Recent additions, changes and updates to Don's Maps


Navigation

Back to Don's Maps

Back to Venus figures from the Stone Age

Venus figures from Petersfels



 Petersfels site

The Petersfels site near Engen, Germany. The fence above the cave defines the edge of a walking trail.

Photo: Bernhard Kalemba, via Panoramio


Petersfels jet venus









Petersfels Venus, made of jet. This is the most well known of the Petersfels Venus figures.

Photo: Rau et al. (2009)



Venus figures from Petersfels

Venus figurines made of jet, from Petersfels, Engen, Germany, some with holes for use as pendants.

Ca 15 000 BP

Photo: Yonne Mühleis, LAD, © Archäologisches Landesmuseum Baden-Württemberg

Source: http://www.nationalgeographic.de/aktuelles/ausstellungen/landesausstellung-eiszeit-kunst-und-kultur?imageId=2


 Petersfels map

Map of the Engen and Petersfels area.

1- Petersfels
2 - Gnirshöhle
M - Engen Municipal Museum and Gallery, Städtisches Museum Engen + Galerie

Photo: http://www.engen.de/petersfels/anreise.htm


Petersfels jet venus figures

Petersfels Venus figures, made of jet, including the 'beetle' (Käfer).

Facsimiles.

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2008
Source: Badisches Landesmuseum Karlsruhe Germany




Petersfels jet venus

Small Petersfels Venus.

Size: 15 mm

Material: Jet

Source: Museum Freiburg

Photo: Müller-Beck and Albrecht (1987)



Petersfels  venuses

A range of Petersfels Venuses, all with the same general shape

Photo: Drössler (1967)



Petersfels  venuses

Two of the Petersfels venuses.

Photo: Rau et al. (2009)



Petersfels site
Petersfels site, near Engen in Germany.

One of the most important Palaeolithic sites in Central Europe with an enormous number of important artefacts. It was a settlement site of the Magdalenian (late Upper Paleolithic), with many layers, towards the end of the last ice age, during the period 15 500-14 000 years BP.

The main activity here was reindeer hunting in autumn.

Excavations from 1927 to 1932 by E. Peters and from 1974 to 1979 by G. Albert.

Photo: herba, via Panoramio
Text: Adapted from http://www.engen.de/petersfels/anreise.htm



Petersfels tents

Recreation of the scene at Petersfels ca 14 000 BP, with the inhabitants living in tents in a treeless tundra steppe environment, with a marshy area below.

During the Palaeolithic, people rarely lived in caves. This incorrect picture of cave dwellers resulted from the fact that the prehistoric finds in caves are more easily found, and are protected in the caves. In the case of Petersfels, the cramped conditions meant that there were a large number of flints, bone and antler remains concentrated in the area. In addition to tools, there were also small, sytlised female figurines made of jet, as well as carved animal images on bone and antler.

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2008
Source: Badisches Landesmuseum Karlsruhe Germany




Petersfels site

The Petersfels site when it was first discovered.

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2008
Source: Badisches Landesmuseum Karlsruhe Germany




Petersfels site

The Petersfels site today.

This is from the well known and excellent Palaeolithic blog by Katzman, with a large number of resources for those interested in the stone age:

This is a picture of the Petersfels cave, a large Magdalenian site in S/W-Germany, which I was lucky to visit in the very hot summer of 2003. It is a cave, slightly above the valley floor, with a large, well-preserved living area in the front. What makes this place interesting is the fact, that archaeologists and archaeobotanists from the University of Tubingen and Hohenheim recreated the archaeobotany conditions of the late Pleistocene in the vicinity of the cave. The forest at Petersfels was cleared, and a Late-glacial vegetation landscape of tundra steppe was reconstructed, including even an artificial bog in front of the Petersfels site.

- Katzman

Photo and text: http://www.aggsbach.de/2012/03/petersfels/




Petersfels antler tools

Reindeer antler tools from Petersfels, ca 14 000 BP.

(top) Reindeer antler carved as a rod, with fish-like creatures carved on it. Inv. Dep No. 2008/3

(middle) Broken reindeer antler spear straightener.

(bottom) Reindeer antler spear straightener, engraved with two reindeer following each other. Reindeer were a favourite game animal of the hunters of Petersfels. Inv. Dep No. 2008/2

Spear straighteners are the most commonly decorated objects of the Magdalenian.

Photo: R., 2012
Source: Badisches Landesmuseum Karlsruhe Germany




Petersfels antler tool

Drawing of the carving on the spear straightener above.

Photo: R., 2012
Source: Badisches Landesmuseum Karlsruhe Germany




Petersfels ochre

Petersfels

14 000 - 10 000 BP

In front of the cave were several engraved bones and statuettes, and this 7 cm long piece of ochre, red iron oxide.

Photo: Müller-Beck and Albrecht (1987)




Petersfels bone tools





Bone tools from Petersfels, an incomplete venus figure (#18), and three whistles.

Photo: Peters (1930)




Whistle

Whistles made of Reindeer Bones, Petersfels, ca 15 000 BP.

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2008
Source: Badisches Landesmuseum Karlsruhe Germany




Petersfels jet





Items made of jet, from Petersfels.

Photo: Peters (1930)




Petersfels sign

Map of the Petersfels walking trail

Photo: Conquistador via Panoramio

Photo: Müller-Beck and Albrecht (1987)




Excavations in the 1970s confirmed that this area was an important one for ice age hunters, as it formed a narrow corridor for the migration of reindeer in autumn.

As well as the venus figures, tools and one and a half tons of animal bones were excavated. It was decided to try to recreate the environment of the people who once hunted reindeer here.

Archaeologists from the University of Tuebingen recreated the Archaeobotany of Tübingen and Hohenheim: the forest at Petersfels was cleared, and in its place, late-glacial vegetation landscape of tundra steppe was reconstructed, including an artificial bog in front of the Petersfels site.

The area was dedicated in 2003 as the 'Engen Ice Age Park' and thus was created the 'Late ice age landscape experience.'

The park is open all year round free of charge and is easily accessible.

Text above translated and adapted from:
http://www.outdooractive.com/de/themenweg/bodensee-oberschwaben/eiszeitpark-engen/-5892442703021447353/beschreibung.html



Petersfels statue

Statue on the Petersfels walking trail.

Photo: Hardy Berchmann via Panoramio




petersfels jewellery



The Petersfels site has yielded other jewellery besides venus figures.

Photo: Rau et al. (2009)




engen venus engen venus



The 'Venus of Engen' or 'Frauenidol von Engen', bears a remarkable resemblance to the Venus of Neuchâtel, especially since it is also made of jet. This important find from Petersfels can be seen in the Städtischen Museum Engen + Galerie. The date given is 15 000 BP. The height is 38 mm.

This venus was found during the excavations of 1927 and 1928, and the highly stylised figure is determined to be female just from the very expansive buttocks.

Photo: (left) Marshack (1972)

Photo: (right) © Archäologisches Landesmuseum Baden-Württemberg

Text: adapted from: http://www.engen.de/england/venus.htm




Petersfels  venus

Petersfels venus, as above.

Photo: Adam et al. (1980)



Petersfels venus







Petersfels Venus, or 'Venus of Engen' or 'Frauenidol von Engen', the same as in the photos above. This is the one which was used as the basis for the large white statue on the Petersfels walking trail.

Size: 40 mm (note that other sources say 38 mm)

Material: Jet, a type of hard black coal.

Source: Museum Freiburg

Photo: Müller-Beck and Albrecht (1987)




engen venus



Another venus from Petersfels, also called the 'Venus of Engen' or 'Frauenidol von Engen'.

Also 15 000 BP, and made of jet, height 30 mm.

This slim sculpture was recovered from the Petersfels excavations in 1932.

Photo: © Archäologisches Landesmuseum Baden-Württemberg




petersfels venus  stylised venus in jet



The same Petersfels Venus as above.

30 mm

Made of jet.

Photo (left): Müller-Beck and Albrecht (1987)
Source: Freuburg Museum

Photo (right) Adam et al. (1980)




Petersfels  venus

Four views of this Petersfels venus.

Photo: Adam et al. (1980)



petersfels venus



Two Petersfels venuses.

Photo: Rau et al. (2009)




petersfels venus



Petersfels Venus.

33 mm

Made from reindeer antler

Photo: Müller-Beck and Albrecht (1987)

Source: Singen Museum




petersfels venus



Petersfels Venus.

90 mm

This venus figurine was not completed.

Photo: Müller-Beck and Albrecht (1987)

Source: Singen Museum




petersfels venus



Petersfels venus, 10 cm high.

Photo: Rau et al. (2009)




Petersfels walking trail




The Petersfels walking trail, with points of interest well signposted. The statue above may be discerned in the lower centre of this image. The site itself is below the man in the orange shirt, hidden by the steep slope.

Photo: engenfotoshot via Panoramio




Petersfels jet venus

Small Petersfels Venus.

Size: 13 mm

Material: Jet

Source: Museum Sammlung Engen

Photo: Müller-Beck and Albrecht (1987)



jet  from Petersfels


Jet figures from Petersfels.

Engen-Bittelbrunn, Petersfelshole
District of Konstanz
Upper Palaeolithic, approximately 14 000 BP.


Left:

Pendant

These small stylised representations of women with strongly emphasised buttocks are found especially at Petersfels, but similar copies have survived at other Upper Paleolithic sites.

The hole at the top of the piece indicates that it could have served as a pendant or could have been sewn onto clothing.

inv - No, 96/206



Centre Left:

This little beetle (seen by most experts now to be a hedgehog - Don ) is fully sculptured, and is transversely pierced. It could have been used as a pendant or served to decorate clothing.

Inv No Dep 2008/4



Right:

These two highly stylised figurines probably show women, but for whom the neck, breasts and waist are only hinted at.

Perhaps these pieces were sewn onto clothes.

Inv No Dep 2008/5-6

Photo: R., 2012
Source and text: Museum of Karlsruhe.




petersfels jewellery



Hedgehog from Petersfels.

Photo: Rau et al. (2009)




petersfels jewellery



Hedgehog from Petersfels.

Photo: Adam et al. (1980)




 stylised venus in jet





Stylised venus from Petersfels in jet. This Magdalenian object appears to be the same piece as on the far right, above.

Photo: Rau et al. (2009)



  botfly larva in jet
Botfly larva carved in jet.

It would seem that the humans in these times suffered sometimes from botfly larvae. They cause discomfort, but are not dangerous.

Skilled healers in third world countries can manipulate the larva which is under the skin, then squeeze it so that it pops out.

This carving in jet is not from Petersfels. it is from the 'Kleine Scheuer im Rosenstein bei Heubach'.

Some say it is a botfly larva, others that it depicts a marine snail.

Photo: Adam et al. (1980)



reindeer botfly

Reindeer Botfly

Müller-Beck et al. (1987) say that the carving in jet above is a reindeer botfly.

Photo: http://inpractice.bmj.com/content/32/10/462/F3.large.jpg



jet jewellery



Reindeer botfly larva from Kesslerloch, Magdalenian.

(or human botfly larva, see the photos below. Note that botflies are also known as warble flies and gadflies - Don )

Photo: Rau et al. (2009)




human botfly

Human Botfly

Size: 13 mm

Two third larval instars of the human bot fly Dermatobia hominis (ca 13 mm …)

Photo: http://otm.oxfordmedicine.com/cgi/content-nw/full/5/1/med-9780199204854-chapter-712-a/FIG712013



Brudertal

The Brudertal, or Brother Valley, in which Petersfels is located. The site may be seen in the right centre of the image.



Photo: herba via Panoramio.



rock crystal tools

Petersfels, Germany, ca 15 000 BP

Rock crystal (quartz) tools from the Upper Palaeolithic.

Rock crystal requires specialised techniques to knap, and the bipolar technique is often used. This involves an impactor striking the top of the core which rests on an anvil, with flakes being initiated from both ends of the core.

Rock crystal is sometimes used for large pieces and for microliths, but it often does not break in the consistent way that good flint does. While many of the flakes made from rock crystal are usable, they are difficult to retouch.

It is classified as macrocrystalline, as opposed to microcrystalline for materials such as flint and chalcedony.

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2008
Source: Badisches Landesmuseum Karlsruhe Germany



blades tools

Petersfels, Germany, ca 15 000 BP

Small blades from the Upper Palaeolithic.

Long blades (rather than flakes) appeared during the Aurignacian, or Upper Palaeolithic.

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2008
Source: Badisches Landesmuseum Karlsruhe Germany
Text: Adapted from Wikipedia




blades tools

Petersfels, Germany, ca 15 000 BP

Larger blades from the Upper Palaeolithic.

Blades were used as knives, and were easier to use if they were hafted, or put on a handle.

They were also the starting point for a wide range of other tools.

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2008
Source: Badisches Landesmuseum Karlsruhe Germany




burin tools

Petersfels, Germany, ca 15 000 BP

Burins from the Upper Palaeolithic.

A burin is a flint tool with a chisel-like edge which was used for engraving, or for carving wood or bone.

They were also used for repeatedly scoring bone until a tool could be separated from the substrate in the desired shape.

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2008
Source: Badisches Landesmuseum Karlsruhe Germany




kratzer tools

Petersfels, Germany, ca 15 000 BP

Scrapers from the Upper Palaeolithic.

Scrapers were used for cleaning the meat off hides and bones, and smoothing and shaping wooden tools.

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2008
Source: Badisches Landesmuseum Karlsruhe Germany
Text: Adapted from Wikipedia




schaber tools

Petersfels, Germany, ca 15 000 BP

Scrapers from the Upper Palaeolithic.

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2008
Source: Badisches Landesmuseum Karlsruhe Germany




drilling tools  from Petersfels

Petersfels, Germany, ca 15 000 BP

Drill bits from the Upper Palaeolithic.

These were hafted on a cylindrical stick, and a bow was used to rotate the tool for drilling holes. Very fine drill bits were needed to drill holes for the eye of a needle.

It cannot have been easy to attach the drill bit so that the point was exactly in the right place, spinning true in the centre of rotation.

Photo: R., 2012
Source: Badisches Landesmuseum Karlsruhe Germany




flint cores

Petersfels, Germany, ca 15 000 BP

Flint cores from the Upper Palaeolithic, from which tools were struck.

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2008
Source: Badisches Landesmuseum Karlsruhe Germany




tools made of bone from Petersfels

Petersfels, Germany, ca 15 000 BP

Bone tools from the Upper Palaeolithic.

These have been fashioned into bone wedges, points, awls, needles with eyes, and polishers for working leather.

Photo: R., 2012
Source: Badisches Landesmuseum Karlsruhe Germany




shells and shark teeth from Petersfels



Pierced shells and shark teeth from Petersfels.

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2008
Source: Badisches Landesmuseum Karlsruhe Germany




References

  1. Adam, K., Kurz, R., 1980: Eiszeitkunst im süddeutschen Raum, Theiss.
  2. Drössler, R., 1967: Die Venus der Eiszeit Gebundene Ausgabe: 268 Seiten Verlag: Prisma-Verl.; Auflage: [1. - 5. Tsd.] (1967)
  3. Marshack, A., 1972: The Roots of Civilization: the Cognitive Beginning of Man’s First Art, Symbol and Notation New York, McGraw-Hill
  4. Müller-Beck, H. and Albrecht, G. (Ed.), 1987: Die Anfänge der Kunst vor 30000 Jahren Theiss: Stuttgart.
  5. Peters, E., 1930: Die altsteinzeitliche Kulturstätte Petersfels Augsburg, B. Fiolser, 1930. Large 4to. 75 pp. text, 27 plts., 10 textfigs. and 1 map.
  6. Rau, S., Naumann D., Barth M., Mühleis Y., Bleckmann C., 2009: Eiszeit: Kunst und Kultur, Thorbecke, 2009, 396p. ISBN: 978-3-7995-0833-9


Back to Don's Maps