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

  • Written by Bernhard Gramsch
  • doi: 10.23797/9783529018619-6

chapter 6 (pp. 193–201)

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Articlenumber: 978-3-529-01861-9

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chapter 1 (pp. 15–111)

Re-evaluation of the site Hohen Viecheln 1

chapter 2 (pp. 113–126)

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

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 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

Description

In Mesolithic times, weapons, tools and instruments made of animal bones, antlers, and teeth will have been
a normal and extensive part of man-made human equipment. Numerous Mesolithic bone artefacts have
been accidentally found or dredged out from organic sediments in northeast Germany. There are more than
550 bone points and around 70 other bone tools from 71 find spots from bogs and wetlands. It is the same
with some excavations: extraordinary numbers of Mesolithic bone artefacts came to light at Hohen Viecheln
in Mecklenburg and at sites Friesack 4 and Friesack 27 in Brandenburg. Since the excavation of many Mesolithic
sites everywhere in Northern Europe it has been very clear that implements and tools made of animal
bones were an essential part of human equipment. Animal bones were a ‘hard’ material, but still softer and
better workable than stone and silex, they were also different from wood. Therefore this raw material could
be used for producing objects with more or less hard ‘demands’: spear- and arrowheads, daggers, knives,
fishhooks, objects with a cutting edge, objects with a shaft hole, awls, chisels, ornaments, and others. The
abundance of Mesolithic bone objects in northeast Germany is in some respect the result of the specific geological
and geomorphological situation induced after the Weichselian glaciation of the region. There are four
ice-marginal valleys with side-channels crossing the country as depressions filled now mostly with humic/
wet sediments. Additionally there are many lakes and bogs with organic sediments along the shores, also
with many swampy areas. The ancient organic objects in these sediments are mostly preserved, even after
some periods of cultivation in the last three centuries. Such geomorphological conditions seem to have been
very favourable for the preservation of Mesolithic bone and antler relics.

Gramsch, B.: The Mesolithic bone industries of northeast Germany and their geo-archaeological background, 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. 193–201, DOI: 10.23797/9783529018619-6.

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