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2018-01-28 14:13:42   •   ID: 1712

Lenderscheid: The Middle Paleolithic Debitage

The abundance of quartzite on the crests of low hills south of Kassel in the “Niederhessische Senke”, one of the main transit routes from South to North, has attracted people at different times to use this raw material for the production of stone implements.

Figure 1
At Lenderscheid the fine grained quartzite is of a remarkable homogeneity. The oldest tools may be handaxes of Acheulian morphology. 

The middle Paleolithic is characterized both by Levallois (Figure 1) and non-Levallois (Figure 2) debitage. In surface collections I know, the Levallois products never represent more than 20% of the whole debitage.

Figure 2 shows retouched tools from non-Levallois debitage: from left to right- a rare dejete Scraper, a double scraper, a discoid core and a simple side scraper.

While Levallois cores are rather rare, Discoid cores are more common. If a true Quina-production was present remains open, due to a lack of technological studies of representative material. What contradicts to a Quina concept is the lack of any cortkaler flakes at this workshop site.

Figure 2
Lenderscheid is famous for its leaf points and triangular Handaxes, a pattern that is replicated at the nearby Röhrscheid site and the Wahlen site near Kirtorf. Although these items may be very characteristic, their importance may be exaggerated. Essentially nobody knows the number of these artifacts in comparison to the total amount of Middle Paleolithic tools at the site. In my subjective view they are outnumbered by thick scrapers, by far.

Unfortunately Lenderscheid has never been excavated and there are only speculations what the association of triangular Bifaces, Leaf Points and a sophisticated Middle Paleolithic technique could mean.

Removal of artifacts from the site since the 1930ies poses sampling problems for subsequent research, particularly where research is discontinuous and accounts of earlier work are not widely available.

In addition there are no modern publications about the site as a whole... The Middle Paleolithic artifacts displayed here do not show any differences to findings in France, made on large nodules of high quality flint. Therefore the raw material seemed to be of minor importance in the decision of using different knapping conceps. The quality of the Lenderscheid quartzite allowed the Neanderthals to use material-intensive techniques

Visit at the site in 2002:
Figure 3
On a sunny Afternoon in September we visiteded the site together with Ursula.S. shown here with her former Boyfriend, seen from dorsal in the background.

Everyone picked up from the surface some Neolithic LBK segmented blades —we were young and had a great time.

The day ended in a Cippriany-pasta orgy - with ROI pesto -and Parmesan combined with an excellent Veltliner wine from the Wachau in our garden in Kassel....of course together with our cats— Katzman and Friends.

Suggested Reading:

Lutz Fiedler: Jäger und Sammler der Frühzeit. Vor- und Frühgeschichte im Hessischen Landesmuseum in Kassel 1, 1997, überarbeitete und erweiterte 2. Auflage.

Lutz Fiedler: Alt- und mittelsteinzeitliche Funde in Hessen. Führer zur Hessischen Vor- und Frühgeschichte 2, 1994:(vollständige Neubearbeitung und wesentliche Erweiterung der Auflage von 1977).

Provenance: J. Meller Collection 1983

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