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2019-12-14 07:13:06   •   ID: 2138

Federmesser: A continuous Background during the Allerød Oscillation

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These are delicate thin and microlithic backed tools from Federmesser scatters in the Haderslev and Hotrup region of Southern Denmark.

We notice straight, curved, lunate-like points and examples with a short tang. Backing may be classic "invasive" or more marginal with very fine continuous retouches.

The project of dating the relative age of Federmesser ensembles by seriation of their morphological composition was not very successful in Germany, with a high density of sites, and was therfore never undertaken for Scandinavia with comperable less stratified material.

The Federmesser technocomplex arrived in Denmark during the the Allerød Oscillation (12-10,8 k.a. cal BC) and is one of the most Northern manifestations of the process of the late Paleolithic “Azilianization”, which began in Southern Europe- further information can be found here: 1695 , here 1397 , here: 1690 , here: 1693 , and here: 1421

Federmesser ensembles follow the rare traces of late Hamburgian hunters in Denmark. Beside the diagnostic backed Points, small thumbnail scrapers made from flakes, blade-scrapers, and tanged scrapers (so-called Wehlen scrapers) characterize such assemblages.

C-14 calibrated AMS data show that the Federmesser complex precedes the Bromme complex in Southern Scandinavia, and that the transition from Federmesser to Bromme happened some time around 10.9 k.a. cal BC.

Despite many surface scatters, stratified Federmesser sites are rare in Denmark and and their relationship to the slightly later Bromme culture (see: 1010 ) remains unclear.

Riede recently reviewed the co-occurence of Arch-backed points, tanged scrapers and large tanged points at several sites.

Archaeological circumstances suggest, that these associations are not the result of secondary mixing and that functional requirements may have trigeredd the formations of such tool-kits:

"Widening the geographic perspective, this particular combination of tool types also occurs at many localities of the Feder- messer culture outside Denmark.

The majority of the sites at which the slender arch- backed points occur together with the bulkier large tanged points extend along the periphery of late Glacial human settlement, from England in the west to Poland and possibly as far as Lithuania, the Ukraine and Belarus in the east.

It is likely that such a co-occurrence reflects the parallel use of two distinct hunting weapons, the bow and arrow (tipped with arch-backed points) and the dart and spear thrower (tipped with large tanged points)
" (Riede 2011).

Suggested Reading:

E.M. Ikinger: Der endeiszeitliche Rückenspitzen-Kreis Mitteleuropas 1998

H Schwabedissen: Die Federmesser-Gruppen des nordwesteuropäischen Flachlandes 1954