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2024-04-16 10:29:55   •   ID: 2376

Ideology instead of Science: Researchers that are right but for the wrong reasons

Plate 1

Plate 1: A Lincombian-Ranisian-Jerzmanowician (LRJ) Leaf Point with incomplete dorsal retouch together with an endscraper on blade, made with the same characteristics, from Kleinheppach, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany, already introduced in the blog- see here: 1603 and 2366 .

Subsequent Figures in this Blog-entry show further Paleolithic Leaf Points / Blattspitzen / Bifacial Foliates from Europe and the Near East. Figure 1: Late Middle Paleolithic from Goldberg and Mauern in Southern Germany (MIS 3 around 50 k.a. BC); Figure 2: Early Middle Paleolithic from Weimar Ehringsdorf (MIS 7 around 220 k.a.BC), Figure 3: Solutrean from Solutré (around 20 k.a.), Figure 4: Fayum A Neolithic around 5,5 k.a.BC.

The LRJ-Technocomplex was first excavated in Germany by Werner Hülle during 1932-1937 at the Ilsenhöhle in Ranis (Thuringia). Until now this site remains the only place in Germany with a stratified LRJ.

Figure 1
At Ranis in Zone 2, an industry with numerous fine, leaf shaped points of different sizes appeared next to and slightly above Zone 1 with a poor Middle Paleolithic and below an typical Aurignacian in Zone 3. However, „Jerzmanowice points“ were only found in Zone 2 and were often accompanied by numerous end scrapers on blades.

Like our example in Plate 1, Endscrapers of Zone 2 in Ranis occasionally show flat dorsal retouches (Müller-Beck 1968).

Hülle placed the LRJ into a warmer period, according to him into the EEM- interglacial. This position seemed to be substantiated by some incomplete and biased paleoclimatic data. We will see below that this misclassification fitted perfectly into Hülles "Völkischen" view of Prehistory.

The complete excavation report was only published decades later by the excavator and published in 1977 after his death by Hansjürgen Müller-Beck and Joachim Hahn (Hülle 1977).

As far as political events were concerned, we find Werner Hülle as early as 1932 as a member of the "Kampfbund für deutsche Kultur" founded by Alfred Rosenberg, the Nationals Socialist chief Philosopher, in 1929. Hülle had been a member of the NSDAP since May 1, 1933 and had also been a member of the SA since May 2, 1933. During the "Third Reich" he was the "right hand" of his master Hans Reinerth, an eminent and influential Prehistorian under the Protection of Alfred Rosenberg.

Figure 2
Academic archaeological research during the Third Reich was divided into two rival groups, “Amt Rosenberg” and Himmlers “SS-Ahnenerbe”. Although the coexistence of two organisations, who both claimed to be the authentic curators of German prehistory, prevented a complete “Gleichschaltung” of the discipline, especially young and well trained archaeologists could not make their career without being connected with one of these organizations or alternatively preferred to stay under the personal protection of Himmler or Rosenberg.

The examples in Figure 1-4 show that Blattspitzen are neither suitable as fossil directeurs nor are they the specific products selectively made by certain hominins. They were produced for at least 250 k.a. and made both by (Archaic) Homo sapiens and Neanderthals.

In the 1930s, it was already known that Homo sapiens had succeeded Neanderthals in Europe. At that time, most anthropologists suggested that Homo Sapiens had evolved from the Neanderthal clade - and of course, according the their Eurocentric views, this should have happened on the European continent.

The European finds at this time constantly demonstrated an association of Neanderthals with the Middle Palaeolithic (for example at Le Moustier), while Homo sapiens was always associated with the Upper Palaeolithic (for example at Cro-Magnon).

Science is a dynamic process, and only during the last 40 years it became increasingly clear that Neanderthals were essentially an European/Eurasian species. Modern humans migrated to Europe from elsewhere, most likely Africa, and replaced the Neandertals. This hypothesis is strongly supported by genetics and Anthropological findings.

Figure 3
The view of Nationalsocialists like Hülle and Bohmers, an "Ahenerbe" scientist, who at the same time when Hülle worked at Ranis, excavated the late Middle Paleolithic Blattspitzen at Mauern- see here: 1157 and 1528 , was straight forward and completely in line with the wishes of Reichsführer - SS Himmler and the fanatic Antisemite Rosenberg.

1. Allthough the evidence was poor, they dated the strata with Blattspitzen at Ranis and Mauern to the last Interglacial (EEM) and therefore at 120 k.a.

2. The Blattspitzen-horizons at both sites were suggested to be too perfect to have been produced by Neanderthals - according to Hülle and Bohmer's reasoning they must have been produced by Homo sapiens at a time significantly earlier than the first evidence of Homo sapiens in southern/western Europe (120 k.a. vs. 40 k.a.)

3. The hypothetical makers of the Central European Blattspitzen were Arian / Nordic man from Germany.

We notice, that with the help of some minor rhetoric operations, the important scientific impact of the Mauern and Ranis excavations was contaminated by Nazi- ideology. We will never know whether these attempts were an expression of nationalistic conviction, complete opportunism, or only the desire to open up new sources of funding further excavations.

What is clear, however, is that the results fitted both Himmler's and Rosenberg's world view. We do not know for sure whether the young scientists had any doubts about their statements.

Figure 4
Bohmers in 1937 wrote:„Until now almost every German, and without exception every foreign investigator, has assumed that the race migrated to Europe from somewhere in the East. The excavations at Mauern and Ranis have revealed for the first time the key that proves that the Cro-Magnon race must have developed in greater Germany.” (Pringle 2014).

Renewed investigations at Ranis took place in recent years,- see attached files, and showed that:

1. the Blattspitzen / „Jerzmanowice points“ in Ranis came from a layer with a very cold climate, dating to MIS3 at ca. 45-43 k.a. BP, while the Blattspitzen at Mauern were not connected with any Human remains. Anyhow, because they were found within a complete Middle Paleolithic / KMG Context, they were probably made by Neanderthals.

2. it was indeed Homo Sapiens who made the artifacts in Stratum 2 at Ranis. This was clearly evidenced by multiple Paleogenetic findings

3. and of course Homo Sapiens had by no means its roots in Central Germany...

In contrast to what can still be read, the involved archaeologists during the 1930ies worked at an excellent methodical level. Scientific standards were kept high, and there are only few references in their publications to their underlying racist worldview. Nevertheless the conclusions they drawed were fundamentally biased.

Hülle was right about the authorship by Homo Sapiens for the Leafpoints at Ranis but for the wrong and multiple ideological reasons - an older view was shaped by everyday European racism and a more recent view by the much more radical National Socialist ideology.


HA Pringle: The Master Plan: Himmler's Scholars and the Holocaust, Harper Perennial 2014.

A. Bohmers, “Die Mauerner Höhlen und ihre Bedeutung für die Einteilung der Altsteinzeit,” in Ahnenerbe Jahrestagungen. Bericht über die Kieler Tagung 1939, ed. Herbert Jankuhn , 1944.

R. Höhne, Die Ausgrabungen der Schutzstaffeln, possibly 1938

G.Freund: Die Blattspitzen des Paläolithikums in Europa, 1952

G. Freund. Das Paläolithikum der Oberneder-Höhle - Ldkr. Kelheim-Donau; 1987

G. Bosinski: mittelpaläolithischen Funde im westlichen Mitteleuropa, 1967

K. Günter: Alt- und mittelsteinzeitliche Fundplätze in Westfalen, Teil 1 + Teil 2; 1986, 1988

K. Günther: Die altsteinzeitlichen Funde der Balver Höhle. Bodenaltertümer Westfalens 8. Münster; 1964

Baales M et al. : Westfalen in der Alt- und Mittelsteinzeit; 2014

Richter J: Sesselfelsgrotte III. Der G-Schichten-Komplex der Sesselfelsgrotte; 1997