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2019-11-07 12:49:32   •   ID: 2132

Late Glacial tanged Points of Northern Europe

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These are two ca 5 cm long tanged thin Points, found in Denmark during the 1940ies. According to the formal definition, they are Ahrensburgian points sensu stricto where the the tang has been worked from the ventral face.

Late Glacial tanged points were present all over the N- West and East European plain, with some outposts in the low and middle mountain ranges (for example in the Carparto-Ukraine and Lower Saxony) and in the greater Aquitaine (so called "Teyat Points").

According to the typology Late Glacial tanged Points have been designated as Ahrensburg, Bromme and Swidery -points -: see here 1459 , here 1243 , here: 1010 , and here: 1304 - as already described during earlier posts.

The different types may have chronological and / or functional and regional meanings.

Notably the lithics of this posts are not Havele-type points, characterized by an asymmetrical shouldered design, nor Bromme points, which are larger and more massive, or Swidery points, with their willow leave form and flat basal retouch on the dorsal side.

Regarding large and massive tanged Late Palaeolithic European points, Riede recently stated that "The earliest occurrences of Final Palaeolithic large tanged points date to late GS-2 or GI-1e (~15,000–14,000 cal BP), alongside arch-backed points.

Their presence in later assemblages and technocomplexes such as the Brommean cannot therefore be considered as a derived or diagnostic feature.

We suggest that this artefact class should rather be linked to weapon systems function (dart-points) different from the coeval arch-backed points (arrowheads) and that definitions of cultures based on these should thus be taken up for critical revision"

Multifold problems also still exist in the interpretation of smaller sized tanged points:

  • Reliable and calibrated C-14 data are still rare

  • Correlations between local climatic events and and human activities are still rare- but see Riede's work about the Laacher lake Volcanic event during the Alleröd and the change in the Stielspitzen weaponry

  • Most findings are still surface findings with possible multiple mixing events

  • After 100 years of evaluation, even our knowledge of morphological variability of the "Stielspitzengruppen" is still poor and their definition often depends on the collections from the Type-sites without knowing the many biases behind the lithic material.

  • Maybe the only useful classification at the moment is to differentiate between tanged and shouldered points. This traits have a chronological meaning...

  • Many questions about the relationships between the Tanged Late Glacial Technocomplexes and Backed Arched Point ensembles are not sufficiently answered