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Ahrensburg culture

The Ahrensburg culture or Ahrensburgian (11th to 10th millennia BCE) was a late
Upper Paleolithic nomadic hunter culture (or technocomplex) in north-central Europe during
the Younger Dryas, the last spell of cold at the end of the Weichsel glaciation resulting in
deforestation and the formation of a tundra with bushy arctic white birch and rowan. The most
important prey was the wild reindeer. The earliest definite finds of arrow and bow date to this
culture, though these weapons might have been invented earlier. The Ahrensburgian was
preceded by the Hamburg and Federmesser cultures and superseded by mesolithic cultures
(Maglemosian). Ahrensburgian finds were made in southern and western Scandinavia, the
North German plain and western Poland. The Ahrensburgian area also included vast stretches
of land now at the bottom of the North and Baltic Sea, since during the Younger Dryas the
coastline took a much more northern course than today.
The culture is named after a tunnel valley near the village of Ahrensburg, 25 km (16 mi)
northeast of Hamburg in the German state of Schleswig-Holstein, where Ahrensburg find
layers were excavated in Meiendorf, Stellmoor and Borneck. While these as well as the
majority of other find sites date to the Young Dryas, the Ahrensburgian find layer in Alt
Duvenstedt has been dated to the very late Allerød, thus possibly representing an early stage
of Ahrensburgian which might have corresponded to the Bromme culture in the north.
Artefacts with tanged points are found associated with both the Bromme and the Ahrensburg


1 Origin

2 Stellmoor

3 Scandinavia, Hensbacka group

4 See also

5 References


the development of inter-group contacts. The Hamburgian sites with shouldered point lithics reach as far north as the . Today it is commonly accepted that the Hamburgian. the distribution of the Hamburgian east of the Oder River has been confirmed and Hamburgian culture can also be distinguished in Lithuania.An Ahrensburg arrowhead. The extinction of mammoth and other megafauna provided for an incentive to exploit other forms of subsistence that included maritime resources. During the holocene climatic optimum. the initiation of agriculture.[1] The different technolithic complexes are chronologically associated with the climatic chronozones. an early Central European Magdalenian in Poland. perhaps oriented towards the former coastline. but much of northern Eurasia remained inhabited during the Younger Dryas. However. Palynological results demonstrate a close connection between the prominent temperature rise at the beginning of the Interstadial and the expansion of the hunter-gatherers into the northern Lowlands. Finds in Jutland indicates the expansion of early Hamburgian hunters and gatherers reached further north than previously expected. the increased biomass led to a marked intensification in foraging by all groups.000 calBC. Within the Hamburgian techno-complex. is a techno-complex closely related to the Creswellian and rooted in the Magdalenian. The re-colonisation of Northern Germany is connected to the onset of the late Glacial Interstadial between Weichsel and the Dryas I glaciation.g. Ahrensburg culture belongs to a Late Paleolithic and early Mesolithic (or Epipaleolithic) cultural complex that started with the glacial recession and the subsequent disintegration of Late Palaeolithic cultures between 15. at the beginning of the Meiendorf Interstadial around 12. the brief Dryas II glaciation (lasting 300 years) and in the early warmer Allerød period. featured by "Shouldered Point" lithics. The Hamburgian culture existed during the warm Bølling period. Northward migrations coincided with the warm Bølling and Allerød events. a younger dating is found for the Havelte phase.700 calBC. The existence of a primary “pioneer phase” in the re-colonisation is contradicted by proof of e. sometimes interpreted as a northwestern phenomenon. and ultimately.000 and 10.

Bromme culture sites are found in the entire southern and southeastern Baltic. in southern Scandinavia the Federmesser may represent a brief transitory phase between the Hamburgian and the Brommean. dating from northern Germany shows some degree of contemporaneity between the late Hamburgian Havelte sites and the Federmesser ones. [4] Some recent finds. flint artefacts of Bromme tanged-point groups is considered to prelude the techno-complex of the Ahrensburg culture and would point to the provenience of Ahrensburg from Bromme culture. though not unanimous. The traditional view of the Ahrensburg culture being a direct inheritor of the Bromme culture in the late Dryas period is contradicted by new information that the Ahrensburgian techno-complex probably already started before the Younger Dryas. The "Backed Point" lithics of Federmesser culture are usually dated in the Allerød Interstadial. the exact typological chronology of this culture is still unclear.700 calBC. A certain survival of late Upper Palaeolithic traditions similar to contemporary Azilian (France. amber animal sculptures. Spain) becomes apparent. Early Federmesser finds follows shortly or are contemporary to Havelte. Another possibility derives from the observation that on a regional scale. flint processing using unipolair cores.[7] . Alternatively.900 to 10. Federmesser types are also often found in close association with Hamburgian assemblages (e. The culture lasted approximately 1200 years from 11. such as the amber elk from Weitsche that can be considered as a link to the Mesolithic. The existence of a genuine Federmesser occupation in southern Scandinavia is highly controversial.[2] although other sources hold early Bromme not to be very well defined in (late Allerød) Northern Germany. during the Allerød and were closely associated with reindeer hunting. Still. the Grensk culture in Bromme territory at the source of the Dnieper River was proposed to be the direct originator of Ahrensburgian culture. but uneconomical. The "classical" Brommian complex is typified by simple and fast.Pomeranian ice margin. or Arch-Backed Piece Complex.. and are dated to the second half of Allerød and the early cold Dryas III period. and there is wide. such as the Hintersee 24 site in southern Landkreis VorpommernGreifswald.[3] where it groups with Federmesser.[3] strengthening proposals to a direct derivation from the Havelte stage of the Hamburg culture. Grensk culture has its roots more defined in the local Mammoth Hunters' culture. would contribute to the argument of an early Ahrensburgian in northern Germany. Fish-hooks were discovered in Allerød layers and emphasize the importance of fishing in the Late Palaeolithic. and is located in Northern Germany and Poland to south Lithuania. As such. at Slotseng and Sølbjerg) and tentative. Therefore. A new development noticed in Lithuania introduced both massive and smaller "Tanged Points".g. As such. the Hamburgian culture is succeeded geographically as well as chronologically by the Federmesser culture.[5] However. derivation of Bromme culture and even migration of its representatives from the territories of Denmark and northern Germany have been proposed.300 calBC. In Bromme culture this technology is proposed to be an innovation derived from tanged Havelte groups. Ahrensburg culture is normally associated with the Younger Dryas glacialization and the Preboreal period. Though associated with the Bromme complex.[6] This corresponds with the notion that "tanged point cultures" such as "Brommian" or "Bromme-Lyngby" appear to be based on the Magdalenian. agreement that some Federmesser types constitute an integral part of the early Brommean artefact inventory. The younger Havelte phase has been proven for the area beyond the Pomeranian ice margin and on the Danish Isles after circa 12.

More favourable living conditions. The Hensbacka group on the west coast of Sweden exemplifies the cultural fragmentation process that took place within the Continental Ahrensburgian. and bones from 650 reindeer have been found there. Hensbacka group The earliest reliable traces of habitation in the northern territories of Norway and western Sweden date to the transition period from the Younger Dryas to the Preboreal. prompted increased maritime resource exploitation in the northern territories. At the settlements. which probably were the foundations of hide teepees.Stellmoor Stellmoor was a seasonal settlement inhabited primarily during October. [3] . Scandinavia. New knowledge provides aspects for a further autochthonous development. and past experience gained through seasonal rounds. A number of intact reindeer skeletons. and they were probably sacrifices to higher powers. The hunting tool was bow and arrow. has been found. with a rapid climatic change stimulating a swift cultural change.[8][9][10] Instead of new immigrations at the beginning of the Mesolithic. archaeologists have found circles of stone. the discovery of deposited bones and new dating indicate that there was no (significant) break in settlement continuity. with arrowheads in the chest. From Stellmoor there are also well-preserved arrow shafts of pine intended for the culture's characteristic skaftunge arrowheads of flint.