Kandern, the immediate surroundings are mapped as Upper Jurassic Korallenkalke. The chert itself is probably of Jurassic Age; although its present geological association is unknown, a residual position in the iron ore-bearing weathering-loams is probable.
  Typical chert
Foto: Matthias Rummer, 2004
Flake of the typical chert from Hertingen
size: 40 mm
Yellowish flint
Foto: Matthias Rummer, 2004
Yellowish impregnated chert with fossils
length: 34 mm
  Coarser facies
Foto: Matthias Rummer, 2004
Coarser material from the same area
size: 35 mm
Sample description: N/A


Last modified on:
February 28, 2006
Contents primarily by:
Rengert Elburg
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