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Abstract

The Cambrian (c. 545-488 Ma) is probably the most poorly studied and least documented of all Phanerozoic systems in Central Europe. Cambrian deposits in Central Europe are generally of limited extent, often largely covered by vegetation and slightly to strongly metamorphosed so that data on depositional environments and palaeogeographic history are very limited. Regional differences in the tectonic and resulting sedimentary history as well as faunal characteristics indicate a melange of plates and terranes in a configuration that differs extremely from their original spatial distribution.

Despite considerable interest in the Cambrian on a global scale following recognition of the ‘Cambrian Explosion’, and various areas with peculiar regional and faunal aspects (e.g. Burgess Shale, Chengjiang, Kaili), there has been a lack of detailed and general research on the Cambrian of Central Europe during the last two decades. Relevant studies have concentrated on a few areas such as Lusatia, the Holy Cross Mountains, or the Barrandian area in Bohemia.

The most relevant surface exposures are found in Bohemia, the Franconian Forest area in Bavaria, in western Thuringia, in the Lusatia area in Saxony, the Holy Cross Mountains of southern Poland, and in the Brabant Massif of Belgium (Fig. 4.1). These outcrops are of relatively limited extent, but some yield important fossil assemblages. In addition, Cambrian strata are known from a number of drillholes such as in the Delitzsch-Torgau-Doberlug Syncline of NW Saxony, Upper Silesia, and a large area in north and east Poland, which is part of the East European Platform. Our

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