New article: Chiemgau impact and archeology

The Chiemgau Impact – a meteorite impact in the Bronze-/Iron Age and its extraordinary appearance in the archaeological record

Barbara Rappenglück (Gilching), Michael Hiltl (Oberkochen), Michael Rappenglück (Gilching), Kord Ernstson (Würzburg)

Abstract. – The largest meteorite impact of the Holocene known to date occurred during the Bronze/Iron Age in southeastern Bavaria, between Altötting and the edge of the Alps. The event is known as the “Chiemgau Impact”. More than 100 craters with diameters from 5m up to several hundred meters are distributed over an area of about 60km length and 30km width. Finds of meteoric material confirm the event as well as the widespread evidence of so-called shock metamorphosis in the rock. The article focuses on new investigations of “slags” from an archaeological excavation in Chieming-Stöttham, on the eastern shore of Lake Chieming. Six objects analysed with polarisation microscope and SEM-EDS turned out to be complex combinations of rock and metal particles. While the rock components show the shock metamorphosis typical for a meteorite impact, the metallic components proved to be remnants of artefacts made of bronze or iron with a high lead content. Together they form an impact rock. To our knowledge, these are the first examples worldwide in which artefacts have become components of an impact rock. In addition, the special nature of the metallic components and the consideration of the archaeological context allow the more precise dating of the Chiemgau Impact to approximately 900–600 BC.

Published in: Wolfschmidt, Gudrun (Hg.):

New contributions Chiemgau meteorite impact

Yushkin Readings 2020 Syktyvkar (Russia)

Four new Proceedings contributions – three of them directly related to the Chiemgau impact.

The May conference “Yushkin Readings 2020 – Modern Problems of Theoretical, Experimental, and Applied Mineralogy” has been postponed for the time being to 7-10 December 2020 due to the pandemic. In anticipation of this, the 407-page conference proceedings of all papers accepted for presentation have now been printed and published on the Internet. The four papers submitted by the CIRT together with co-authors from ZEISS (Dr. Hiltl), Oxford Instruments (Dr. Bauer) and the Russian Academy of Sciences (Dr. Shumilova) are included.

Here the contributions are provided as a closed sequence in a PDF document for download.

Titles and authors:

An eight kilogram chunk and more: evidence for a new class of iron silicide meteorites from the Chiemgau impact strewn field (SE Germany)  F. Bauer, M. Hiltl, M. A. Rappenglück, K. Ernstson

Evidence of meteorite impact-induced thermal shock in quartz  K. Ernstson

Chiemite — a high PT carbon impactite from shock coalification/carbonization of impact target vegetation  K. Ernstson, T. G. Shumilova

Artifact-in-impactite: a new kind of impact rock. Evidence from the Chiemgau meteorite impact in southeast Germany  B. Rappenglück, M. Hiltl, K. Ernstson


11th Planetary Crater Consortium Meeting

11th Planetary Crater Consortium 2020 (LPI Contrib. No. 2251)

Abstract 2019.pdf

K. Ernstson and J. Poßekel

The Digital Terrain Model (DTM) of craters in the Chiemgau meteorite impact strewn field with extreme topographic resolution excludes anthropogenic and glacial origin in principle and provides insight into unusual formation processes.


11th Planetary Crater Consortium 2020 (LPI Contrib. No. 2251)

Abstract 2040.pdf

J. Poßekel and K. Ernstson

High resolution ground penetrating radar (GPR) measurements over craters of the Holocene Chiemgau impact meteorite crater strewn field reveal instructive images of complex structures and chronological sequences during excavation.

Virtual Impact Museum Grabenstätt

Virtual Impact Museum Grabenstätt

Due to the virus pandemic, the annual International Museum Day in May has been cancelled. The Impact Museum in Grabenstätt at Lake Chiemsee has taken part in this attractive event in previous years and has planned to do so again this year. The organizer of the Museum Day, the Deutsche Museumsbund e.V., had the idea of encouraging interested museums to take part in a virtual museum for visitors, and this prompted the sponsors of the Grabenstätt Museum to actually set up such a virtual museum, which was also brought up to the very latest state of scientific research and knowledge.

Practically all texts and inscriptions are in German, but we think that a large part of the contributions are self explaining or become more or less understandable with computer translation aids.

LPSC 2020 – Poster and Abstract: Chiemgau impact – interesting news

Although the 51st Lunar & Planetary Science Conference (LPSC)  has been cancelled for this year because of the virus, accepted contributions (abstracts and posters) will be treated as usual as registered, citable publications with archiving at LPI and NASA.

Poster Chiemgau Impact LPSC 2020 Impact airburst

This year there is an interesting CIRT contribution on new findings related to the Chiemgau impact event.


Kord Ernstson , Jens Poßekel , Michael A. Rappenglück

Poster (in high pdf resolution) and abstract can be downloaded here.




Chiemite: coke of the last few doubters at the Chiemgau impact

  chiemite = "coke" of Robert Huber and Robert DargaSEM image of chiemite, the “coke” of Robert Darga and Robert Huber, containing diamond and carbines.

At this year’s meeting of the European Geosciences Union (EGU) in Vienna in April, Dr. Robert Huber (marine geologist at Marum, Center for Marine Environmental Sciences, University of Bremen) and Dr. Robert Darga (ice age geologist, director of the Mammut Museum in Siegsdorf, Chiemgau, Oberbayern) once again took an all-out blow against the Chiemgau impact, which is now generally recognized (despite all the Wikipedia twists and manipulations).
Obviously they succeeded in persuading some other scientists to present a joint poster, on which their crude ideas were presented: “If You Wish Upon A Star. Chiemite: An Anthropocene Pseudo-Impactite”  The three coauthors of the poster are from Australia (Mineral Resources, CSIRO, Federal Agency for the improvement of the economic and social performance of industry).

We leave it at the short note that the chiemite, which is described in international, renowned peer-reviewed publication organs as high pressure/high temperature impactite with the contents of diamond and carbines (T = 2500 – 4000 K, P = several GPa), is of terrestrial origin and has originated from a spontaneous shock carbonization of the vegetation (wood, peat) of the Chiemgau impact area. The published methods of the chiemite investigation were: optical and atomic force microscopy, X‐ray fluorescence spectroscopy, scanning and transmission electron microscopy, high‐resolution Raman spectroscopy, X‐ray diffraction and differential thermal analysis, as well as by δ13C and 14C radiocarbon isotopic data analysis.

Scientifically the poster presentation of these impact critics, in which not a single reference is brought to the Chiemgau impact and not a single reference to the chiemite (see e.g. Chiemgau impact: new comprehensive article on the chiemite impactite, Shumilova, T.G. et al. (2018)) is absolutely worthless, far from any scientific seriousness, and should cause mockery at most in a respectable science scene. One wonders why such a pamphlet could be shown at all on the conference.

Chiemgau impact: LPSC 2019 poster already online

Trigonal and cubic Fe2Si polymorphs (hapkeite) in the eight kilograms find of natural iron silicide from Grabenstätt (Chiemgau, Southeast Germany

Frank Bauer, Michael Hiltl, Michael A. Rappenglück, Kord Ernstson

LPSC 2019 eight kilogram iron silicide hapkeite Chiemgau Impact


Metallic Artifact Remnants in a Shock-Metamorphosed Impact Breccia: an Extended View of the Archeological Excavation at Stöttham (Chiemgau, SE-Germany)

Barbara Rappenglück, Michael Hiltl, Kord Ernstson

Stöttham archeological site Chiemgau impact Stöttham archeological site Chiemgau impact EBSD Stöttham archeological site Chiemgau impact shocked suevite


Anatomy of Young Meteorite Craters in a Soft Target (Chiemgau Impact Strewn Field, SE Germany) from Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) Measurements

Jens Poßekel, Kord Ernstson

GPR measurements craters Chiemgau impact Eglsee impact crater Chiemgau impact Digital Terrain Model

Chiemgau impact: new comprehensive article on the chiemite impactite

Keywords astrobiology  diamond  carbyne  coalification  carbonization  meteorite impact  chiemite

Unusual carbonaceous matter, termed here chiemite, composed of more than 90% C from the Alpine Foreland at Lake Chiemsee in Bavaria, southeastern Germany has been investigated using optical and atomic force microscopy, X‐ray fluorescence spectroscopy, scanning and transmission electron microscopy, high‐resolution Raman spectroscopy, X‐ray diffraction and differential thermal analysis, as well as by δ13C and 14C radiocarbon isotopic data analysis. In the pumice‐like fragments, poorly ordered carbon matter co‐exists with high‐ordering monocrystalline α‐carbyne, and contains submicrometer‐sized inclusions of complex composition. Diamond and carbyne add to the peculiar mix of matter. The required very high temperatures and pressures for carbyne formation point to a shock event probably from the recently proposed Holocene Chiemgau meteorite impact. The carbon material is suggested to have largely formed from heavily shocked coal, vegetation like wood, and peat from the impact target area. The carbonization/coalification high PT process may be attributed to a strong shock that instantaneously caused the complete evaporation and loss of volatile matter and water, which nevertheless preserved the original cellular structure seen fossilized in many fragments. Relatively fresh wood encapsulated in the purported strongly shocked matter point to quenched carbon melt components possibly important for the discussion of survival of organic matter in meteorite impacts, implying an astrobiological relationship.