Middle Paleolithic from Scheden; Lower Saxony

scheden aggsbach katzmanThis is a small (6 cm long) Handaxe from a field at Scheden (Southern Lower Saxony, near Dransfeld).

In southern lower Saxony, between Kassel and Göttingen, there are numerous outcrops of middle and fine-grained Oligocene / Miocene quartzites on the Dransfeld high plateau. The finding of an quartzite handaxe from a field at Dankelshausen drew the attention of F. B. Jünemann to these raw material resources. His interest was stimulated by numerous quartzite Paleolithic findings south of Kassel (Lenderscheid, Ziegenhein as already shown in this blog), first described by A. Luttropp. Jünemann recognized stone artifacts (mainly flakes, blades  and  handaxes)  at several quartzite outcrops (Fuchsberg at Meensen, Altarsteine at Dransfeld, Bühren, and Varlosen) but also as stray finds on the fields. Essentially these artifacts cannot be assigned to any defined technocomplexes, but at least Acheulian Handaxes, simple Middle Paleolithic flake tools and Neolithic blades can be recognized. Jünemanns claims of “Gravettian and Aurignacian” material is certainly not substantiated by typology.

scheden aggsbachAt Scheden ( picture on the left) quartzite was used during the middle Paleolithic for the production of more than 30 small cordiform and triangular handaxes, found together with non-Levallois flakes in the 1970ies by Matthias D. Schön und Ingeborg Schweitzer. Because these artifacts scattered over only a small area of 30 square meters, they were interpreted as representing the remains of a specialized home camp by the investigators. They referred the material to the MTA and of course the outlines of the handaxes resemble MTA bifaces, although in my view there are more affinities to the “Moustérien à pièces bifaciales dominantes” of the Bretagne and the Basse Normandie (http://www.aggsbach.de/2010/08/the-mousterien-a-pieces-bifaciales-dominantes/). Like so many other sites in Germany, the site of Scheden has never been introduced into the international scientific literature.

Some Bifaces from the Schön / Schweizer Publication:

scheden aggsbach MTA

Suggested Readings:

Fritz Bertram Jünemann: Paläolithische Artefakte auf Äckern mit Trümmerstreuung von Braunkohlenquarzit im Obetweserbergland südlich des Sollings, 134 – 146, in: Frühe Menschheit und Umwelt, Teil I. Fundamenta, Reihe A, Band 2, Köln  und Wien 1970
Matthias   D. Schön   und   Ingeborg   Schweitzer:  Paläolithische   Funde   aus der   Gemarkung    Scheden,   Kr.   Göttingen. Göttinger Jahrbuch 1978


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About Katzman

During my whole life I was fascinated by stone age artefacts. Not only the aesthetic qualities of these findings, but also the stories around them and the considerations arising from their discovery, are a part of my blog. Comments and contributions are allways welcome!

About me: J.L. Katzman (Pseudonym). Born in Vienna. Left Austria in 1974 and did not regret. Studied Medicine and Prehistory at a German University. Member of a Medical Department at a German University.

Copyright 2010-2017 by JLK. All Rights Reserved. You are welcome to use material in these posts so long as you cite the work.

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