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2019-08-06 09:56:56   •   ID: 2113

Foliated Handaxes during the European Paleolithic

Figure 1
Figure 1 and 2: These are two foliated, ca 13 cm long, flat Handaxes found many decennia ago in two different brickyards at Vailly-sur-Aisne, were such Foliates were rather common during the Acheulian.

They may date to MIS 9 or 7. About the Acheulian at the Aisne see here: 1221 and here: 1230 .

Foliated Handaxes were first described by Obermaier and Wernert (Alt Paläolithikum mit Blatt-Typen; Mitt. d. Anthrop. Gesell. in Wien, 1929, pp. 293-310) within a KMG Ensemble from the Klausennische in Bavaria.

Figure2
The Authors suggested a Late Acheulian Context for such items.

Much later it became clear that the Klausennischen- Ensemble is part of the KMG Group (Bosinski 1968) and probably dates to MIS3- a convergent phenomenon to similar and much earlier findings in N-France.

In Central Europe, a cluster of the KMG group, foliated Handaxes are common at Röhrsheim and also contested at Wahlen and Lenderscheid in Northern Hessen, already described in this Blog– See here: 1735 .

Interestingly almost all Foliates at Roersheim, probably a multilayered Workshop, were (intentionally ?) broken or alternatively left behind, while complete artifacts may have been exported from the site.

Similar leaf point–shaped fragments, also (intentionally) broken, were found in abundance on Beyvar Hill at Korolevo (Ukraine). The Layer Va has been dated by TL to 220 k.a. (MIS 7)- an age similar to the Brandschichten- complex at Ehringsdorf.

In N-France occasionally similar Foliated Handaxes appear at classic Acheulian sites like Presles-et-Boves (MIS 9-11; Aisne), within the Oise region, at Cagny (MIS 9 or 11; Somme), Mareuil (Somme) , Saint Acheul (MIS 7-9; Somme), Montières (MIS 7; Somme), but are uncommon at the so called „Micoquian" sites during MIS 5 (c. 100 – 90 k.a. BP) within the Seine region-see here: 1532 .

Foliated Handaxes in Europe are scattered in time and space and certainly are not a special "tradition" but only the statistical outliers of a group of elongated handaxes within the Acheulian and the KMG complex- more often reflecting a transitory moment in a versatile reduction process than an imposed form.