Prospect First – Dig Then! Investigations of Mining and Metallurgical Features in Kosovo


  • Beate Sikorski Koch Munitionsbergung GmbH, Sachsenhausener Straße 23a, 16515 Oranienburg
  • Barbara Matthes Internationales Studienzentrum (ISZ), Universität Heidelberg, Im Neuenheimer Feld 684, 69120 Heidelberg
  • Gabriele Körlin Deutsches Bergbau-Museum Bochum, Forschungsbereich Montanarchäologie, Am Bergbaumuseum 31, 44791 Bochum
  • Guntram Gassmann Independent researcher



Magnetometer prospection, Electrical Resistivity Tomography, “Pürckhauer” drillings, mining, smelting


Inspired by the Römisch-Germanische Kommission (RGK) in Frankfurt and the Archaeological Institute of Kosovo, the first mining  archaeological/archaeometallurgical surveys were conducted in Kosovo in 2009-2011 by the Deutsches Bergbau-Museum Bochum (DBM) / German Mining Museum Bochum. We conducted the surveys mainly in cooperation with the Archaeological Institute of  Kosovo. After the approval of two project phases by the DFG in 2012, five field campaigns were carried out (2013-15, 2017/18). The  mining archaeologically oriented excavations were also carried out based on extensive prospection work by magnetometer  prospection, geoelectric and pedological drillings. Initially used in different areas – magnetometer prospection and “Pürckhauer”  drillings in settlement areas and on smelting sites, geoelectric investigations in mining areas - it became more and more clear that the  combination of the methods would be a promising approach and added value for the clarification of features, also and especially in mining areas. The specific combination of the methods makes it possible, particularly in the case of extensive fields of mining  depressions such as those found in the Shashkoc/Janjevo area, to get ideas of their size and, above all, the shape of the shaft  entrances, not just the depth, as initially planned. The shape of the mouth holes may be a very important indication of the age of the  shafts, which in turn influences the planned excavations. Thus, unnecessary excavations can be avoided. Therefore, in the past two  campaigns a whole series of mining depressions were investigated in this way. In order to evaluate and compare the measurement  results, targeted excavations were then carried out in the upper areas of the shafts. Although there are restrictive conditions such as different soil types, magnetic and electric disturbances and similar factors that may impede the measurement results, the combination of methods has provided considerable  benefit and created a systematic working basis, future investigation can build on.