Radiocarbon dating bone and antler artefacts from Mesolithic Hohen Viecheln (Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Germany)

  • Written by Mathieu Boudin, Daniel Groß, Detlef Jantzen, Harald Lübke, John Meadows, Markus Wild
  • doi: 10.23797/9783529018619-2

The series ›Untersuchungen und Materialien zur Steinzeit in Schleswig-Holstein und im Ostseeraum‹ is edited by the Museum für Archäologie Schloss Gottorf and by the Zentrum für Baltische und Skandinavische Archäologie.

chapter 2 (pp. 113–126)

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chapter 1 (pp. 15–111)

Re-evaluation of the site Hohen Viecheln 1

chapter 3 (pp. 127–162)

The osseous technology of Hohen Viecheln: A Maglemosian idiosyncrasy?

chapter 5 (pp. 179–192)

Nordic Visits to Hohen Viecheln, Mecklenburg

chapter 6 (pp. 193–201)

The Mesolithic bone industries of northeast Germany and their geo-archaeological background

chapter 7 (pp. 203–238)

Early Mesolithic bone points from Schleswig-Holstein

chapter 8 (pp. 239–254)

Early Mesolithic hunting strategies for red deer, roe deer and wild boar at Friesack 4, a three-stage Preboreal and Boreal site in northern Germany

chapter 9 (pp. 255–262)

Lost at the bottom of the lake. Early and Middle Mesolithic leister points found in the bog Rönneholms Mosse, southern Sweden

chapter 10 (pp. 263–287)

Points of bone and antler from the Late Mesolithic settlement in Motala, eastern central Sweden

chapter 11 (pp. 289–303)

The Early Mesolithic fisheries of southern Scandinavia

chapter 12 (pp. 305–318)

The Early Mesolithic bone and antler industry in Latvia, eastern Baltic

chapter 13 (pp. 319–339)

Early Mesolithic barbed bone points in the Volga-Oka interfluve

chapter 14 (pp. 341–365)

Bone and antler projectile points from the Meso-Neolithic site Zamostje 2, Moscow region, Russia

chapter 15 (pp. 367–382)

Early Mesolithic bone projectile points of the Urals

chapter 16 (pp. 383–404)

Hunting beneath the waves. Bone and antler points from North Sea Doggerland off the Dutch coast

chapter 17 (pp. 419–432)

Understanding the bone and antler assemblages from Star Carr

chapter 18 (pp. 405–418)

Excavations at Star Carr: past and present

Open Access


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.

Daniel Groß

Harald Lübke

Markus Wild

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