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An area of all together 480 m2 of the Mesolithic site Siebenlinden 3-5 was excavated between 1993 and 1995 as well as between 2001 and 2004. Four layers with finds dating to the middle to younger Mesolithic were discovered. Horizon II is the result of a larger summer or autumn camp. Different workplaces which were used simultaneously are identified. Horizon III can also be interpreted as an intensively used main camp established for a longer period. It is possible to differentiate between workplaces, presumed living areas and side workplaces. One dwelling unit always consists of one of the workplaces, one of the living areas and one or two side workplaces. In contrast to this the find scatters of horizons IIIo and IV are of fundamentally different character. They possess less finds by far and belong to camps of shorter permanence having been built for various purposes, but mainly for the requisition of food. The use of stone artefacts in horizon IV shows that in two cases two of the find concentrations indicate two contemporary living areas. The differences of the camp shapes originate in the different uses of the settlement types of differing structures. However, between the early and late Mesolithic a distinctive change seems to have taken place in the social structure.

Duering A.,University of Oxford | Wahl J.,Regierungsprasidium Stuttgart
Anthropologischer Anzeiger | Year: 2014

The virtual experiments presented below reveal the counterintuitive archaeological demography of the Neolithic mass grave of Talheim and underline the importance of distinguishing between the demographic structures of living and dead populations, as well as between attritional and catastrophic mortality patterns. We utilise a new agent-based modelling approach called Population & Cemetery Simulator based on the NetLogo programming language and the Behaviour Composer of the modelling4all project, which allows us to extrapolate from dead to living populations and vice versa. Contrary to received opinion, we argue that the population of the Neolithic mass grave holds specific demographic information only, as it represents a pure catastrophic mortality pattern, i.e. a living population at a single point in time rather than the population of a conventional cemetery. The first experiments illustrate why the published demographic data (e.g. mortality, life expectancy, mean age at death) is misleading. It is illogical to utilise mortality tables devised for conventional (attritional) cemeteries in the case of living populations. Modelled populations with the published mortality rates of the massacre site are, furthermore, unable to stand up to plausible human demographic circumstances. In the second part, we evaluate the actual demographic information content of the Talheim sample. Comparative modelling illustrates that the Talheim population appears to be similar to possible living populations based on the mortuary record of Schwetzingen, an isochronal site of the Linear Pottery Culture (LBK), and Bärenthal, a site which dates back to the early medieval period (7th to 10th centuries). It is therefore very likely that the Talheim population is a representative sample of a living population in the LBK and might even represent a massacred village community in its entirety. © 2014 E. Schweizerbart'sche Verlagsbuchhandlung, Stuttgart, Germany.

Kuhn M.,University of Basel | Maier U.,Regierungsprasidium Stuttgart | Herbig C.,Goethe University Frankfurt | Ismail-Meyer K.,University of Basel | And 2 more authors.
Environmental Archaeology | Year: 2013

There has been evidence of dung in lakeside and moorland settlements since the beginning of wetland archaeology in the 19th century. While evidence has been found for the easily discernible faecal pellets of sheep and goats, recognition of cattle dung has proven to be considerably more difficult. In this study, we give an overview of evidence for dung remains in prehistoric wetland settlements in Germany, Switzerland and eastern France. Various methods for the analysis of uncharred dung remains are reviewed-analyses of plant macro-and microremains, micromorphology and palaeoparasitology-and are applied to two late Neolithic sites in Germany, Alleshausen-Täschenwiesen and Alleshausen-Grundwiesen. It will be shown that at Alleshausen-Täschenwiesen small ruminants were penned during the whole winter and fed on leaf hay unlike Alleshausen-Grundwiesen, where cattle browsed/grazed in the open during the day and were herded into the settlement during the night-both in summer and in winter. © 2013 Association for Environmental Archaeology.

Bocherens H.,University of Tubingen | Drucker D.G.,University of Tubingen | Bridault A.,21 Allee Of Luniversite | Conard N.J.,University of Tubingen | And 10 more authors.
Quaternary International | Year: 2011

The prey choice of extinct cave lions Panthera spelaea was determined using bone collagen isotopic signatures in the Belgian Ardennes and the Swabian Jura between 40,000 and 25,000 years ago as well as in the Late-glacial of the northwestern Alp foreland and of the Paris Basin. More than 370 specimens of large carnivorous and herbivorous mammals from 25 sites coeval with cave lion were analyzed. The isotopic results point to an individualistic prey choice for cave lions, with some individuals more oriented on reindeer and others on young cave bears. The isotopic signatures and therefore dietary choice of cave lions did not overlap with those of cave hyenas, indicating competitive exclusion between the large predators. The most recent western European cave lions seem to have been consuming mainly reindeer until the local extirpation of this prey species, which coincides chronologically with their own extinction. This restricted prey choice may be involved in the extinction of this large predator in Western Europe. © 2011.

Maier U.,Regierungsprasidium Stuttgart | Schlichtherle H.,Regierungsprasidium Stuttgart
Vegetation History and Archaeobotany | Year: 2011

At present there are substantial amounts of archaeological and archaeobotanical data from the Late Neolithic wetland settlements of southern Germany on the oil and fibre plant flax (Linum usitatissimum L.). This is the result of 30 years of intensive excavations and research in 53 settlement areas. This article, on the one hand, will present the significance of flax remains, products made of flax and the inventory of relevant tools for evidence of and reconstruction of the flax production processes. On the other hand, based on the quantitative analysis of flax remains, the changing significance of this important cultivated plant during the course of the Late Neolithic will be demonstrated. From this it will be evident that textile production and in particular flax processing were part of a decisive upheaval in cultural development that initiated the transition to the middle phase of the Late Neolithic in the fields of agriculture and technology. © 2011 Springer-Verlag.

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