Roman Mystery in Elsbach Lignite Pit or Hissink’s Heresy

Eva Hagedorn, a german scientist, studied a section of the Garzweiler Lignite mine stratigraphy and chemistry during the 1990’s and published a summary online at her website.

A captioned photograph of “Parts of the Roman Water pipeline in Profile FR126 is published, but with no comment in the text.



Figure 1

Putting this in geological context


Figure 2 – Stratigraphy



Figure 3 Longitudinal View of, one assumes, the lowest section of the crosssection


This Roman water works is not buried under colluvium, but under, ahem, Miocene stratigraphy. It’s location in the cross section seems to be wee white features above the basal orange Devonian strata. I think, because no one seems to want to discuss this anachronism.

The Romans did not bury this aqueduct as is commonly believed. Instead this aqueduct was engulfed in a massive deposit of sediments and lignite.

A previous discussion of this was posted on the Malaga Bay Blog.

There’s more than a 2000 year Heinsohn Hiatus here, and my guess is that the Roman period was terminated by the Tertiary tectonic event.

Update: A crucial fact is how one thinks.  Religious minds tend to see what they believe, and hence when confronted with the fact of Miocene sediments overlying roman water works will, to avoid cognitive dissonance, conclude the Romans dug the water works under the Miocene sediments.

The scientific mind, on the other hand, believes what it sees, and concludes that the roman waterworks were buried under a dumping of sediment.

About Louis Hissink

Retired diamond exploration geologist. I spent my professional life looking for mineral deposits, found some, and also located a number of kimberlites in NSW and Western Australia. Exploration geology is the closest one can get to practicing the scientific method, mineral exploration always being concerned with finding anomalous geophysical or geochemical data, framing a model and explanation for the anomaly and then testing it with drilling or excavation. All scientific theories are ultimately false since they invariably involved explaining something with incomplete extant knowledge. Since no one is omniscient or knows everything, so too scientific theories which are solely limited to existing knowledge. Because the future always yields new data, scientific theories must change to be compatible with the new data. Thus a true scientist is never in love with any particular theory, always knowing that when the facts change, so too must he/she change their minds.
This entry was posted in Catastrophism, Geology, Hare-brained theories. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Roman Mystery in Elsbach Lignite Pit or Hissink’s Heresy

  1. A more detailed enlargement of the cross section in Figure 2 by Tim Cullen at Malaga Bay shows that the “wee white things” are not the aqueduct. This fact with the two profiles FR 125 and FR 126 leads one to the conclusion that someone is being very cautious in publishing data of a controversial nature.

    So my interpretation that the Roman water works are covered by “Holocene” or Miocene strata is mine alone.


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