Sikko Neupert
(LMU München, Germany)


The project covers two important parts of modern urban archaeology: the interdisciplinary scientific research of a modern excavation of a central square in the former Reichsstadt Kempten and its public presentation in the modern city.


The scientific approach is an interdisciplinary one: the results of archaeology, anthropology, architectural survey, history and scientific dating methods are used in order to reconstruct the history of the St. Mang square in Kempten.

The complete place in front of the big gothic church has been excavated in 2008/2009. It has always been a very central place in the former Reichsstadt and was first settled in late antiquity. For the first time the research could give evidence to activities in early medieval times, when the cemetery was already in use due to newest C14 dates, a time when Saint Magnus built the first cella according to his vita. In the 11th century a romanesque church was built on the existing cemetery and for sure replaced older sacred buildings. In the late 13th century the funeral chapel St. Erasmus/St. Michael completed the square arrangement. Part of the archaeological research is the definition of sepulture phases and their parallelisation with the ongoing reconstruction-phases of the chapel and the church. In the 15th century the big gothic church of our days was constructed, replacing the romaneque church. During the reformation the cemetery was conveyed and St. Michael became a wine tavern for the magistrate before it was deconstructed in the 19th century. After St. Michael/St. Erasmus has been excavated the city decided to install a permanent exhibition in its remains.

With the presentation of the old architecture remains and a modern multimedia installation in the public space of modern Kempten the citiziens get a new approach to their history and access to the newest results of scientific research. Furthermore is it possible to create a new point of interest in the inner city in the sense of an tourist destination and future archaeological research gets a new impulse from the ceramic typology.


Excavation, interdisciplinary research, public presentation