• Germany's news in English

Neanderthal birthplace kills archaeology funding

The Local · 28 Mar 2013, 11:14

Published: 28 Mar 2013 11:14 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The region is riddled with the remains of all sorts of ancient societies and attracts archaeologists from around the world.

With Roman settlements along the River Rhine and as the region where Neanderthals were discovered, and thus named after, NRW has long been a source of learning about our predecessors.

But this could soon die out, as the Der Spiegel news magazine reported on Thursday that the state government plans to cut its funding each year until 2015, when there will be nothing left at all.

Currently, the state government puts aside €12 million for archaeological projects. Next year this will be slashed to €3.3 million and after that there will be nothing. The cost of a project is split between state and one of the region's two landscape associations – the Landschaftsverbände. They say they will not be able to fund digs alone.

A new bill drafted by the state government would put the onus of paying for a dig on the person planning to build on land where a find of historical importance is made.

But legal responsibility ends with the dig - there is nothing to ensure the restoration or examination of what might be found.

This could leave important finds lying in boxes unexamined, Frank Siegmund of the German society for ancient and early history told Der Spiegel.

He added that without money, archaeologists would not be able to attend digs, and ultimately “people won't be able to work because there will be no money for the necessary equipment.”

The early and ancient history society has started an online petition and hopes to gather enough signatures to halt the law change. The fear is that once NRW makes the cut, other states would follow suit.

The Lower Saxon Harz mountains are known to rich in dinosaur fossils and on Thursday experts said that they had made their best find in 14 years – half a Europasaurus in a hunk of stone.

Story continues below…

The team from the nearby Dinopark Münchehagen still have funding to use the latest techniques to study the bones further.

DPA/The Local/jcw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

13:15 March 28, 2013 by authun
What's more important is that Eastern Germany continues to have ever-nicer streets, and more money than they know how to put to good use
12:18 March 29, 2013 by Englishted
Seems Germany is reluctant to look into it's past after all.
16:05 March 29, 2013 by Diane2
There's an online petition going on against the cuts: https://www.openpetition.de/petition/online/angekuendigte-streichung-der-landeszuschuesse-fuer-die-archaeologie-und-denkmalpflege-zuruecknehmen If not speaking German you can go to "Sprache auswählen" ("Select language") on the very top. It's just an automated translation, bit it really helps.
Today's headlines
Outrage over ruling on 'brutal' gang rape of teen girl
The now convicted suspects, sitting in court in Hamburg. Photo: DPA.

A 14-year-old girl was gang-raped and left partially clothed and unconscious in freezing temperatures. Now prosecutors are appealing the sentences for the young men found guilty, most of whom will not set foot in jail.

Dozens of Turkish diplomats apply for asylum in Germany
Demonstrators holding a giant Turkish flag protest against the attempted coup in Istanbul in July. Photo: DPA.

Since the failed putsch attempt in Turkey in July, Germany has received 35 asylum applications from people with Turkish diplomatic passports, the Interior Ministry confirmed on Wednesday.

Hertha Berlin fan club criticised for 'anti-gay banner'
Hertha BSC beat FC Cologne 2-1. Photo: DPA

A 50 metre fan banner apparently mocking the idea of gay adoption has overshadowed Hertha BSC's win in the Bundesliga.

Germany stalls Chinese takeover of tech firm Aixtron
Aixtron headquarters in Herzogenrath. Photo: DPA

The German government on Monday said it had withdrawn approval for a Chinese firm to acquire Aixtron, a supplier to the semiconductor industry, amid growing unease over Chinese investment in German companies.

Politicians call for tough sentences for 'killer clowns'
File photo: DPA.

Now that the so-called 'killer clown' craze has spread from the US to Germany, elected officials are drawing a hard line against such "pranks", with some threatening offenders with jail time of up to a year.

Nearly one in ten Germans are severely disabled
Photo: DPA

New figures reveal that 9.3 percent of the German population last year were considered severely disabled.

The Local List
Germany's top 10 most surreal sites to visit
The Upside-Down House, in Mecklenburg–Western Pomerania. Photo: Olaf Meister / Wikimedia Commons

From upside-down houses on Baltic islands to a fairy-tale castle near the Austrian border, Germany is a treasure trove of the extraordinary.

Bavarian critics back Merkel for Chancellor again
Photo: DPA

The Christian Social Union (CSU) have long delayed backing Angela Merkel as their candidate for Chancellor in next year's general election. But now key leaders are supporting her publicly.

Four taken to hospital after hotel toilet bursts into flames
File photo: DPA.

Four guests at a Nuremberg hotel were taken to hospital due to smoke inhalation early Monday morning after a toilet there burst into flames.

Creepy clown scare spreads to Germany
Two of the clowns were apparently equipped with chainsaws. Photo: Pedro Pardo / AFP file picture

Police said Friday five incidents involving so-called scary clowns had occurred in two north German towns, including one assailant who hit a man with a baseball bat, amid fears that Halloween could spark a rash of similar attacks.

10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd