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‘The oldest street in Berlin’ uncovered at city centre construction site

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A medieval wooden street dating back to the 13th century has been uncovered in Berlin’s city centre during the preparation for the construction of a new street.

According to Berlins State archaeologist Prof. Dr Matthias Wemhoff, this is the oldest street in Berlin, dating to earlier than 1238, and about 800 years old.

Wemhoff and others were excited about the great conditions of the street which is made out of tree trunks from pine, oak and birch wood in a three-layer construction.

The State Office for the Preservation of Historical Monuments aims at preserving parts of the construction when they will be removed for the continuation of the construction.

SOT, Klaus Lederer, Berlin’s Senator for Culture (German): “Of course it’s also exciting for us to discover where we come from, so to speak, where does our city come from and now we actually have, and we’re delighted that you’re interested, a real hit here.”

SOT, Klaus Lederer, Berlin’s Senator for Culture (German): “I’m surprised that we can still find things like this here in 2021 [meaning 2022], it’s really crazy, I wouldn’t have thought it possible, because you think there’s always something built here, cables laid, pipes laid. You wouldn’t believe that you can suddenly come across such things here.”

SOT, Matthias Wemhoff, Berlin’s State archeologist (German): “Well, I myself didn’t expect that we would have such fantastic wood preservation in Berlin that we would actually find organic material. Contrary to what everyone thinks, Berlin is actually relatively dry.”

SOT, Matthias Wemhoff, Berlin’s State archeologist (German): “This really is the oldest street in Berlin that you can see here and I think that’s real, especially now that we’re back in road construction, a real statement, a real sensation.”

SOT, Matthias Wemhoff, Berlin’s State archeologist (German): “This finding, which we have on such a large scale, is so important to us because it shows the dynamics with which this city was expanded in the 13th century, with a good infrastructure. We know so far, we know from this time the large church buildings, the west work of Nikolai, which is still standing, so these are areas that we can date accordingly. But now, for the first time, we actually have the municipal organization that is necessary for such a city to function economically. And that’s where you really see this push, this boost – I like to say that Berlin’s founding days are actually in the 13th century and this is exactly what this street embankment proves.”

SOT, Michael Malliaris, Chief scientist for the excavation of Berlins Molkenmarkt (German): “Such a street is a large infrastructure project and you have to invest there and that’s what is done on main streets and [for Berlins] that’s Stralauer Strasse, Spandauer Strasse and Muhlendamm, these are the important streets in Berlin that lead to the city gates or to the sister city of Cologne. And that’s why they didn’t shy away from making this effort.”

#Germany #Berlin

Video ID: 20220119-031

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