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Searching for traces in the Black Forest

In the project „Knowledge Exchange in the Northern Black Forest" researchers explore the ways in which mining and the charcoal industry have shaped the area

Freiburg, Apr 06, 2017

Searching for traces in the Black Forest

Photo: Thomas Ludemann

One hundred years ago mining was an every day scene in the Black Forest. Mining shaped the region more than any other economic sector. The charcoal that people used to extract natural resources such as ore played a huge role. Researchers in forest history studies and geobotany are examining how manufacturing charcoal from wood in the surrounding forests impacted the Northern Black Forest. They are reconstructing part of the landscape and cultural history of the Black forest from relics stemming from charcoal manufacturing.



The researchers are engaged in the research project “Knowledge Exchange in the Northern Black Forest” (WiNo), one of many real-life laboratories in the state of Baden-Württemberg that is supported by the Ministry of Science, Research and Arts. What makes this particular format special is the close working relationship between the researchers and the regional participants.

„Knowledge Exchange in the Northern Black Forest“


Charcoal from the Black Forest was commonly manufactured in round standing charcoal kilns that were in frequent use up to the 19th century. Photo: Thomas Ludemann.