Ahrensburgian Point from Pomeranea

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This is a late Paleolithic tanged point (5x2x0,3 cm)  from Pomerania / Poland made of Baltic flit stone. Taute (1968) established a typological definition of late glacial tanged points (Stielspitzen) on the basis of size and tang detail, designed in part to distinguish them from late Upper Palaeolithic tanged and shouldered points from the earlier Hamburgian. In terms of overall size, Taute considered that the length of an Ahrensburgian point should not exceed 55 mm, while the maximum breadth is normally 17 mm. The point shown here is somewhat broader but certainly no Bromme point. These are much larger (up to 12 cm) and were dated to the Allerød interstadial. Points, similar to the example shown here come  from an Ahrensburg context in Denmark and are dated to the Younger Dryas/Loch Lomond Stadial (GS-1): (http://www.donsmaps.com/iceagehunters.html).

The earlier Brommean points are rare, but not unknown from Poland. They are known from a narrow northern zone: the young moraine area around the Baltic Ice Lake, from Denmark, northern Germany, northern Poland up to Lithuania and Belarus.

Comparative analysis of the tangs of Ahrensburgian tangs resulted in the designation of four sub-types with unclear functional and chronological meaning:

  • Ahrensburgian point sensu stricto: the tang has been worked from the ventral face
  • Ahrensburgian point with alternating retouch
  • Hintersee point: the tang has been worked from the dorsal face
  • Chwalibogowice point: the tang has been worked from the ventral face, with supplementary invasive retouch of the base of the tang on the ventral face.
  • Ahrensburgian point with alternating retouch

In Ahrensburgian assemblages, the tanged points may be accompanied by Zonhoven points, which are small rhombic or trapezoidal points truncated obliquely at the tip and with additional basal retouch. Contrary to similarly shaped artefacts from the European Mesolithic, Zonhoven points were not manufactured by the application of microburin technique. To complicate matters, many Ahrensburgian tanged points were manufactured in microburin technique. In some cases, two opposed notches were retouched at the proximal end of the blank, which would subsequently be broken off to form a tang. Consequently, Ahrensburgian microburins have not one, but two opposed lateral notches.

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