Alexander Gorelik/Gerhard Koetter:
History and archaeology of the Turteltaube drift mine in Muttental near Witten
At the request of the monument preservation authority in Witten, the Mining Archaeology department of the German Mining Museum in Bochum carried out archaeological excavations in the area of the former southern section of the Turteltaube drift mine in Muttental, to the south-west of Witten-Bommern (Ennepe-Ruhr District). The objective of the excavations, conducted in cooperation with the Olpe branch of the Westphalian Monument Preservation Office, was to locate and investigate the tunnel face or entry of the mine. The entrance was then to be reconstructed and developed as an addition to the existing mining history track in the area.
It was known from historical sources that the former Turteltaube drift mine had been used from about the first third of the 18th century. The Mausegatt coal seam was intensively mined here from about the end of the 18th century to the mid-19th century. After that period, mining operations were only resumed for two brief periods in the 1920s and in the emergency conditions following the Second World War.
This was probably the first time that an archaeological investigation had been carried out on a facility of this type in the Ruhr region, with a view to locating the tunnel entrance, revealing the remains of mining facilities and collecting additional information on the finds. A number of other key questions also needed to be answered. How can historical and archaeological source material be correlated and can archaeology contribute new information in such cases?