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Ice Age Hunters become farmers: Schleswig-Holstein on the way to the Neolithic

An exhibition at the Museum fĂŒr ArchĂ€ologie Schloss Gottorf



Museum fĂŒr ArchĂ€ologie Schloss Gottorf

Towards the end of the ice age there was a short cold period when the glaciers advanced once more, but soon they began their final retreat, and the ice age was over.

The surface of this glacier just a few hundred years ago was hundreds of metres above the bare gravel surface from which I took this photo, and reached most of the way up the valley walls.
Photo: Franz Josef Glacier, NZ, Don Hitchcock 2007







Credits

A superb exhibition such as this depends on the people who put it together:

Scientific Responsibility: Jürgen Hoika, in collaboration with Klaus Bokelmann, Claus v. Carnap-Bornheim, Waller Dörfler, Pieter M. Grootes, Sönke Hartz, Dirk Heinrich, Helmut Kroll, Jutta Maurers-Balke, and lnge Sehröder
Exhibition Design: Hans-Joachim Mocka
Scenic design, models, replicas: Harm Paulsen
Graphic Design: Hans-Joachim Mocka, in collaboration with Atelier und Werkstatt Bokelmann, Flemming Bau, Reinhard Kühn, and Jörg Murawski
Digital Printing: CLC PrePress GmbH, Flansburg, EI Mundo, Süderbrarup
Photography: Claudia Franz, in collaboration with Mira Burgund and Sven Heinrich
Cinematography: Homann und Canham, Film · Ton · Installation, Hamburg
Catalogue, conservation, installation: Wulf-Dieter Freese, Ralner Hinriksen, Wolfgang Lage, Klaus Niendorf, Harm Paulsen, Otto Siebken, lnga Sommerfeld, Gerhard Stawlnoga, lngrid Ulbricht
In cooperation with: Christian-Albrechts-UniversitĂ€t zu Kiel, Institut für Ur- und Frühgeschichte, Institut für Haustierkunde, Institut für Anthropologie, Leibniz-Labor für Altersbestimmungen und Isotopenforschung, Institut für Ur- und Frühgeschichte der UniversitĂ€t zu Köln, Klaus-Peter Thom, Schleswig
With friendly support from: ARD-Studlo London, Dr. Joachim Wagner, Forstamt Schleswlg, Barnd Friedrichsdorf, Norddeutscher Rundfunk, ARD-Aktuall, Martina Hammerich, Hamburg, Staatliche Försterei ldstedt, Hans-Jürgen Malende, Gerd Walther, Fahrdorf-Loopstedt





The End of the Last Ice Age - and What Came Next



ice map 20 000 BP
Map showing the maximum extent of the ice in Europe during its last glaciation, called in northern Europe the Weichselian Glaciation, and in the Alpine Region the WĂŒrm Glaciation. The maximum shown here occurred at 20 000 BP.

The extent of glaciation, sea and lakes have been painted freehand according to www.diercke.de: WĂŒrm-/Weichseleiszeit (letzte Eiszeit) - Vergletscherung and File:Map of Alpine Glaciations.png

Source File: Europe topography map.png, 2 April 2006 by San Jose, based on the Generic Mapping Tools and ETOPO2
Photo: Ulamm
Permission: GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation
Source and text: Wikipedia



fauna and flora iceage north europe
The changes in average temperature, flora and fauna during the Late Glacial in Southern Scandinavia.

The Laacher See eruption occurred around 13 000 BP and acts as a useful chronostratigraphic marker for this time.

Photo and text: Riede et al. (2011)



danish map iceage stages map


( note that the dates given here are only approximate, and different sources give slightly different dates for the various stages - Don )

Top left: The Baltic Ice Sheet, 15 000 BP to 11 600 BP, known in Danish as Den Baltiske IssĂž, The Baltic Island. Beside it and created by it was the Baltic ice lake, which was a large freshwater lake and predecessor to the Baltic Sea. It was created when the inland ice sheet gradually began to retreat to the north, and a freshwater reservoir was formed in the southern part of the Baltic Sea basin. The lake was dammed partly by the surrounding lands and partly by the inland Baltic Ice Sheet, was higher than the ocean, and had icebergs drifting on its surface.

Top right: The Yoldia Sea, 11 600 BP to 10 800 BP, dated by material from ancient sediments, shore lines, and from clay-varve chronology. The Yoldia Sea is the name given by geologists to a variable brackish-water stage in the Baltic Sea basin that prevailed after the Baltic ice lake was drained to sea level. The name derives from the bivalve, Yoldia arctica, now known as Portlandia arctica, which requires cold saline water. Its presence indicates the middle phase of the Yoldia Sea, when saline water poured into the Baltic, before the acceleration of glacial melting.

Bottom left: The Ancylus Lake, 10 800 BP to 9 200 BP, which replaced the Yoldia Sea after the latter had been severed from its saline intake across a seaway along the Central Swedish lowland, roughly between Gothenburg and Stockholm. The cutoff was the result of isostatic rise, itself because of the removal by melting of the weight of several kilometres thickness of ice, being faster than the concurrent post-glacial sea level rise. In 1887 Henrik Munthe was the first geologist to draw the conclusion that the Baltic Sea must once have been a freshwater lake, after finding fossils of the fresh water snail Ancylus fluviatilis in sediments.

Bottom right: The Littorina Sea, 9 200 BP to 5 000 BP replaced the Ancylus lake when rising sea levels began to break through the Dana River valley. This transformation was gradual, and the salt-water that began to enter the lake resulted in episodic brackish water pulses. The proper end of the Ancylus Lake came however around 7 800 BP â€“ 7 200 BP when the Øresund, or the Sound, the strait which forms the Danish–Swedish border, was completely breached by the sea, causing a massive inflow of salt-water. The Littorina Sea is named after the common periwinkle Littorina littorea, then a prevailing mollusc in the Baltic Sea, which indicates that the water was saline.

Source and text: http://www.dandebat.dk/eng-dk-historie5.htm
Additional text: Wikipedia, Wikivisually

Schleswig
The natural landscape at the end of the ice age

( note that I have used the now commonly accepted approximate dates for the following cultures rather than those in the image at left, and that the Hamburg, Federmesser, Bromme and Ahrensburg Cultures each overlap to some extent the period known in more southern latitudes as the Magdalenian, 17 000 BP to 12 000 BP - Don )

Hamburg culture
15 500 BP to 13 100 BP

The climate became increasingly warm. In front of the receding ice edge, tree-poor, but herbaceous and shrubby grassy steppes formed the habitat for large reindeer herds. They meant life for the hunter groups of the Hamburg culture.


Federmesser and Bromme cultures
Federmesser 14 800 BP to 12 800 BP, Bromme 13 600 BP to 11 800 BP

In a period of further warming, northern Europe was covered with sparse birch and pine forests.

Now the moose was at home, in forested areas where there was snow cover in the winter, and there were nearby lakes, bogs, swamps, streams and ponds. They were stalked by the hunters of the Federmesser and Bromme cultures.

Ahrensburg culture
12 900 BP to 11 700 BP

Once again the climate worsened with the onset of the Younger Dryas, the last cold snap of the Ice Age. In many areas of northern Europe, the forest retreated to the tundra, where small groups of birch and pine trees could be found. The reindeer returned and became the most important prey for the hunting groups of the Ahrensburg culture.

The Ahrensburg culture was a late Upper Paleolithic nomadic hunter culture during the Younger Dryas, the last spell of cold at the end of the Weichsel glaciation resulting in deforestation and the formation of a tundra with bushy arctic white birch and rowan.


( The Federmesser (literally, feather knife) culture is named after a characteristic small knife, dubbed in English a penknife. Both terms refer to a small knife used to cut a pen from, typically, a goose quill. In common English usage it now means a small sharp knife which folds into its handle, kept in the pocket, sometimes called a pocket knife in fact, and used for minor tasks, though few users of the term now would be aware of its etymology.

The Bromme culture is named after a settlement at Bromme on western Zealand, and it is known from several settlements in Denmark and Schleswig-Holstein - Don 
)


Rephotography: Don Hitchcock 2018
Source and text: Museum fĂŒr ArchĂ€ologie Schloss Gottorf
Additional text: Wikipedia







Hamburg culture
15 500 BP to 13 100 BP



Hamburg Culture
Hamburg culture

Map showing sites of the Hamburg culture.

( Black dots indicate sites where 'classic' Hamburgian shouldered points were found, red dots indicate sites where the dominant point was the Havelte shouldered point, see below - Don )

Among the finds from the reindeer hunters' camps, flint tools predominate. The original hafts of wood, bone or antler are usually gone.

The characteristic stone implements were made of blades: shouldered points used as arrow or spear points, scrapers made on a blade for processing fur, borers and burins for the working of wood, antlers or bones.

Suitable flint was often found in the vicinity of the camps.

Rephotography: Don Hitchcock 2018
Source and text: Museum fĂŒr ArchĂ€ologie Schloss Gottorf


The Hamburg culture or Hamburgian was a Late Upper Paleolithic culture of reindeer hunters in northwestern Europe during the last part of the Weichsel Glaciation beginning during the Bölling interstadial. Sites are found close to the ice caps of the time.

The Hamburg Culture has been identified at many places, for example, the settlement at Meiendorf and Ahrensburg north of Hamburg, Germany. It is characterised by shouldered points and borers, which were also used as burins when working with antler. In later periods tanged Havelte-type points appear, sometimes described as most of all a northwestern phenomenon.
Text above: Wikipedia

Havelte-type point
Hamburg culture

1. a 'classic' Hamburgian shouldered point

2. Havelte shouldered point.

Modified from Tromnau (1975b)

Source: Riede (2010)



Schleswig
Hamburg culture

Kerbspitzen / notched edge points / shouldered points / flint blades with a tang, typical of the Hamburgian culture.

Some points in this image are of the classic Hamburgian style, whilst others are those known as Havelte shouldered points.

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2018
Source and text: Museum fĂŒr ArchĂ€ologie Schloss Gottorf
Additional text: Don Hitchcock



Havelte and hamburg
Hamburg culture

Distribution map of classic Hamburgian, Havelte Group and Hamburgian sites on the North European Plain at the beginning of the Lateglacial Interstadial.

Source and text: Grimm, Weber (2009)



burins
Hamburg culture

Burins.

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2018
Source and text: Museum fĂŒr ArchĂ€ologie Schloss Gottorf



burins


Hamburg culture

Double ended tools.

Stichel - burin, Kratzer - scraper, Zinken - awl or drill.

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2018
Source and text: Museum fĂŒr ArchĂ€ologie Schloss Gottorf



scrapers


Hamburg culture

Scrapers.

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2018
Source and text: Museum fĂŒr ArchĂ€ologie Schloss Gottorf



awls
Hamburg culture

Awls.

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2018
Source and text: Museum fĂŒr ArchĂ€ologie Schloss Gottorf



drills
Hamburg culture

Drills.

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2018
Source and text: Museum fĂŒr ArchĂ€ologie Schloss Gottorf



unknown tools
Hamburg culture

Tools of unknown function.

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2018
Source and text: Museum fĂŒr ArchĂ€ologie Schloss Gottorf







Federmesser and Bromme Cultures
14 800 BP to 11 800 BP



The Federmesser and Bromme cultures were Hunting cultures of the BĂžlling-AllerĂžd interstadial, an abrupt warm and moist period at the end of the Oldest Dryas cold period.

During the BĂžlling-AllerĂžd warm phase, two cultures overlapped in Schleswig-Holstein, the South Scandinavian Bromme culture and the penknife culture of northern Germany. Both cultures are distinguished by characteristic flint tools, which are believed to indicate different hunting techniques.

bromme federmesser europe map


The Final Palaeolithic cultural geography of the AllerĂžd according to Newell & Constandse-Westermann (1996).

In their interesting and innovative analytical approach the Bromme culture is imbued with not only territorial and economic but also linguistic and ethnic significance ( Niekus, 1995).

Photo and text: Riede (2017)



Federmesser
Federmesser culture

Federmesser, after which the culture is named. These are small backed knives named after their similarity in shape and size to 'feather knives' or 'quill knives' or 'pen knives' which were used in much later times to cut a sharp point on (typically) a goose quill, which was then dipped in ink, and used for writing on parchment or paper.

Photo and text: Don Hitchcock 2018
Source and identification: Museum fĂŒr ArchĂ€ologie Schloss Gottorf



Blades Blades
Federmesser culture

Blades.

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2018
Source and text: Museum fĂŒr ArchĂ€ologie Schloss Gottorf



Burins


Burins


Federmesser culture

Burins.

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2018
Source and text: Museum fĂŒr ArchĂ€ologie Schloss Gottorf



Burin spalls
Federmesser culture

Burin spalls.

( these were often used as tools in their own right rather than being thrown away - Don )

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2018
Source and text: Museum fĂŒr ArchĂ€ologie Schloss Gottorf



cores
Federmesser culture

Cores or nuclei.

( the remainder of a piece of flint after as many tools as possible have been struck from it - Don )

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2018
Source and text: Museum fĂŒr ArchĂ€ologie Schloss Gottorf



cores cores


cores
Federmesser culture

Scrapers.

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2018
Source and text: Museum fĂŒr ArchĂ€ologie Schloss Gottorf



unknown tools
Federmesser culture

Tools of unknown function.

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2018
Source and text: Museum fĂŒr ArchĂ€ologie Schloss Gottorf



moose marrow bone


Federmesser culture

Moose bone broken open for marrow extraction.

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2018
Source and text: Museum fĂŒr ArchĂ€ologie Schloss Gottorf



 stichel schnitt  stichel schnitt
Federmesser culture

Antler and bone were scored by burins to decorate or split them into more suitable dimensions for tools.

In these two examples, the object of the exercise was for decoration.

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2018
Source and text: Museum fĂŒr ArchĂ€ologie Schloss Gottorf



 stichel schnitt
Map of the Federmesser and Bromme cultures in the Schleswig-Holstein general area.

The Federmesser (14 800 BP to 12 800 BP) and Bromme (13 600 BP to 11 800 BP) cultures overlapped somewhat, in both location and time, but with the Bromme culture starting (and ending) about 1000 years later than the Federmesser.

It may be that the more northerly Bromme culture developed as new lands opened up with the warming of the northern parts of the range.

Photo and explanatory text: Don Hitchcock 2018
Source for map and identification: Museum fĂŒr ArchĂ€ologie Schloss Gottorf



The Bromme culture is a late Upper Paleolithic culture dated to circa 13 600 cal BP to 11 800 cal BP, which corresponds to the second half of the AllerĂžd Oscillation.

At this time, reindeer was the most important prey, but the Bromme people also hunted moose, wolverine and beaver. The landscape was a combination of taiga and tundra.

The culture is named after a settlement at Bromme on western Zealand, and it is known from several settlements in Denmark and Schleswig-Holstein. In Sweden, it is known from the country's earliest known settlement at Segebro, near Malmö.

It is characterised by sturdy lithic flakes that were used for all tools, primarily awls (sticklar), scrapers and tanged points. No stone axes have been found.

The Bromme culture and the Ahrensburg culture are so similar that it has been proposed that they should be classed as one and the same, under the label Lyngby culture, with the Bromme culture being recognised as an older northern branch of the same culture as the Ahrensburg culture.

Text above: Wikipedia

  bromme tools
Bromme culture

Key types.

Bromme point, scraper, and burin.

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2018
Source: Museum fĂŒr ArchĂ€ologie Schloss Gottorf



  bromme tools
Bromme culture

Bromme Point, and two Federmesser.

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2018
Source: Museum fĂŒr ArchĂ€ologie Schloss Gottorf



  bromme points   bromme tools

Bromme culture

(left) Bromme Points.

(right) Bromme scrapers and burins.

Photo: 'after AarbĂžger 1946', de MoIyn (1954)



  bromme tools
Bromme culture

Left to right: Federmesser (quill knife), scraper, and burin.

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2018
Source: Museum fĂŒr ArchĂ€ologie Schloss Gottorf



  bromme tools
Bromme culture

Scraper.

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2018
Source: Museum fĂŒr ArchĂ€ologie Schloss Gottorf



  bromme tools
Bromme culture

Burins.

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2018
Source: Museum fĂŒr ArchĂ€ologie Schloss Gottorf



  bromme retouched flakes
Bromme culture

Retouched flakes.

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2018
Source: Museum fĂŒr ArchĂ€ologie Schloss Gottorf



  bromme blades
Bromme culture

Blades.

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2018
Source: Museum fĂŒr ArchĂ€ologie Schloss Gottorf



  bromme blades
Bromme culture

Blades.

( note that the centre blade in this group of three has been retouched to form an end scraper, or grattoir.  - Don )

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2018
Source: Museum fĂŒr ArchĂ€ologie Schloss Gottorf



  bromme blades
Bromme culture

Blades.

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2018
Source: Museum fĂŒr ArchĂ€ologie Schloss Gottorf







Ahrensburg culture
12 900 BP to 11 700 BP



Vegetation map

Map of the vegetation in Europe between 13 000 BP and 12 000 BP.

 1 - Ice sheet
 2 - Tundra
 3 - Tundra 'xeric' variant (i.e. dry tundra)
 4 - Birch-Pine forest
 5 - Mixed forest
 6 - Northern mixed conifer-deciduous forest
 7 - Spruce dominated forest
 8 - Steppe with Gramineae (now called Poaceae)
 9 - Steppe (i.e. vast semi-arid grass-covered plain, as found in southeast Europe, Siberia, and central North America)
10 - Mixed-deciduous forest
11 - Mixed forest
12 - Sites with amber artefacts

Photo: Burdukeiwicz (1999)




Schleswig
Locations of Ahrensburg sites in the Schleswig-Holstein area.

( the important site of Stellmoor, where the Ahrensburger Tunnel Valley (see below) was situated, is marked on this map - Don )

Rephotography: Don Hitchcock 2018
Source and text: Museum fĂŒr ArchĂ€ologie Schloss Gottorf



Schleswig
The Ahrensburg Tunnel Valley

Under the glaciers of the last ice age, meltwater carved out wide tunnels beneath the ice.

( This is happening in glacial valleys today as the glaciers melt, see photos below. Eventually the ice, being unsupported, collapses into the tunnel, and it is then covered by sediments carried by the shallow stream which now passes over the collapsed ice - Don )

Thus, although the glaciers eventually thawed completely, large blocks of ice, called dead ice, remained in low-lying areas under the sediments, and were protected from melting to some extent by these sediments.

The Ahrensburger Tunnel valley had to be crossed by migrating reindeer herds, and thus became a favoured area for the hunters of the Hamburg and the Ahrensburger culture.

The hunters' stations at Meiendorf and Stellmoor lay on the bank of a lake that had formed over the very slowly melting dead ice. In this lake, the bones and antlers of killed reindeer thrown into the lake have been well preserved because of the exclusion of air.

( the archaeological deposits are shown in black in the lower two panels of this painting - Don )

With the inevitable complete melting of the dead ice, the layers sank by several metres. Thus the discovery remained preserved until today.

Rephotography: Don Hitchcock 2018
Source and text: Museum fĂŒr ArchĂ€ologie Schloss Gottorf



Schleswig
Diorama of the hunting station at the tunnel valley.

Photo and text: Don Hitchcock 2018
Source: Museum fĂŒr ArchĂ€ologie Schloss Gottorf



Schleswig
This photograph shows clearly the way that the reindeer remains were preserved by the anaerobic conditions in the lake, and the swift burial of the objects.

Here we may also see the way that the originally horizontal deposits were tilted by the eventual melting of the dead ice, and the resultant collapse of the sediments into the void created.

Rephotography and additional text: Don Hitchcock 2018
Source and text: Museum fĂŒr ArchĂ€ologie Schloss Gottorf



meltwater glacier nz
Meltwater pouring out from a tunnel beneath the Franz Josef Glacier in New Zealand.

Note the grey colour of the water from the rock flour suspended in it, made when the glacier grinds across its bed.

Photo and text: Don Hitchcock 2007



 glacier nz  glacier nz


Left: Climbing dead ice in order to reach the active toe of the Fox Glacier in New Zealand.

Right: The toe of Fox Glacier. At this time, 2007, the glacier was advancing, temporarily and paradoxically, because of global warming.

Rising temperatures in the Tasman Sea to the west and the resulting increase in evaporation meant an increase of precipitation on the Southern Alps, which fell as snow, making the snow budget positive - the snow that fell more than replaced the ice that melted at the toe of the glacier.

By the following year, 2008, melting again got the upper hand despite the increased snowfall, and the glacier is now in rapid retreat, such that views and climbs like this are no longer possible, except by helicopter, since the glacier has retreated far up the valley.

Photo and text: Don Hitchcock 2007



meltwater glacier nz
The active toe of the Fox Glacier shown here (the low wall of fissured ice in the background of this image, reduced to just a few metres in thickness, and much further back up the valley in the scant six years from when I saw it last, and by then but a sad remnant of its former glory) is still connected to the rest of the glacier.

In the foreground of this image is dead ice, partially covered with sand, gravel, and rocks.

It is called dead ice, since it is no longer connected with the (moving) glacier proper, which is, in this case, like most others in the world, in retreat because of global warming. This shot, six years later, is taken a considerable distance further up the valley than the shots above, because of the retreat of the glacier.

The guides predicted at the time that in five years there would be no such 'glacier walks' available, and this has come to pass.

Photo and text: Don Hitchcock 2013



Schleswig
At the Stellmoor site, of the Ahrensburg culture, many pine arrow shafts were observed. They consisted of an approximately 80 cm long main shaft and a 15 cm long removable foreshaft.

These finds are the first sure evidence in Europe for bow and arrow hunting.

Among the wastes of the hunting stations at both Meiendorf and Stellmoor were found many skeletal remains of killed reindeer. In some bones, the fragments of flint arrowheads were discovered.

Stellmoor was a seasonal settlement inhabited primarily during October, and bones from 650 reindeer have been found there. The hunting tool was bow and arrow. From Stellmoor there are also well-preserved arrow shafts of pine intended for the culture's characteristic skaftunge (shaft tongue) arrowheads of flint. A number of intact reindeer skeletons, with arrowheads in the chest, has been found, and they were probably sacrifices to higher powers. At the settlements, archaeologists have found circles of stone, which probably were the foundations of hide teepees.

Photo: Rust (1943)
Rephotography: Don Hitchcock 2018
Source and text: Museum fĂŒr ArchĂ€ologie Schloss Gottorf
Additional text: Wikipedia






Schleswig
The site of Stellmoor during the excavation.

Top right the excavator Alfred Rust, taking a photograph of progress with a large glass plate camera steadied by a tripod. These glass negative cameras were used up until quite recent times because of their lack of distortion of the negative and resulting print.

( note the difficult, muddy conditions that the researchers had to contend with. The assistant's gumboots are deep in the mire - Don )

Photo: Rust (1943)
Rephotography and additional text: Don Hitchcock 2018
Source and text: Museum fĂŒr ArchĂ€ologie Schloss Gottorf



Schleswig
The site of Stellmoor during the excavation.

Stellmoor is an archaeological site of the late Palaeolithic near the Meiendorf area not far from Hamburg. The archaeologist Alfred Rust carried out excavations there in a silted late ice age lake in the years 1934 to 1936. There were two cultural layers.


At a depth of 650 cm, artefacts of the Upper Palaeolithic Hamburg culture were discovered: stone implements , animal bones (especially from reindeer ) and reindeer antlers, as well as two reindeer weighted with stones.

At a depth of 400 cm, there was a rich find with artefacts from the late Palaeolithic Ahrensburg culture. In addition to stone, bone and antler artefacts and wooden arrows, the remains of 650 reindeer were found. Twelve reindeer had been sacrificed. In addition, there was a cult object, which consisted of a two metres long pine wood pole, on which was mounted a reindeer skull with large antlers. This has been interpreted as a cult object.

Photo: Rust (1943)
Proximal source: http://mennesketsoprindelse.dk/beroemte-lokaliteter/europa/tyskland/ahrensburg-tunneldal-tyskland-stellmoor-og-meiendorf/
Text: Wikipedia



Ancient Scandinavia: An Archaeological History from the First Humans to the Vikings Front Cover T. Douglas Price Oxford University Press, 12 Jun 2015 - History - 416 pages

Schleswig
The site of Stellmoor during the excavation.

( It was a huge and expensive feat of engineering. Apart from the thousands of cubic metres excavated, the whole dig had to be kept clear of water as much as possible, as shown here by the pipes and pumping system - Don )

Photo: Rust (1943)
Proximal source: http://mennesketsoprindelse.dk/beroemte-lokaliteter/europa/tyskland/ahrensburg-tunneldal-tyskland-stellmoor-og-meiendorf/



Schleswig


Ahrensburg culture

Key types of the stone tools of the last reindeer hunters

The typical tools are short, squat scrapers. Awls, typical of the Hamburg culture, are missing entirely, but there were flint arrowheads.

The antlers, wood and bones used for other tools were cut with burins and large, sharp blades.

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2018
Source and text: Museum fĂŒr ArchĂ€ologie Schloss Gottorf



Schleswig
Ahrensburg culture

Using a large, sharp blade to cut an antler or bone into a useable size. It is likely that the maker of the tool simply scored right around the outside of the antler, and snapped it at the score mark, since that is the fastest and easiest way to do it.

Photo and text: Don Hitchcock 2018
Source: Museum fĂŒr ArchĂ€ologie Schloss Gottorf



Schleswig
Ahrensburg culture

Sharp knife on a large blade.

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2018
Source and text: Museum fĂŒr ArchĂ€ologie Schloss Gottorf



Schleswig
Ahrensburg culture

Sharp knife on a large blade.

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2018
Source and text: Museum fĂŒr ArchĂ€ologie Schloss Gottorf



Schleswig
Ahrensburg culture

Sharp knife on a large blade.

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2018
Source and text: Museum fĂŒr ArchĂ€ologie Schloss Gottorf



Tools of unknown function
Ahrensburg culture

Tools of unknown function.

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2018
Source and text: Museum fĂŒr ArchĂ€ologie Schloss Gottorf



end scrapers grattoirs
Ahrensburg culture

End scrapers on blades, grattoirs.

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2018
Source and text: Museum fĂŒr ArchĂ€ologie Schloss Gottorf



Short scrapers
Ahrensburg culture

Short scrapers.

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2018
Source and text: Museum fĂŒr ArchĂ€ologie Schloss Gottorf



arrowheads
Ahrensburg culture

Arrow heads.

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2018
Source and text: Museum fĂŒr ArchĂ€ologie Schloss Gottorf



Schleswig



Skaftunge (shaft tongue) Ahrensburg culture arrowhead.

Arrowheads of this type may be seen in the image above.

Photo: http://www.wikiwand.com/en/Ahrensburg_culture



arrowheads
Ahrensburg culture

Arrow heads.

( The arrowheads were thin and small enough to be able to mounted on an arrow shaft, in a slot carved for them, secured with black birch bark glue and sinew - Don )

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2018
Source and text: Museum fĂŒr ArchĂ€ologie Schloss Gottorf



arrowheads
Ahrensburg culture

Arrow heads.

( As always in this exhibition, the artefacts were superbly mounted, artistically displayed, and supported by very well executed and aesthetically pleasing watercolour illustrations. It was a joy to visit this museum - Don )

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2018
Source and text: Museum fĂŒr ArchĂ€ologie Schloss Gottorf



arrowheads
Ahrensburg culture

Way of Life

An important characteristic of reindeer hunter communities is their high mobility.

During the warmer months, they moved from the larger autumn and winter camps in small groups to the summer hunting grounds. Here, besides reindeer, other game including fish and birds were hunted.

Perhaps the many scattered sites outside the Ahrensburg Tunnel Valley were such short-lived hunting stations.

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2018
Source and text: Museum fĂŒr ArchĂ€ologie Schloss Gottorf



tools
Ahrensburg culture

Equipment of a reindeer hunter

Flint debitage and the flint tools of a find site often do not match. Apparently not all the necessary equipment of the reindeer hunters was made locally, but a small basic assortment was brought along with them ( including the arrow shaft smoother shown here, essential for replacing broken arrow shafts - Don ).

( note here the illustration that shows the basic first step of the creation of a blade from a core being used for many purposes, including end scrapers (grattoirs) and burins. No doubt the debitage from burins in particular, because of the way they are made, was used to create the much smaller arrow heads with the minimum of extra effort - Don )


Photo: Don Hitchcock 2018
Source and text: Museum fĂŒr ArchĂ€ologie Schloss Gottorf



tools
Ahrensburg culture

Bone and antler tools of the Ahrensburg culture

The favourable conservation conditions at Stellmoor have preserved over 20 000 bones and antlers. Among them is a large number of hatchets from reindeer antlers, which are suitable both as hunting weapons and for woodworking.

The map shows the distribution of reindeer antlers used in this way.

( These antler tools were used primarily for splitting logs into far more valuable planks, and by continued splitting, into blanks for spear or arrow shafts. Their existence shows that at this time the reindeer hunters were still able to find trees worth cutting down and using in this way, despite the general quite cold conditions which resulted in vegetation of all kinds being stunted - Don )

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2018
Source and text: Museum fĂŒr ArchĂ€ologie Schloss Gottorf



harpoons
Ahrensburg culture

Harpoons.

( note the unusual end to the nearly complete harpoon head on the left. It is spade shaped. Harpoons were used not only for fish but for other game as well. The detachable forepiece meant that if it were broken, an easily carried spare harpoon head could be lashed onto the valuable and hard to replace spear shaft while in the field, and hunting could continue. Both harpoon heads are flattened in cross section - Don )

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2018
Source and text: Museum fĂŒr ArchĂ€ologie Schloss Gottorf



harpoons
Ahrensburg culture

Harpoons.

( note that this harpoon head also carries the remains of a spade shaped end similar to the one in the image above - Don )

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2018
Source and text: Museum fĂŒr ArchĂ€ologie Schloss Gottorf



harpoons
Ahrensburg culture

Harpoons.

( note that the harpoon head on the right is flattened in cross section, and has an arrow shaped end for attachment to the spear shaft, and is much shorter than most harpoon heads. It may have been reshaped into this short form after a longer version had the tip broken off - Don )

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2018
Source and text: Museum fĂŒr ArchĂ€ologie Schloss Gottorf



harpoons
Ahrensburg culture

Harpoon head, method of attachment.

( this drawing shows the harpoon head as being attached by a plaited leather thong, with the harpoon head designed to come off the shaft on impact - Don )


Rephotography: Don Hitchcock 2018
Source: Museum fĂŒr ArchĂ€ologie Schloss Gottorf







The Mesolithic in Schleswig-Holstein



Schleswig
Flint arrow heads.

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2018
Source and text: Original, Museum fĂŒr ArchĂ€ologie Schloss Gottorf



Schleswig Schleswig

Aalstecher, eel spear.

The Aalstecher is a type of trident- based fishing tool for eel fishing. Eels bury themselves in the mud of stream beds in autumn and winter, but also whenever the streams dry up.

With the Aalstecher one stabs into the mud, the forearms of the tool guide the spike to the middle of the eel, it is caught on the spike, and the eel can then be pulled out of the mud.

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2018
Source and text: Original, Museum fĂŒr ArchĂ€ologie Schloss Gottorf



Schleswig
Wooden net floats.

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2018
Source and text: Original, Museum fĂŒr ArchĂ€ologie Schloss Gottorf



Schleswig
Harpoons of deer bone and deer antler.

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2018
Source and text: Original, Museum fĂŒr ArchĂ€ologie Schloss Gottorf



Schleswig
Black birch bark glue was used to fix the spear point to the shaft ( as may be seen on the broken point at the bottom right of this image and the long spear point beside it - Don )

( the three harpoon points to the right of the leftmost harpoon point have used either an artificial projection, or left untrimmed other natural projections, which were then used to attach the point to the shaft using either cord or sinew - Don )

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2018
Source and text: Original, Museum fĂŒr ArchĂ€ologie Schloss Gottorf



Schleswig




Elm wood bow, and arrow shafts.

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2018
Source and text: Original, Museum fĂŒr ArchĂ€ologie Schloss Gottorf



Schleswig

Parts of fish traps made of willow rods.

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2018
Source and text: Original, Museum fĂŒr ArchĂ€ologie Schloss Gottorf



Schleswig

The settlements and camps of the ErtebĂžlle culture, 7 300 BP â€“ 5 950 BP, were on the banks of rivers and lakes, but mainly beside the sea. Large parts of the coast of Schleswig-Holstein have been flooded since this time, eroded or covered by layers of mud.

Thus sites of this culture are difficult to discover. Often they are under water today.

The Ertebþlle culture (ca 5300 BC – 3950 BC) is the name of a hunter-gatherer and fisher, pottery-making culture dating to the end of the Mesolithic period, between the (ice ages) Upper Paleolithic and the Neolithic. The culture was concentrated in Southern Scandinavia, but genetically linked to strongly related cultures in Northern Germany and the Northern Netherlands.

Rephotography: Don Hitchcock 2018
Map, source and text: Museum fĂŒr ArchĂ€ologie Schloss Gottorf
Additional text: Wikipedia



Schleswig
The economy at the turning point, at the end of the Mesolithic.

Hunting: deer, moose, deer, aurochs, wild boar, ducks

Fishing: shellfish, fish

Agriculture: sowing, growing, harvesting

Collecting: fruits, mushrooms, honey

Domestic animals: sheep, cattle, pigs

Rephotography: Don Hitchcock 2018
Source and text: Museum fĂŒr ArchĂ€ologie Schloss Gottorf



Schleswig
The proportion of hunters and gatherers in the world's population 12 000 years ago.

100% of about 10 million people.

Rephotography: Don Hitchcock 2018
Source and text: Museum fĂŒr ArchĂ€ologie Schloss Gottorf



Schleswig
The proportion of hunters and gatherers in the world's population today.

0.001% of 4 billion people.

Rephotography: Don Hitchcock 2018
Source and text: Museum fĂŒr ArchĂ€ologie Schloss Gottorf



Schleswig


Serrated bone points. ( these increase bleeding or shock in the prey, which brings them down more quickly - Don )

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2018
Source and text: Museum fĂŒr ArchĂ€ologie Schloss Gottorf



Schleswig


Paddle of elm wood.

Duxmoor, Kr. Rendsburg-Eckernförde

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2018
Source and text: Museum fĂŒr ArchĂ€ologie Schloss Gottorf



Schleswig

Bone fishing hooks, from Schinkel, Kr. Rendsburg-Eckernförde, and Kleinsolt, Kr. Schleswig-Flensburg.

( We can see here two different methods of attaching a line to the hook. In one case the hook has been made with a larger end than the main part of the hook. In the other case, the end has been grooved to provide a secure attachment point. A hole in the shank of the hook is preferable, but probably this weakens the hook too much when made in bone of this diameter - Don )

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2018
Source and text: Museum fĂŒr ArchĂ€ologie Schloss Gottorf



Schleswig

Decorated pieces of bone and antler, and a piece of a decorated scoop.

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2018
Source and text: Museum fĂŒr ArchĂ€ologie Schloss Gottorf



Schleswig
Wooden, antler and bone tools.

Occasionally, pieces of wood, bone or antler are discovered by dredging in bogs or watercourses. More rarely, ornamented weapons and equipment are found.

In the Mesolithic, the Middle Stone Age (10 000 BP - 5 000 BP), between the Palaeolithic and Neolithic periods, at the end of the last ice age, we encounter geometric decorative motifs: lines, angles and notched rows or triangles. Figurative representations are rare.

During the Mesolithic, the emphasis was on small or even tiny tools, microliths, rather than the larger tools used previously. There was also greater use of wooden handles for tools, including the adze. Domestication of animals had begun, including the dog.

Decorated reindeer bones. Described in Rust 1943, but is not from Stellmoor. They are from the slightly younger trotting culture (Maglemose) Photo: Don Hitchcock 2018
Source and text: Museum fĂŒr ArchĂ€ologie Schloss Gottorf
Additional text: Wikipedia



Schleswig Schleswig Schleswig


Closeups of the decorated bones and their engravings.

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2018
Source and text: Museum fĂŒr ArchĂ€ologie Schloss Gottorf




References

  1. Bibby, G., 1956: The Testimony of the Spade, Alfred A. Knopf, 424 pp.
  2. Burdukeiwicz, J., 1999: Late Palaeolithic Amber in Northern Europe, Investigations into Amber, Proceedings of the International Interdisciplinary Symposium, 2 - 6 September 1997 Gdansk, The Archaeological Museum Gdansk, Museum of Earth, Polish Academy of Sciences, Gdansk, 1999, pp 99-110.
  3. Grimm S., Weber M., 2009: Dating the Hamburgian in the context of Lateglacial chronology, Chapter, January 2009, https://www.researchgate.net/publication/259785380
  4. Horst K., Schulze H., Steinmann B., 2015: Kykladen, FrĂŒhe Kunst in der ÄgĂ€is, Kykladen, FrĂŒhe Kunst in der ÄgĂ€is, Edited by Rupert Gebhard - Harald Schulze © 2015 by ArchĂ€ologische Staatssammlung Munich - Museum for Prehistory and Early History ISBN 978-3-927806-39-9, Accompanying book to the exhibition in the ArchĂ€ologische Staatssammlung MĂŒnchen 13.2.2015 - 7.7. 2015
  5. Horst K., Schulze H., Steinmann B., 2015: Kykladen, FrĂŒhe Kunst in der ÄgĂ€is, Kykladen, FrĂŒhe Kunst in der ÄgĂ€is, Edited by Rupert Gebhard - Harald Schulze © 2015 by ArchĂ€ologische Staatssammlung Munich - Museum for Prehistory and Early History ISBN 978-3-927806-39-9, Accompanying book to the exhibition in the ArchĂ€ologische Staatssammlung MĂŒnchen 13.2.2015 - 7.7. 2015
  6. de MoIyn J., 1954: The Bromme Culture. Notes on Denmarks most ancient culture, QuartÀr, 6:109-117.
  7. Newell R., Constandse-Westermann T., 1996: The Use of Ethnographic Analyses for Researching Late Palaeolithic Settlement Systems, Settlement Patterns and Land Use in the Northwest European Plain, World Archaeology, 27:372-388.
  8. Niekus M., 1995: The archaeological resolution of the Bromme in an anthropological context, MA dissertation, Groningen University.
  9. Pressekonferenz, 2011: zur großen Sonderausstellung 'Kykladen. Lebenswelten einer frühgriechischen Kultur', Freitag, 16. Dezember, 11 Uhr, Badisches Landesmuseum, Schloss. URL: http://www.landesmuseum.de/website/dyndata/Sammelmappe_Kykladen.pdf
  10. Price T., 2015: Ancient Scandinavia: An Archaeological History from the First Humans to the Vikings, Oxford University Press, 12 Jun 2015 - History - 416 pages
  11. Riede F., 2010: Hamburgian weapon delivery technology: a quantitative comparative approach, Before Farming, 2010. article 1
  12. Riede F., Terp S., Hertz L., Hertz E., 2011: Federmesserkulturen i Danmark, KUML, Årbog for Jysk Arkéologisk Selskab, Belyst med udgangspunkt i en amatþrarkéologs flintsamling
  13. Riede F., 2017: The 'Bromme problem' – notes on understanding the Federmessergruppen and Bromme culture occupation in southern Scandinavia during the Allerþd and early Younger Dryas chronozones, in: Problems in Palaeolithic and Mesolithic Research, University of Copenhagen & Museum of Southeast Denmark, Editors: Mikkel Sþrensen, Kristoffer Buck Pedersen, pp.61-85
  14. Rust A., 1943: Die alt- und mittelmesolitischen Funde von Stellmoor, NeumĂŒnster, Archaeologisches Institut des deutschen Reiches.
  15. Tromnau G., 1975b: Neue Ausgrabungen imAhrensburger Tunneltal. Ein Beitrag zurErforschung des JungpalĂ€olithikums im NordwesteuropĂ€ischen Flachland, NeumĂŒnster: Karl Wachholtz Verlag GmbH.





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