Topographical situation (2/15)
The careful observation of the topographical situation is very important for relic hunters. Water and hills had special importance everywhere and in all periods.
This chapter describes the topography starting with the big picture and becoming increasingly detailed. Self-drawn maps 1:5000 will be shown. These maps will be used in the later sections.
As mentioned skull hill guards a valley. This picture shows the relief of the valley. It covers an area of 7 km x 4.6 km (4.3 miles x 2.8 miles) The red line is the road the Germans wanted to block. The purple rectangle shows the area of general interest. At this point the valley narrows and the vehicles on the road have to pass the hill west of the street.. The Germans took positions on this hill. This elevation is just some 60 m / 66 yards above street level so it looks flat in comparison to the surrounding mountains.
The sketch shows the excellent strategic position of the hill. It is located at the end of a ridge that narrows the valley to just some 60 m between the ascend and the river. All traffic has to go through this needle’s eye.
A village is located immediately south of skull hill. People from that village likely chose that hill if they wanted to hide something. Covered by woodland, it is simply the nearest convenient place where one is out of sight.
Prior to the detector search I walked the area and looked for any sort of historical evidence, e.g. foxholes. While I found several foxholes near skull hill there were none on the ridge of hill 897.
The entire area is hilly and wooded. Average sight is 50m. This picture gives an impression.
(C) Thorsten Straub www.metal-detecting.de 2006-2011.