Finds from Ewald Schuldt’s 1952–54 excavations at Hohen Viecheln, on the shore of Lake Schwerin, form one
of the most important assemblages of Mesolithic bone/antler tools in Germany, including over 300 projectile
points. Re-evaluation of Schuldt’s excavation records has created doubts about the published stratigraphic
sequence. For reliable chronologies of different tool types, therefore, it is necessary to directly date diagnostic
artefacts. However, artefacts were consolidated soon after the excavation, with unknown conservation agents.
Our analyses suggest that two different compounds were used. Altogether, 35 finds were sampled, following a
minimally invasive approach. Satisfactory dates were obtained for 28 artefacts. Collagen yields were highly
variable, but all results from samples with >1 % collagen are plausible, and all extracts tested meet EA-IRMS
acceptance criteria. FTIR was used throughout the process to monitor the removal of consolidants. Most of the
dated samples were apparently consolidated with a compound based on cellulose nitrate. Tests suggest that this
product would have been removed by the procedures followed to extract collagen, but its elemental and isotopic
composition is such that we cannot exclude the possibility that enough consolidant remained in the dated collagen
extracts to produce significant radiocarbon age offsets, particularly in low-yield samples.
Meadows, J. et al.: Radiocarbon dating bone and antler artefacts from Mesolithic Hohen Viecheln (Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Germany), in: Gross et al. (edd.), Working at The Sharp End at Hohen Viecheln, Untersuchungen und Materialien zur Steinzeit in Schleswig-Holstein und im Ostseeraum, Vol. 10, pp. 113–126, DOI: 10.23797/9783529018619-2.