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Experts Baffled by Mysterious Underground Chambers
Spiegel Online ^ | 22 July 2011 | Matthias Schulz

Posted on 07/26/2011 11:28:17 AM PDT by Palter

There are more than 700 curious tunnel networks in Bavaria, but their purpose remains a mystery. Were they built as graves for the souls of the dead, as ritual spaces or as hideaways from marauding bandits? Archeologists are now exploring the subterranean vaults to unravel their secrets.

Beate Greithanner, a dairy farmer, is barefoot as she walks up the lush meadows of the Doblberg, a mountain in Bavaria set against a backdrop of snow-capped Alpine peaks. She stops and points to a hole in the ground. "This is where the cow was grazing," she says. "Suddenly she fell in, up to her hips."

A crater had opened up beneath the unfortunate cow.

On the day after the bovine mishap, Greithanner's husband Rudi examined the hole. He was curious, so he poked his head inside and craned his neck to peer into the darkness. Could it be a hiding place for some sort of treasure, he wondered? As he climbed into the hole to investigate, it turned out to be a narrow, damp tunnel that led diagonally into the earth, like the bowels of some giant dinosaur.

Suddenly the farmer could no longer hear anything from above. He panicked when he realized that it was getting difficult to breathe the stifling air -- and quickly ended his brief exploration.

The Greithanners, from the town of Glonn near Munich, are the owners of a strange subterranean landmark. A labyrinth of vaults known as an "Erdstall" runs underneath their property. It is at least 25 meters (82 feet) long and likely stems from the Middle Ages. Some believe that it was built as a dwelling for helpful goblins.

(Excerpt) Read more at spiegel.de ...


TOPICS: History
KEYWORDS: bavaria; cave; chambers; germany; godsgravesglyphs

More Photos

1 posted on 07/26/2011 11:28:20 AM PDT by Palter
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To: SunkenCiv

Goblins, mystery, ping.


2 posted on 07/26/2011 11:28:56 AM PDT by Palter (Celebrate diversity .22, .223, .25, 9mm, .32 .357, 10mm, .44, .45, .500)
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To: cartan

Self-ping for later.


3 posted on 07/26/2011 11:34:40 AM PDT by cartan
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To: Palter

Early “End of the Worlders” or Preppers.


4 posted on 07/26/2011 11:36:23 AM PDT by sodpoodle
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To: Palter

5 posted on 07/26/2011 11:40:05 AM PDT by Malone LaVeigh
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To: sodpoodle

Y1K?


6 posted on 07/26/2011 11:41:07 AM PDT by dead (I've got my eye out for Mullah Omar.)
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To: cartan

Thats where uhbummer hides his real intentions...gets down there with the 12th iman and stays a thousand years until its safe...


7 posted on 07/26/2011 11:42:05 AM PDT by aces
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To: Palter
Maybe there was a WWII-era Stalag in the area


8 posted on 07/26/2011 11:42:46 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: Palter
...craned his neck
Wonder if this guy was paid by the word?
9 posted on 07/26/2011 11:43:13 AM PDT by ▀udda▀udd (7 days - 7 ways a Guero y Guay Lao << >> with a floating, shifting, ever changing)
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To: Palter

How does one become a credentialed expert in underground chambers?


10 posted on 07/26/2011 11:47:03 AM PDT by verity (The Obama Administration is a Criminal Enterprise.)
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To: Palter
Root cellar's.
11 posted on 07/26/2011 11:47:37 AM PDT by Domangart
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To: verity

chamber maids???


12 posted on 07/26/2011 11:49:45 AM PDT by sodpoodle
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To: dfwgator

Handsome guy, awesome movie...


13 posted on 07/26/2011 11:50:58 AM PDT by Maverick68
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To: sodpoodle

LOL.


14 posted on 07/26/2011 11:51:35 AM PDT by verity (The Obama Administration is a Criminal Enterprise.)
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To: Palter
sounds like a well...It's length total is only about 125 feet...

I saw something similar many years ago..and my first thought was grain storage which turned out to be correct.

15 posted on 07/26/2011 11:52:32 AM PDT by Sacajaweau
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To: Palter

Makes for awesome wine cellars.


16 posted on 07/26/2011 12:01:43 PM PDT by 353FMG
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To: Palter

Very interesting. Are they all built into the foot of a hill or a mountain; do they all slope downward to flat land below? I was just reading about qanat irrigation - maybe this is something like that.


17 posted on 07/26/2011 12:22:37 PM PDT by OldNewYork
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To: aces

With Steve Cohen and the other dwarves??


18 posted on 07/26/2011 12:26:25 PM PDT by cartan
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To: Sacajaweau

“The vaults could not have served a practical purpose, as dwellings or to store food, for example, if only because the tunnels are so inconveniently narrow in places. Besides, some fill up with water in the winter. Also, the lack of evidence of feces indicates that they were not used to house livestock.”


19 posted on 07/26/2011 12:41:16 PM PDT by Boogieman
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To: Palter

These look like adits. Miners drove these drifting tunnels looking for metal ores.


20 posted on 07/26/2011 1:17:09 PM PDT by AlmaKing
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To: Palter
Goblins, mystery, ping.

There's a goblins ping list???
21 posted on 07/26/2011 2:36:57 PM PDT by Ellendra (God feeds the birds of the air, but he doesn't throw it in their nests.)
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To: OldNewYork
I was looking at the elevations also. I suggested grain storage/flyway....as I have seen something like this before.

They said three of the tunnels had millstones in them.

I think they're missing a concept...One being that many begin in kitchens.

I'd say they're gonna feel really, really stupid when they find out the primary use...

22 posted on 07/26/2011 3:16:42 PM PDT by Sacajaweau
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To: Sacajaweau

I’d agree that it’s something probably more mundane. What might complicate it is that some tunnels might be for some uses while others were for different ones. I think that since they have trouble keeping water out of them it might point to them still doing what they were designed to do (maybe) - be a semi-horizontal well. And that would also explain why some of them are quite narrow, not meant for people to pass through, and why some of them are blind, that they’re meant to drain water from the soil there.

Argument against it though would be that they tend to be in places that have abundant supplies of surface water. I can’t think of any deserts in Germany, Austria, etc. whereas qanats are for ensuring water in dry climates. But maybe that they are accessed by kitchens points to wanting a supply of water that can’t be interrupted by above-ground events, and a supply that is a purer water than found in streams, since it’s filtered through the soil, is similar to spring water.

I’ve heard of ancient grain pits, where the harvest was stored in anaerobic conditions, and it would explain things like millstones found in them, but they mentioned that the tunnels were extraordinarily clear of clues, and I’d think if they stored grain in them there would still be evidence of that. It’s hard to clean up every grain of rye or wheat in a bushel of it, even today. Maybe they were used as ancient ice houses, to store ice through the summer?


23 posted on 07/26/2011 3:34:20 PM PDT by OldNewYork
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To: Palter

“Initially the tunnel went down vertically for 4 meters, and then it continued in a zigzag pattern. There was a narrow “Schlupf” section at the end of the labyrinth. It reminds the researchers of a vagina.”

Heh.


24 posted on 07/26/2011 4:08:19 PM PDT by Rebelbase
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To: OldNewYork
I thought of ice, too. BUT, if you find 3 millstones and also an old plowshare...there sure as heck is evidence of grain all over the place. This is a very small site....my daughter's back yard is bigger.

The site is too small for people storage.

The tunnels are inefficient for storm drainage.

I see grain storage as having the greatest possibility.

GPR is great stuff...but it's only showing shape and depth. Anything like grains or jewels or coins simply will not show up on the screen.

Guess I would try bores next...and that would be at a bend.....

I do a lot of historical work and we found something similar...a hole in the ground which turned out to be one end of a tunnel. We stomped the ground to follow it...Sure enough, it led to the mill. We went to the very scarey basement in the mill and found the grain storage tunnel....huge!! c1800

25 posted on 07/26/2011 4:12:15 PM PDT by Sacajaweau
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To: dead

ROFL. I’m sure the King demanded more taxes to pay for it too!


26 posted on 07/26/2011 4:14:58 PM PDT by Fledermaus (I'm done with political parties. The GOP is useless. Anarchy is perferable to this CRAP!)
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To: Sacajaweau

Maybe. I don’t know if the ploughshare or the millstones were really that, but if they were it’s hard to understand why a ploughshare would end up in a grain storage pit - the work’s already been done. As for the millstones specifically - I’m no expert - but maybe they look like millstones but are for keeping the thing from collapsing? Some of them could very well be for grain storage, just like the one you excavated, especially the ones connected to kitchens or buildings that could have been mills.

The illustration above, the one with the Schlupf constructions - that’s hard to imagine as useful for grain storage. But maybe they served some purpose in it yet to be discovered, or for something else like slowing water flow down so as not to erode the tunnel construction.


27 posted on 07/26/2011 4:35:45 PM PDT by OldNewYork
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To: Palter; NYer; Lonesome in Massachussets; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; 1010RD; ...

 GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother & Ernest_at_the_Beach
Thanks Palter!

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.


28 posted on 07/26/2011 4:59:35 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Yes, as a matter of fact, it is that time again -- https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: Palter

Wow. Interesting.


29 posted on 07/26/2011 5:07:38 PM PDT by DeoVindiceSicSemperTyrannis (Want to make $$$? It's easy! Use FR as a platform to pimp your blog for hits!!!)
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To: Palter
Maybe they'll find “ The Amber Room” down there.
30 posted on 07/26/2011 5:17:52 PM PDT by ladyvet ( I would rather have Incitatus then the asses that are in congress today.)
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To: OldNewYork

My guess would be to hide from invaders. The smaller slips could be for the largest member of the family and hopefully would be smaller than the invaders. If not to hide people people it would be a good place to hide your wealth. The interesting point is that the farmer who found it could only go so deep before oxygen became a problem, what did the original excavators do?


31 posted on 07/26/2011 5:23:12 PM PDT by PeterPrinciple ( getting closer to the truth.................)
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To: Palter

One gallery contained an iron plowshare, while heavy millstones were found in three others. Virtually nothing else has turned up in the vaults.


We have to remember that these were not common items but were more valuable than anything else they might own. Whether to protect people or wealth, you would only use these in emergency and not tell anyone about it. If it was for a settlement it would be the town secret.


32 posted on 07/26/2011 5:30:35 PM PDT by PeterPrinciple ( getting closer to the truth.................)
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To: Palter

Brewing - actually aging/storing - beer, aging cheeses are among the foremost coming to mind........

But, depending upon their age, these could also have served as refuges from the mongols or other eastern invaders as well. >PS


33 posted on 07/26/2011 6:02:07 PM PDT by PiperShade
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To: PeterPrinciple
"My guess would be to hide from invaders. "

That was my first thought too.

34 posted on 07/26/2011 6:10:47 PM PDT by blam
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To: SunkenCiv

“And may have served a religious function.”

There it is! Ahh...the mysterious rituals of our primitive ancestors. The grain and tools were probably brought down there as part of a sacred fertility rite.

Jk. The practical purposes spelled out in above posts seem remarkably sensible.


35 posted on 07/26/2011 6:31:37 PM PDT by YCTHouston
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To: blam

If this was a refuge or hiding place the purpose of the narrow place could be defensive.

If the tunnel is found and a thief or soldier attempts to force their way through the narrow place, its easy to dispatch them as they attempt to squeeze through.


36 posted on 07/26/2011 6:58:11 PM PDT by Pete from Shawnee Mission
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To: OldNewYork

Air conditioning during hot spells.

Hiding places for black marketeer goods and persons.


37 posted on 07/26/2011 7:17:08 PM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! True Supporters of our Troops PRAY for their VICTORY!)
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To: Palter

Whatever they were, they sure are fascinating. If they were for grain what is that purpose? Hiding grain? Storing grain? I don’t understand.


38 posted on 07/26/2011 7:53:13 PM PDT by Beowulf9
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To: Palter

These are bases for UFOs which are actually quite small. Or tunnels made by very large earth worms. Glad I could help.


39 posted on 07/26/2011 8:03:47 PM PDT by vigilo
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To: Palter

German speakeasys. =0


40 posted on 07/26/2011 8:13:58 PM PDT by Redcitizen (In case of economic breakdown, make sure you have a case of Snickers candy bars.)
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To: PeterPrinciple
My guess would be to hide from invaders.

Bingo!

41 posted on 07/27/2011 12:13:30 PM PDT by Max in Utah (A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within.)
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To: Palter
What, hasn't anybody seen "Reign of Fire"?


42 posted on 07/27/2011 12:17:04 PM PDT by Jim Noble (Freedom is the freedom to say 2+2=4. If that is granted, all else follows.)
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To: PeterPrinciple

“My guess would be to hide from invaders.”

Agree. I’ve read about similar tunnels in Turkey, but much more elaborate. The goal was to be able to hide out until the enemy went away.


43 posted on 07/27/2011 4:56:13 PM PDT by BruceDeitrickPrice (education reform)
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