Station: [1] Alfred Mirtschin, the Saxon Schliemann

1. Grabungshelfer:

Alfred, I think I’ve got something!


All right, hold on! Be there in a tick. Oh, hello there. Are you the new dig assistant? That’s good! We can use every helping hand. Help me with this, will you…?

What? Museum visitor? I see… you just want information? About prehistory and early history in and around Riesa?

All right then. As it happens, you’ve come to the right place.…

1. Grabungshelfer:



All right, hold on!

Truly, because … I can say (in all modesty, you understand) that I, Alfred Mirtschin, have acquired a great deal of knowledge about local prehistory and early history. Actually, I’m from Dresden, you know, where I trained as a teacher – a teacher of local history, mind you. But since science is always about studying the sources, field work is the be-all and end-all of my work.

Some people have been known to call me the “Saxon Schliemann”, while others talk about “Flinders Alfred”. Well, of course that’s just banter. But one thing is true: I have a passion for archaeology, and for teaching, too, of course, since I’m a teacher at the local boys’ school. Because there’s nothing nicer than sharing your enthusiasm with others.

So I’m glad you’ve come. It’ll be my great pleasure to leave my excavation site – for a short while – and show you some of my most stunning finds. I am often called on when, for instance, a farmer here in Riesa discovers a potsherd in his field. Then I rush over there – usually on my trusty bicycle – and launch a systematic excavation. Of course, that involves methodically documenting the site of the find as well as the finds themselves. I’ve made a very precise note of everything in my diaries. Over time, I’ve recorded and catalogued almost ten thousand objects. The finds buried in Riesa and the surrounding area extend from the Palaeolithic to the middle ages.

Come on, come with me, along this passage. I was one of the people who founded our museum in 1923, and I was its first director. It has some real treasures.