The European Programme for Ice Coring in Antarctica includes a comprehensive pre-site survey on the inland ice plateau of Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica. The German glaciological programme during the 1997/98 field season was carried out along a 1200 km traverse on Amundsenisen and involved sampling the snow cover in pits and by shallow firn cores. This paper focuses on the accumulation studies. The cores were dated by dielectric-profiling and continuous-flow analysis. Distinct volcanogenic peaks and seasonal signals in the profiles served to establish a depth time-scale. The eruptions of Krakatoa, Tambora, an unknown volcano, Kuwae and El Chichon are well-documented in the ice. Variations of the accumulation rates over different times were inferred from the depth time-scales. A composite record of accumulation rates for the last 200 years was produced by stacking 12 annually resolved records. According to this, accumulation rates decreased in the 19th century and increased in the 20th century. The recent values are by no means extraordinary, as they do not exceed the values at the beginning of the 19th century. Variations in accumulation rates are most probably linked to temperature variations indicated in δ18O records from Amundsenisen.