Tag Archives: Graubünden

Traversar – Surveying the passes of Graubünden

Outtake from the IVS-GIS. © http://map.geo.admin.ch

Outtake from the IVS-GIS. © http://map.geo.admin.ch

Thankfully, I am allowed outside again next week. With a small international and select group of crack archaeologists – most of us old comrades in arms – we will be starting a three year survey project of some of the main passes in the Canton of Graubünden. The work is commissioned by the Archaeological Service of the Canton of Graubünden. A second leg of the project is the documentation of remains of WWI fortifications. Switzerland remained neutral, but guarded its borders intensely. So far the archaeological community in Switzerland has paid little attention to 20th C archaeology, but it seems right to start studying these now and make the wider public aware of the cultural historical value of these remains and that we should not leave them to private collectors.

Our group, will be focussing on prehistoric sites, though. We are starting with the region of the San Bernardino pass, the Julier pass and an area on the northern slopes of the Upper Engadin valley. Finds are known from both near / on the Julier and San Bernardino passes, but there are uninvestigated areas around both, and e.g. on the Julier archaeological focus so far has been almost solely on the Roman Period. If we have the possibility (internet access), we will try to keep you posted on the fieldwork here, so stop by once every while. We are very excited about getting started!

Grande tour des Alpes III: Las muntognas cloman*

Until now, I believe only one prehistoric find was known from the Val Poschiavo: a stone axe found on the slopes south of the pass. We were thus quite excited to have a look at another find location K. Von Salis (who also discovered the Val Forno/Plan Canin) wanted to show us . In comparison to some of the other hikes of the past few days, sunday’s was merely a gentle stroll. Surprisingly, we already found some archaeology on the way there. Von Salis’ find was also genuine and we were even able to take 14C-samples! I will write more when we have the results.

Bergeller Alpenbitter LogoEver since Majola a bottle of Bergeller Alpenbitter had been accompanying us and a round of celebratory swigs now finished it off. We then rounded up our Grande Tour with a lunch at the Albergo & Ristorante Belvedere, Alp Grüm, where we made the first plans for our next  archaeological alpine adventure!

From August 31st to October 14th 2012 the “Letzte Jäger, erste Hirten/Silvretta Historica” exhibition will be shown at the Rätisches Museum, Chur. Go and see it! If you are not able to, get the revised and extended edited volume:

Reitmaier, Th. (ed.), 2012, Letzte Jäger, erste Hirten: Hochalpine Archäologie in der Silvretta, Archäologie in Graubünden-Sonderheft 1, Südostschweiz Buchverlag, Chur, ISBN: 978-3-906064-05-5

* “The mountains call” (Romansh language)