How much does the excavation cost

Construction delay of over a year and costs of around 150,000 euros - that is what Wolfgang Mayer is struggling with. He wanted to build a building on his property in Westerndorf St. Peter near Rosenheim. But because a ground monument is hidden there, the Bavarian Monument Protection Act comes into play: Mayer has to have an extensive archaeological excavation carried out and pay for it himself.

Rosenheim / Wasserburg - Wolfgang Mayer is sitting on a huge pile of old shards. He actually only wanted to build a residential and commercial building on his property in Westerndorf St. Peter. In May 2011, he began demolishing the old buildings, and construction should be completed by 2012. But beneath its bottom is a ground monument - the remains of a Roman terra sigillata factory. He's got to dig them up now.

"Since those who want to build on the property are the only ones who are interested in the excavation and thus in the destruction of the monument, they also have to bear the costs of the excavation," explains Dorothee Ott, press spokeswoman for the State Office for Monument Preservation. This initiator principle has been in effect since the law on the protection of monuments of 1973 was passed. Since the excavation is viewed as the destruction of the monument, the state does not contribute to the costs, so Ott.

They are very high on the construction site in Westerndorf due to the mass of found objects. Around 25 tons have already been transferred to the State Collection, with at least 20 tons to be added. The pottery shards come to light in whole heaps. Mayer donated the finds to the State Archaeological Collection in Munich: "Washing, cataloging and storing all the broken pieces - I can't do that."

Some nice things were also found, for example coins, cups and a bowl. But that is more of an exception. The archaeologists are still hoping for the big find, the kiln for example. Such has not yet been found in the former Roman settlement near Rosenheim. Mayer, meanwhile, is keeping his fingers crossed that, as far as possible, nothing will be excavated. The construction delay is already around one and a half years. And he can only keep to the planned start of construction in mid-September if the archaeologists can't find anything bigger.

The excavation alone costs him 100,000 to 150,000 euros. But that's not all: Mayer, who has a company for building construction, civil engineering and road construction, also uses his employees on the construction site. He has to pay around 20,000 euros in wages to them. At the same time, he has nowhere else to use it. He took out a loan for the construction project. He was able to delay repayment, but "the bank doesn't wait forever either". In addition, the credit volume is no longer sufficient due to the cost increases.

Mayer is currently affected twice: The company KSS wants to build a residential building on the former Fletzinger area in Wasserburg. Mayer's company is responsible for building the underground car park. But on the property, the construction workers came across old foundations. During the excavation, the archaeologists found walls, latrines - and a skeleton from the ninth century, which, to the chagrin of the archaeologists, was quickly christened "Fletzi". KSS has left the old city wall to the city of Wasserburg and the "Fletzi" will also go to them when the examinations on the skeleton are completed.

The excavation in Wasserburg, which was recently completed, only took ten weeks. The costs, however, amount to around 300,000 euros. "Fortunately, at least the deadline was kept," says Johannes Sewald from KSS. However, the company remains seated on the costs.

This situation is intolerable, believes Florian Weber, state chairman of the Bavarian party. During a construction site visit in Westerndorf, he and his party colleagues, District Councilor Josef Lausch and Landtag candidate Helmut Freund, got an idea of ​​the situation. "This law, in which the costs of the excavation are charged to the client, provokes the destruction of cultural assets," he is convinced. He even speaks of a "sin of politics against Bavarian culture and the citizens". The excavation costs could quickly ruin private individuals, so the state would have to pay for them.