(Brandenburgisches Landesamt für Denkmalpflege und Archäologisches Landesmuseum, Referat Großvorhaben/Stadtarchäologie; Zossen, Germany)
During the summer of 2007 construction work at the Scharfenberg industrial estate, south of Wittstock/Dosse in northern Brandenburg, unearthed a 6m x 3.5m wide pit containing the skeletons of 88 soldiers. The remains of at least further 30 mercenaries were unfortunately disturbed by the mechanical digger; only individual bones remained.
The mass grave was located in the vicinity of the site of the Battle of Wittstock fought on October 4th, 1636. The dead, who were laid out in neat rows above each other, were excavated in multiple strata. All skeletons were photographed, photogrammetrically recorded and surveyed with a total station. Orientation, preservation and posture of the dead along with any related small finds were described in a form sheet. Thereafter, a preliminary assessment of sex, age, body size and injuries to the bones took place.
The aim of the archaeological evaluation is to fully reconstruct and visualize the sequence of events associated with the burial. Assessing the individual position of arms and legs, various possibilities were tested to describe the succession of deposition of one individual after the other in the grave. The Harris-Matrix could not sufficiently display the complicated stratigraphical relations of the skeletons and their parts. The lecture will show different approaches to describe an outstanding case of stratigraphy.