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Station 02

Paths through the Bog

Typology of Bog Trackways

In the post world war period archaeological research into the bogs is most associated with Hajo Hayen. Initially working as a contractor, he later went on to become division head of the Museum of Nature and Mankind in Oldenburg. He developed a bog trackway typology that is still in use today.

A – Corduroy log trackway:

The corduroy log trackway consists of logs that are put down horizontally to the direction being travelled. The logs are put tightly next to one another and create a walkway. The foundation was often created by several rows of wood that were placed vertically under the logs. The Corduroy log trackway is similar in its construction to the trackway (D).

B – Hurdle log trackway:

The foundation is made up of horizontal instead of vertical logs. Usually there are two logs on each end. Often vertical wooden posts in the bog enhance stability.

C – Narrow hurdle log trackway:

The construction is similar to the hurdle trackway but the path consists of only one log.

D – Corduroy pole trackway:

This variant consists of horizontally laid out posts that are put right next to one another. The foundation is made up of several rows of woods that run vertically underneath the posts. The construction style is like the Corduroy log trackway.

E – Pole trackway:

This trackway consists of posts that lie closely together and point along the path. They are often the length of trees. Vertically planted posts ensure that poles cannot slip away.

F – Brushwood pole trackway:

In this type of trackway bundles of brush and branches are laid out in the direction of the path on top of which poles are set. In part horizontally placed timber adds stability. Occasionally, posts are driven into the bog to add stability.

G – Brushwood trackway:

A brushwood trackway is one, which has a layer of brush, debris, and timber. There is no structure or order. Posts driven vertically into the ground provide the necessary stability.

H – Stake trackway:

This is not a trackway in the traditional sense. Wooden posts and stakes mark dry or safe areas in the bog. These markers can stretch over many kilometres. Some are secured on the hilly tussocks so that the impression of a path is given.

Illustration: Hajo Hayen’s bog trackway typology (© Landesmuseum Natur und Mensch Oldenburg)

Additional Links

Permanent Bog exhibit | Website of the permanent exhibit “Neither Sea nor Land – Moor – a Lost Landscape” in the State Museum Nature and Mankind, Oldenburg

Niedersächsisches Landesamt für Denkmalpflege | Website of the Denkmalpflege Hannover

Additional Literature

Both, Frank und Fansa, Mamoun (Hrsg.): „O, schaurig ist’s, übers Moor zu gehen“. 220 Jahre Moorarchäologie. Begleitschrift zur Ausstellung im Landesmuseum Natur und Mensch Oldenburg (2011), ISBN: 978-3-8053-4361-9

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