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Niekus M.J.L.T.,The Foundation Stone | van Balen R.T.,TNO | Bongers J.M.G.,De Steekproef B.V. | Bosch J.H.A.,TNO | And 9 more authors.
Quaternary International | Year: 2015

The first Middle Palaeolithic artefacts to turn up in situ in boulder sand (erosional residue of glacial till) were found in 2011. The open-air site is located on the Saalian till plateau in the northern Netherlands, not far from the city of Assen, the capital of the province of Drenthe. The finds from a trial excavation comprise flakes, blades, cores and retouched tools. The latter category consists predominantly of handaxes, but a few side-scrapers and backed knives are also present. Apart from erratic Baltic flint, of which most artefacts are made, raw materials include quartzitic sandstone, quartzite and, remarkably, hälleflinta ('rock-flint'). The assemblage is exceptional because of the many handaxes that dominate the tool spectrum, leading the authors to suggest that butchering activities played a major role in the formation of the assemblage. One of the reasons for Neanderthals to frequent this location, which is situated near a stream valley close to the confluence with a small tributary, might be the presence of relatively good-quality flint nodules and fairly large slabs of hälleflinta. The site is one of the northernmost Middle Palaeolithic occurrences in the Netherlands - in Europe as well - and obviously postdates the Saalian glaciation (MIS 6). 'Assen' most likely dates to MIS 3 or MIS 5a/5c of the Weichselian. The presence of many relatively small (sub)cordiform and (sub)triangular handaxes indicates a cultural affiliation with the Mousterian of Acheulian Tradition, Type A. The site is situated near the northern limit of the occupation range of Middle Palaeolithic hominins, and the lithic assemblage is comparable to that from several other sites in the northern part of the North European Plain. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA. Source

Stapert D.,Ossewei 6 | Johansen L.,Ossewei 6 | Niekus M.J.L.Th.,Lopendediep 28
Geologie en Mijnbouw/Netherlands Journal of Geosciences | Year: 2013

A bifacially worked flint tool has recently been found on the North Sea beach of Ameland, one of the Wadden Islands in the northern Netherlands. It probably dates from the Middle Palaeolithic because its surface modifications include windgloss which in this area originated especially during the Weichselian Late Pleniglacial. The tool was probably first worked by a skilled knapper and subsequently, after a break occurred, by an apprentice. It is suggested that the tool was transported to Ameland from the North Sea bottom in the course of sand replenishment activities. Other artefacts from the Wadden Islands allegedly left by Neanderthals are also briefly discussed. Source

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