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2020-09-11 12:35:29   •   ID: 2202

The Hamburgian at Grande Schleswig Holstein

Figure 1
Figures 1-4 show different tools of a Hamburgian Camp at Grande / Schleswig-Holstein in North Germany.

Among these Tools we notice three shouldered points, a straight Zinken (according to Tromnau), Some Truncations ("Schrägendklingen"), Scrapers and Burins. The Burin highlighted in Figure 4 was created with en éperon preparation.

There are no backed instruments from this surface collection, although "Gravettes" are mentioned in the Literature about the Site.

Overall the collection is compatible with an older Hamburgian. The ensemble is very similar to the sites of Heber and Deimern (Kreis Soltau, N-Germany) and was suggested to be part of the "Teltwisch-Group" by Tromnau- a designation based on the typology of surface findings and obsolete today.

The detection of the cultures of Late Paleolithic hunters in Northern Europe will always be associated with the groundbreaking multidisciplinary excavations in the Ahrensburg Tunnel Valley, today bordered to the west by the Hamburg-Lübeck railway line, since the 1930ies.

The work of Rust in different areas of the Valley, mainly at Meiendorf, Stellmoor, Borneck, Poggenwisch, and Hasewisch revealed a succession of two technocomplexes: the Hamburgian and Ahrensburgian and their palynological correlation with different phases of the late last Glacial.

Figure 2
He also demonstrated the selective hunting of Reindeer, the first evidence of wooden arrows during the Ahrensburgian - currently the oldest specimens worldwide known - and the first evidence of dwelling structures from the Late Paleolithic in Northern Europe.

The Ahrensburg tunnel valley was formed by meltwater under the inland ice, which covered this area during the last Glacial.

This meltwater eroded deep into the subsoil and, at the end of the Glacial, left behind a narrow, elongated channel (tunnel valley) with steep slopes, in whose protected large blocks of ice, called dead ice, were preserved.

Later, after the glaciers retreat, the dead ice ice was covered by a layer of gravel and sand. A lake formed above these sediments, partially fed by the melting dead ice, and Reindeer Hunters rested on its banks.

During the Holocene all water bodies silt up more or less quickly and were transformed into a fen with optimal conditions for the preservation of organic remains.

The Pleistocene Chanel created a natural narrow passage for the migrating reindeer herds, optimal for hunt.

Figure 3
The site of Meiendorf is situated between 2 small lakes, while the site of Stellmoor is located between a lakeshore and the steep sides of the valley. Both locations form ideal bottlenecks for driving and then ambushing reindeer herds (Bratlund, 1991).

New data about the timing and direction of reindeer herd movements in northern Europe have been generated during the last years. Hamburgian and Ahrensburgian groups exploited these herds between ca. 14,9 and 14,0 k.a. calBP and between ca. 12,8 and 11,4 k.a. cal BP, respectively.

Results of the isotopic analysis suggest that the herds for the most part moved east-west over the North European Plain - probably wintering in the east.

Figure 4
Grande is located about 20 km South-West the Ahrensburg Valley and is part of a network of Hamburgian sites over the North European Plain, found from the Netherlands to Poland with few outposts in Jutland and a dense cluster in Germany (Schleswig Holstein, Lower Saxony).

Interestingly Grande is also located in a tunnel valley, the Bille Valley, with geological conditions comparable to the Ahrensburg tunnel valley. The Bille is a tributary of the Elbe in northern Germany. It rises north of the Hahnheide near Trittau in the southeast of Schleswig-Holstein and flows into the Lower Elbe in Hamburg.

Anyhow, the Bille does not offer conditions, that would allow a preservation of organic artifacts.

Future research will probably show whether further artifact clusters can be discovered along the river course.

Suggested Readings:

Rust, Alfred: Die alt- und mittelsteinzeitlichen Funde von Stellmoor; 1943

Rust, Alfred: Die jungpaläolithischen Zeltanlagen von Ahrensburg; 1958.

Tromnau, Gernot: Die Fundplätze der Hamburger Kultur von Heber und Deimern, Kreis Soltau; 1975.

Tromnau, Gernot: Neue Ausgrabungen im Ahrensburger Tunneltal . Ein Beitrag zur Erforschung des Jungpaläolithikums im nordwesteuropäischen Flachland; 1975.

Tromnau, Gernot: Hammaburg NF 1 - 1974 Vor- und Frühgeschichte aus dem niederelbischen Raum hrsg. für das Archäologische Museum Hamburg, Helms-Museum.; 1975.

Weber, Mara-Julia.: From technology to tradition - Re-evaluating the Hamburgian-Magdalenian relationship; 2012.

Burdukiewicz , Jan Michel: The Late Pleistocene Shouldered Point Assemblages in Western Europe; 1986.

Surf the Blog: About Tanged Points from the Ahrensburgian and Zinken from the Hamburgian-see here 1010 , here: 1304 , here: 2201 , here: 2171 and here 1459 ,here: 1710 , and here: 1478 ,