Altes Lager Menzlin
Altes Lager is a site 1,5 km south of the Menzlin village near Anklam
Anklam is a town in the Western Pomerania region of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany. It is situated on the banks of the Peene river, just 8 km from its mouth in the Kleines Haff, the western part of the Stettin Lagoon. Anklam has a population of 14,603 and was the capital of the former...

, Western Pomerania, Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

. The site at the banks of the river Peene
The Peene is a river in Germany. The Westpeene, Kleine Peene and Ostpeene flow into the Kummerower See, and from there as Peene proper to Anklam and into the Oder Lagoon....

 was an important Viking
The term Viking is customarily used to refer to the Norse explorers, warriors, merchants, and pirates who raided, traded, explored and settled in wide areas of Europe, Asia and the North Atlantic islands from the late 8th to the mid-11th century.These Norsemen used their famed longships to...

 trade post during the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

 (Viking Age
Viking Age
Viking Age is the term for the period in European history, especially Northern European and Scandinavian history, spanning the late 8th to 11th centuries. Scandinavian Vikings explored Europe by its oceans and rivers through trade and warfare. The Vikings also reached Iceland, Greenland,...

). By that time, Pomerania
Pomerania is a historical region on the south shore of the Baltic Sea. Divided between Germany and Poland, it stretches roughly from the Recknitz River near Stralsund in the West, via the Oder River delta near Szczecin, to the mouth of the Vistula River near Gdańsk in the East...

 was inhabited by Slavic Wends
Wends is a historic name for West Slavs living near Germanic settlement areas. It does not refer to a homogeneous people, but to various peoples, tribes or groups depending on where and when it is used...

, yet several Viking trade posts were set up along the coast (the next were Ralswiek
Ralswiek is a municipality in the Vorpommern-Rügen district, in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany.-External links:*...

 to the West
West is a noun, adjective, or adverb indicating direction or geography.West is one of the four cardinal directions or compass points. It is the opposite of east and is perpendicular to north and south.By convention, the left side of a map is west....

 and Jomsborg
Jomsborg was a semi-legendary Viking stronghold at the southern coast of the Baltic Sea , that existed between the 960s and 1043. Its inhabitants are known as Jomsvikings. Jomsborg's exact location has not yet been established, though it is maintained that Jomsborg was somewhere on the islands of...

/Wollin to the east).

The settlement had an approximated size of 18 hectares in the 9th century. Remnants of a bridge and a cemetery were excavated. Some artifacts found in the graves originated in Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

 and the Baltic states
Baltic states
The term Baltic states refers to the Baltic territories which gained independence from the Russian Empire in the wake of World War I: primarily the contiguous trio of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania ; Finland also fell within the scope of the term after initially gaining independence in the 1920s.The...

. Following Scandinavian customs, the dead were buried either in stone ship
Stone ship
The Stone ship or ship setting was an early Germanic burial custom, characteristically Scandinavian but also found in Germany and the Baltic states. The grave or cremation burial is surrounded by tightly or loosely fit slabs or stones in the outline of a ship...

s, i.e. ship-like graves, or within stone circles
Stone circle (Iron Age)
The stone circles of the Iron Age were a characteristic burial custom of southern Scandinavia, especially on Gotland and in Götaland during the Pre-Roman Iron Age and the Roman Iron Age. In Sweden, they are called Domarringar , Domkretsar or Domarsäten...

. The graves excavated so far have been found to be the tombs of women. Most findings date back to the 9th and 10th century.


The ancient name of the site is unknown. Altes Lager, the current name, dates back to Friedrich Wilhelm I of Brandenburg's 1676 siege of Anklam
Anklam is a town in the Western Pomerania region of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany. It is situated on the banks of the Peene river, just 8 km from its mouth in the Kleines Haff, the western part of the Stettin Lagoon. Anklam has a population of 14,603 and was the capital of the former...



  • J. Hermann (Hrsg): Archäologie in der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik. Stuttgart 1989
  • Ulrich Schoknecht: Menzlin: Ein frühgeschichtlicher Handelsplatz an der Peene. Beiträge zur Ur- und Frühgeschichte der Bezirke Rostock. Schwerin und Neubrandenburg 1977
  • H. Keiling: Menzlin, frühstädtisches Zentrum der Slawen mit Niederlassung skandinavischer Händler. In: H.Keiling: Archäologisches Freilichtmuseum Groß Raden. Museumskatalog 7, Museum für Ur- und Frühgeschichte Schwerin 1989

See also

  • Pomerania during the Early Middle Ages
    Pomerania during the Early Middle Ages
    The southward movement of Germanic tribes during the migration period had left Pomerania largely depopulated by the 7th century. Between 650 and 850 AD, West Slavic tribes settled in Pomerania. The tribes between the Oder and the Vistula were collectively known as Pomeranians, and those west of the...

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