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2016-06-16 03:12:28   •   ID: 1347

Aurignacian from SW-Germany

Figure 1
These are typical Aurignacian artifacts, made of thick blades, from Kleinheppach in Swabia . Among these artefacts, there is a Jerzmanovice blade- point with a broken tip (Nr 4) similar to the findings in Beedings (UK), Ranis (Germany) and from the Nietoperzowa Cave in Poland.

Regarding this association, it is of interest that some researchers propose a connection between the leaf-point complexes at 40-38 k.a BP and the early Aurignacian  (Müller-Beck: "Wurzelindustrie des Aurignacien"). Several important Aurignacian levels have been excavated in Swabia since the early 20th century, especially in the Lone and Ach valley, both tributaries to the Danube.

Originally, the non-calibrated C-14 age estimates of the Aurignacian at the Geißenklösterle, were concentrated around 35,5-33 k.a BP for layer III, and 33,5-31,5 k.a BP ka for layer II. Layer II has yielded a split-base point, ivory beads, ivory figurines similar to that of the Vogelherd (Lone valley) and the oldest bone flutes in the world. Two kilometers away, the Aurignacian of layers III-IV at Hohle Fels is dated to between 33 and 30 k.a BP. Similar results have been obtained at Hohlenstein-Stadel and Vogelherd. Organic Artifacts (the famous split-based bone points), the chaine operatoire and typology of the lithic ensembles document considerable uniformity of the Aurignacian complex in Middle and Western Europe.

Anyhow, in 2014 Researchers from Oxford and Tübingen recently have published new radiocarbon dates from the Geißenklösterle Cave in Swabian Jura. The new dates use improved methods to remove contamination and produced calibrated ages between 42- 43 k.a. for start of the Aurignacian, prior to the Heinrich 4 cold phase.  In addition, the Hohlenstein Stadel Aurignacian (Find spot of the Lion men) was re-dated to 40 k.a. cal BP.

These data seem to confirm that Aurignacian was the first culture to produce a wide range of figurative art, music (Aurignacian flutes) and other key innovations as postulated in the “Kulturpumpe” Hypothesis.  It is now suggested that the full spectrum of these innovations were established in the Swabian Jura not later than 40 000 years ago. Similar calibrated C-14 dates were  published for Pataud (France; Aurignacian), Les Cottes (France; Protoaurignacian and Aurignacian), Stránská skála and Bohunice (Moravia; older Bohunician), Ksar Akil Ksar Akil (Lebanon; Early Ahmarian;) Üçağızlı (Turkey; Ahmarian), Kebara Unit IV (Israel; early Ahmarian), thus indicating a mosaic-like emergence of early Upper Paleolithic Industries over the old world.

On the other hand, personal ornaments, manifestations of art and the typology of decoration show specific regional patterns both in Swabia, S/W-France and the Levant.

Provenance: Reinhard Family (GER)