De verdwenen Eems/Die verschwundene Ems

Project Details


An early holocene river, branching off the Ems at Oberlangen (Lkr. Emsland), used to bend northwestward and cross the German-Dutch border, to flow together with the rivulet Ruiten Aa near Sellingen (Westerwolde, Gr.). This substantial fossile river has been subject of a pilot study (2017/2018) to find out if peat layers might have survived decades of farming here. A coring programme in both NL and Germany proved the presence of peat pockets, dating the river's blockade between 700 BC and 1000 AD. The perspective is a river genesis and landscape reconstruction through pollen analysis as well as an echo of human activities at its borders, foreshadowing Westerwolde's complete insulation by peat growth.
But most of all this is meant a community project, primarily aimed at land owners bordering the fossil Emsbranch. We want to know what interest they take in the cultural history of their rural habitat by carrying out effect measurements at the beginning and at the end of the project. We invite a broader public too to participate in the coring expeditions and to discuss its results (open laboratory type).
Short titleEemsmeander/Emsschleife
Effective start/end date01/10/201901/10/2021


  • community archaeology, palaeobotany, peat development, hydrology