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2016-07-07 03:54:53   •   ID: 1459


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Ahrensburgian points in Europe have often been found as isolated stray finds. This one is made from Nordic Flint and was found near Dankelshausen in Lower Saxony (Germany).

The Ahrensburg culture is a technocomplex, contemporaneous with other tanged point cultures, dated to the younger Dryas which is the last spell of cold at the end of the last glacial.

By then subarctic temperatures had returned to Northern Germany alhough the tundra supported scattered woodland (birch and pine) . The Ahrensburgian is present over the vast area of the North European Plain and over the area of Southern Scandinavia.

The toolkits of the Ahrensburg reindeer hunters are characterized by small tanged arrow points, usually less than 5.5 cm. The bulbar end of the blank was usually removed by oblique retouch. Obliquely retouched bladelets (Zonhoven-points) short endscrapers and burins and also present in Ahrensburg assemblages.

Both, Ahrensburg and Zonhoven points show wear marks indicating their use as tips of projectiles. “Riesenklingen” point to a connection to sites with a “long blade tradition”, known from N/W-Europe. Currently, ca. 300 Ahrensburgian sites in territory from Belgium to western Poland are known. However, some points resembling Ahrensburgian ones are present in Lithuania and Belarus.

The famous Stellmoor site was excavated by A. Rust in the 1930ies. Stellmoor is situated within a larger lake system in the Ahrensburg tunnel valley and was a seasonal settlement inhabited primarily during October. The bones from more than 650 reindeers have been found there.

105 pinewood arrows or arrow fragments were identified during the Rust excavations. These arrows are the oldest ever found worldwide. They were produced with a masterly workmanship, pointing to a long tradition of manufacturing composite hunting equipment.

The Stellmoor site is seen as a killing site for large quantities of reindeer by interception hunting. Moving to the south, Ahrensburgian groups were present in the Westphalian uplands (Hohler Stein near Kallenhardt), in the southern Lower Saxony Bergland near Göttingen, the Kartstein rockshelter (northern Eifel) and at Remouchamps in the Belgian Ardennes.

Regarding the evolution of the Ahrensburg complex, it has been suggested that either the Brommian evolved into the Ahrensburgian, or alternatively, the Federmesser complex was transformed into the Ahrensburgian.  It seems that during the closing phase of the Ahrensburgian, progressively fewer tanged points occurred, and that the frequency of Zonhoven-points increased.

This phenomenon was called” Epi-Ahrensburgian” for sites in the Netherlands by Gob in 1988.

Regarding the critical review of different Late Paleolithic entities in Central and Nord Europe - I like to promote the very enlightening paper by Sauer and Riede :A Critical Reassessment of Cultural Taxonomies in the Central European Late Paleolithic (see external lnk)

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