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JULY 9, 2005 1:24 AM

A huge hole is being dug in the city of Hamburg. Archeologists are looking for the ruins of a castle, the Hammaburg, dating back more than 1200 years. Although no historical evidence has ever been procured for the castle's actual existence, scientists agree that the name Hamburg is a direct derivative of "Hammaburg," a clue that to many is a sure sign that the medieval castle is more than mere myth. Rimbert of Bremen, arch bishop of Hamburg and the city of Bremen in the 9th century, reports that the castle and neighbouring monastery were destroyed by a pillaging hord of vikings in the year 845. Historians predict that the recovery of historical evidence in one of Hamburg's prime real estate locations will be a feat - time is pressing and developers are an impatient lot. The attention is concentrated on the location of a former latrine in the southwestern corner of the city square. Although most of Hamburg's above- and subsurface architecture were detroyed in the bombings of WWII, the latrine survived the bombings unscathed. The archeologists now digging below the remains of the former latrine predict that a layer of black sand around three meters below surface may hint at the burnt remains of Hammaburg.


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