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2019-05-03 12:53:01   •   ID: 2097

The Reutersruh Site: Acheulian East of the Rhine

Figure 1
These are Lower to Middle Paleolithic artifacts from the Reutersruh site near Ziegenhain / Schwalmstadt about 30 km North of Kassel. We recognize (from left to right) a simple scraper, a Tayac point, a Pseudolevallois point and a prepared-non Levallois-core.

The site was already detected by a local teacher, Adolf Luttropp, during the years 1938-39, but a first small publication appeared only after the end of WW II in 1949.

Figure 2
In North Hessen, near Kassel, there are numerous outcrops of fine-grained tertiary quartzite. The rocks appearing on the surface make agricultural works impossible on several Paleolithic sites, this is why they were not destroyed, as shown by this areal view from the site in Figure 2 (first described by Luttropp, 1955). See also: 1360 , here 1624 , here: 2027 , here: 1712 and here 1735 .

The Reutersruh has a clear workshop character and relatively course grained quartzite was used during the (non dated) Early, Middle and late Paleolithic.

Anyhow, the abundant material available at the site has permitted the analysis of different techniques and the partial reconstruction of reduction sequences (Luttropp and Bosinski, 1971).

Unfortunately Cryoturbation and other Geological process have disturbed and mixed the strata- as shown during test excavations by Luttropp and Bosinski.

What is pretty clear that the mayority of the Handaxes show an Acheulian Character. They are rather large (> 10 cm); are produced by hard hammer Technology and offen show a zig–zag circumference.

What is quite unique in the Middle European Paleolithic is the presence of Flake cleavers. Maybe a convergence phenomenon but nevertheless a Characteristic one for the Acheulian complex. Similar European examples are known from the Bergeracois and parts of Iberia.

The Acheulian from Reutersruh and several nearby sites is an exception from the rule that there was no Acheulian east of the Rhine- and indeed most Handaxes of Central Europe may be part of the KMG.

The cores of the site are often very large Levallois and Discoid cores with many ”special types” like “Barrenförmige Kernsteine"- a term that may be subsumed in W-Europe under other names.

Simple scrapers could be of Early or Middle Palaeolithic Origin. Faustkeilblätter and mostly broken Leafpoints show KMG characteristics.

Some diagnostic Aurignacian tools are present and together with other artifacts from nearby sites representative for this entity at the N/W- Edge of the Aurignacian influence in Europe- see here: 1625 .

Figure 3 was taken during a visit in 1983.
Figure 3

Suggested Reading:

Adolf Luttropp: Paläolithische Funde in der Gegend von Ziegenhain. In: H. Müller-Karpe (Hrsg.), Hessische Funde von der Altsteinzeit bis zum frühen Mittelalter. Schriften zur Urgeschichte2, 1949, 5-18.

Gisela Freund: Zur Typologie der paläolithischen Funde von Ziegenhain. In: H. Müller-Karpe (Hrsg.), Hessische Funde von der Altsteinzeit bis zum frühen Mittelalter. Schriften zur Urgeschichte 2, 1949, 19-20.

Adolf Luttropp / Gerhard Bosinski: Der altsteinzeitliche Fundplatz Reutersruh bei Ziegenhain in Hessen. Fundamenta. Monographien zur Urgeschichte Reihe A Band 6. Köln 1971