Lenderscheid: The Middle Paleolithic Debitage

levallois aggsbach

The abundance of quartzite on the crests of low hills south of Kassel in the “Niederhessische Senke”, one of the main transit routes from South to North, has attracted people at different times to use this raw material for the production of stone implements.

At Lenderscheid the fine grained quartzite is of a remarkable homogeneity. The oldest tools may be handaxes of Acheulian morphology.  The middle Paleolithic is characterized both by Levallois (Figure 1) and non-Levallois (Figure 2) debitage. In surface collections I know, the Levallois products represent ca. 20% of the whole debitage. While Levallois cores are rather rare, Discoid cores are more common. If a true Quina-production was present remains open, due to a lack of technological studies of representative material.

non levallois aggsbach

Lenderscheid is famous for its leaf points and triangular Handaxes, a pattern that is replicated at the nearby Röhrsheim site and the Wahlen site near Kirtorf. Although these items may be very characteristic, their importance may be exaggerated. Essentially nobody knows the number of these artifacts in comparison to the total amount of Middle Paleolithic tools at the site. In my subjective view they are outnumbered by thick scrapers, by far. Unfortunately Lenderscheid has never been excavated and there are only speculations what the association of triangular Bifaces, Leaf Points and a sophisticated Middle Paleolithic technique could mean. In addition there are no modern publications about the site as a whole…

The Middle Paleolithic artifacts displayed here do not show any differences to findings in France, made on large nodules of high quality flint. Therefore the raw material seemed to be of minor importance in the decision of using such a concept. The quality of the Lenderscheid quartzite allowed the Neanderthals to use material-intensive techniques

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One Response to Lenderscheid: The Middle Paleolithic Debitage

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